Collocation: the other key to IELTS 7 (7 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. Everyone who commits a crime must bear the result.


  1. Forcing students to work would provoke negative awareness.


  1. Capital punishment helps keep a steady society.


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


  1. At ony 5%, it plays a poor performance.


  1. Hackers can steal individual information.


  1. New online shopping platforms are rising.


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



Answers to Collocation 6 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.



The government can show pictures of unhealthy organs.

The government can show pictures of diseased organs.



Peer pressure persuades many people to smoke.

Peer pressure forces many people to smoke.




The gap between the two countries descends.

The gap between the two countries decreases.



For example, the better qualified healthcare services.

For example, the better healthcare services.


Qualified is for people, not for services.



Parents want to put the maximum resources on their single child.

Parents want to invest the maximum resources on their single child.



The event of bringing back a deadly virus is impossible.

The possibility of bring back a deadly virus is nil/non-existent/negligle.



Soldiers have to attend military training.

Soldiers have to do military training.



When a horrible murder happens, the public are drastically alarmed.

When a horrible murder happens, the public are immediately alarmed.


Another good collocation here is to use intensifying adverbs, such as certainly and indeed.


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



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