Build up Your Vocabulary to Increase Your IELTS Score – Key Word: Ability

1          Verb + ability

Use the correct form of these verbs:

affect               assess              overestimate               

lose                  doubt               show

  1. Examinations are not the only means of _____________ someone’s ability. There are other ways of measuring potential.
  2. At first I questioned his abilities, but he has done the job so well. I’m now ashamed that I had so little confidence in him and that I ____________ his abilities in the first place.
  3. It is a well-known fact that even small amounts of alcohol can ____________ your ability to drive safely.
  4. She was so shocked by the accident that she ____________ the ability to speak.
  5. Although Peter ____________ a lot of ability as a teenager, he just wasn’t good enough to go professional.
  6. I had to give up half way through the race. I had obviously____________ my ability to run a marathon.

Go back and underline all the verb collocations with ability.

2          Noun + preposition + ability

Use these nouns in the sentences:

confidence                  best

lack                              refection

test                               use

  1. Tiger Woods may be the best golfer in the world, but the Open Championship next week will be a real ____________ of his ability.
  2. Raymond is very clever, but he doesn’t make full ____________ of his abilities.
  3. I was surprised when he failed his examinations. His results are certainly not a true ____________ of his abilities.
  4. He’s extremely competent and will do the job properly. I have every ____________ in his ability.
  5. He said that he would try to do the job to the ____________ of his ability.
  6. I believe he lost confidence. His failure was not due to a____________ of ability.

Go back and underline all the noun + preposition + ability collocations.

 3         Common adjective collocations

Use these adjectives in the sentences:

average                     considerable

mixed                         natural

incredible                 proven

  1. Most of us have to work hard to learn to play a musical instrument. However, there are people who are born with a____________ ability and who learn effortlessly.
  2. The students in my class are of____________ ability, so I teach them in groups according to their level.
  3. I have no doubts that he has____________ ability, but I don’t think his personality is suited to this kind of work.
  4. We need somebody who has done this before – with the ____________ ability to do the job.
  5. I’m not a genius and I’m not stupid. I would describe myself as being of ____________ ability.
  6. I don’t know how she does it, but Annie Lennox has this____________ ability to electrify her audience.

Go back and underline all the adjective + ability collocations in this exercise.

 
 Notes

1.         Here are three ways to describe ‘great’ ability:

She has a remarkable ability to recall long poems after only reading them once.

She has exceptional abilities as a musician.

His examination results are proof of his outstanding ability.

2.         Remember that an adjective collocation can come before or after the noun:

She has remarkable ability.

Her ability is remarkable.

3.         Notice the use of ‘best’ in 2-5.‘Best’ is usually an adjective, but it is used as a noun in the expression to ‘do something to the best of your ability’.

4.         We can talk about specific abilities:

musical ability             physical ability

linguistic ability           technical ability

artistic ability               acting ability

5.         When we talk about very intelligent children, we often call them ‘children of above average ability’. 

 

ANSWER KEY

Exercise 1:

  1. assessing     2. doubted      3. affect       4. lost           5. showed       6. overestimated

Exercise 2:

  1. test     2. use       3. reflection     4. confidence     5. best         6. lack

Exercise 3:

  1. natural      2. mixed       3. considerable       4. proven         5. average        6. incredible

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Build up Your Vocabulary to Increase Your IELTS Score – Key Word: Ability
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