Using Collocation to Ace The IELTS – Key Word: Decision


1          Verb + decision

Use the correct form of these verbs:

influence                     justify

abide by                       reverse

  1. Nobody knows how the headmaster can ___________ his decision to spend £3,000 on computers when there is an acute shortage of books in the school.
  2. Our boss is a very honest and fair man. No matter what you say or what you offer him, you will not ___________ his decision in any way.
  3. All competitors must ___________ the judges’ decision. No appeals will be allowed.
  4. I’m sorry, but we can’t ___________ our decision without having another board meeting. The next one isn’t for four months.

face                               regret

question                      put off

  1. I don’t ___________ my decision to leave school at 16. I think it was the right choice for me at the time.
  2. They’ve decided to wait a few years before having children. I hope they realise that they can’t ___________ the decision indefinitely!
  3. Newchester United have lost their last four games and lots of us are beginning to ___________ the manager’s decision to leave the team’s star player out of the team.
  4. Now that you’ve been promoted, you’ll ___________ difficult decisions on a daily basis. Good luck!

2          Useful expressions

Match the two halves to make sentences:

  1. Don’t try to force me to choose. I refuse to be hurried
  2. Mike’s so annoying. He always leaves important decisions to
  3. I hope I’ve made
  4. There may come a time when you’ll regret
  5. I’m not altogether happy about the decision, but

a          I think I can live with it.

b          into a decision.

c          the last possible moment.

d          that decision.

e          the right decision.

Go back and underline all the collocations with decision.

3          Common adjective collocations

Complete the sentences with these adjectives:

informed                     joint

tough                           wise

  1. In order to make an ___________ decision about which course to take, you should read the college prospectus. It contains facts and details for every course that the college runs.
  2. Both candidates are ideal for the job. There’s so little to choose between them that it’s going to be a ___________ decision to reach.
  3. Just look at that rain! I think our decision not to go to the beach today was a ___________ one.
  4. I heard your wife wasn’t keen on moving house. > That’s just not true! It was a ___________ decision.

final                 courageous

rash                 controversial

  1. My father warned me against making ___________ decisions. He advised me to take plenty of time to think things over.
  2. After many hours of heated discussion the government arrived at the ___________ decision to bring back the death penalty for murder.
  3. Beatrice Wzylo, the famous actress, took the ___________ decision to tell the world about her addiction to sleeping pills.
  4. As yet, no ___________ decision has been taken about the future of the company, but we’re all afraid it may have to close.

Which three verbs in the sentences above can replace make in ‘make a decision’?



1.         In 1-3 ‘abide by a decision’ is a very formal expression. In speech you might use ‘stick to’:

So, are you sticking to your decision not to come?

2.         In 3-5 you can also say a ‘snap decision’.

3.         There a number of adjectives used to talk about important decisions:

This is a crucial decision.

I hope you realise this decision is irreversible. There’s no going back now!

This is a momentous decision in the history of our nation.



Ex 1:

1 justify           2. influence     3. abide by      4. reverse

5 regret            6. put off         7. question       8. face

Ex 2:

l-b        2-c       3-e       4-d       5-a

Ex 3:

1 informed                     2. tough                       3. wise             4. joint             5. rash

6 controversial             7 courageous               8 final

We make / reach / arrive at / take decisions.

Also check :

Written By

Syed Monif is a professional content marketer and IELTS Trainer by day, and a bookworm by night, and sometimes during the day too! He currently works on creating extremely user-friendly and engaging content for the online portal His work involves creating and editing content while making sure they're super interesting and easy to read! And also as a master procrastinator, right now he's probably googling something so arbitrary like 'How rich is Scrooge McDuck?' without realizing that his lunch break is almost over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *