B2 First: Use of English part 4 (key word transformations)

There are six questions in this part of the exam, each worth 2 marks (total 12 marks). For each question, you complete a second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence. You must use between two and five words, including the word you are given. Contractions (e.g. isn't, won't) count as two words. In the real exam, you should write in capital letters, in pencil.

Advice and examples

  1. Underline the part of the first sentence that you need to change to help you focus.

The weather was freezing, so no one wanted to swim in the sea. LIKE
The weather was freezing, so no one  in the sea.

  1. Read the whole answer when you've finished to check for careless mistakes which might make you lose a mark (e.g. changing the time, missing 'a / an', repeating words).

We were all excited about meeting his new girlfriend. LOOKING
Everyone  his new girlfriend. (WAS not IS)

"Where do you eat lunch on Mondays?" she asked. KNOW
She wanted to  lunch on Mondays. (LUNCH repeated)

  1. If you have no idea of the answer, just write the word given. If you're lucky, only two words are necessary, and you'll get one point anyway. (This isn't very common though, sorry!)

"Yes, it's true, I killed my great uncle", he said. ADMITTED
He  his great uncle. (one point - ADMITTED KILLING is the full answer)


You will need to know how to use many grammatical structures in English, including comparatives, conditionals (and similar structures), reported speech, verb patterns (gerunds and infinitives), the present perfect, passives, and modal verbs. Test yourself with the questions below.

  1. Sarah hoped the film would be more interesting than it actually was. NOT
    The film   as Sarah hoped it would be.
  2. It's a pity I can't come on holiday with you this year. COULD  
    on holiday with you this year.
  3. "Did you do the washing up last night?" Sergio asked me. DONE
    Sergio wanted to know  the washing up that night.
  4. I haven't driven for ten years. LAST
    The  ten years ago.
  5. Everyone says that the couple are planning to get married soon. SAID
    The couple  planning to get married soon.
  6. I'm sure the food in your hotel was delicious. MUST
    The food in your hotel  delicious.


The Key Word Transformations part of the exam also tests fixed expressions, phrasal verbs and word formation, often combined with the grammar structures above. It's difficult to predict the vocabulary it will test, but if you read lots and try to notice fixed expressions, it will help you here. Try the example questions below.

  1. Andrew said he didn't think we should drive because it wasn't very far. POINT
    Andrew said  because it wasn't very far.
  2. I really don't want to cancel tonight's show. CALL
    I'd rather  tonight's show.
  3. The two drinks don't taste any different to me! TELL
    I can't  between the two drinks.
  4. My brother doesn't take any notice of what people say. PAY
    My brother doesn't  what people say.