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. In English, we say ‘heavy rain’, not ‘big rain’. I have already presented some material on collocation on my website. Click Good Collocation to see that. Here is some more. Remember, the word in purple has to match the other words in the sentence, making a perfect match, like the two pigeons above.


Time to Practice

Can you ‘fix’ the following sentences? There may be different ways to answer this.

  1.  People should pay more efforts to this.
  2.  Nuclear energy is vulnerable.
  3.  Satellites promote communication.
  4.  It is substantially expensive.
  5.  The radiation has influenced millions of people.
  6.  There are many rigorous problems associated with this.
  7.  There are defects of changing your career.
  8.  That is why people should not have gun ownership.


Answers to More Collocation (3)

1.  Some people have psychological problems/illnesses.

2.  It produces much/great amounts of electricity.

3.  Many countries have this problem.

4.  They believe the positive effects are greater.

5.  Some people hold/have the view that …

6.  There are beneficial/good effects.

7.  It takes a lot of money/revenue to fund the project.

8.  With a gun, you can defend against/protect yourself from the robbers.




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