Collocation: the other key to IELTS 7 (8 of 16)

By | January 8, 2019

Collocation: the other key to IELTS 7 (8 of 16)

Collocation is the key to getting a higher IELTS Writing and Speaking score, but it is not easy. Students often do not collocate words very well (which is why they don’t receive IELTS 7 or 8). To do this, all the parts of speech [adjectives & nouns, verbs & adverbs, prepositions & nouns, and others] must fit together in accepted patterns, stylishly and nice, while all the time conveying clear and precise meaning – like the video at the top of this page. Watch it, and notice all the parts of this complex creation blend together perfectly. This is what your writing should be like.

Well, to have ‘a sense of collocation’ (= IELTS 7), you need to have some familiarity with English. So, start reading all my pixnet posts, and getting this familiarity, right?

In the meantime, the following exercises will help.

Time to Practice

Can you ‘fix’ the following sentences by changing (or removing) the underlined word? There may be different ways to answer these. The answers will be in the next ‘collocation’ post.

  1. When a bullied person fights back, the responsibility is given to both people.
  1. The bullies may start revenge.
  1. Louis Vitton has paid their effort to create a unique shopping experience.
  1. When people plan to do some purchases, they often ….
  1. Individuals obtain more stress.
  1. The medical fare can be huge.
  1. Living alone has become more popular than before.
  1. Only a part of the people believe this nowadays.

Answers to Collocation 7 of 16

Here are the answers to the previous collocation exercise. The first sentence has the wrong collocation; the second sentence has the correct one.


Everyone who commits a crime must bear the result.

Everyone who commits a crime must take the consequences.


Forcing students to work would provoke negative awareness.

Forcing students to work would provoke negative reactions.

Awareness is a positive work, and can’t collocate with provoke and negative.


Capital punishment helps keep a steady society.

Capital punishment helps keep a stable society.


Capital punishment fails to trust criminals have the potential to change.

[By the way, this one is very difficult.]

Capital punishment rejects the possibility that criminals can change.

Capital punishment denies the opportunity for criminals to change.


At ony 5%, it plays a poor performance.

At only 5%, it plays a minor role.

Sometimes has a poor performance. For example, a company, your investment, or an actor.


Hackers can steal individual information.

Hackers can steal private information.


New online shopping platforms are rising.

New online shopping platforms are appearing.


Online sellers sometimes make tricks on the photos of the products.

Online sellers sometimes play tricks with the photos of the products.

By the way, you can learn more about me at .

Author: Andrew

Andrew Guilfoyle Cambridge CELTA, Cambridge DELTA, Cambridge CELTA teacher-trainer, M.Ed