1 Verb + ability
Use the correct form of these verbs:
affect assess overestimate
lose doubt show
- Examinations are not the only means of _____________ someone’s ability. There are other ways of measuring potential.
- At first I questioned his abilities, but he has done the job so well. I’m now ashamed that I had so little confidence in him and that I ____________ his abilities in the first place.
- It is a well-known fact that even small amounts of alcohol can ____________ your ability to drive safely.
- She was so shocked by the accident that she ____________ the ability to speak.
- Although Peter ____________ a lot of ability as a teenager, he just wasn’t good enough to go professional.
- I had to give up half way through the race. I had obviously____________ my ability to run a marathon.
Go back and underline all the verb collocations with ability.
2 Noun + preposition + ability
Use these nouns in the sentences:
- Tiger Woods may be the best golfer in the world, but the Open Championship next week will be a real ____________ of his ability.
- Raymond is very clever, but he doesn’t make full ____________ of his abilities.
- I was surprised when he failed his examinations. His results are certainly not a true ____________ of his abilities.
- He’s extremely competent and will do the job properly. I have every ____________ in his ability.
- He said that he would try to do the job to the ____________ of his ability.
- I believe he lost confidence. His failure was not due to a____________ of ability.
Go back and underline all the noun + preposition + ability collocations.
3 Common adjective collocations
Use these adjectives in the sentences:
- Most of us have to work hard to learn to play a musical instrument. However, there are people who are born with a____________ ability and who learn effortlessly.
- The students in my class are of____________ ability, so I teach them in groups according to their level.
- I have no doubts that he has____________ ability, but I don’t think his personality is suited to this kind of work.
- We need somebody who has done this before – with the ____________ ability to do the job.
- I’m not a genius and I’m not stupid. I would describe myself as being of ____________ ability.
- I don’t know how she does it, but Annie Lennox has this____________ ability to electrify her audience.
Go back and underline all the adjective + ability collocations in this exercise.
1. Here are three ways to describe ‘great’ ability:
She has a remarkable ability to recall long poems after only reading them once.
She has exceptional abilities as a musician.
His examination results are proof of his outstanding ability.
2. Remember that an adjective collocation can come before or after the noun:
She has remarkable ability.
Her ability is remarkable.
3. Notice the use of ‘best’ in 2-5.‘Best’ is usually an adjective, but it is used as a noun in the expression to ‘do something to the best of your ability’.
4. We can talk about specific abilities:
musical ability physical ability
linguistic ability technical ability
artistic ability acting ability
5. When we talk about very intelligent children, we often call them ‘children of above average ability’.
- assessing 2. doubted 3. affect 4. lost 5. showed 6. overestimated
- test 2. use 3. reflection 4. confidence 5. best 6. lack
- natural 2. mixed 3. considerable 4. proven 5. average 6. incredible