|EE-012c| B2: First – Reading and Use of English [Part 3: Word Formation]

Hello Exam Seekers!

Are you testing your B2 CEFR Level of English? Well, last week, I updated the B2: First – Reading and Use of English Exam

If you haven’t read them yet, make sure you check out both of the samples!!!

Today, I bring you an update of  Part 3: Word Formation. So, when you finish reading [Sample 3A], go and check [Sample 3B], okay? However, before digging into the exercise, let’s review the meaning of Word Formation.

Word Formation

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, there are four main kinds of word formation: prefixes, suffixes, conversion, and compounds. So, word formation is a type of task in which candidates have to form a word by prefixation, suffixation, conversion (modification), or compound based on the word provided.

Cambridge English C1 Advanced Reading and Use of English Part 3 Word Formation Sample
Word Formation Sample

In the B2 First Reading and Use of English Exam Part 3: Word Formation, there is a text with eight gaps. Candidates have to change the words in the right column according to the part of speech and meaning needed to make the text coherent. Each correct answer accounts for one mark. The main focus of this part is to test your knowledge of vocabulary.

Something to bear in mind is that you will have to change the word at all times, there is no way a word will remain the same as it is in the right column. Sometimes you may need to change only the ending, sometimes the beginning, and there will be times you will need to change the whole word. However, you will just be more confident about your word choice after reading the text thoroughly before writing down your answers. You increase your chances of getting the answer right once you have a broader idea of the text you are reading, and that will help you choose the words better.

Moreover, it is vital to know what the differences between them are, especially regarding part of speech and prefixes used to form negatives and all. Most coursebooks nowadays address this, and there are even some books containing solely word formation exercises as well. Yet, one of the best pieces of advice I could give you would be to read as much as you can from a variety of sources. For instance, different subjects in a newspaper, books, magazines, articles, and so on. The broader your array of sources, the higher your chances of being exposed to a new language and different prefixes and suffixes. Also, whenever you learn a new word, check out what are some of the prefixes and suffixes that you can use with them. Jot them down in your notebook and review them every now and again.

Now, let’s get you more familiarized with the exercise you will find in Part 3.

B2 First Reading and Use of English Part 3 Word Formation Sample
B2 First Reading and Use of English Part 3 Word Formation Sample

In the first paragraph, there is one sample and two gaps to fill. Let’s start with the sample:

Garlic, a member of the Liliaceae family also includes onions, in (0)_______________ used in cooking all around the world.

The word provided is “COMMON“. Since the word “common” comes right before the word “used“, it means that it is an adverb that is modifying the way it is used, or how they use garlic. As adverbs usually follow an “-LY” as a suffix, the gap is filled with “COMMONLY“.

This was easy, right? Now let’s go for the next gap:

China is currently the largest (17)_______________ of garlic, which is particularly associated with the dishes of northern Africa and southern Europe.

The word provided is “PRODUCT“. In this sentence, you will need to use a ‘derivation’ of the word “product” which can describe the connection between China and garlic. With this sentence, they mean that “China produces garlic on a large scale“. It is not difficult to figure out that the word to fill the gap is “PRODUCER“.

Let’s check the third gap:

It is native to central Asia and has long had a history as a health-giving food, used both to prevent and cure (18)_______________.

The word provided is “ILL“. Ill” is a synonym of sick – in case you were unaware of it -, and just like sick, it is an adjective. Nevertheless, the word you need here has to be a complement for the word “cure” – which is a verb in this sentence – to prevent and cure something. Therefore, you will need a noun.

Just like sick, the word ill has the same suffix to change the adjective into a noun, which is the suffix “-NESS”, so the correct answer here would be “ILLNESS” or “ILLNESSES“.

Now, it’s your turn to try! The answer key to both samples will be available below!

This is a very simple type of exercise, you have the words given and you have to transform them to fit the spaces. The biggest problem might be how to transform them. Then, you have to study word formation.

At Cambridge Dictionary website, they offer some examples for you to study, check it out:

Cambridge Dictionary Word Formation List
Cambridge Dictionary Word Formation List

There are many others, like negatives (in, im, un, dis…).  You just have to follow a few steps:

  1. Look at the word you have to change. Which words do you know that are in the same word family?
  2. The word you have to change will receive a prefix or a suffix. The rest of the word is usually the same.
  3. What form is the new word? A verb? A noun? An adjective? An adverb?
  4. Is the new word negative? If so, you may need a prefix.
  5. If you don’t know the new word, guess it. You may be right!

Never leave a space blank!!!

There are some options to keep in mind:

  • Nouns often end: -ment, -ion, -ness, -ity.
  • People nouns often end: -er, -or, -ist, -ian.
  • Adjectives often end: -able, -ible, -ive, -al, -ic, -ed, -ing.
  • Some verbs end: -ise/ize, -ate, -en.
  • Adverbs often end: -ly.

By memorizing these examples, you can complete your words easily!

So, what did you think? Was it easy peasy or quite tricky? What were your most significant issues here? Were there any? Share with me! I’d love to know more about it and help you develop to succeed in the exam!

If you have other questions about this specific test or the other parts of the Cambridge B2: First, comment in the comment section below. Now, don’t forget to [Sample 3B].


That’s it for today! Please like the post and follow the blog on:

You can also listen to this post at Anchor!!!

Have a great week,
Patricia Moura


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OBS: All samples provided by Cambridge.



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