Part 4 of the CAE (C1) exam, or as it is better known sentence transformations (rephrasing) can be the most challenging part of the Use of English section of the Cambridge exams, due to the testing of your lexical and grammar knowledge. This post seeks to help you focus your studies, according to our method START (HERE), and to concentrate on what is most likely to come up in the exam.
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What do you need to do?
In this part of the exam you have six sentences to complete, each of which has a value of two points; one based on vocabulary and the other on grammar. You need to read the first sentence in each question. From this you need to look at the second sentence and think about what information is missing. You must then complete the second sentence so that it has the same meaning as the first with 3-6 words (NO MORE). Another thing to understand is that you are provided with a word that you must use in exactly the same form (if it is AWARE, you cannot use UNAWARE, AWARENESS or any variation of the word. ONLY AWARE). As mentioned earlier, each of the questions is worth 2 points and the points are based on lexical (vocabulary) or structural (grammatical) points. What they assess in this part of the exam are as follows:
Structural: passive, relative clauses, reported speech, quantifiers, connectors, tense changes, gerund versus infinitive, modal verbs, inversions, conditionals (HERE) etc.
Try the Deleting Technique: You take the sentence transformation, for example:
It´s clear that you´ll have a great time regardless of where you go out on Saturday night.
MATTER I´m sure that you´ll have a great time ________ you go out on Saturday night.
YOU MUST CONSIDER WHAT IS THE SAME IN BOTH SENTENCES AND THEN DELETE WHAT IS THE SAME IN THE FIRST SENTENCE
It´s clear that uou´ll have a great time regardless of where you go out on Saturday night.
I´m sure that you´ll have a great time ________ you go out on Saturday night.
YOU ARE LEFT WITH REGARDLESS OF WHERE AND ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS THINK OF THE SYNONYM FOR IT.
Answer: no matter where
Follow up activity: You should write down the answers and the common vocabulary. These are almost always synonyms. Write them in a list like…
put up with = tolerate
so that = in order
as long as = provided that
Patterns and predicting types of answers:
Sentence transformations are quite predictable and if you do enough practice you will see that patterns emerge and that the grammar structures repeat. It is very normal to find passives, impersonal passives, causative passives, relative clauses, reported speech, quantifiers, connectors, tense changes, gerund versus infinitive, modal verbs, inversions, conditionals and unreal tenses like wish or if only. For example (see below) if the rephrasing includes WISH, the answer they are looking for is likely to include IF ONLY.
SEE OUR EXAMPLES SENTENCE TRANSFORMATIONS IN PDF (HERE)