|EE-012d| B2: First – Reading and Use of English [Part 4A: Key-Word Transformations]

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 samples!!!

Today, I bring you an update of  Part 4: Key-Word Transformations. So, when you finish reading [Sample 4A], go and check [Sample 4B], okay? However, before digging into the exercise, let’s review the meaning of Key-Word Transformation.

Key Word Transformations

The fourth exercise of the B2 First Use of English, the Key-Word Transformations, is perhaps my favorite! However, I would say it is also one of the most challenging.

In this exercise, you will receive a sentence followed by a key word and a second sentence which has a gap in it. Students have to use the key word provided to complete the second sentence so that it is similar in meaning to the first sentence. To make it even more complicated, you need to write your sentence according to the number of words established – between two and five words.

Key Word Transformations

But looking on the bright side, part of the sentence is already there, so you just need to write the piece missing with no more than five words, including the word given. Do not forget that if you write contractions, they do not count as one word but as two, so bear this in mind when doing the exercises. Also, remember that you cannot change the word given, different from PART 3, where you were supposed to change it to fit in the text.

Still, this exercise is excellent to develop paraphrasing, as you need to rewrite a sentence using a different structure and, at times, even different combinations of words to mean the same idea. So, this activity tests your knowledge of a variety of vocabulary, but it also evaluates your grammar knowledge.

For you to get ready for this part of the exam, you should try and get more familiar with idioms and phrasal verbs, as well as structures like reported speech, passive voice, perfect tenses, conditionals, and gerund and infinitive, as those are likely to be in the test. Nevertheless, it is crucial to emphasize that even though those structures may be in the exam, it does not mean that you should not study or know other structures. You should prepare accordingly, learning as many structures as possible, but these may have more preference for this activity.

Also, try practicing rewriting sentences with different words so that they mean the same thing. It will definitely help you get the grips on this type of task.

In terms of marks, each exercise accounts for up to two marks, which means that you can get up to 12 marks in your final score with this exercise. Therefore, spare some extra time to focus on this activity, and always try to complete it with something, even if you are not absolutely sure, as it can give you at least one mark if you write part of the answer correctly. 

So, let’s work with the sample below.

Reading and Use of English part 4 key word transformations

Let’s start with the example. The sentences and the word provided are:

  • A very friendly taxi driver drove us into town.
  • We ___________________________________ a very friendly taxi driver.

By having the word WE and the word DRIVEN, it is possible to imagine this as a passive voice sentence.

  • ACTIVE VOICE: The taxi driver drove us.
  • PASSIVE VOICE: We were driven by the taxi driver.

Just remember to complete the sentence and use no more than 5 words:

We were driven into town by a very friendly taxi driver.

Let’s go for gap number 25:

  • Joan was in favor of visiting the museum.
  • IDEA
  • Joan thought it would be ___________________________________ to the museum.

If Joan was in favor of visiting the museum, she thought it would be a good idea to do so. That’s the expression we use when we want to express our opinion about something. Remember that you cannot just complete the gap with the expression; you need to pay attention to the whole sentence and see what is missing. So, if you complete the gap with ‘a good idea going‘, you would at least get one mark, since the most appropriate answer to get the two marks would be ‘a good idea to go‘.

We were driven into town Joan thought it would be a good idea to go to the museum.

Therefore, each and every attempt is valid! 

For gap number 26:

  • Arthur has the talent to become a concert pianist.
  • THAT
  • Arthur is so ___________________________________ a concert pianist.

The word provided ‘that‘ – a relative pronoun – is going to put two sentences together as one. In the first sentence, you have the adverb ‘so‘, which can be followed by an adjective, and since Arthur has the talent, you can say he is talented.

Additionally, the other sentence would need a personal pronoun to start, and since Arthur is a male name, we are using ‘he‘ here. Moreover, Arthur is so talented THAT, we need a consequence for him being so talented. I could predict that if he has the talent, he could become a concert pianist. Therefore, the final answer would be:

Arthur is so talented that he could become a concert pianist.

Now, finish doing the exercise above before moving on to the second sample!

Were these gaps easy to fill? Well, there are some more difficult key-word transformations tasks and others that you cannot predict because they are simply fixed phrases. Therefore, you need to study, practice, and read a lot to get the knowledge required for this task.

So try rewriting some sentences differently, exploring different structures you could use to express the same meaning as the initial sentence. That will help you be more comfortable with paraphrasing and lead you to make your final grade better, as this will come in handy not only for this Use of English exercise but also for other sections, such as writing and speaking, for example.

Well, as I have already said, this sample was taken from the Cambridge website. If you want more samples, make sure you check my post about English Swami. They provide other B2 First Exam samples for you to practice.

So, try and answer all the task and after checking the answers below, tell me about the things you found easy and the ones you had some difficulty with. 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 [Sample 4B].


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.


25. a good idea | to go
26. talented | that he/she
27. if he/she knew what/the
28. spent/took/was | a long time
29. are/is said | to be OR it is said | are/is
30. not | call off OR you/we didn’t/did not | call off

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