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

Using Collocation To Boost Your IELTS Score – Key Word- Success
Using Collocation To Boost Your IELTS Score – Key Word- Success

Key Word: Success

1          Verb + success

Use the correct form of these verbs:

achieve                        attribute

have                              make

guarantee                    owe

prove                             wish

  1. I’ve been looking for a job for some time now, but I haven’t ____________ much success in finding one.
  2. Liz needs to pull her socks up and work harder if she is going to    ____________ a success of her career.
  3. I’d like to take this opportunity to ____________ you every success in your new job.
  4. How do you account for the success of brands like Coke and Nike? => They ____________ their success to good advertising.
  5. My efforts to become an actor have met with little success, but my brother has ____________ success beyond his wildest dreams. He’s now filming in Hollywood.
  6. What do you put your success down to? => I ____________ my success to hard work and, of course, a little luck.
  7. The novel ____________ such a success that the author quickly followed it up with another, based on the same characters.
  8. This treatment can’t ____________ success, but at least 70% of women who have used it have seen significant loss of weight in the first three months.

2          Expressions with prepositions

Use these nouns to complete the expressions:

chance of                    degrees of                    key to

sign of                         measure of                  taste of

  1. I’ve tried a number of different medicines, with varying ____________ success.
  2. The doctors told us that the operation only has a fifty-fifty ____________ success.
  3. Confidence is the ____________ all success.
  4. We’ve achieved some____________ success with our new product range.
  5. They are still enjoying the sweet ____________ success after their championship win.
  6. The opening of two new outlets in the town is yet another ____________ the continuing success of the supermarket chain.

 3         Great success

Match the two halves of these situations:

  1. The party was a spectacular success.
  2. Mr Hughes, to what do you ascribe the phenomenal success of your new play?
  3. His latest novel is already a roaring success.
  4. The good weather helped to make the occasion a resounding success.
  5. Abba have enjoyed success on a scale unparalleled by any previous pop group.
  6. The World Cup theme tune ‘Nessun Dorma’ has proved an out-and-out success.

a          It’s sold over three thousand copies in a week.

b          Except the Beatles, of course.

c          A good time was had by all.

d          Nobody quite knows why.

e          Was it the production?

f           There wasn’t a drop of rain.

Go back and underline the adjective collocations.


1.         Note the different verbs we use to say that something is considered a success:

The evening was deemed a success by everyone.

The play was an overnight success. It was rated a success after only one performance.

The event was voted a success and it is now certain that it will be held again next year.

The new scheme has been hailed as a success by the general public.

2.         Note the expression ‘without success’.

I tried to ring him, but without success.

3.         Books, films, pop groups can be ‘an immediate success’ or ‘an overnight success’.

4.         Operations have a ‘success rate’:

The success rate for this operation is 90%.

5.         If a play or a film is a ‘box-office success’, lots of people go to see it.

6.         You may want to ask someone:

What is the secret of your success?

7.         If you are the ‘victim of your own success’, something negative has accompanied your success:

Bill was the victim of his own success. As his company grew, he worked longer and longer hours until one day he just dropped dead – the richest man in the graveyard!




Ex 1: l. had 2. make 3. wish 4. owe 5. achieved 6. attribute 7. proved 8. guarantee

Ex 2: 1. degrees of 2. chance of 3. key to 4. measure of 5. taste of 6. sign of

Ex 3: l-c           2-e       3-a       4-f       5-b       6-d

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