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Boost Your Lexical Resource – Key Word: Rule


1          Verb + rules

Use the correct form of these verbs:

change                                    come into effect

enforce                                    stipulate

  • There is no point in having rules unless they are _______________ .
  • In the UK school rules often _______________ that no pupil is allowed out of school during school hours.
  • The new rules for handling meat products _______________ from Monday next week.
  • The proposal to _______________ the rules was narrowly defeated by 403 votes to 401. Things will remain as they were.
  • 2          Noun + of + rules

    Complete the sentences with these nouns:

    adherence                   exceptions

    set                                  violation

  • When our daughter started at her new school, she had to learn a whole new_______________ of rules.
  • The investigation showed that the pilot of the crashed plane had not broken any rules or regulations. In particular, there had been no _______________ of air safety rules.
  • There are always _______________ to grammar rules, but maybe that means there’s something wrong with the rules!
  • The new manager’s strict_______________ to the rules made him unpopular. Sometimes you have to bend the rules a little!
  • 3          Obeying and disobeying rules

    Underline the 10 verbs that collocate with rules:

  • There are stiff fines for breaking the rules.
  • If competitors do not follow the rules, their team will lose points.
  • Safety rules are routinely flouted on the building site. It’s dangerous to disregard them.
  • I’m sorry, madam, but we have to go by the rules. I can’t change them just for you.
  • Staff must abide by the new rules. Those who refuse to comply with them will be dismissed.
  • Do we have to stick rigidly to the rules? Can’t you bend them just a little?
  • Now divide the above verbs into two groups:

  • obey:    _____________________________________________
  • disobey: _____________________________________________
  • 4          Common adjective collocations

    Use these words to complete the sentences:

    ground                                    hard and fast                         petty

    present                                    strict                                         first

  • Before we can even begin to settle this dispute, we need to agree the _______________ rules first. Without these basic rules in place, we’ll get nowhere!
  • Under the _______________ rules, you can bring 1,000 cigarettes into the country. A few years ago you were only allowed 200.
  • There are rules which are not official, but which people accept and obey. For example, you can wear what you like to my work. There’s no _______________ rule that says you can’t wear jeans. It’s just that most people don’t.
  • Orthodox Jews will only eat kosher food which has been prepared according to very_______________ rules.
  • The students complain that they are subjected to too many ___________rules. For example, many think that having to walk up steps one at a time is mad!
  • The _____________ rule of good management is – learn to delegate!



    1.         Note the expression ‘as a rule’:

    We don’t travel business class – as a rule – but it depends on the length of the flight.

    2.         Workers who ‘work to rule’ do what they must do, but nothing extra. For example:

    The work-to-rule by postal workers has meant that some deliveries are not taking place as part of their action.

    It means there is an overtime ban.

    3.         If you ‘bend’ or ‘stretch’ the rules, you do something that is not normally allowed:

    I might be able to bend the rules just this one time and because it’s you. I wouldn’t do it for anyone else, you know!



    Ex 1: 1. enforced 2. stipulate 3. come into effect 4.   change

    Ex 2: l. set 2. violation 3. exceptions 4. adherence

    Ex 3:

    a          follow, go by, abide by, comply with, stick to

    b          break, flout, disregard, change, bend

    Ex 4: 1. ground     2. present     3. hard and fast     4. strict     5. petty     6. first