Using Collocation to Boost Your IELTS Score – Key Word: criticism
1 Verb + criticism
Use the correct form of these verbs:
take single out for
- I’m very angry at the report on my teaching. I deeply ______________ the inspector’s criticism.
- The manager is very sensitive. He just can’t ______________ criticism. I don’t know how he got the job.
- The whole team was responsible for our poor performance. I don’t understand why I was______________ criticism by the manager.
- Criticism has been levelled at the government for the increase in hospital waiting lists. Most of the criticism has been______________ at the Minister.
Go back and underline the verb collocations.
2 Preposition + criticism
Use these expressions in the sentences:
barrage of criticism open to criticism
note of criticism in response to criticism
sensitive to criticism target for criticism
- If you stick to your extreme political views, don’t complain if you become a ______________ .
- The company has changed its working practices ______________ by government inspectors.
- Choose your words carefully. She is very ______________ .
- People in public life must be ______________ . If they’re not, they simply won’t survive.
- Do I detect a ______________ ? I would have thought you were the last person to dare to criticise me!
- After the singer’s appalling behaviour at the awards ceremony, she faced a ___________ in the national press.
3 Getting a lot of criticism
Underline the verbs and phrasal verbs in the sentences below:
- The French government has received strong criticism for continuing to test nuclear weapons in the Pacific.
- The police chief has come in for harsh criticism over his handling of the riots.
- The government’s economic policies have attracted a lot of criticism recently.
- The controversial film ‘Hooligans’ has run into severe criticism for its use of strong language.
- The new regulations on immigration have come under considerable criticism in the press.
- The government is currently facing fierce criticism over its failure to reduce taxes.
In the 6 sentences above, which five adjectives are used to mean ‘a lot of criticism’?
4 Common adjective collocations
Complete the sentences below with the following:
- I’m willing to accept your criticism of the way you were treated by Reception, but I think your criticism of ‘the whole staff of the hotel’ is wholly ______________ .
- My tutor didn’t offer any ______________ criticism of my poem. He just said he didn’t like it. I thought he would at least have given me some advice on how to improve it.
- The government is coming under ______________ criticism for its failure to send food to the starving people of West Africa. More and more people are demanding action.
- Make sure you only say positive things about her work. She can’t accept even ______________ criticism of her paintings. She thinks she’s the new Van Gogh!
1. In 1-4 you can also use direct; in 2-6 a storm of criticism; in 4-3 increasing criticism is possible.
2. Here are five main areas of adjectives:
strong: severe, harsh, heavy, bitter, fierce, serious growing: increasing, mounting
wide: widespread, general, fundamental, constant
positive: fair, constructive, legitimate, valid
negative: adverse, hostile, scathing, damaging
3. Note the expression in 3-2 – come in for criticism. This means that someone is criticising you. It is a fairly formal usage:
Our policies have come in for a lot of criticism from the press recently.
- resent 2. take 3. singled out for 4. aimed
1 target for criticism 2. in response to criticism
3 sensitive to criticism 4. open to criticism
5 note of criticism 6. barrage of criticism
1 received 2. come in for 3. attracted
4 run into 5. come under 6. facing
The five adjectives are: strong, harsh, severe, considerable, and fierce.
- unjustified 2. constructive 3. growing 4. mild
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