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

Key Word: thought

1          Verb + thought

Use the correct form of these verbs:

have                gather              go out to

hear                 occur               spare

  1. Have you given the new proposal any thought yet? Were keen to _____________ your thoughts.
  2. The President was taken aback by the question and took a minute to _____________ his thoughts.
  3. _____________  a thought for all those who are homeless on a cold night like this.
  4. I’ve just _____________ a thought! Why not have a party?
  5. Our thoughts_____________ all those families who lost relatives in the disaster.
  6. The thought just _____________ to me that it’s mum’s birthday tomorrow and we haven’t got her a card.

2          The thought of …

Use these words to complete the sentences:

injection          eating meat                 dying

meeting           examination                going home

  1. The very thought of my final _____________ fills me with dread!
  2. As a vegetarian, just the thought of _____________ makes me feel sick.
  3. We all became very excited at the thought of _____________ .
  4. I was shocked at the thought of all those people _____________.
  5. I was trembling with fear at the thought of the _____________.
  6. She shuddered at the thought of _____________ the man who had attacked her.

3          Noun + preposition + thought

Use the following expressions in the sentences:

great deal of thought

freedom of thought

school of thought

train of thought

  1. Sorry, where was I? I’ve lost my ________________ .
  2. Some places still don’t encourage ________________ .
  3. Shirley doesn’t devote a ________________ to her appearance.
  4. One ________________ contends that modern man originated in Central Africa.

4          Common adjective collocations

Use these adjectives in the sentences:

comforting                  morbid                        negative

original                       second                       secret

  1. As soon as I got onto the plane, I began to have ________________ thoughts about leaving. Was I doing the right thing?
  2. If you want to win, think positively. Try not to ________________  thoughts take over.
  3. Many people use a diary to record their ________________ thoughts.
  4. As I waited for the results of the tests, my mind was filled with _______________ thoughts of death.
  5. It’s a_______________ thought that we’ll be sleeping in our own beds this time tomorrow night.
  6. He doesn’t have an _______________ thought in his head. He just steals other people’s.


1.         If you thought something was unimportant, you say:

I didn’t give it a moment’s thought

2.         Note these expressions with thought + verb:

The thought occurred to me that he might…

The thought suddenly struck me that…

That thought had never crossed my mind.

3.         To ask someone’s opinion, you can say:

What are your thoughts on the matter, Alan?

Any thoughts on what we should do?

4.         If you don’t want to lose something or somebody:

I couldn’t bear the thought of losing my dog.

5.         Thought is also used to mean ‘caring’:

He’s always in my thoughts.



Ex 1: 1. hear   2. gather    3. Spare    4. had    5.go out to    6. occurred

Ex 2: 1. examination   2. eating meat   3. going home   4. dying   5. injection 6. meeting

Ex 3:

  1. train of thought
  2. freedom of thought
  3. great deal of thought
  4. school of thought

Ex 4: 1. second    2. negative    3. secret   4. morbid    5.       comforting   6. original

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