Increase Your IELTS Vocabulary Score – Collocation of Mistake

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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

Also check :

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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