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

21 1

 Key Word: issue

 1         Verb + issue

Use the correct form of these verbs:

address                        avoid

raise                             resolve

care about

  1. My mother has always voted for the Green Party. She __________ very deeply__________ environmental issues.
  2. Our head of department is always side-stepping difficult issues. His normal tactic is to __________ a lot of issues by saying they are not his responsibility.
  3. I know you would like to bring up the issue of salaries, but I’d prefer it if you __________ it at the next meeting.
  4. If we don’t__________ this issue fairly quickly, we’ll need to start paying people off.
  5. There was hardly anything in the Prime Minister’s reply. He never properly__________ the issue of unemployment in the North East.

2          Verb + noun + on the issue

Notice these two common patterns:

  1. verb             noun                           on the issue

           reach            an agreement               on the issue of (jobs)

  1. verb             on the issue

           clash              on the issue of (jobs)

Match the two halves of these situations:

  1. I can’t see us reaching any sort of agreement.
  2. We can’t give an opinion until we have more information.
  3. The union will ballot the whole membership on the issue of job cuts.
  4. I’m glad agreement has been reached.
  5. The players and the management of the club are in disagreement.
  6. We know little of his views at present.

a          It was time everyone overcame their differences on the issue.

b          Opinion is so deeply divided on so many issues.

c          They’ve clashed on the issue of pay and conditions.

d          I think it’s important that everyone gets a chance to vote on the issue.

e          For example, we don’t know where he stands on the issue of free care for the elderly.

f           We’re just going to reserve judgement on this issue until the report is published.

3          Common adjective collocations

 Complete the sentence with these adjectives:

complex                      emotive                        politically sensitive

pressing                       real

  1. Using animals to test new drugs is a highly __________ issue. >  Yes, it’s the kind of controversial issue that arouses a lot of strong feelings and opinions.
  2. It’s not a question of whether we need a new office or not – we all know the present accommodation is unsatisfactory. The __________  issue is whether we can afford it.
  3. For me euthanasia is a black and white issue. It’s wrong to take life and that’s that! > Well, I disagree. It’s a much more __________ issue than you think.
  4. None of the main political parties seems willing to talk about free health care for the elderly. I think it’s one of the most__________ issues facing us today.
  5. The fight against drugs is regarded as a __________ issue. We need to do something about this problem urgently if we are to prevent it getting out of control.

Use these adjectives in the sentences:

broad               good                growing           sound              wide

  1. The President declared that his country had a very__________ record on the issue of human rights.
  2. The talks between the two leaders covered a __________ range of issues.
  3. Don’t worry. The minister has a __________ grasp of the issues involved.
  4. The negotiators were in __________ agreement on the main issues.
  5. There is a __________ consensus of opinion on this issue.


In 1-2‘duck’ is also possible.

In 3-1 ‘controversial’ and ‘contentious’ are possible.

In 3-2 ‘key’ is also possible.

2.         Note these expressions:

Money is not the issue. (not the main thing)

I must take issue with you. (object)

3.         You ‘make an issue of’ something when you create an argument about something unimportant.


Ex 1: 1. cares, about                2. avoid           3. raised           4. resolve         5. addressed

Ex 2:    l-b        2-f       3-d       4-a       5-c       6-e

Ex 3:

1 emotive        2. real              3. complex       4. politically sensitive        5. pressing

6 good             7. wide            8. sound           9. broad                                   10. growing

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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