2. Collocations

They are a group of words which elevates the meaning and standard of English when used together.

A ‘collocation’ is a set of words which traditionally are used together. Examples from general English are ‘extremely happy’ and ‘deeply disappointed.’ They are similar to modifiers.

minor crimeviable option
to some extentlimited effectiveness
robust alternativesimproved rates

Try to use two collocation phrases wherever possible in your letter, and the examiner will recognize that you are using advanced Academic English.

Let’s consider this letter fragment of a band 9 scored answer. Notice the words in bold.

It’s pretty bad, so I can’t drive at all. There’s a huge dent in the front section ·cause I hit a tree and one light is totally broken. I got my mechanic to take a look and she
reckons it’ll be 2000 bucks to fix!