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Break & Take Collocation

On this page there are break and take collocation exercises.

Learning other phrases apart from the common meanings of the words will help your IELTS as the examiner is trained to listen for your ability to collocate in the speaking and take account of it in your writing.

Take and break are commonly used in English so you should make sure you understand the different meanings.

Take Collocation

The commonly known meaning of the word take is when we talk about removing or moving something (sometimes without permission) or accepting something.

For example: 

  • he took my book; 
  • take your lunch to work;
  • do they take (accept) credit cards here?

However, there are other take collocations. Have is also a common meaning of the word, but there are other common examples:

Take Collocation Meaning
Take someone's place Substitute / stand in for someone/thing else
Take place Happen / occur
Take notes Record what is observed or heard
Take a chance Risk something in the hope of a favorable outcome
Take an exam/a test Have / sit an exam or test
Take care of Look after someone/thing
Take a look Have a look at / examine something carefully
Take a break Have a short rest from something
Take a holiday Have a holiday
Take a rest Have a rest

Take Collocation Exercise

Now practice these words by deciding which take collocation  fits in the gap:

1. At work during the morning I usually take between 11:00 and 11:30.

2. I’m going to take in June. I’m going to Spain.

3. Take at the view; it’s really beautiful.

4. I’ve taken twice now.

5. The meeting between the delegates took last Friday.

6. I was up really late last night. I need to take .

7. He takes his grandmother as she is not well..

8. I can’t go to the conference anymore. Do you want to take ?

9. If I leave now I’m not sure I’ll catch the bus, but I’ll take .

10. Take when you attend a lecture or you will forget what you heard.

Score =

Take Collocation Exercises
Correct answers:

Break Collocations

Break is commonly known for it's literal meaning which is to break (i.e. smash / damage) something e.g. to break a windowbreak a pencilbreak a leg. These are collocations that you will probably be more familiar with.

However, it can be used in other ways. For example you can break a law or break a heart. Below is a list of some common collocations with break, followed by an exercise to practice them.

Break Collocation
Break someone's heart Cause deep emotional pain and grief to somebody
Break a law To do something illegal
Break a promise Not keeping a promise
Have a break To have a short rest from work/study
Break a record Set a new record
Break the news To make known new information
Break free To get s/th out of the hold of s/th else
Break the rules Disregarding rules
Big break Significant good fortune or opportunity
Break the deadlock End the inability to proceed with something

Break Collocation Exercise

Now practice these words by deciding which collocation of break fits in the gap:

1. My brother broke for the long-jump at his school yesterday.

2. My ex-girlfriend broke when she ended our relationship.

3. You are breaking if you drive over the speed limit.

4. The employees and managers were in a meeting to try and break over pay cuts.

5. Can we break from studying? I’m tired.

6. The police were holding the suspect but he broke and disappeared.

7. BBC World was the first news channel to break that Princess Diana had died. They always have the big stories first.

8. If you break at school there are consequences.

9.  You should never break . If you say you will do something you should do it.

10. My break came when I got a job at Barclays Bank.

Score =

Break Collocation Exercises
Correct answers:

< Do Have Make 2

'Get' Collocations >

More on IELTS Vocabulary:

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