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


1          Verb + risk

Use the correct form of these verbs:

carry                consider

pose                 outweigh

reduce             take

  1. A fatty diet increases the risk of heart disease whereas a low fat diet ___________ the risk.
  2. We cannot afford to ___________ risks when people’s lives are involved.
  3. Boxing is a contact sport which ___________ a high risk of injury. However, wearing protective headgear can help minimise the risk of head injury.
  4. The chemicals in food are not dangerous. They ___________ little risk to health.
  5. I’ve ___________ all the risks of having the operation and I’ve decided to go ahead.
  6. All things considered, the benefits of this treatment___________ the risks.

2          Common adjective collocations

Use the following adjectives in these sentences:

calculated                    potential

real                              unnecessary

  1. I must warn you that there is a small, but ___________ risk that something could go wrong.
  2. The director took a___________ risk, giving the film’s main role to an unknown actor, but it paid off. The film was a great success.
  3. The information in this leaflet warns young people of the ___________ risks to health associated with drug use.
  4. You are exposing yourself to ___________ risks by walking through the park alone at night.

3          Common expressions

Use these words to complete the sentences:

aware              own                 prepared

small               worth

  1. I want to take no risks, however ___________
  2. That’s a risk I’m not___________ to take.
  3. If we buy these shares, we might lose all our money! It’s just not ___________ the risk.
  4. It’s OK. I’m fully___________ of the risks involved.
  5. You leave your bike here at your ___________ risk.

4          How big a risk?

Mark the following sentences (B) if they describe a big risk and (S) if they describe a small risk:

  1. Hygiene is so bad in this hospital that there is a serious risk of infection.
  2. There is a slight risk of side-effects with this drug. You may feel a little sick or dizzy at times.
  3. Please remember that any financial investment contains an element of risk, but it’s only a minimal risk as far as we are concerned.
  4. He sold his house and invested the money in the stock market. It was a huge risk to take, but it proved worthwhile in the end. He’s now a millionaire.
  5. You’ve got to wear protective goggles as the light is very strong and there’s a high risk of damage to your eyesight.
  6. Lots of war correspondents carry out their work at great risk to themselves.


1.         If people’s lives have been ‘put at risk’, they have been put into a dangerous situation.

2.         Note the common expression: run the risk of -ing:

If you don’t put a coat on, you’ll run the risk of catching a cold.

Unless his performance improves, he runs the risk of losing his job.

3.         We talk of a health, fire, and security risk:

Some people think red meat is a serious health risk.

Campers and picknickers pose the biggest fire risk in the forests in the summer.

The Pope decided to travel in an open car – despite the security risk.



Ex 1: 1. reduces 2. take 3. carries 4. pose 5. considered 6. outweigh

Ex 2: l. real 2. calculated 3. potential 4. unnecessary

Ex 3: 1. small 2. prepared 3. worth 4. aware 5. own

Ex 4: 1 -B        2-S       3-S       4-B      5-B      6-B


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