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

Key Word: help

1          Verb + help

Use the correct form of these verbs:

ask for             appreciate

offer                get

seek                 use

need                provide

  1. Thanks for everything you’ve done for my parents. They really __________ all your help.
  2. My car broke down in the city centre and I tried to push it to the side of the road. There were lots of people standing watching, and not one of them __________ any help whatsoever.
  3. Do you need any help with the cooking? > No, but I could __________ some help with the washing up if you’re not too busy.
  4. I wouldn’t normally __________ your help, but the fact is I’m desperate. Could I use your phone? Ours is out of order and I don’t have a mobile.
  5. Look! That old lady has collapsed. Go and __________ help. There’s a policeman over there.
  6. Initially he turned to his family for help in dealing with his depression, but he was eventually forced to __________ psychiatric help.
  7. In the current emergency, we __________ all the help we can get.
  8. The Samaritans are an organisation which __________ telephone help to people who are suicidal.

2          Common adjective collocations

Use the following adjectives in these sentences:

extra                great                            invaluable

financial          professional                individual

  1. My mother was a __________ help to me while my wife was in hospital having our third child.
  2. We received __________ help from many people while writing this book. We couldn’t have completed it without their contributions.
  3. If you suffer from depression, it’s best to get __________ help. First, talk to your doctor.
  4. I passed my mathematics exam, thanks to the __________ help my dad gave me in the evenings.
  5. Most teachers simply don’t have the time to give some students the _____________ help they need.
  6. A lot of older people do without things rather than ask for __________ help.

3          Ways of asking for help

Match the two halves of these sentences:

  1. It is a well-known fact that
  2. We were surprised by the number of volunteers who responded to
  3. We are grateful to all those parents who answered
  4. A five-year-old girl has gone missing. Her parents have made

a          our appeal for help with disabled children.

b          a desperate plea to the public for help in finding her.

c          a suicide attempt is often a cry for help.

d          our call for help in raising funds for the school.

4          Expressions with prepositions

Match the two halves of the sentences:

  1. The survivors of the earthquake are
  2. Our confidential telephone lines are
  3. These flowers are
  4. It’s now three days since the disaster struck and

a          a token of my appreciation for all your help.

b          in dire need of help. The government must get food and medicine to them quickly.

c          offers of help are flowing in from all over the world.

d          a tremendous source of help to those people who are depressed and lonely.


1.         Note the expression ‘to manage something with the help of’:

I managed to make myself understood with the help of my Spanish phrase book.

2.         Note this common expression:

The map he drew wasn’t much help. I still got lost!

Come on! You’re not much help!

3.         Note how we offer to help:

Let me know if I can be of any help to you.

Would you like some help with the washing up?

4.         Note the more formal collocation:

The CID enlisted the help of a graphologist, an expert on handwriting.

5.         In the UK a ‘home help’ is somebody who helps the elderly or disabled with their housework.

6.         A ‘helpline’ is a telephone number you can ring for advice or information.




Ex 1:

1 appreciate     2. offered                   3. use                4. ask for         5. get

6 seek              7 need                         8. provides

Ex 2:

  1. great           2. invaluable    3. professional          4. extra            5. individual     6. financial

Ex 3:    1-c       2-a       3-d       4-b

Ex 4:    1-b        2-d       3-a       4-c

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