Improve Your Vocabulary In IELTS Speaking & Writing – Key Word: Thing


1          Verb + thing

Use the correct form of these verbs:

make               need               pack                wash up

  1. We’ll have to stop at the supermarket. We _____________ a few basic things like bread and milk.
  2. My dad’s a sculptor. He _____________ things out of wood he finds on the beach.
  3. Peter, you haven’t _____________ the breakfast things yet. Do them before you go to school, please.
  4.  _____________  your things. We’re leaving in 10 minutes.


accept              look at             make               think                turn out

  1. He’s not sure what he’s going to do, so he’s taken a few days off to _____________ things over.
  2. You should try to change the situation rather than _____________ things as they are.
  3. I don’t know if things are going to work out between John and me. => Don’t worry. I’m sure things will_____________ OK.
  4. You’re only _____________ things worse by ignoring her. I think you two need to talk things over.
  5. Try to _____________ things from my point of view for a change.


2          Do + thing

Match the halves of these situations:

  1. I’ll be late home tonight.
  2. Philip is definitely different!
  3. The phone never stops ringing!
  4. I’m sorry I’ve got to get on with some work.
  5. I know people who cheat in exams.

a          That’s why it’s impossible to get things done.

b          I’d never do a thing like that.

c          Yes, he does have a funny way of doing things.

d          I’ve got loads of things to do at work.

e          I’ve got better things to do than stand chatting!

  1. I can’t get the video to work.
  2. I rang and told him what I thought of him!
  3. I wish I had listened to you!
  4. The Minister’s resigned!
  5. He asked me how much I earned.

f           It’s just not the done thing to ask that.

g          Good. It was the proper thing to do.

h          Yes, it was a foolish thing to do.

i           I would have done the same thing myself.

j           I’ve done all the right things! I think it’s broken.

3          Verb + not + thing

Use the correct form of these verbs:

do                    eat                   miss                 say                   see

  1. I’m sorry, I can’t ___________ a thing without my specs. Could you read the menu out to me?
  2. I’m going to the party as early as I can. I don’t want to ___________ a thing.
  3. They have cheated you out of your money, but I’m afraid you can’t ___________  a thing about it.
  4. I’m absolutely starving. I haven’t ___________ a thing all day.
  5. I heard that Frank is losing his job. I haven’t ___________ a thing about it to anyone.

4          Common adjective collocations

Use these adjectives to complete the sentences:

bad                  funny             good

last                   main                slightest

  1. It’s a____________ thing you remembered to bring the bottle opener! I completely forgot!
  2. He’s easily upset. He loses his temper at the ____________ little thing.
  3. Too much exercise can be a ____________ thing. You can easily damage your body.
  4. The____________ thing in this type of situation is to remain calm.
  5. A ____________ thing happened to me on the way to work this morning.
  6. I only want to help you. The____________ thing I want to do is to make you unhappy.



1. Note the following common expressions:

Try not to let things get you down. Remember the saying, ‘Things can only get better!’

She offered to help me, but I assured her that I had things under control.

I demanded a meeting with the manager to get a few things straight.

2. Notice this expression:

Books may one day become a thing of the past

3. This expression is used when you make a mistake socially:

Oh, sorry, I’ve just said the wrong thing, haven’t I?



Ex 1:

l need              2. makes          3. washed up   4. Pack            5. think

6 accept           7. turn out       8. making        9. look at

Ex 2: l-d          2-c       3-a       4-e       5-b       6-j        7-i        8-h       9-g       10-f

Ex 3: l. see       2. miss             3. do    4. eaten            5. said

Ex 4: l. good   2. slightest       3. bad 4. main            5. funny           6. last


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