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Impose – IELTS word of the day

Today’s word from the Academic Word List is



The main forms of this word are impose, imposing and imposition

Some common word combinations include:

impose a fine on companies that pollute the atmosphere

impose a ban on persistent offenders

impose a burden on already over-worked teachers

this would be a significant imposition on employers

You should note the use of the preposition on in all the previous examples. Upon is also used but is slightly less common. You should also note a more “spoken” use of the word:

I don’t mean to impose on you but….

Here the meaning is that you are about to ask a favour.

Another form of the word that you should note is the combination self-imposed which is used to describe things that you have chosen for yourself. Most often these things are negative/burdensome:

many of these problems are self-imposed

The adjective imposing has a slightly different meaning/usage  and is similar to striking/impressive. It is used most frequently in these combinations:

an imposing figure

an imposing building


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