Enlarge Your Vocabulary to Maximize Your IELTS Score – Key Word: Number


1          Number + of + noun

Use these nouns in the sentences below:

advantages                  factors             changes           occasions

problems                     reasons            times                ways

  1. Yes, I know George Robertson. We’ve met on a number of _______________ .
  2. I decided not to go to the party for a number of ____________ that I’d rather not talk about.
  3. A significant number of____________ have taken place since I was at Oxford.
  4. Stop worrying. You can only be infected with HIV in a limited number of __________ and shaking someone’s hand isn’t one of them!
  5. There are a number of____________ that could account for the differences between the scores.
  6. A number of unforeseen____________ have arisen and we’ve had to postpone the concert.
  7. I’ve lost track of the number of____________ Tony has asked me to lend him money.
  8. Studying English in Britain has a number of distinct____________ . You can’t escape it! It’s everywhere!

2          Adjective + number of + noun

Use these adjective / noun pairs in the sentences:

appalling / casualties

total / votes

huge / convictions

high / accidents

alarming / complaints

increasing / cases

limited / places

record / replies


  1. The __________ number of__________ in the First World War was due partly to incompetent officers.
  2. The advertisement we placed in last week’s paper has attracted a __________ number of ________ .
  3. The tour company is investigating the __________ number of__________ made against one of its hotels.
  4. There’s been an__________ number of__________ of measles among young children.
  5. He’s a known criminal. He has a __________ number of previous __________  for theft.
  6. This latest result brings the__________ number of __________ for the Socialists to over twenty million.
  7. We have a__________ number of free__________ on the course.
  8. There’s a very __________ number of __________ at this junction.

3          Verb collocations

Use the correct form of these verbs:

  1. More and more young people are going on to higher education. The number has __________ tenfold over the past decade. (reached / risen)
  2. The government has launched a new road safety campaign in an attempt to__________ the number of deaths on the road. (cut / chop)
  3. The hospital__________ the number of visitors a patient can have. Only two people are allowed in at one time. (reduced / put down)
  4. The number of visitors to Stonehenge could soon __________ saturation point. The authorities will have to start turning people away. (reach / come to)
  5. The number of people out of work in the town has __________ from 5000 last year to 3500. (reduced / fallen)

4          Common adjective collocations

Complete the sentences below with the following:

disproportionate                      huge                wrong

maximum                               unlucky           exact

  1. A lot of people believe that thirteen is an__________ number.
  2.  _________ numbers  of cattle have had to be slaughtered following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
  3. The__________ number of people killed in the train crash is not yet known.
  4. Sorry, I must have dialled the__________ number.
  5. There’s a__________ number of men compared to women in the government. Something must be done to redress the balance.
  6. There were over twenty people in the lift – five more than the__________ number allowed.


1.         Note the following expressions:

a sharp increase in the number of women who smoke

a dramatic decrease in the number of cats in the area

Teachers are leaving in increasing numbers.

Complaints were surprisingly few in number.

2.         ‘Odd numbers’ are 1,3, 5, 7 etc  and ‘even numbers’ are 2,4, 6, 8 etc.



Ex 1:

  1. occasions 2. reasons 3. changes 4. ways 5. factors 6. problems 7. times 8. advantages

Ex 2:

  1. appalling / casualties
  2. record / replies
  3. alarming / complaints
  4. increasing / cases
  5. huge / convictions
  6. total / votes
  7. limited / places
  8. high / accidents

Ex 3:

  1. risen          2. cut               3. has reduced                         4. reach            5.fallen

Ex 4:

  1. unlucky 2. Huge 3. exact 4. wrong 5. disproportionate 6. maximum
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