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

Key Word: belief

1          Verb + belief

Use the correct form of these verbs:

cling to                            hold

shake                               share

strengthen                   stand up for

  1. My boss ___________ strong political beliefs and expresses them on every possible occasion!
  2. Although I don’t ___________ your beliefs, I do respect them. I think this is important in a democratic society.
  3. We should all have the courage to ___________ our beliefs.
  4. He was only fined £100 for killing somebody in a road accident! This case has ___________ my belief in our justice system.
  5. My mother’s long battle against stomach cancer has only ___________ her belief in God.
  6. A week after her husband disappeared in a boating accident, she’s still ___________ the belief that he’s alive. She refuses to accept that he might have drowned.


2          Common adjective collocations

Use these adjectives to complete the sentences:

firm                     genuine

growing           mistaken

popular           unshakeable

  1. For years at school I was under the ___________ belief that Anne was Chris’s mother. It was only years later I found out she was his step-sister!
  2. Contrary to ___________ belief, eating carrots does not improve your eyesight.
  3. My brother has an ___________ belief in his own abilities. I’ve never known anybody with such self-belief and self-confidence.
  4. It is my ___________ belief that abortion is immoral. Nobody will ever convince me that we have the right to end life in that way.
  5. Fighting has again broken out along the border. There is now a ___________ belief among politicians that war is inevitable.
  6. If you want to be a successful salesman, you have to have a ___________ belief in the product you are selling. It’s no good just pretending to like something.


3          Expressions with prepositions

Complete the sentences below with on, to or of:

  1. Throughout her persecution, Joan of Arc remained faithful ___________ her beliefs. She refused to give them up.
  2. The fact that millions of people are dying of famine has shaken the foundations ___________ my belief in God.
  3. Sarah’s parents hadn’t realised the depth ___________ her religious beliefs until she told them she had decided to become a nun.
  4. I’ve never really trusted that woman. I’ve always had doubts about the sincerity ___________ her beliefs.
  5. Capitalism is partly based ___________ the belief that people work more productively if they are working for themselves.
  6. Every religion has its own set ___________ beliefs.


1.         Note the following expressions:

She may have made the situation worse, but she acted in the belief that she was doing the right thing.

That’s impossible to believe ! It’s beyond belief !

It’s my belief that a vaccine for AIDS will be found.

2.         If you really find something impossible to explain or understand you can say that it ‘beggars belief’.

It beggars belief how one man could have destroyed a bank.

3.         Note that we talk of having political and religious beliefs.



Ex 1:

  1. holds 2. share 3. stand up for 4. shaken 5. strengthen 6. clinging to

Ex 2:

  1. mistaken 2. popular 3. unshakeable 4.firm 5. growing 6. genuine

Ex 3:       2. of                 3. of                 4. of                 5. on                6. of

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