Improve your Vocabulary for IELTS – Collocation of Incident

16 1

Key word: incident

 1         Verb + incident

Use the correct form of these verbs:

highlight         investigate

occur               cause

report              witness

  1. There was a serious accident in the middle of town last night. The police have appealed for anyone who __________ the incident to come forward.
  2. I saw some older boys bullying one of the first-year students. I felt I had to__________ the incident to the headmaster.
  3. A number of windows in our church were smashed at the weekend. The police are __________ the incident.
  4. Somebody walked out of the building yesterday with two of our computers. This incident __________ our need to improve our security system.
  5. A man was shot dead in the city centre last night. The incident __________ outside the Crown Hotel around three o’clock in the morning.
  6. A French jet flew into Russian airspace and__________ a major diplomatic incident.

2          Noun + preposition

Use these nouns in the sentences below:

account of                   investigation    into

knowledge of              reports of

seriousness of             wake of

  1. There have been__________ an incident at the airport. The police are already at the scene.
  2. Police said there would be a full and thorough __________ the incident.
  3. Relations between the countries are strained in the__________ the latest cross-border incident.
  4. When she was accused of starting the fire, she denied all __________ the incident.
  5. I gave the police a full and exhaustive __________ the incident in the underground.
  6. Some of the older pupils were found with drugs. The headmaster has tried to play down the __________ the incident to save the reputation of the school.

Go back and underline the noun + preposition + incident expressions.

3          Common adjective collocations

Choose the most natural collocation from the pair in brackets:

  1. The yacht sank after it hit the pier. A tourist with a video camera caught the__________ incident on film. (full / whole)
  2. What do you remember most about your days in the army? >Well, apart from a lot of hard work, one __________ incident sticks in my mind, but perhaps it is too unpleasant to talk about over dinner. (single / particular)
  3. There was a very __________ incident involving a group of youths outside a pub in London late last night in which a number of people were badly injured. (severe / serious)
  4. We are sorry to hear that your money was stolen while you were a patient at this hospital. We are sure this was a(n) __________ incident as this is the first complaint of this kind which we have received. I enclose a cheque for £20 to replace the money you lost. (isolated / remote)
  5. News is coming in of a__________ incident involving two passenger trains in the south of India. (main / major)
  6. The army said that the recent shelling of civilians was a__________ incident and they wish to assure people that it will not happen again. (regretted / regrettable)


1.         Note the following expressions:

Protesters threw eggs and tomatoes at the President, who was visibly shaken by the incident Mugging is becoming a serious problem. There have been countless incidents in recent months.

The alleged incident was said to have taken place in the office canteen.

Quick thinking by the police in keeping rival fans apart averted a serious incident.

2.         The expression ‘without incident’ means without any trouble:

The demonstrators were well-behaved and the protest passed without incident.



Ex 1:

1 witnessed 2. report 3. investigating

4 highlights 5. occurred 6. caused

Ex 2:

1  reports of                 2. investigation into                3. wake of

4 knowledge of           5. account of                           6. seriousness of

 Ex 3:

  1. whole 2. particular 3. serious      4. isolated            5. major     6. regrettable

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Written By

Misbah Kagad is a Content Marketing Specialist, currently working as IELTS Trainer at Experience Expert with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. Skilled in Copywriting, Web Content writing, Management, IELTS and Research. Strong professional with a Diploma focused in Computer Science... Currently helping aspirants to crack IELTS, with tips and tricks to score a bandwidth of 8 and more. Handles the ideation and creation of compelling content including content for IELTS website, writing e-books and solving previous IELTS question papers…

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