Flo-Joe for Cambridge English Exams

Cambridge English: Advanced

Practise the specific areas of language that feature in the Key Word Transformation task in the CAE Use of English paper.

CAE Key Word Transformation

Video tutorial

Part 4 of the CAE Reading and Use of English Paper is called 'Key Word Transformation' sometimes referred to as 'sentence transformation'. Watch our short, 4 minute video explaining this task.



The Key Word Tansformation task contains 6 questions, each question consists of a lead in sentence, and a second gapped sentence. The gapped sentence must be completed using between 3 and 6 words. The word in capitals must be used and the form of the word cannot change.

Part 4 tests your ability to paraphrase through your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. A wide range of language could be tested here, however some patterns appear quite often. Let's look at a few of them.

Comparative and superlative
Comparative and superlative structures are often tested in this task. Try this example. The answer will appear in a few seconds

Phrasal verbs
Part of the required change will sometimes be a phrasal verb. Try this example.

Set expressions
The given ‘key’ word will often be part of a set expression. Try this one for example.

Formal structures
Informal to formal changes will often be required such as transforming 'we had to think about’ into ‘we were obliged to take into consideration'. Try this example.

Exam tips
Look out for two necessary changes in each sentence. At CAE level you will often be required to make more than one change in the transformed sentence such as using a set expression as well as a change from active to passive. Be sure to follow the instructions: use the key word given, don't change the form of this word and use between 3 and 6 words - no more. Remember that contractions count as two words.

We've noted several patterns that tend to appear. Pay attention to any new ones you come across during your preparation. This will help you to identify what's required in each question in the exam. Try to learn these new patterns by personalising the two sentences. Rewrite each one using the same structures so they describe something about you, your experience or feelings. Personalising in this way will help you to remember the structures.

That's the end of this video. If you'd like further practice in the new CAE exam visit the Flo-Joe website at www.flo-joe.co.uk.


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