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

 Key Word: situation

1          Verb + situation

Use the correct form of these verbs:

comment on                depend on                   handle

review                          misunderstand            improve

  1. John’s calm approach prevented a nasty argument from developing during the meeting. You have to admire the way he ___________ the situation.
  2. It would be unwise to ___________ the situation in Kashmir without knowing all the facts.
  3. Would you come to my aid if somebody attacked me? => Well, it would ___________ the situation.
  4. I thought the man you were with was your husband. I didn’t realise he was your brother. I’m so sorry. I totally ___________  the situation.
  5. The refugees have no fresh water or sanitation. There’s little anyone can do to___________ the situation.
  6. Before we throw any more money at the problem, I think we should___________ the situation and see what worked and what didn’t.

2          Common adjective collocations

Complete the sentences with these adjectives:

current                        desperate                     delicate            ideal

impossible                   Catch-22                     volatile             difficult

  1. We’re trying to buy a house, but everywhere is too expensive for us. We’re in an ___________ situation.
  2. You’ll need to handle this very sensitively. It’s a very___________ situation.
  3. We can’t allow the___________ situation to go on any longer. We need a change.
  4. The news report from the Sudan showed the ___________ situation people are in. They have no food, very little water and no medical supplies.
  5. I think she coped admirably with a very ___________ situation. It was a real ‘can of worms’.
  6. I can’t get the job because I don’t have the right experience and I can’t get the experience until I get a job. It’s a___________ situation.
  7. The house we want to buy is in an ___________ situation with wonderful views of the mountains.
  8. The political situation is very___________ – the army could start a coup at any time.

3          Situation + verb

Use the correct form of these verbs:

arise                calls for           continue

return              turn                 deteriorate

  1. The situation___________ prompt action. We must do something quickly.
  2. Let’s get out of here. The situation could ___________ nasty at any moment.
  3. The situation is___________ day by day. Soon, there will be no food, water or medical supplies left.
  4. This situation can’t___________ . I simply won’t allow it to go on any longer.
  5. Three days after the riots the situation has___________ to normal.
  6. I don’t have the time to think about it now. I’ll worry about it when the situation ___________ .

4          Noun + of + situation

Complete the sentences with these nouns:

advantage                               facts                 handling

misunderstanding                   gravity             side

  1. I don’t think you fully realise the ____________ of the situation. We could all lose our jobs.
  2. Our school has been closed for repairs, so we are taking full ____________ of the situation and going on a short holiday.
  3. I’m glad you can see the funny____________ of the situation. Not many people would.
  4. It’s important that we don’t let our prejudices blind us to the____________ of the situation.
  5. Her ____________ of the situation was masterly. She dealt with the problem very professionally.
  6. His inappropriate reaction was obviously based on a complete ____________ of the situation.


1.         Note the following expressions:

I’m in a no-win situation. Whatever I do will be bad.

2.         Note this question:

What would you have done in my situation?

3.         We talk about the economic / political / social situation.



Ex 1: 1. handled  2. comment on  3. depend on  4.    misunderstood 5. improve 6. review

Ex 2:

1 impossible    2. delicate        3. current         4. desperate

5 difficult        6. Catch-22     7.ideal                  8. volatile

Ex 3: 1. calls for  2. turn  3. deteriorating  4. continue  5. returned  6. arises

Ex 4: 1. gravity  2. advantage  3. side  4. facts  5. handling  6.          misunderstanding

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