Use Collocation to Hike up Your IELTS Score – Key Word: subject


1          Verb + subject

Use the correct form of these verbs:

change                        come up

deal with                     drop

get onto                       talk about

  1. Can we ____________ a different subject please? I really don’t like talking about other people behind their backs.
  2. When I asked him about his job, he just ____________ the subject like a hot potato!
  3. How did we____________ the subject of your mother? I thought we were discussing holidays.
  4. His poems often ____________ the subject of death.
  5. I asked Richard about the money he owed me, but he just____________ the subject and started talking about his health problems.
  6. We didn’t intend talking about his divorce. The subject just ____________ in conversation.

2          Common adjective collocations

Use these adjectives in the sentences:

cheerful             chosen

pet                      complex

taboo                 touchy

  1. Death is a ____________ subject in many western societies. People tend not to talk openly about it.
  2. Can we talk about a more____________ subject? Funerals aren’t a very happy thing to talk about.
  3. Once he gets onto his ____________ subject of football hooligans, there’s no stopping him. So don’t encourage him or he’ll talk for hours.
  4. I can’t understand why the break-up of her marriage is still such a ____________ subject. Surely she can talk about it now without getting upset.
  5. In the examination, each candidate has to talk for two minutes on their ___________ subject.
  6. Whether scientists should be free to experiment on human embryos is a very____________ subject.

These examples deal with a different meaning:

favourite          core                 compulsory

  1. Everybody has to take English. It’s a ____________ subject in our school system.
  2. Chemistry and biology are my ____________ subjects.
  3. You have to take six ____________ subjects and two optional ones.

3          On the subject

Use these words to complete the sentences:

authority                     briefly                   information

holidays                       nothing                views

  1. I have____________ further to say on the subject of your wedding. As far as I’m concerned, the matter is closed.
  2. We only touched ____________ on the subject of salaries during the meeting.
  3. The Pope’s____________ on the subject are well known.
  4. She’s the leading____________ on the subject of South American butterflies. She knows pretty well everything there is to know on the subject.
  5. I’ve read every scrap of ____________ I can find on the subject.
  6. Oh, on the subject of ____________ , have you thought where we could be going this summer?

4          Be the subject of

Use these nouns in the sentences:

concern                 debate                      discrimination                  speculation

  1. The Minister’s controversial views on immigration have been the subject of much____________ in the media.
  2. We encourage any employee who has been the subject of ____________ to report it immediately.
  3. Her private life is the subject of much ____________ in the press at the moment.
  4. The huge number of heavy vehicles passing through the village has been a subject of ____________ this year.


1.         Note these verbs used to introduce a subject:

By tacit agreement, the subject was never mentioned.

At some point we’ve got to discuss money but I don’t know quite how to broach the subject with him.

Don’t blame me. It was you who brought up the subject, not me.

I’m glad you raised the subject of safety. I think it is very important.

2.         If you ‘know your subject’, you are an expert on it.



Ex 1: 1. talk about 2. dropped 3. get onto 4. deal with 5.      changed 6. came up

Ex 2:

1 taboo      2. cheerful       3. pet      4. touchy      5. chosen

6 complex     7. compulsory     8. favourite      9. core

Ex 3: 1. nothing      2. briefly     3. views    4. authority    5.  information    6. holidays

Ex 4: 1. debate     2. discrimination    3. speculation    4. concern

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