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Key tips for IELTS Speaking: Collocations

Collocations are an important part of your IELTS preparation course – especially IELTS Speaking! Learn how to use them in this quick lesson and collocate your way to success.

Collocations are groups of two or more words that usually go together. There is not really a reason for collocation. Native speakers just like to use particular words together more than other words.

For example:

  1. commit a crime

  2. make a mistake

  3. distant memory

  4. break a record

  5. bunch of flowers

  6. fast food

There are two very important reasons using collocations is important:

  1. Accuracy It would sound strange if you said ’make a crime’, ’do a mistake’, ’remote memory’, ’knock a record’, ’pack of flowers’ or ’quick food’. These words don’t collocate with each other (don’t sound correct together).

  2. Lexical Range Collocations are a groups of words that native speakers use all the time. By using them correctly, you can show how ‘native-like’ your English is and really impress your examiner!

Common Collocation Mistakes

Common mistakes students make are with the verbs do and make. For example:

To do a mistake – INCORRECT

To make a mistake – CORRECT

Often a native speaker will still understand you if you make a mistake like this. However, an examiner will not be so kind! If you often get these verbs confused, take a look at this list of collocations with do and make.

Other common mistakes are:

  1. To have a party – (not to do/make a party)

  2. To have an impact on – (not to have an impact to/at)

  3. Different from – (not different than)

Take a look at this list of other common collocation mistakes.

Tell me more!

There are SO many collocations in English and sadly don’t have time (or space) to list them all here. But don’t worry! You can learn many more collocations in your IELTS preparation course and by coming to our IELTS Speaking classes. If you aren’t in an IELTS coaching course already, call us at English Key today or come in and visit us at our Melbourne or Sydney centres!

You can learn more collocations right now by following these links:

Common English collocations with the words big, great, large, deep, strong, and heavy

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