Using Collocation To Boost Your IELTS Score – Key Word: Circumstances
1 Verb collocations
Use the correct form of these verbs:
adapt to change depend on
die in investigate know
- The police are ____________ the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a substantial amount of money from the company accounts.
- If you saw somebody drowning, would you try to save them? => It would____________ the circumstances. If the sea was really rough, then no, but if it was in a lake, then I probably would.
- If we____________ more of the circumstances around the child’s death, the police would have a much better idea of where to start.
- In the world of medicine everything develops so quickly that you need to be able to____________ new and continually changing circumstances.
- I am sorry to say that at present you are not entitled to any benefit. Please contact this department if your circumstances____________ .
- The little girl ____________ very tragic circumstances when she ran out into the road.
2 Common adjective collocations
Complete the sentences with these adjectives:
exceptional exact happier
present suspicious unforeseen
- All essays must be handed in by the 12th of April. This deadline will only be extended in ____________ circumstances.
- Police said that there were no ____________ circumstances surrounding the woman’s death. They think she died of natural causes.
- She’s unlikely to accept the job – given her ____________ circumstances. She has a young family and an ageing parent to look after.
- The concert had to be cancelled due to____________ circumstances. The main singer became ill and had to be taken to hospital.
- The press are anxious to know how the pop star died. The police have yet to reveal the ____________ circumstances of his death.
- I wish we’d met again in____________ circumstances. Why do we only meet at funerals!
3 Common expressions
Use the following words to complete the following sentences:
any certain no
- I think abortion is justifiable in____________ circumstances. For example, if the mother might die, then I think it is right to go ahead.
- Under ____________ circumstances must you leave the children on their own.
- It’s never right to take a life, so we oppose capital punishment in____________ circumstances.
We often use ‘in / under / considering the circumstances’ to say that we understand and accept why or how somebody did something. Match the halves in the following:
- Under the circumstances, my parents coped very well when I told them I was leaving my wife.
- Considering the circumstances of the company at the time of the fire,
- After the bride didn’t turn up,
- In the circumstances, nobody could complain that the picnic was cancelled.
- Considering the circumstances of the takeover,
a it just rained and rained all day long.
b cancelling the wedding was the only thing to do in the circumstances.
c It’s no wonder people were suspicious.
d the union’s refusal to co-operate with the new management was perfectly understandable.
e I thought they would have been very upset
Now go back and underline all the expressions with circumstances in this exercise.
1. In 3-2 ‘under no circumstances’ or ‘not under any circumstances’ is a common expression meaning ‘never’.
2. Note the following:
The fees charged for the course will vary according to individual circumstances.
They have been forced by circumstances to sell their house.
3. A common excuse for delayed flights or trains is ‘circumstances beyond our control’.
- investigating 2. depend on 3. knew 4. adapt to 5. change 6. died in
- exceptional 2. suspicious 3. present 4. unforeseen 5. exact 6. happier
- certain 2. no 3. any
4-e 5-c 6-b 7-a 8-d
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