Expand Your Vocabulary for IELTS – Key Word: word


1          Verb + word

Use the correct form of these verbs:

breathe                        choose

exchange                    find

look up                        say

send                             understand

  1. I’ve ___________ the word in every dictionary and I still don’t know how to use it!
  2. He ignored us. He just walked by without ___________ a word.
  3. It was supposed to be an introductory talk about computing, but I couldn’t ___________ a word of it.
  4. It’s sometimes very difficult to ___________ the right word to express precisely what you want to say.
  5. No, she’s not here yet. She ___________ word that she would be about an hour late.
  6. What I just told you is private and confidential so please don’t ___________ a word of it to anyone.
  7. In order not to upset him, she___________ her words with great care.
  8. The Queen shook hands and ___________ a few words with the winner of the competition.

Now use these phrasal verbs:

get in               take down                   go back on                  get out

  1. She has ___________ her word and decided not to lend me the money after all.
  2. She talks so much it’s impossible for anybody to___________ a word___________ edgeways.
  3. Reporters ___________ every word of the Prime Minister’s speech.
  4. If word ___________  about the affair, the President will have to resign.

2          Common adjective collocations

Use the following adjectives in these sentences:

exact                four-letter        kind                 own

right                overused          single               quick

  1. Can I have a ___________ word before the meeting starts? It’ll only take a few minutes.
  2. You haven’t been listening to a ___________ word I’ve been saying for the past ten minutes!
  3. The play is full of ___________ words. Why do modern writers need to use so many swear words?
  4. Take your time and in your___________ words tell the court exactly what happened.
  5. I can’t remember the teacher’s ___________ words, but he said something along those lines.
  6. ‘Nice’ is a very___________ word. Can’t you think of a better word?
  7. Teachers sometimes forget that a few ___________ words at the right time can make all the difference to a student’s confidence.
  8. Is this the ___________ word that fits in this sentence?

3          Word + of + noun

Use these noun expressions in the sentences:

words of apology                                words of comfort

words of encouragement                    word of mouth

a word of warning

  1. Just ___________ before you go out – these streets can be dangerous at night.
  2. All the orders were given by ___________ to avoid leaving any written evidence which might be discovered later.
  3. He wasn’t looking forward to the exam, but he brightened up at the teacher’s ___________ .
  4. My brother muttered a few ___________ for his appalling behaviour, then left the room.
  5. After the funeral, a lot of people came and offered ___________   to members of my family.



If you ‘have a word’ with someone, it means you have spoken to them for some purpose:

I’ll have a word with Alex and ask him if he can pick you up before the meeting.

If you ‘have words’ with someone, it means you have had a disagreement or argument:

Have you and your father had words?

2.         If you have to give a speech, this expression is very useful:

Good morning, I’d just like to say a few words.

3.         Notice the following expressions:

I was so shocked. I was lost for words.

He left in the middle of the meeting – without a word.

He’s not good at putting his ideas into words.

Give me your word you won’t be late back tonight (give your word = promise)



Ex 1:

1 looked up     2. saying          3. understand             4.find              5.sent   6. breathe

7 chose            8. exchanged   9. gone back on           10. get a word in         11. took down

12 gets out

Ex 2:

1 quick            2. single           3. four-letter                4 own              5 exact

6 overused       7. kind             8. right

Ex 3:

  1. a word of warning
  2. word of mouth
  3. words of encouragement
  4. words of apology
  5. words of comfort

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