Increase Your IELTS Vocabulary Score – Collocation of Matter

Key word: matter

 1         Verb + matter

Use the correct form of these verbs:

be                        discuss                get

look into            bring               settle

  1. Have you__________ this matter with anyone else?
  2. This kind of damage to the environment should__________ a matter of concern to us all.
  3. We took the matter up with the manager and he promised to__________ it.
  4. I said I’m sorry, so why can’t you let the matter drop? => Okay. I promise not to__________ the matter up again.
  5. Let’s__________ this matter once and for all. We’ve been trying to resolve it for months now.
  6. We’ve no time to deal with that just now, so let’s __________ on with the matter in hand and try to finish what we’ve started.

2          Common adjective collocations

Complete the sentences with these adjectives:

easy                 urgent             delicate            different

serious             trivial               complex          personal

  1. Look, this is a rather__________ matter. Wendy can’t afford to go on the trip and I’d like to offer to pay for her, but I’m worried that she might be offended.
  2. It might seem funny to you, but setting fire to a wastepaper bin is no laughing matter – it is a very __________ matter indeed!
  3. I don’t mind bees, wasps, flies and things like that, but spiders are a__________ matter entirely!
  4. OK, have it your way. The colour of the paper is such a __________ matter that it’s not worth fighting about.
  5. Please try to find him. There is an extremely __________ matter I need to talk to him about. Tell him that it can’t wait till tomorrow.
  6. Excuse me, Mr Thompson, could I talk to you in private? It’s a __________ matter.
  7. It should have been a simple matter, but getting through to the helpline was no__________ matter!
  8. Collocation can be a very__________ matter!

3          Noun + of + matter

Match the two halves of the following:

  1. He denies any knowledge of the matter.
  2. A holiday would be wonderful,
  3. We need to get to
  4. This is by no means the end of the matter –

a          but the fact of the matter is that we can’t afford one.

b          I won’t give up the fight that easily.

c          He says he wasn’t involved.

d          the heart of the matter before we can help.

4          On the matter

Complete the sentences with the following:

advice              discussion                   light

nothing           word

  1. My bag is missing and I was hoping you might be able to shed some__________ on the matter.
  2. Of course I’ll take__________ on this matter, but I already know what I’m going to do.
  3. When asked about his reasons for resigning, he had __________ to say on the matter.
  4. You can’t go to the concert. And that’s my last __________ on the matter. Don’t bring the subject up again! You’re too young.
  5. You won’t get anywhere, I’m afraid. They refuse to enter into any __________ on the matter.


1.         Note this common question:

What’s the matter? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!

2.         Note this common expression:

Well, if there’s no choice in the matter, I suppose I’ll have to go to the meeting.

3.         Note these expressions using matter + of + noun:

Can’t we do this tomorrow? It’s hardly a matter of life or death, is it?

Safety standards in the industry have been a matter of concern for many years.

Which is the best cheese? It’s a matter of personal taste.

It can only be a matter of time before war breaks out.

4.         One way of disagreeing with someone is to say:

Well, I think it’s a matter of opinion.

5.         Notice this expression:

Don’t get involved, Clare. This is a family matter.



Ex 1:

  1. discussed 2. be 3. look into 4. bring 5. settle 6. get

Ex 2:

  1. delicate 2. serious 3. different 4. trivial 5. urgent 6. personal 7. easy 8. complex

Ex 3:

l-c        2-a       3-d       4-b

Ex 4:

  1. light 2. advice 3. nothing 4. word 5. discussion

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