Expand Your Vocabulary for IELTS – Key Word: work


1          Verb + work

Use the correct form of these verbs:

check                           complete

do                                  face

make                           give up

find                              involve

  1. I’d ___________ work if I could afford to.
  2. I’m still looking for a job. It’s so difficult to ___________ work in the present economic climate.
  3. There’s plenty of work to be ___________ in the garden at this time of year.
  4. I just couldn’t___________ work yesterday, so I took the day off.
  5. Payment will be withheld until the work is ___________ to my satisfaction.
  6. As a salesman my work___________ a lot of driving.
  7. Make sure you ___________ your work before handing it in. Silly mistakes can lose marks.
  8. These new regulations have ___________ a lot of extra work for me.

Now use these phrasal verbs in the sentences:

put… into                     get on with                  get off

get down                     go into go out

  1. Stop talking and ___________ your work. I want this finished by the end of the lesson.
  2. After the baby’s born, I won’t have to ___________ to work any more – at least not for a few years.
  3. Can you try to ___________ work early tomorrow so that we can visit Sue in hospital?
  4. He’s ___________ a lot of work ___________ improving his maths. He studies for hours most nights.
  5. A tremendous amount of work has ___________ the preparations for the wedding.
  6. I’ve been avoiding ___________ to work all day. I just feel so tired and lifeless at the moment.

2          Common adjective collocations

Use these adjectives in the sentence:

back-breaking             extra                            hard

monotonous                hard day’s                   skilled

  1. There is no doubt that teaching is ___________ work, but it can be very fulfilling.
  2. Washing dishes all day is pretty ___________ work.
  3. I’m afraid we can’t take on any ___________ work at the moment. We’re already working to capacity.
  4. Furniture-making is very ___________ work and involves years and years of training.
  5. Digging the garden is ___________  work. It’s so physically demanding. => Then, why not get your son to do it for you!
  6. After a ___________ work, it’s nice to get home and put your feet up.

3          Noun + of + work

Use these nouns to complete the sentences:

backlog of                   rewards of                   piles of

pressure of                  search of                     standard of

  1. Many young people travel to the large cities in___________ work.
  2. Sorry, I can’t come to the meeting this evening. I’ve got ___________  work to do for tomorrow.
  3. It was good to see her reaping the ___________ all her hard work.
  4. The ___________ his written work is extremely high. His speaking is less good.
  5. The only way to clear this huge ___________ work is to take on more part-time staff.
  6. The ___________ work is beginning to get to him. Unless he cuts down the time he’s at the office, his health will suffer.


1.         Note the following expressions:

His work is satisfactory / up to standard / up to scratch.

His work is unsatisfactory I of a poor standard / shoddy / sloppy.

2.         If you are out of work, you are unemployed.

If you are in work, you have a job.

My brother’s been out of work for 5 years.

There are a lot more people in work than there were 10 years ago.

3.         We talk about part-time / full-time / casual / freelance / voluntary work.

4.         If you have too much work, you are up to your ears in work.

5.         Note the proverb: Many hands make light work!

6.         If you have a particularly difficult task to do, you ‘have your work cut out!’




Ex 1:

1. give up

2. find

3. done

4. face

5. completed

6. involves

7. check

8. made

9. get on with

10. go out

11. get off

12. put a lot of work into

13. gone into

14. getting down

Ex 2:

1. hard

2. monotonous

3. extra

4. skilled

5. back-breaking

6. hard day’s

Ex 3:

1. search of

2. piles of

3. rewards of

4. standard of

5. backlog of

6. pressure of

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