Use of English Part 4

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

Cambridge First part 4 keyword transformation

Example 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 two and five words, including the word given. Here is an example (0).


0 A very friendly taxi driver drove us into town.



We …………………………………………………… a very friendly taxi driver.

The gap can be filled by the words ‘were driven into town by’, so you write:


How to do the transformations exercise

In this exercise you use between two and five words to complete each gap. You can use contractions and they count as two words. 

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

  1. Always read both sentences carefully and remember you must use the word given without changing it.
  2. Look at the grammar of the original sentence. In this example the sentence is simple past tense. 
  3. Think about how you can use the given word in a sentence. In our example DRIVEN could be a third form of the verb or past participle. 
  4. Use the second sentence to help you find the right grammar. Here the second sentence has information about the friendly driver at the end. In this case a passive form is possible using the given word DRIVEN and this is the correct answer.

Doing it better!

The keyword transformation exercise can be a challenging exercise, as it is not always easy to see exactly how to change the sentence using the given word

Read all of the six questions first.
Students often do this exercise in order without reviewing the full six sentences. Sometimes certain sentences are easier to complete because you can recognise the grammar more quickly.  

Decide how much time to spend on each question.
As the Use of English is combined with reading it is important to have enough time to answer as many questions as possible. If you can’t think of an answer it can often be better to move to another exercise and then return to Part 4 later in the exam.    

Practise as much as you can
In your preparation for the exam try to review as many examples of this type of exercise as you can.  Use this practice to develop your skill in recognising possible grammar options.

Final thoughts
The Cambridge First Use of English Part 4 keyword transformation exercise is probably the most challenging of the four tasks but candidates can still get . However, it’s important to manage your time on this exercise and all other exercises.  Remember too that it is the only exam exercise where you can get marks for having part of the answer correct. So, it is always a good idea to try to complete each sentence even if you are not completely certain of the answer. 

Part 1

Put a word in each gap by choosing the best option from the four multiple choice answers.

Part 2

Put a single word in each of the gaps.

Part 3

Change the form of the word given at the end of a line to create a new word.