Key word transformations

The final part of the Use of English paper in Cambridge exams is Key Word Transformations: a sentence followed by a key word and a second sentence which has a gap in it. You have to use the key word to complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first sentence. Enjoy our free key word transformations test builder that contains 50 tasks aimed at enhancing your knowledge and developing your skills.

Download our printable PDF version of the test builder with keys to the exercises

Exam tips!

Each question is marked in two halves and it’s highly likely that you will get one whole point in the exam just for getting a single word correctly, even if you don’t know the other words to put in the gap. So you should always give every question a try and never leave empty spaces.

The important thing in key word transformations is that you keep the meaning the same – EXACTLY the same. So it’s crucial that you read through the first sentence and your second sentence to ensure you have kept the meaning the same.

The most common grammatical topics covered
in Key Word Transformations are:

  • modal verbs and semi-modal verbs
  • verb patterns such as verb/infinitive, verb/gerund/ verb + preposition + gerund, etc.
  • active voice to the passive voice
  • direct speech to reported speech
  • phrasal verbs and multi-word verbs
  • common idioms and phrasal verbs
  • conditionals
  • look, like and seem / do and make / regret and wish

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