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

Key word: difficulty

1          Verb collocations

Use the correct form of these verbs

be in                   cause                      foresee

get into            overcome            present

  1. Credit cards make it extremely easy for young people to __________ difficulty with debt.
  2. We’re confident that these difficulties will be __________             before the play starts.
  3. It was in the six o’clock news that a large oil tanker __________ difficulties off the coast of France. It’s in danger of breaking in two.
  4. My father’s had a mild stroke and it has__________ difficulties with his speech.
  5. The task should__________ no difficulty for someone of his ability.
  6. I don’t __________any difficulties so long as we keep to our planned route.

2          Common adjective collocations

Complete the sentences with these adjectives:

current                        financial                      learning                           main

marital                        technical                     unforeseen

  1. The President’s live broadcast was delayed because of__________ difficulties.
  2. We offer a free counselling service to couples with__________ difficulties.
  3. The__________ difficulty with this new approach is that it takes twice as long as the old one.
  4. He says he’s having__________ difficulties and that he can’t pay the rent.
  5. My sister works in a special school for children with severe__________ difficulties.
  6. I think I’ve got a plan for getting us out of our__________ difficulties.
  7. An__________ difficulty has arisen, so I’m afraid we’ll have to postpone the meeting.

Now match the two halves of the following:

  1. The town was very busy.
  2. Arsenal won easily.
  3. The burglars found the door unlocked.

a          They never seemed to be in any difficulty.

b          We had great difficulty finding somewhere to park.

c          They had no difficulty getting in.

Now underline the expressions with difficulty.

 
 

Notes

1.

In 1-3 ‘run into’ is also possible.

In 1-6 ‘expect’ is also possible.

In 2-6 ‘present’ is also possible.

2.         Note the common structure have difficulty (in) doing something.

It’s three months since he broke his leg, but he still has difficulty walking.

He’s a loving person, but he has difficulty showing affection.

3.         We use a number of verbs to describe having difficulties:

Some parents experienced difficulty getting their children into the school of their choice.

Officials have encountered difficulties in getting the aid through to the refugees.

If you meet any difficulties, let me know and I’ll help you out.

4.         Note how we talk about lots of difficulties:

Her path to becoming the first woman president was beset with difficulties.

The situation is fraught with difficulties.

5.         An insurmountable difficulty is one which cannot be overcome.

The government faces insurmountable difficulties in getting its new tax bill passed.

6.         Note the common expressions with / without difficulty:

The boxer got to his feet with difficulty.

You should be able to find the hotel without much difficulty.

 

 

ANSWER KEY

Ex 1:

1 get into         2. overcome                 3. is in / has got into

4 caused          5. present                     6. foresee

Ex 2:

1 technical                   2. marital         3. main                    4. financial

5 learning                    6. current         7. unforeseen

8-b       9-a       10-c

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