Key word: disaster
1 Verb + disaster
Use the correct form of these verbs:
avert court head for
spell end in strike
- Disaster__________ when the plane’s engine failed shortly after take-off.
- An airliner came close to disaster while approaching Kennedy Airport yesterday. Fortunately, the disaster was narrowly __________ by the quick reactions of the pilot.
- The business was__________ financial disaster until a new manager arrived to save the situation.
- The discovery of foot and mouth disease in British cattle __________ disaster for many British farmers. Many went out of business as a result.
- Drinking and driving is stupid and irresponsible. If you do it, you are simply __________ disaster.
- The trip to the island _________ disaster when the small boat we were in hit a rock and sank in a matter of minutes.
Go back and underline the verb collocations.
2 Common adjective collocations
Complete the sentences with these adjectives:
ecological impending major
nuclear natural utter
- There’s not much you can do about _________ disasters like floods and earthquakes.
- I’m not going to bore you with all the details. It’s enough to say that the whole event was a total and_________ disaster.
- Many scientists believe that the destruction of the rain forests is an _________disaster that threatens the future of life on Earth.
- When the emergency services arrived at the scene of the accident, they soon realised that they had a_________ disaster on their hands.
- On the morning of the final climb to the summit of Mt Everest, I woke with an overwhelming feeling of _________ disaster. I was right. Two of our party of seven died that day.
- Everyone knew before it happened that Chernobyl was a_________ disaster waiting to happen.
3 Noun + preposition + disaster
Complete the sentences below with a suitable preposition:
- It was impossible to comprehend the full scale _________ the disaster.
- Following the rail crash, the government has promised a full investigation_________ the disaster.
- The reason _________ the disaster was engine failure, not human error.
- Hospitals up to fifty miles from the site _________ the disaster were inundated with casualties.
- The recent wave of strikes has brought the country to the brink_________ economic disaster.
- Letting Fernando organise the trip is a recipe _________ disaster. Everything is likely to go wrong.
- The earthquake is just the latest in a long line _________ disasters that have hit the country recently.
- The director accepted full responsibility_________ the disaster and resigned on the spot.
Now go back and underline the complete expressions. The first is done for you.
1. In 2-4 you could also say a ‘full-scale disaster’.
2. Note the following ways of saying something is a complete disaster:
The trip was an unmitigated disaster from start to finish.
The whole project was an out-and-out disaster.
3. If you say somebody is ‘a walking disaster’, you mean they are always having accidents:
He’s broken his leg again! That boy is a walking disaster!
Everything happens to him.
4. Note the expression in 2-6 – a disaster waiting to happen. It is similar in meaning to the expression in 3-6 – a recipe for disaster:
This plan to open offices in every major European city is a recipe for financial disaster.
5. ‘A disaster area’ or ‘disaster zone’ is one where something awful has happened:
The government officially declared the town a disaster area after the typhoon destroyed most of the buildings.
- struck 2. averted 3. heading for 4. spelt 5. courting 6. ended in
- natural 2. utter 3. ecological 4. major 5. impending 6. nuclear
- of 2. into 3. for 4. of 5. of 6. for 7. of 8. for
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