The IELTS Band Descriptors (public version) state that for your Writing Vocabulary Mark …

Band 7

Uses less common words with some awareness of style and collocation.

Band 8

Skillfully uses words but there may be occasional inaccuracies in word choice and collocation.


The key point here is ‘collocation’, which is putting together groups of words in accepted and stylish way. We say ‘heavy rain’, not ‘big rain’. 'Heavy' and 'rain' form a perfect match (see picture above - ha ha, it's the wrong sort of 'match', right?) I have already presented some material on collocation on my website: Click Good Collocation to see that. Here is some more.


Time to Practice

In the previous practice, we looked at verbs. Let’s now look at other parts of speech. Can you ‘fix’ the following sentences? There may be different ways to answer this.

  1. They are closely concerned.
  2. It could improve useful skills.
  3. A growing number of general public believe this.
  4. This is a popular point.
  5. Life is too invaluable to waste like that.
  6. Mobile phones have a negative influence on their study
  7. Guns create many disadvantageous events.
  8. A large number of population think …


Answers to More Collocation (1)

1.  Criminals create many casualties.

2.  Japan received fewer foreign students.

3.  These events show that there are better ways.

4.  This might have the opposite effect.

5.  These reasons indicate/illustrate why it is bad. [Only people can ‘point out’ something].

6.  Many countries use/employ nuclear power. [You can ‘apply’ a method, system, or skill, to achieve something].

7.  This could cause harmful injuries.

8.  They can learn/develop/acquire useful skills.




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