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

Key word: approval

1           Verb + approval

Use the correct form of these verbs:

give            meet with                 need

seek            show                          win

  1. The board of directors talked over the proposal and decided to__________ it their approval.
  2. My plans for the new house are complete – now all I__________ is approval to build it.
  3. The audience__________ their approval by calling for encore after encore, then giving them a standing ovation.
  4. She desperately wants to__________ her father’s approval.
  5. We’ll have to__________ approval from head office before spending any more on this project.
  6. The council’s plans for new traffic measures have __________ the approval of local residents.

2          Common adjective collocations

Choose the correct adjective in the following:

  1. Most guarantees on anything you buy now state that if the goods do not meet with your __________ approval, you may return them within 30 days of purchase – as long as you still have the receipt! (full / detailed)
  2. You need__________ approval from the local council before you can build a garage in your garden. (official / legal)
  3. Much against his wishes, the founder of the troubled company was forced to give his__________ approval to the takeover plans. (reluctant / grudging)
  4. Last night’s committee meeting gave __________ approval to your plan for a new day centre for elderly people. There wasn’t even one vote against. (complete / unanimous)
  5. The constitution of the USA requires the President to seek the__________ approval of Congress for any kind of military action. (previous / prior)
  6. Incredibly, the proposed changes to the voting system have met with__________ approval. There have been very few objections. (majority / widespread)

3          Noun + of + approval

Use these nouns to complete the sentences:

nod                  roar

seal                  sign

  1. Last week the government gave its____________ of approval to the deal.
  2. There was a____________ of approval from the crowd when Nevin was replaced by Beckham.
  3. The children longed for some ____________ of affection or approval from their mother.
  4. I was pleased when I saw my teacher in the audience giving me a____________ of approval.

4          Preposition + approval

Complete the sentences with these prepositions:

on        without            for           in

  1. The architects sent the designs of the shopping centre to the planning department ____________ their approval.
  2. When we suggested spending £10,000 on new computers, several people at the meeting nodded ____________ approval.
  3. I’m sorry, I can’t agree to anything____________ my partner’s approval.
  4. These goods are supplied ____________ approval. That means you can return them if they are not satisfactory.

Go back and underline the full prepositional expressions.


1.         The phrase used in 3-1 is a common thing to say in speech. For example:

Are we going to have the meeting in London or Leeds?

> Well, Leeds would definitely have my seal of approval.

2.         Notice the large number of adjectives which mean full approval: total, 100%, unqualified, wholehearted, overwhelming, unanimous, universal, widespread.

3.         A decision which has not been fully passed can be subject to the approval of, for example, the board, the council, the government etc. 



Ex 1:

  1. give     2. need     3. showed     4. win     5. seek    6. met with

Ex 2:

  1. full     2. official     3. grudging     4. unanimous     5. prior     6. widespread

Ex 3:

  1. seal      2. roar      3. sign        4. nod

Ex 4:

  1. for      2. in      3. without        4. on

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