Increase Your IELTS Vocabulary Score – Collocation of Mistake

Key word: mistake

1          Verb + mistake

Use the correct form of these verbs:

correct             learn                make

point out          realise              repeat

  1. Making mistakes is an important part of learning a language. If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t ­­­____________ from them.
  2. I think if you can admit that you’ve ____________ a mistake, it is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  3. When I got home, I found out that I had been calling my girlfriend’s father by the wrong name. I felt such a fool when I____________ my mistake.
  4. Like many people, I find it difficult to avoid ____________ past mistakes. Why do we make the same mistakes over and over again?
  5. Read through your work carefully and ____________ any mistakes that you find.
  6. If you ____________ some people’s mistakes to them, they get very defensive. I don’t know why!

2          Common adjective collocations

Complete the sentences below with the following:

costly               dreadful          fatal                 occasional

genuine           stupid              common          understandable

  1. The most____________ mistake people make is to water their plants too much.
  2. It was a perfectly____________ mistake to make. I assumed Jane and Morgan were married, too!
  3. The skaters made the ____________ mistake of assuming that the ice was thick enough to take their weight. Unfortunately, there was a thaw on. The ice gave way and they drowned.
  4. I should have scored 100% in the examination, but I made one____________ mistake.
  5. I can accept that anybody makes the ____________ mistake. We all do, but if it becomes a habit then you’re in trouble.
  6. Going to the football match when he should have been at work proved to be a very____________ mistake for Jeff. He was sacked.
  7. When he removed the wrong kidney from the patient, the surgeon made a ____________ mistake.
  8. I’m sorry, sir, but a____________ mistake has been made. We will do our best to find you a double room immediately.

 3         Verb + for + mistake

Use these verbs to complete the expressions:

apologise         check              refuse              take

a          ____________  to accept responsibility for

b          ____________ the blame for

c          ____________ profusely for

d          ____________ over your work for

Now use these complete expressions below, using the correct form of the verbs:

  1. He thought I was the secretary and not the manager because I was a woman, but he ____________ his mistake when I introduced myself. You should have seen his face!
  2. Nobody should have to ____________ other people’s mistakes.
  3. It’s always a good idea to ____________ mistakes before you hand it in.
  4. Five hundred pounds has gone missing from my bank account, but the bank ____________ the mistake.


1.         Note these expressions:

Marrying you was the biggest mistake of my life!

His work is always full of spelling mistakes.

2.         Note the useful expression ‘It’s a mistake to think that…:

It’s a mistake to think that violence will solve this issue.

3.         ‘By mistake’ means accidentally:

Someone must have left the window open by mistake.

4.         Note these expressions with ‘make a mistake’.

I made the mistake of inviting him to the party.

I won’t make the same mistake again!

Don’t worry. It’s an easy mistake to make.

If you make a mistake, just cross it out.



Ex 1:

  1. learn 2. made 3. realised       4. repeating     5. correct         6. point out

Ex 2:

1 common     2. understandable     3.fatal    4. stupid

5 occasional     6. costly     7. dreadful    8. genuine

Ex 3:

a  refuse             b. take                         c. apologise                 d. check

  1. apologised profusely for
  2. take the blame for
  3. check over your work for
  4. refuses to accept responsibility for
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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