Using Collocation to Boost Your IELTS Score – Key Word: Action

Key word: Action

1          Verb + action

Use the correct form of these verbs:

condone          demand                    explain

put into            swing into              take

  1. Shopkeepers in the town centre are ______________ tougher action against the vandals who continue to damage their shops at night.
  2. She will have to ______________ her actions – and defend them before the disciplinary committee – if she is to get her job back.
  3. We’ve had enough talk! We need to __________ these ideas ______________ action as soon as we can.
  4. Air traffic controllers are threatening to ______________ industrial action if their pay demands aren’t met.
  5. The emergency services are always on standby and ready to ______________ action at a moment’s notice.
  6. There’s no way that the college can ______________ the actions of these students. Throwing eggs at the Queen is not an appropriate way to protest.

2          Common adjective collocations

Use the following adjectives in these sentences:

disciplinary                           drastic

evasive                                     joint

prompt                                    whatever

  1. If the manager hadn’t acted so quickly, the whole factory would have been destroyed. It was his ______________ action that prevented the fire from spreading.
  2. The army has been given full powers to take ______________ action is necessary to restore order to the streets of the capital.
  3. The company cannot continue to lose money at this rate. The situation calls for ______________ action.
  4. ______________ action will be taken against any member of staff who is found using the internet for personal matters.
  5. Britain and the US agreed on ______________ action to combat the threat of world-wide terrorism.
  6. The pilot of a commercial jet had to take ______________ action yesterday to avoid a mid-air collision with a small military plane.

Go back and underline all the adjective + action collocations in this exercise.

 3         Expressions with prepositions

Using these prepositions with prepositions below:

plan of                         course of                     need for

implications of            result of                  responsible for

  1. We realise that the situation is critical and we fully appreciate the _______ immediate action.
  2. When the settlers cut down all the trees, they failed to consider the wider _______ their actions, so the area became a desert.
  3. People who are mentally ill cannot be held _______ their actions.
  4. How are you going to deal with this situation? What’s your _______ action?
  5. The surgeon was to blame. My father’s death was the direct _______ his actions.
  6. They’re planning to build a dam across the river. However, experts disagree whether this is the best _______ action to take.

1.         Note the following:

They say he’s a good player. I’ve never seen him in action.

He is out of action due to an knee injury.

2.         We talk about taking industrial action when we mean going on strike. We talk about taking military action.

3.         Note the common expression: He’s a typical politician – all talk and no action.

4.         An action group is a group of people who get together with a common aim to do something positive, eg to help homeless people.


Exercise 1:

  1. demanding    2. explain    3. put …… into           4. take     5. swing into   6. condone

Exercise 2:

  1. prompt     2. whatever    3. drastic    4. Disciplinary    5. joint    6. evasive

Exercise 3:

  1. need for    2. implications of     3. responsible for   4. plan of   5. result of   6. course of

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