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Writing
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Collocation

Collocation is part of the Lexical Resource (LR) assessment criterion, in the IELTS Writing Test, Tasks 1 & 2 (AC) - (GT).

The accurate and appropriate use of collocations demonstrates the writer awareness of how the language is used in reality, especially by native writers.

For those not familiar with the word ‘collocation’, think of it as ‘co-location’, or words that are normally located/grouped together. For example, ‘break off negotiations’, ‘pay someone a visit’ and not ‘tear off negotiations’ or ‘give someone a visit’.

Think of them as being a bit like idioms, in that they are a group of words that are generally used together. The key difference, however, is that collocations do not have a different meaning to that of the individual words, as is the case with idioms.

Although it is technically correct to write ‘give someone a visit’, to a native writer it does not feel right. Therefore, idioms are not something that is expected for low and middle LR assessment bands.

If the writing demonstrates an awareness of collocation, even with the occasional inappropriate use, this can help contribute to a high LR score. For anyone serious about attaining a high writing score, becoming familiar with collocation would be beneficial.

Some useful links

englishclub

englishleap

englishpractice

englishexercises

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