How to improve your vocabulary using collocations
Writing
How to improve your vocabulary using collocations

All students tell me they need to learn more vocabulary but what they don't often realise is that when you learn a new word, you should also learn what verb, adjective or preposition it goes with. The way words are used together is called collocation.     Listening Practice: Listen to Liz read how to improve your vocabulary using collocations     Here are some sentences to show you what I mean: Regular exercise can be of benefit to most people.  After careful analysis of the situation we decided to cancel the trip.  I found out about the hotel on the internet.  When you make a note of new vocabulary you should also make a note of any collocations. Learning collocations and how to use them will help raise your score for Vocabulary range and accuracy (how wide your vocabulary is and how you can use it correctly).  Strong or weak collocation? Collocations can be strong – this means that the link between the words is quite fixed. You can’t use any other word. Some examples of strong collocations are: make a cup of coffee  do homework heavy rain agree with someone agree on something depend on  Weak collocations: big – car, house, news, city … very – big, interesting, hot, tired … expensive – car, house, holiday … ➱ Here are some practice exercises for you. You should try to use strong collocations when you’re speaking and writing if you can.    Intermediate Collocations Activity:   Worksheet download Once you have completed the worksheet, download the answer sheet to see how well you’ve done.  Answer sheet download   Advanced Collocations Activity:  If you’d like even more of a challenge, you can find an advanced exercise below.  Worksheet download        Once you have completed the worksheet, download the answer sheet to see how well you’ve done.  Answer sheet download So, if you’d like to do well in your IELTS Speaking and Writing tests, you should follow this advice – do your best to learn collocations too.  Hope you have found this useful, we’ll be covering more collocations in later blogs so please come back for more.    Liz

Liz Marqueiro

12 June, 2020

How to improve your vocabulary using collocations

How to improve your vocabulary using collocations

All students tell me they need to learn more vocabulary but what they don't often realise is that when you learn a new word, you should also learn what verb, adjective or preposition it goes with. The way words are used together is called collocation

 

Listening Icon Listening Practice: Listen to Liz read how to improve your vocabulary using collocations

 

 

Here are some sentences to show you what I mean:

Regular exercise can be of benefit to most people. 
After careful analysis of the situation we decided to cancel the trip. 
I found out about the hotel on the internet

When you make a note of new vocabulary you should also make a note of any collocations. Learning collocations and how to use them will help raise your score for Vocabulary range and accuracy (how wide your vocabulary is and how you can use it correctly). 

Strong or weak collocation?

Collocations can be strong – this means that the link between the words is quite fixed. You can’t use any other word. Some examples of strong collocations are:

  • make a cup of coffee 
  • do homework
  • heavy rain
  • agree with someone
  • agree on something
  • depend on 

Weak collocations:

  • big – car, house, news, city …
  • very – big, interesting, hot, tired …
  • expensive – car, house, holiday …

 Here are some practice exercises for you. You should try to use strong collocations when you’re speaking and writing if you can. 

 

Intermediate Collocations Activity:  

Download_Worksheet

Worksheet download

Once you have completed the worksheet, download the answer sheet to see how well you’ve done. 

Answer Sheet

Answer sheet download

 

Advanced Collocations Activity: 

If you’d like even more of a challenge, you can find an advanced exercise below. 

Download_Worksheet

Worksheet download       

Once you have completed the worksheet, download the answer sheet to see how well you’ve done. 

Answer Sheet

Answer sheet download

So, if you’d like to do well in your IELTS Speaking and Writing tests, you should follow this advice – do your best to learn collocations too. 

Hope you have found this useful, we’ll be covering more collocations in later blogs so please come back for more. 
 

Liz

Vocabulary for IELTS Book used by Liz

Liz Marqueiro

Liz has been teaching IELTS around the world for over 25 years.

More about the author

filter tags

Recommended For You

recommended book image
Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS

Learn all the vocabulary you need to achieve up to band 6 in IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. It includes useful tips on how to learn vocabulary and covers tricky areas such as the language needed to describe data and processes. This book also includes practice exercises for each skill, regular progress checks and tips on how to avoid typical errors. *Book Depository is an online bookstore which offers free worldwide delivery. Alternatively, you can find it at your local bookstore or online shop.

Skill bar

Stay up-to-date