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

Key word: fight

1          Verb + fight

Use the correct form of these verbs:

be engaged in               carry on                      give up

lose                                  put up                          step up

  1. Workers at Ford’s lorry plant are determined to __________ a fight to save their jobs.
  2. More money has been promised to help scientists to __________ the fight to find a cure for AIDS.
  3. In response to public pressure, the government has promised to __________ the  fight against drugs.
  4. My company __________ a bitter fight with the local council, who are refusing us planning permission for a new factory.
  5. Although jailed for twenty years by the military government, he refuses to __________ his fight for freedom of speech.
  6. If you ask me, the police seem to be __________ the fight against crime.

2          Common adjective collocations

Use these adjectives to complete the sentences:

brave   easy     fair     good    tough

  1. I’m not surprised we lost. Fairford United were a much better side, but we managed to put up a __________ fight.
  2. It won’t be an __________ fight. The government will have to work hard to convince people that this change to the law is in their interests.
  3. The new director has got a __________ fight on his hands. I’m not sure it was a good idea to take on the union. I can’t see them accepting the new working conditions that he wants.
  4. Sue died after a__________ fight against breast cancer.
  5. I don’t know what he’s complaining about. It was a __________ fight. The referee couldn’t have been fairer.

3          Expressions with prepositions

Use these prepositions in the sentences:

for       over     against           with     to

  1. It’ll be a fight__________ the bitter end.
  2. Hurry up! We’re in a fight __________ time.
  3. They had a fight __________ who should drive.
  4. He was in a fight __________ an older boy.
  5. The fight __________ the gold medal will be interesting!

4          Focus on word grammar

Match the two halves of these sentences:

  1. This new drug could be a major breakthrough in the fight
  2. As citizens we all have a part to play in the fight
  3. He believes he’s innocent and he’s continuing the fight
  4. Union president, Harry Muldon, is leading the fight
  5. The church has played a big part in the fight

a          to clear his name.

b          for the rights of the unborn child.

c          to stop compulsory redundancies.

d          against /VIS.

f           against crime.

Note the patterns:

fight for/against + noun

fight to + verb



1.         Note the expressions with ‘fight’:

A motorcyclist lost his fight for life after being critically injured in a collision with a bus.

Only one company can succeed. It will be a real fight to the death.

2.         A fight can also be a physical struggle:

A fight broke out between rival groups of football fans.

Police were on the scene in minutes and broke up the fight before it escalated into a riot.

He put up a real fight when the police arrested him.

My son is always getting into fights.

3.         Note how we say that something is going to be difficult:

You’ll have a fight on your hands to get your ideas past the board.



Ex 1:

  1. put up              2. carry on            3. step up         4. is engaged in           5. give up        6. losing

Ex 2:

  1. good           2. easy          3.tough            4. brave           5.fair

Ex 3:                   2. against         3. over            4. with             5.for

Ex 4:

l-d        2-f       3-a       4-c       5-b (to be completed)

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