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

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Key word: expectation

1          Common expressions

Divide the sentences below into three groups:

A = better than expected

B = as expected

C = worse than expected

  1. The concert was fantastic – it lived up to all our expectations.
  2. The film has been a surprise success. Box – office receipts have exceeded all expectations.
  3. It is a fact that the reality of a holiday often falls short of expectations.
  4. The increase in interest rates is broadly in line with expectations.
  5. Unfortunately sales of the new product have failed to meet expectations.
  6. The English course fulfilled all our expectations.
  7. The restaurant was quiet and relaxing, but the food didn’t come up to our expectations.
  8. The book’s success has surpassed everyone’s expectations.
  9. The standard of service on the cruise liner was well below expectation.
  10. The apartment they were thinking of buying didn’t measure up to their expectations.
  11. The campaign has produced results way beyond expectations.
  12. Profits are way below expectations.

2          Collocation check

Complete these sentences using words from exercise 1 above:

  1. The firework display was far better than we had expected. It really­­­_________ all our expectations.
  2. When Rod told us he had booked a table at the Manor Restaurant, we were so excited, but it really didn’t live _________ our expectations. Everybody was so disappointed.
  3. My parents’ world cruise was meant to be the trip of a lifetime, but it_________ far short of their expectations. Nearly everyone got food poisoning at some point in the trip!
  4. All the indications so far are that this year’s figures are going to be a huge improvement and _________ with the finance director’s expectations and predictions.

3          Common adjective collocations

Complete the sentences with these adjectives:

dear                 different          general

high                 unrealistic       wildest

  1. Our daughter passed all her exams with flying colours so we have _________ expectations for her future.
  2. The amazing success of our team this year has exceeded our_________ expectations.
  3. Although society is changing, there is still a _________ expectation that couples will have children soon after they marry.
  4. The article was obviously written before the election results in the _________ expectation of a Nixon victory.
  5. Some parents have _________ expectations of their children and put too much pressure on them.
  6. Sue and Steve went into marriage with very _________ expectations, so their divorce comes as no surprise to me.

4          Prepositional expressions

Complete each expression with one preposition:

  1. She went_________ the expectation of meeting him.
  2. Contrary _________ expectation, they got on well.
  3. It didn’t live _________ to our expectations.
  4. It fell well_________ our expectations.
  5. It was in line_________ our expectations.
  6. It fell short_________ our expectations.
  7. It didn’t measure _________ to our expectations.
  8. We all had great expectations_________ her future.


1.         Note the following:

I knew I didn’t have the necessary experience, so I applied for the job more in hope than expectation of actually getting it.

Against all expectations, the building of the new school was completed on time.

2.         Note the verb collocation ‘raise expectations’:

 Meetings between the two countries have raised expectations that a peace agreement is likely.



Ex 1:

A = 2,8, 11

B= 1,4,6

C = 3,5,7,9, 10, 12

Ex 2:

  1. exceeded / surpassed         2. up to            3. fell               4. in line

Ex 3:

  1. high 2. wildest 3. general         4. clear         5. unrealistic   6.different

Ex 4:

  1. in       2. to       3. up              4. below          5. with     6. of            7. up    8 for

Also check : IELTS Vocabulary

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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