Flo-Joe for Cambridge English Exams

Cambridge English: Proficiency

Learn the areas of grammar and vocabulary tested in the Word Formation task

CPE Use of English: Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

About Part 3 Word Formation


You will read an authentic text, which has 8 gaps. For each gap you have to use a given 'stem' word to make the correct form of the missing word. In the exam you transfer your answer to a special answer sheet. Part 3 tests your knowledge of the way words are formed in English, including the addition of any number of prefixes and suffixes, the formation of compound words, 'internal changes' and the spelling rules associated with all these changes.

Now try our exercises


1. Forming verbs and nouns
The following exercises include practice in nouns which need a plural form:
Online Exercise | Print Version

2. Forming adjectives and adverbs
These exercises look at adjectives and adverbs with a negative /opposite meaning:
Online Exercise | Print Version

3. Less common prefixes
These exercises include rarer prefixes such as 'extra-', 'co-' and 'ill-':
Online Exercise | Print Version

4. Forming compound words
These exercises test compound nouns and adjectives, some of which may be hyphenated. Some compound words are formed from verbs via phrasal verbs. E.g. bring/bring up/upbringing:
Online Exercise | Print Version

Dos and don'ts


Don't leave the answer sheet blank for any question. At this level for the majority of answers you will have to make more than one change to the stem word. Write your answer in capital letters on the answer sheet. Double-check your spelling as it must be correct in this section. Don't forget to watch out for negatives, plurals, unusual prefixes and compounds, or whether an internal spelling change is required.

How to improve


Keep a vocabulary record to record all the different forms of a word. When reading a text in English try to divide long words into their stem/root, prefix and suffix. When doing test exercises on your own you should always use a dictionary to check the spelling of your answer is correct. Go to our FREE CPE Word Bank for a different word formation exercise every day. This way you can build your knowledge slowly and systematically. If you want extra practice with similar exercises then consider signing up for CPE Exam Success Plus!

Try a test


Try an online Use of English Part 3 (Word Formation) test in the 'Practice Tests' area.

Previous | Next



Print off a mark sheet to keep a record of your scores.

When you've finished these exercises try an online Use of English Part 2 (Open Cloze) test in the 'Practice Tests' area.

Your Feedback

"I passed FCE, now I'm preparing to CAE. Thanks to all Flo-Joe's crew for creating this wonderful site."
Anna Karbowska, CAE student Bolesawiec, Poland.

"I think this a very interesting place for people who wants to improve their English. For me this is the best one."
Ariel Pertile, FCE Student, Argentina.