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


1          Verb + cost

Use the correct form of these verbs:           

calculate                      claim back                  cover

depend on                    cut                               spread

  1. When we had the idea of making a video, we thought we would make a lot of money, but, in the end, we didn’t even ___________ our costs.
  2. Cheap labour from abroad is being used to keep costs down. A number of factories have also been closed in an attempt to ___________ costs.
  3. The cost of repairing the damage caused by the storms has been ___________  at over £20 million.
  4. Whether or not we go on holiday to New Zealand will ___________ the cost of the flights.
  5. I paid for my hotel with my own credit card, but I’m able to ___________  the cost of it _________ on expenses.
  6. Why not pay monthly and ___________ the cost of your house insurance over the year?

2          Common adjective collocations

Complete the sentences with these expressions:

average cost                         full cost

at no extra cost                   estimated cost

high cost                              increased costs

running costs                    the cost is negligible

  1. When you buy a new computer, you usually get a bundle of software included ___________ .
  2. The final cost of the new opera house is likely to be in the region of £50 million. This means that the ___________ has more than doubled!
  3. Higher tax on fuel means ___________ for the ordinary motorist.
  4. The main drawback of the flat in the town centre is its ___________ . We simply can’t afford it.
  5. I’m afraid that the owners of the flats will have to bear the ___________ of the roof repairs. No subsidies or grants are available.
  6. I think our next car ’ll be a diesel. The ___________ are far lower than a petrol car.
  7. The ___________ of a new house in the UK last year was £80,000.
  8. Don’t worry about ringing abroad at this time of the evening. It really isn’t very much. ___________ .

3          Noun + of + cost

Complete the sentences with these nouns:

breakdown                  details              grounds           idea

  1. Can you give me an___________ of the cost of the repairs?
  2. The bill will be £400. Here’s a detailed ___________ of the costs.
  3. The plan to build a new national stadium had to be abandoned on___________ of cost.
  4. The government has cleverly avoided disclosing any ___________ of the financial cost of the war.

4          Expressions with cost + of

Complete the  sentences below with the following:

borrowing                   damage                health  care

living                           postage

  1. It will be £30.45 if you add in the cost of ___________ and packaging.
  2. The government has reduced the cost of ___________ in an attempt to get the economy moving again.
  3. The high cost of ___________ in New York means I’m going to have to come back to the UK.
  4. I believe that everyone should pay something towards the cost of their own ___________
  5. People are still clearing away the debris in the streets and trying to assess the cost of the ___________ caused by the tornado.

Go back and underline the expressions with cost of.



1.         In 1-3 ‘estimated’ is also possible.

2.         If the cost of something is ‘immaterial’, you don’t care how much it is.

3.         Notice these two expressions with similar meanings:

He’s determined to win at all costs / whatever the cost.

4.         Notice the following expressions:

He drank heavily for most of his adult life at considerable cost to his health.

The trip to the theatre works out at a cost of £25 per head.

5.         Cost also means ‘effort’ or ‘loss’:

We won the war, but the cost in human life was huge. She’s not a very nice person – as I know to my cost!


Ex 1:

  1. cover 2. cut 3. calculated 4. depend on 5. claim ….back 6. spread

Ex 2:

1 at no extra cost         2. estimated cost         3. increased costs

4  high cost                    5. full cost                    6. running costs

7 average cost               8.The cost is negligible

Ex 3:

  1. idea     2. breakdown     3. grounds   4. details

Ex 4:

  1. postage     2. borrowing     3. living       4. health care      5. damage

Also check :

Written By

Misbah Kagad is a Content Marketing Specialist, currently working as IELTS Trainer at Experience Expert with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. Skilled in Copywriting, Web Content writing, Management, IELTS and Research. Strong professional with a Diploma focused in Computer Science... Currently helping aspirants to crack IELTS, with tips and tricks to score a bandwidth of 8 and more. Handles the ideation and creation of compelling content including content for IELTS website, writing e-books and solving previous IELTS question papers…

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