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



1          Verb + position (place)

Use the correct form of these verbs:

jostle for          occupy             change            take up

  1. Government troops have ____________ defensive positions around the capital.
  2. I get cramp in one leg when I drive, so I have to keep ___________ position on long journeys.
  3. The castle ____________ a commanding position at the top of a hill with unrivalled views of the surrounding countryside.
  4. People in the crowd____________ the best positions to see the princess as she arrived at the theatre.

2          Verb + position (job)

Use the correct form of these verbs:

abuse               apply for          strengthen

rise                  hold                 fill

  1. Our sales manager is leaving, and I’m thinking of ____________ the position.
  2. She has ____________ the position of chief accountant since 1994.
  3. This latest move is clearly intended to ____________ the President’s position as head of state.
  4. I’m afraid it’s too late to apply. The position has already been ____________ .
  5. The Minister was sacked for ____________ her position by giving jobs to her friends and cronies.
  6. I started as a clerk, but I’ve____________ to a senior position in a government office.

3          Verb + position (attitude or opinion)

Use the correct form of these verbs:

make               reconsider                   soften              take

  1. This new evidence on the vaccine has forced the medical profession to seriously ____________ its position on the use of multiple vaccines for young children.
  2. I have____________ my position as clear as I can. Nothing will change my mind.
  3. My parents always____________ the position that children need lots of love rather than strict discipline.
  4. The authorities are still taking a hard line on asylum seekers. They show no signs of ____________ their position.

4          Common adjective collocations

Use these adjectives in the sentences:

awkward         enviable           prominent       upright

sheltered          similar             vulnerable

  1. Don’t plant these bulbs in an exposed place where the wind can get at them. The plants will only thrive in a____________ position.
  2. Don’t lay the box on its side. Make sure it is kept in an ____________ position at all times.
  3. My parents are in the____________ position of having enough money to retire.
  4. You should display new books in a ____________ position at the front of the shop where they can be easily seen.
  5. The council put me in contact with other single mothers who are in a____________ position to me.
  6. I can’t understand why they built houses in such a____________ position on the slopes of the volcano.
  7. You’ve put me in a very____________ position. Both candidates are my friends, so I really don’t want to get involved in deciding which one gets the job.


1.         Note the following expression:

I’m afraid that as I have no money, I am not in a position to help you.

2.         We talk about a ‘sitting, kneeling, or standing position’.

3.         The question ‘What’s your position?’ can mean either what is your job or what is your stance on this issue.



Ex 1: 1. taken up    2. changing    3. occupies     4. jostled for

Ex 2: 1. applying for    2. held    3. strengthen    4. filled     5. abusing     6. risen

Ex 3: 1. reconsider   2. made    3. took    4. softening

Ex 4: 1. sheltered     2. upright     3. enviable   4. prominent   5. similar 6. vulnerable 7. awkward

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