Using Collocation to Boost Your IELTS Score – Key Word: occasion

Key Word:  occasion

1          Verb + occasion

Use the correct form of these verbs:

celebrate          dress                forget               use

  1. Remember it’s a wedding that you’re going to. Make sure you _________ for the occasion. Have you got a dark suit?
  2. My husband is fifty next week. We’re having a big party to _________ the occasion.
  3. The Prime Minister opened a new school in London and he _________ the occasion to announce the government’s intention to spend more money on primary schools.
  4. They seem a very nice couple, don’t they? I’ll never_________ the occasion when they screamed and shouted at each other in public.

2          Common adjective collocations

Complete the sentences below with the following:

festive              memorable                  previous

special             serious                          suitable

  1. As my parents’ golden wedding was an extra- _________ occasion, we let off a lot of fireworks.
  2. OK! I’ll speak to him about his behaviour – but only if a _________ occasion arises.
  3. We listened to his speech and tried not to laugh – a funeral is meant to be a solemn and _________ occasion.
  4. Yes, I know Hans. We’ve met on two _________ occasions, once in Hamburg, the other time in London.
  5. I’m sure I’m speaking for everyone when I say that this has been both an enjoyable and a truly _________ occasion. It’s certainly one that I will never forget.
  6. The Millennium was a very _________  occasion. People were singing and dancing in the streets.

3          Common expressions

Complete the sentences below with these adjectives and determiners:

more               number               odd

one                  particular           this

  1. You usually beat Dave easily. How did he get the better of you on_________ occasion?
  2. My mother is now over 80 and can be very demanding. On_________ occasion, she called me in the middle of the night asking me to come round to her house to make her a cup of tea!
  3. Smith has been late now on_________ than one occasion. I think we’re going to have to speak to him.
  4. Jane and I talk about lots of things, but I just can’t remember what we were discussing on that _________ occasion.
  5. His work has been unsatisfactory now on a_________ of occasions. If it happens again, we’ll have no choice but to dismiss him.
  6. I don’t really smoke. I just have a cigar on the very _________ occasion.

4          Noun + preposition + occasion

Use these nouns to complete the expressions:

keeping           sense               sparkle                        spirit

  1. The music, the flowers and the crowds gave the event a real feeling of importance. They gave the wedding a real_________ of occasion.
  2. I know she doesn’t really like party games, but she decided to join in and she seemed to enjoy herself. She certainly entered into the _________ of the occasion.
  3. His behaviour during the awards ceremony was rude and inappropriate. It was definitely not in _________ with the occasion.
  4. The room was full of men in grey suits, but the presence of the Prime Minister’s wife in a beautiful green silk dress added a much needed _________ to the occasion.
 
 

Notes

1.         Note these expressions:

The team must rise to the occasion and win the cup.

I’ve suggested that on numerous occasions.

If the occasion arises, I’ll ask for his autograph.

I went out and bought a new dress just for the occasion.

2.         ‘On occasion’ means not often:

On occasion I have a cigar after a meal.

3.         If something is ‘an occasion’, it means it is special in some way:

Everybody was there. It was quite an occasion.

 

ANSWER KEY

Ex 1: 1. dress 2. celebrate      3. used             4. forget

Ex 2: 1. special 2. suitable 3. serious 4. previous 5.    memorable 6. festive

Ex 3: l. this      2. one              3. more            4. particular     5. number        6.odd

Ex 4: 1. sense 2. spirit            3. keeping        4. sparkle

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