IELTS Collocations- Use, Importance & Patterns

What is IELTS Collocation?

IELTS Collocation refers to the words that are commonly used combinedly. These words are often two or three in number. There may or may not be any grammatical reasons behind this. These words are used like this way for a very long period of time so it just sounds correct.

Here is an example for generally used verb-noun combination-

  • To make the bed
  • To come to a decision
  • To do the shopping

Remember you can’t disturb the pattern/combination. You can’t use or say do the bed as it is not considered as IELTS collocation.

Why the use of IELTS Collocations is important?

As per the saying of the IELTS public band descriptors for IELTS band 7 for vocabulary(lexis) says-

"uses less common lexical items with some awareness of style and collocation"

It clearly says that you don’t only need to use some fewer common words but also you need to present your skills by showing that what these common words are used with in order to get an 7 Band score in the IELTS exam. The examiner judges your skills on this basis.

This skill is required in getting a high band score, however, if you fail to show the usage of IELTS collocations then it may leave a negative impact on your overall IELTS band score.

How to become a master of IELTS Collocations?

Learning IELTS Collocations is not something like you say, “Okay, give me the list of total IELTS Collocations and I am going to memorize it today.”

No, that’s not the right approach. Only the accurate usage of IELTS Collocations can add some value to your IELTS Writing.

The right procedure is to get hands-on training on the use of IELTS collocation is whenever you learn a new word just make sure you are also aware of commonly used combinations with that particular word you have learned.

Let’s take an example-

Suppose today you come across with a new word “keep”. Along with the word keep you also need to come across with the commonly used words along with keep such as

  • Keep a diary
  • Keep a promise
  • Keep in touch
  • Keep a secret

So, in this way you are not just learning a new word “keep” but also learning also its collocations. This approach is more beneficial than learning words in isolation.

IELTS Collocations are part of the vocabulary-building process. Just keep as you habit that whenever you come across a new word, grab your smartphone and google search to find out which words collocate with it.

Furthermore, you can also form some sentences with the searched collocations to more understanding and strengthening your English vocabulary.

IELTS Collocations Patterns

- Verb + Noun

- Verb + Adverb

- Adverb + Adjective

- Adjective + Noun

- Noun + Noun

- Collocation with “have” or “take”

Verb + Adverb IELTS Collocations

1. The hurricane badly damaged the whole area.

2. Most of the refugees badly needed food and medicine.

3. Jack completely forgot his wife's birthday.

4. The bomb completely destroyed the airport.

5. Later on she deeply regretted her words.

6. It will take some time for the patient to fully recover.

7. The store manager fully understood why the customer was annoyed.

8. I greatly admire the dedication of the medical staff.

9. We all thoroughly enjoyed the wedding reception.

10. They received orders to thoroughly inspect all luggage.

Adverb + Adjective IELTS Collocations

1. Carla was absolutely delighted to win first prize.

2. They are both actively involved in politics.

3. The twins have completely different personalities.

4. They set off on a bitterly cold winter morning.

5. The candidate was desperately eager to please.

6. We were all highly impressed by the athlete's performance.

7. The soldiers guarding the building were all heavily armed.

8. The special effects used in Star Wars are really amazing.

9. The doctor informed us that dad was seriously ill.

10. Tom didn’t enjoy the show. He found it terribly disappointing.

Adjective + Noun IELTS Collocations

1. The documentary was a big disappointment.
2. He admitted he made a big mistake.
3. We were walking in heavy rain.
4. You shouldn’t carry such a heavy suitcase alone.
5. I was late due to heavy traffic.
6. Rich people can afford to buy everything they want.
7. She reads a lot of books and has a rich vocabulary.
8. The man just wanted a strong drink.
9. This coffee has a very strong smell.
10. The strong wind stopped us from going for a walk yesterday.

Noun + Noun IELTS Collocations

1. Let's give Mr Jones a round of applause.

2. The ceasefire agreement came into effect at 11am.

3. I'd like to buy two bars of soap please.

4. I have plastic covered kitchen cabinets with wood furnish.

5. Many of the big accounting firms declined to comment for this article.

6. An advertising agency buys advertising time in 100 markets for an advertiser.

7. Do you know any nice bed – and – breakfasts in the area.

8. There may also be panic attacks and a history of attempted suicide.

9. It is the root cause of divisions and conflict in our country.

10. They have a good sense of direction to enable them to return.

Collocation with “Have”

1. Have a baby- She’s going to have a baby.

2. Have a bad temper- I know I have a bad temper sometimes.

3. Have a birthday- Well, you can’t have a birthday without a cake.

4. Have a cup of tea/ coffee- Would you like to have a cup of tea/coffee?

5. Have a day off- I have a day off to take care of my grandmother.

6. Have a discussion- We should have a discussion about this topic to understand deeply.

7. Have a dispute- I have a dispute with anyone who would challenge us.

8. Have a doubt- Teacher, I have a doubt about this.

9. Have a dream- I had a dream that I won the lottery.

10. Have a drink- Would you like to have a drink after work?

Collocation with “Take”

  • Take a chance
  • Take a part
  • Take a bite
  • Take a shower
  • Take a seat
  • Take time
  • Take notes
  • Take it apart
  • Take a decision
  • Take medicine
  • Take advice
  • Take a survey
  • Take a risk
  • Take care
  • Take a taxi
  • Take an exam
  • Take a Picture
  • Take a vacation


This article guided you through the valuable information on what IELTS collocations are, its importance, patterns and usage. For more practice, enroll now in BDS Online IELTS Preparation Course today where you will get access to anytime/anywhere IELTS classes, with 400+ detailed video lectures, sample papers, and live classes by Dr. Roma. Candidates can also sign up for IELTS Dr. Roma Writing Templates + Cue Cards Course to get ready essay templates and solutions latest IELTS essay topics.

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