The original meaning of ‘maintain’ from Latin was ‘to hold in the hand.’ In Middle English (800 years ago) the meaning had changed to become ‘practise an action like a habit.’ Today it means to continue something in the same way or at the same standard as before.


  • In the future, do you think that the US will maintain it’s position as the dominant world power?
  • She has always maintained that she is innocent.
  • It is difficult to maintain a family when the value of our wages keeps falling.

Collocations: When you learn new vocab, make sure that you note collocations too. For this group of words some collocations are:
institution of, institution for
investment in, investment of, invest in
itemised account
maintenance of

Check the meanings of the words if you don’t already know them. Check the meanings of the various forms as sometimes they are different. You can check them at Time4english by clicking the words (

Complete the sentences below with the correct word and the correct form of the word.

AWL Sublist 2, group 19

Vocabulary for IELTS – Academic Word List 2:19

  1. I thought I bought six things, but I only seem to have five in the bag. I’ll have to check the _______________ account.  (item, maintain)
  2. 2. I got a good end-of-year bonus so I _______________ in a renewable power project in the countryside near Bendigo. (journal, invest)
  3. They ______________ the changes immediately they took power.  (institute, item)
  4. You should keep a _______________ to record your progress with your study. (invest, journal)
  5. How do you _______________ your composure when people are rude to you? (institute, maintain)

Answers (in the wrong order below)
5. maintain   3. itemised   2. invested    1. instituted    4. journal

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