Using Collocation to Boost your IELTS Score – Key Word : State

Key Word : State

1          Common adjective collocations

Use these adjectives in the sentences :

fit                     mental             original           real

untidy              financial          advanced         sorry

  1. I’ll drive. You’re in no __________ state!
  2. Some people believe that an analysis of your dreams can reveal details of your __________ state.
  3. They complained about the__________ state that the flat had been left in.
  4. The company is in a dangerous __________ state. We are on the point of bankruptcy.
  5. By the time she arrived for her interview, she had worked herself up into a __________ state. I’ve never seen her so nervous before.
  6. The experts believe that they will be able to restore the painting to its__________ state.
  7. The dog was in a very __________ state when we found it – cold and thin and abandoned.
  8. I’ve looked at your roof and I’m sorry to tell you that the wood is in an __________ state of decay. You need a new roof.

2          State + of + noun phrase

Use these expressions in the sentences :

poor state of repair                 state of health

state of emergency                  sad state of affairs

  1. The house was in a very __________ when we bought it.
  2. It’s a__________ when two adults argue over who gets to sit beside the chairman!
  3. After the disaster the government declared a __________
  4. Regular exercise can make a big difference to your __________

high state of alert                    state of total chaos

state of the economy               state of decline

  1. Security forces are on a __________ because of the terrorist threat.
  2. Ever since our secretary left, the office has been in a __________ .
  3. Since the civil war the economy has been in a __________ .
  4. Economists are painting a grim picture of the current __________ .

3          States of emotion

We often use ‘state’ when describing feelings and emotions. Complete the sentences below :

nervous exhaustion                       fear

panic                                               shock

  1. After the accident the driver just sat in the car, unable to speak. He was in a state of ______________ .
  2. The news of the outbreak of war threw investors into a state of ______________. Many tried frantically to sell their shares.
  3. We lived for years in a perpetual state of ______________ in Sarajevo. You could be shot by a sniper at any time.
  4. She was in a state of ______________ , so her doctor signed her off work and told her to take a complete rest for a month.

1.         Note how we describe a very bad state:

We were shocked at the appalling state of the hospital.

Inspectors condemned the shocking state of the prison.

The engine is in good condition, but the bodywork is in a terrible state and needs some attention.

The kitchen was in a disgusting state when they left.

The rail system is in a bit of a sorry state at the moment

2.         If something is in a ‘state of flux’, it is constantly changing.

3.         ‘State’ also means country:

In 1947 India became an independent state.

The United States is made up of ‘states’.

4.         The ‘welfare state’ is the system which provides health care, unemployment benefit, old age pensions etc.

Answer Key

Ex 1 : 1. fit 2. mental 3. untidy 4. financial 5. real 6.  original 7. sorry 8. advanced

Ex 2 :

  1. poor state of repair
  2. sad state of affairs
  3. state of emergency
  4. state of health
  5. high state of alert
  6. state of total chaos
  7. state of decline
  8. state of the economy

Ex 3 : 1. shock               2. panic            3.fear               4. nervous exhaustion

Also check :

Written By

Nafia Zuhana is an experienced content writer and IELTS Trainer. Currently, she is guiding students who are appearing for IELTS General and Academic exams through With an 8.5 score herself, she trains and provides test takers with strategies, tips, and nuances on how to crack the IELTS Exam. She holds a degree in Master of Arts – Creative Writing, Oxford Brookes University, UK. She has worked with The Hindu for over a year as an English language trainer.

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