The Cambridge Advanced part 4 keyword transformation exercise asks you to write a new sentence, with the same meaning as the example, by using the keyword prompt given. On this page we will take a look at what you need to know.

What do I have to do in the Cambridge Advanced part 4 keyword transformation exercise?

Sample Part 4 Sentence


For questions 25-30, complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence, using the word given. Do not change the word given. You must use between three and six words, including the word given. Here is an example (0).


0 I didn’t know the way there, so I got lost.


0. Not ____________________________ , I got lost.


Write only the missing words IN CAPITAL LETTERS on the separate answer sheet

25 The doctor was quite confident that antibiotics will eliminate the infection.

The doctor believed that antibiotics _______________________________ the infection.

How to do the keyword transformation exercise.

In this exercise you must use the word given but you cannot change it.

There are a number of steps you can use to complete the exercise.

  1. Look at the grammar in the first sentence and highlight the key words.
    This can give you some clues. In our example sentence above this is can’t wait to move.
  2. Make sure that you include all prepositions and negative forms if appropriate.
  3. Think about possible options for the keyword. In our example sentence is to part of phrasal verb, just a preposition or used with an infinitive?

Answer to keyword transformation sentence (25):  WERE LIKELY TO CLEAR UP/GET RID OF

Doing it better!

The keyword transformation exercise can be a challenging exercise, as it covers a wide range of grammar and vocabulary.  There are some ways you can improve your score but the main one, as always, is to spend time on  grammar and vocabulary structures and concentrate on getting them right.

Learn groups of phrasal verbs
While phrasal verbs can confuse and frustrate candidates some time spent on them can help to identify them more easily in an exam.

Practise identifying the forms you need
When you practise exercises get into the habit of studying the sentences and thinking about possible forms you might need.

Look at all of the questions first
Take a look at all of the questions. You should be able to see which ones might be easier for you to answer . Candidates sometimes spend too much time on questions they may not know the answer to.  If you are not sure of an answer you can come back to it.

Final thoughts

The Cambridge Advanced part 4 keyword transformation exercise can be very challenging as there is potentially an extremely wide range of options but it is also an opportunity to get a good score. It is important too to remember that each correct answer carries two marks and that even partly correct answers can give you one mark.

Word Formation Part 3

Exam Guide