IELTS Collocations

Useful IELTS collocations

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make a living

make a living /ˈmeɪkəˈlɪviŋ/

earn enough money from a job to live off

  •  The pay in my job is not great but it's enough to make a living.

make a proposal

make a proposal /ˈmeɪkəprəˈpəʊzəl/


to make a formal suggestion about something

  • The council have made a proposal to build a new supermarket on the edge of town.

make a stand against something

make a stand against something /ˈmeɪkəˈstændəˈɡeɪnstˈsʌmθɪŋ/

to protest about something

  • We must make a stand against the proposal to build a new supermarket. It will bring too much traffic to the area.

marked improvement

marked improvement /ˈmaːkt imˈpruːvmənt/

a noticeable improvement of something

  • His latest essay shows a marked improvement on his previous ones.

miscarriage of justice

miscarriage of justice /ˈmɪskærɪdʒəvˈdʒʌstɪs/

describes somebody being found guilty in a court of law when really they are innocent

  • After the guilty verdict, the defendant and his supporters claimed a miscarriage of justice had taken place.

modest increase

modest increase /ˈmɒdɪstˈɪnkriːs/

a small increase in something

  • We have had a modest increase in the number of students enrolling on our courses.

mounting concern

mounting concern /ˈmaʊntɪŋkənˈsɜːn/

increasing worry about something or someone

  • There is mounting concern for the safety of the fishermen, who have been missing for several days now.


novel solution

novel solution /ˈnɒvəlsəˈluːʃən/

a new and original answer to a problem

  • The book offers a novel solution to the problems caused by large-scale economic migration.


offer an explanation

offer an explanation /ˈɒfəənˌeksplənˈeɪʃən/


give a reason for why something happened

  • Nobody I asked could offer an explanation for why so few people voted in the election.

opportunity arises

opportunity arises /ˈɒpətuːnɪtiəˈraɪzɪz/

describes any chance that you get to change paths or do something news, especially in your work or studies

  • An opportunity arose for me to work in China, so I went and spent a year there.

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