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


1          Verb + need

Use the correct form of these verbs:

eliminate                     feel                  illustrate

meet                            recognise         stress

  1. The theft of the Rembrandt last weekend clearly ____________ the need for better security measures at the Palace.
  2. The main advantage of credit cards is that they____________ the need to carry cash around.
  3. The director____________ the need for co-operation between workers and management if the company was to get out of its current difficulties.
  4. More nurseries will have to be built to____________ the need for high-quality child care.
  5. The government says that it ____________ the need for immediate legislation to combat racism in the workplace.
  6. I know you’re getting out of hospital today, but you’re welcome to come back and talk any time – if ever you ____________ the need.

2          Common adjective collocations

Complete the sentences below with the more natural adjective collocation:

constant                      desperate

growing                       urgent

  1. United Nations officials say that the most ____________ need is for earth-moving equipment. (urgent / anxious)
  2. My father’s illness is long-term, so he’s in ____________ need of treatment. (continual / constant)
  3. Student numbers are increasing year by year, so there’s a____________ need for cheap rented accommodation around the university. (growing / expanding)
  4. As winter approaches the refugees are in ____________ need of warmth, food and shelter. (terrible / desperate)
  5. There’s a____________ need for more help for old people living at home on their own. (big / clear)
  6. When the second Gulf War ended, there was a ____________ need for clean water, medical supplies and stable government. (pressurised / pressing)

 3         Expressions with prepositions

Use a suitable preposition in the sentences:

  1. Our organisation tries to help those most____________ need of psychiatric help.
  2. I’m going outside. I’m in need____________ some fresh air.
  3. There’s no need____________ all this shouting. Can’t we discuss this quietly?
  4. I think we’re all____________ need of a break.

4          Different needs

Complete the sentences below with the following:

basic                emotional          future

individual        energy             special

  1. My wife teaches children with____________ needs. Many of them have severe learning difficulties.
  2. A family in Eritrea doesn’t need much money to survive. About £10 a week is enough to cover all their ____________ needs.
  3. The government is investing in training so that the country will be able to meet the____________ needs of industry.
  4. Without an increase in the number of nuclear power stations, I don’t see how our existing system is going to meet the ____________ needs of this country in ten years’ time.
  5. Our fitness trainers put together a personal programme to suit your __________ needs.
  6. Good parents are sensitive both to the physical and ______________ needs of their children.


1.         A ‘crying’ need is very urgent:

There’s a crying need for more doctors.

2.         Note this expression which means ‘if necessary’:

I’ll stay up all night if need be.

3.         Note these common expressions:

She’s badly in need of some new clothes.

The school roof is in dire need of repair.

4.         Note this verb collocation:

We will contact you again if the need arises.



Ex 1: 1. illustrates 2. eliminate 3. stressed 4. meet  5. recognises  6. feel

Ex 2: 1. urgent            2. constant       3.growing        4. desperate     5. clear             6. pressing

Ex 3: l. in         2. of                 3. for               4. in

Ex 4: 1. special            2. basic            3.future           4. energy         5. individual    6. emotional

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