In IELTS Grammar Tip (3), we looked at collocation (putting words together in accepted patterns). One of these collocations is V+adverb (e.g. to carefully insert the needle). The following 10 sentences all have correct collocation of the verb with the appropriate adverb, but all of them are strange, unnatural, or just wrong. Can you see the problem?

  1. We may pollute the earth severely
  2. …which we can’t prevent entirely.
  3. Their health will be impacted directly.
  4. They can attack police officers randomly
  5. … which need to be solved urgently.
  6. It can protect the sculpture simultaneously
  7. They need to exist continuously.
  8. They can solve the problems cooperatively.


Maybe this is Chinese English (‘Chinglish’), because it is so common in IELTS Writing that I mentioned it in Tip 19 of both my IELTS Writing Task One book (p.113 Item 5) and IELTS Writing Task Two book (p.133 Item 9). The point is that it is far more natural to put the adverb closer to the main verb, and usually before it, as shown in the introduction sentence. Well, that’s a good clue on how to 'fix' the previous eight examples, so I’ll let you try yourself, and you can look for the answers in the next post.

Writing One.jpg

Writing Two.jpg




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