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

Key word: doubt

1          Verb + doubt

Use the correct form of these verbs:

cast                  confirm           have (x2)

raise                remove

  1. The latest accident on the London to Norwich line has _______ serious doubts about the safety of the braking system on the new trains.
  2. An order for two new ships for the navy has _______ any doubts about the shipyard’s future.
  3. New evidence has emerged since the trial that _______ doubt on the guilty verdict.
  4. I’m _______ doubts about taking the job in Paris – maybe I’ll just stay here where I’m comfortable.
  5. The painting didn’t look authentic. An examination by an expert has_______ our doubts.
  6. I_______ no doubt whatsoever that William will be a great leader and an asset to the company.

2          Determiner + doubt

Use these words to complete the sentences:

any             my              no (x2)            some

  1. _______ doubt cod liver oil is very good for you, but I just don’t like the taste of it!
  2. Our son, Alan, is still in _______ doubt about whether to go to university or not.
  3. Give me a ring if you’re in_______ doubt about how to use the new software.
  4. They say they’ll be here by eight, but I have _______ doubts!
  5. There was _______ doubt in my mind that he was lying. I could tell by his shifty eyes.

3          Common expressions

Use these expressions to complete the sentences:

in doubt                                                 no doubt about it

open to doubt                                      without doubt

beyond all reasonable doubt

  1. David Beckham is_______ one of the most famous football players in the world today.
  2. If _______ consult your doctor before continuing with this medication.
  3. Whether they can finish the bridge on time is still _______ .
  4. The prosecution’s task in a court case is to establish a person’s guilt _______ .
  5. Crolla’s makes the best ice cream in town. ______________ !

4          Adjective collocations

Complete the sentences with these adjectives:

slightest           serious             niggling

  1. After watching Bob’s disastrous lesson, I have _______     doubts that he’ll qualify as a teacher.
  2. I haven’t the _______ doubt that James will pass. He’s one of the best in the class.
  3. I’ve had _______ doubts about Michael. I can’t put my finger on it. I just feel something isn’t right.

grave               lingering         growing

  1. Although he was found not guilty of murder, there are still _______ doubts about his innocence.
  2. I’ve been having _______ doubts about taking that job in Singapore. I think I’m too old to be going abroad again.
  3. What do you think about this plan to open up in Scandinavia? => I’ve got _______ doubts about it myself. It’s a notoriously difficult market for outsiders.

Go back and underline all the collocations in the exercises in this unit.



1.         In 3-5 ‘little’ is also possible.

2.         Note that we can raise, voice, or express our doubts about something:

The meeting will give you an opportunity to voice any doubts you may have about the project

3.         Note the following expressions:

I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was guilty.

He may not have been telling the truth, but I felt I had to give him the benefit of the doubt.

He says the building will be ready on time, but I have my doubts.

4.         Note the following common expression:

Doubts have arisen over the reliability of the new air-traffic control system.




Ex 1:

  1. raised         2. removed         3. casts            4. having         5. confirmed    6. have

Ex 2:

1.No                2. some                        3. any              4. my               5. no

Ex 3:

1  without doubt                                       2. in doubt                          3. open to doubt

4 beyond all reasonable doubt            5. No doubt about it.

Ex 4:

1 serious          2. slightest       3. niggling       4. lingering

5 growing        6. grave

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