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


1          Verb + method

Use the correct form of these verbs:

 adopt                          devise                 fail

recommend                 use                   work

  1. In no way am I going to _____________ any of these new teaching methods. I’ll stick to the tried and tested methods that I’ve always used.
  2. That method doesn’t look like it is going to _____________ . We’ll need to come up with an alternative method of doing it. Any suggestions?
  3. The methods of communication_____________ in the eighteenth century were primitive by today’s standards.
  4. Believe me, this method of growing tomatoes never _____________ . I get a bumper crop every year.
  5. In the I930’s scientists_____________ an efficient method of producing rubber from oil.
  6. We_____________ the filter method as the best way to make coffee.

2          Common adjective collocations

Complete the sentences with these adjectives:

infallible                      reliable

popular                       traditional

  1. In the UK more and more people are unhappy with modern food production and are calling for a return to _____________ methods of farming.
  2. The author of this book claims to have discovered an_____________ method for making money. He says that it never fails.
  3. Frying used to be the most_____________ method of cooking before people became more health conscious.
  4. The pill is generally regarded as the most _____________ method of contraception.

practical          unorthodox                  effective

  1. Despite his_____________ methods, his students achieved excellent exam results.
  2. The French are generally credited with developing the first _____________ method of producing photographs.
  3. Vaccination is the most_____________ method for preventing some of the worst childhood illnesses – like measles.

3          Method + of

Complete the sentences below with the following:

birth control                            crowd control

pain control                            payment

earthquakes                            teaching

reaching agreement               transport

  1. Travelling by plane is still one of the safest methods of _____________ .
  2. The methods of _____________ include lectures, seminars, and tutorials.
  3. Scientists are still struggling to devise a reliable method of predicting _____________ .
  4. The most commonly used method of _____________ involves the use of tear gas and mounted police.
  5. There are several possible methods of _____________ – credit card being the most popular.
  6. Thank goodness for modern methods of _____________ . I hate to think what it must have been like to be seriously ill a couple of hundred years ago.
  7. Condoms are an effective method of _____________ if used with care.
  8. Non-confrontational methods of _____________ are always the best.


1.         Note the following expressions:

I have no quarrel with his methods. (They are OK.)

I think his methods stink. (I think they are awful.)

2.         We use the expression ‘there’s method in his madness’ when we mean that although someone is doing something in a strange way, there is a good reason behind it.

I wonder why Malcolm is coming in an hour early every morning? It’s not like him.

> Ah, you obviously don’t know he’s applied for promotion. There’s method in his madness!



Ex 1:

  1. adopt 2. work 3. used             4.fails 5. devised        6. recommend

Ex 2:

1 traditional       2. infallible     3. popular     4. reliable

5 unorthodox      6. practical     7. effective

Ex 3:

1 transport     2. teaching          3. earthquakes       4. crowd control

5 payment     6. pain control     7. birth control     8. reaching agreement

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