IELTS Collocations

Useful IELTS collocations

Browse the glossary using this index

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abject poverty

abject poverty /ˈæbdʒektˈpɒvəti/

describes living in such poor conditions and being so poor that you have little hope or happiness

  • It is completely unacceptable that in today's world millions of people are living in abject poverty.

absolutely vital

absolutely vital /ˈæbsəluːtliˈvaɪtəl/

extremely important; essential

  • It's absolutely vital that the government acts now to prevent climate change, otherwise it will be too late.

address a problem

address a problem /əˈdresəˈprɒbləm/

take action in order to solve or overcome a problem

  • More needs to be done to the address the problems caused by students arriving late to classes.

adhere to standards

adhere to standards /ədˈhɪətəˈstændədz/

a formal way to describe something meeting the required standards set by a person, organisation etc.

  • The rules are in place to ensure that employees adhere to our high standards

antisocial behaviour

antisocial behaviour /ˌæntiˈsəʊʃəlbəˈheɪvjə/

actions or behaviour which causes distress or annoyance to other people

  • The police need to do more to tackle antisocial behaviour in this town.


bear in mind

bear in mind /ˈbeərɪnˈmaɪnd/


to take something into consideration when making a judgement or decision

  • Bear in mind (remember) that there are often delays to flights in bad weather.

boost sales/profits

boost profits /ˈbuːstˈprɒfɪts/

increase profits

  • It is hoped that the advertising campaign will boost the company's sales and profits in this quarter.

burst into laughter

burst into laughter /ˈbɜːrstɪntəˈlaːftə/

to suddenly start laughing a lot about something

  • They burst into laughter after every one of the comedian's jokes.


come up with an idea

come up with an idea /ˈkʌmˈʌpˈwɪðənaɪˈdɪə/

think of an idea or plan

  • He's come up with an excellent idea for his essay.


conduct an investigation

conduct an investigation

A formal way to describe the process of investigating a crime

  • The police are conducting an investigation into the robbery.

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