Top Tips for IELTS

Academic Word List 3 – collocations

Now that I have a complete set of exercises on each word on List 3 of the academic word list. Here is is a first set of review exercises based on those words. This first set focuses on collocations.

Collocations – what they are and why matter

Collocations are really no more or less than word combinations – words that commonly go together. They matter because this is how we use language: we don’t use words one by one, we use words together in typical combinations. This means that when you study words, you should pay attention to the word that comes next. It is, for example, little use being familiar with justify unless you know that it is commonly used with action, decision and claim.

Don’t learn individual words, learn words in combinations

A quick word on collocations

There are many different types of collocation and it is worth noticing some of the more common patterns. These are some of the more important

  1. adjective noun – an illegal immigrant
  2. adverb adjective – technically difficult
  3. noun noun – night shift
  4. verb noun – imply failure
  5. adverb verb – comment regularly
  6. slightly longer phrases with a combination of words – make a contribution towards something

Test yourself

Collocations in list three - one

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Congratulations - you have completed Collocations in list three - one. You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
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Simple practice suggestion

  1. Sometimes the simplest suggestions are the best. Why not look up some of these words in the dictionary – even if you do think you know them. You are sure to find a phrase you are either unfamiliar with or one you think is extremely useful.
  2. The next step is to try and use it yourself. You learn best by using words for yourself
  3. One word of warning: don’t try and learn too many all at once.

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