Adverb collocations are the focus of these advanced English lessons. This knowledge is essential for those taking the CAE exam. I advise anyone who studies these collocations to first take a look at strong and weak adjectives (these are also called gradable and non gradable adjectives)

Strong adjectives

Very, a bit, quite, slightly + WEAK ADJECTIVES

Absolutely, completely, totally, utterly + STRONG ADJECTIVES

Adverb collocations lesson 1

Now we can move onto some more complex adverb collocations. The following lesson looks at some typical adverb/adjective and adverb/verb collocations which are frequently found in English.

And here is a quiz to test your knowledge


highly – probable, (un)likely, successful, competitive, recommended, effective, controversial

utterly/absolutely – ridiculous, impossible, wrong, disgusting, devastating, pointless, appalled, worthless, senseless, hopeless

unbelievably / ridiculously / incredibly – cheap, expensive, big, small, long, short, early, late

bitterly – disappointed, resent, regret, complain, cry, weep

deeply – ashamed, concerned, moved, shocked, touched, affected, hurt, regret

strongly – oppose, influence, believe, deny, recommend, condemn, argue, object, support, suggest, correlate

Adverb collocations lesson 2

Of course, there are many different collocations which you need to be aware of to get a good mark in the exam, and so here are some more lessons and quizzes to help you. This lesson focusses on the adverbs ‘heavily, seriously, strictly, potentially, blatantly, astronomically’

heavily – armed, pregnant, subsidised, criticized

seriously – injured, damaged, hurt, wounded

strictly – speaking, true, regulated, limited

potentially – fatal, dangerous, hazardous, at fault, to blame

blatantly – untrue, unfair, dishonest, wrong, mistaken

astronomically – high, low, large, expensive, immense
Don’t forget, many of my TV show lessons have lots of collocation exercises, and so please improve your skills by watching your favourite TV shows. You can find a collection of TV SHOW English lessons HERE. The American version of Sherlock is particularly rich in adverb collocations.

Adverb collocations lesson 3

Now we move onto the adverbs absurdly, widely, thoroughly, fully, totally, completely and patently

absurdly – low, high, easy, difficult

widely – believed, spoken, used, distributed, known, renowned

thoroughly – convinced, enjoyable, agree, satisfying

fully – understand, comprehend, informed, automated, equipped

totally and completely – unaware, unprepared, unexpected, out of control, wrong

patently – true, false, obvious, clear

Adverb collocations lesson 4

And finally we have the adverbs entirely, wildly, downright, mildly, loosely, vaguely

entirely different, separate, dependant

wildly inaccurate, exaggerated, inappropriate, unrealistic

downright wrong, dishonest, hostile, rude, disgrace, immoral

mildly surprised, amused, irritated, offensive

loosely based, structured, connected, related

vaguely familiar, aware, remember, worded, threatening

And here is one more test to help you practise your new English skills:


I have made plenty of other lessons about collocations (verb noun collocations) which have quizzes too. Most of these classes are aimed at FCE level, so you’d better make sure you know them all if you are taking CAE! Click on the following link for more lessons and exercises: