How to do the rephrasing:

In this part of the exam the candidate must read a sentence and then complete a second sentence with 3-6 words so that it has the same meaning as the first sentence. It is a text of grammar and vocabulary. Sometimes the sentence can be completed with only 2 words or more that 6 but these answers are not valid as the task stated 3-6 words.

Fill in the gaps in the second sentence with 3-6 words. You must use the word given in exactly the same form. Each question is worth 2 points, one based on vocabulary and the other on grammar.


Lexical: phrasal verbs, word patterns, fixed expressions, contextual vocabulary etc.


Structural: passive, relative clauses, reported speech, quantifiers, connectors, tense changes, gerund versus infinitive, modal verbs, inversions (rarely), conditionals etc


E.g.     We must take as much advantage as possible of any opportunity to speak English.

MOST     We have …………………………………………………………………… any opportunity to speak English.

Answer: make the most of


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.


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.


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…

give up = quit

put up with = tolerate

so that = in order

no matter = regardless of

as long as = provided that

wish = if only

it is high time = it is about time

instead of = rather than



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.



Now, let´s put it into practice (answers in PDF):

  1. “You should try to blend in as much as you can” Laura´s brother told her.

UNNOTICED       Laura´s brother advised her _______________ as much as possible.

  1. The local sports authority wants us to never quit at any cost.

URGED                 The local sports authority has _______________ up.

  1. The thieves of the painting escaped without punishment because of a technicality.

AWAY                   On account of a technicality the thieves _______________ the painting.

  1. I feel that you have really let me down this time, I can´t help it.

AVOID                  I can´t _______________ you this time

  1. We were considering moving abroad, but we decided not to bother at the last minute.

OPTED                  We were thinking about emigrating, but we _______________ the last minute.

  1. Being different from others might be a good thing at times.

OUT                       It is sometimes _______________ from the crowd.

  1. I failed the exam as I hadn’t gone over the vocabulary enough.

HAD                       If only _______________, I would have passed the exam.

  1. “You could have told me that you went to the party in the end” John told his best mate.

UP                          John said to his best mate that he should have _______________ at the party.

  1. Before starting your own business, a lot of market research should be done.

UP                          When you want _______________ business, you need to do extensive market research beforehand.

  1. The business shutting down caused a lot of unemployment as a consequence.

WINDING            The _______________ business increased the amount of unemployment.

  1. Your stress levels will decrease as you learn to disconnect.

UNWIND             There will be a decrease in stress levels _______________

  1. Until they learn the ropes, the job can be overwhelming at first.

TOUGH                 Some people find _______________ until they learn the basics.

  1. I usually need to talk nicely to someone, before they decide if they like me or not.

CHAT                     People don’t know if they like me until I have had the _______________.

  1. If I could get away with it, I would consider having an affair

ON                         I would be _______________ wife, as long as she didn’t find out.

  1. My parent don’t mind if I sign up to an extracurricular activity or not.

DIFFERENCE       It _______________ join an extracurricular activity or not to my parents.

  1. If you shout at your kids, which is unnecessary, it won’t make the blind bit of difference.

OFF                        In the event of _______________, they won’t learn from it.

  1. I think you owe your friends an apology, you should keep in touch better

CONTACT            I think you should say sorry to your friends for _______________.

  1. It is an unlikely scenario that we will both end up studying at the same university, as I don’t want to.

RELUCTANT        I would _______________ same university as you, so it is very improbable.

  1. “Why did you split up with Sarah, she was really good for you” Agnes asked Michael.

BREAK                   Agnes wanted to _______________ with Sarah.

  1. I couldn’t believe it when I coincidently saw Samuel in the street

BUMP                   It came as a _______________ Samuel in the street.

  1. The consistent humorous events in the film made me laugh a lot.

CRACKING          I couldn’t help _______________ funny moments in the film.

  1. You have let me down and what is worse, you have let yourself down.

DISAPPOINTED I feel really _______________ is worse is you have let yourself down.

  1. The bully wasn’t just teasing his classmate. He was being violent too.

ONLY                     Not _______________ fun of his classmate, He was violent too.

  1. It isn’t worth talking to people if they are only going to be rude to you.

IMPOLITE            If I were you, I wouldn’t talk _______________ to you.

  1. He clearly forgot to collect you last night, he left you waiting for so long.

PICK                       It is clear that he didn’t _______________ night as you were waiting for a long time.

  1. It is worth gathering every once in a while to catch up.

TOGETHER          I am keen to _______________ now and then to catch up.

  1. Do you ever have to spend time with people you don’t get on with?

OUT                       Must _______________ anyone you don´t like very much?

  1. It might be a good idea to keep on studying another year before doing the exam.

US                          It could _______________ studying for another year before going in for the exam.

  1. I´ll carry on studying providing that you give me a hand.

LONG                    _______________ help me out, I´ll carry on with my studies.

  1. Please inform your tutor is you have gone off your course.

LIKING                  Let your tutor _______________ your course.

  1. I could really do with cutting down on the amount of time I spend looking at screens.

REALLY                  I should _______________ time I have.

  1. He was in such a fluster that he ended up fainting and fell on the floor.

OUT                       As he was so flustered _______________ on the floor.

  1. Has anyone really important to you ever passed away?

MATTERS             Has a _______________ you ever died.

  1. It might be a sound plan to sell the electrical appliances to raise some cash.

GET                        It could be a good idea _______________ electrical appliances to get some extra money in.

  1. Do you mind working out in the mornings?

TO                          Do you have _______________ exercise?

  1. As soon as I agreed to go to the party, my wife asked me to look after the baby, so I couldn´t go.

CARE                     The moment I said that I would go to the party my wife asked _______________ the baby.

  1. My boss suggested that I shouldn´t stand for disrespectful clients.

UP          My boss told _______________ disrespectful clients.

  1. As long as you stand up for me in the meeting, I don´t really care.

NO         As long as you protect me in the meeting, it _______________ me.

  1. It remains to be seen if they will face up to what they have done.

TELL       Only time _______________ fault for what they have done.

  1. This problem doesn´t call for immediate action until further notice.

REQUIRED           Immediate action _______________ further notice.

  1. I put his failure down to a lack of study time.

ONLY     He _______________ he didn´t study enough.

  1. Doing this job is just a means to an end, as I am off to university soon and I need to save up some cash.

GAP       As I am going to university soon this job is just a stop _______________ money.

  1. As the restaurant had run out of meat, I had to choose the fish.

BUT                        As the restaurant had no meat left, I had _______________ for the fish.

  1. Would you rather I told you or find out from a stranger?

BETTER                 Would _______________ you or find out from a stranger?

  1. If I could brush up on my English pronunciation, I´d be glad.

IMPROVE            I´d be over the moon _______________ English pronunciation.

  1. You should never drop out of university midway through a course.

ACCOUNTS         On _______________ out of university midway through a course.

  1. I can hardly ever figure out how to solve maths equations.

SELDOM               I can _______________ way to solve maths equations.

  1. If it is the same to you, I´d rather get on with the project as to not fall behind.

CATCH                  I´d rather _______________ so I want to get started as soon as possible if you don´t mind.



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Showing 4 comments


  • Ahmed A Yaqoot

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    With regard to question 23, ‘Not only’ is a correlative conjunction, so the answer is supposed to be as follows:
    Not only did the bully make fun of his classmate, he was violent too. However, the answer provided consists of two separate sentences. Is it correct to use ‘Not only’ without joining the two sentences? Or is it just a punctuation slip?
    My best regards

    • Marc

      Hi, thanks for the comment. It was a punctuation slip. It has been corrected.

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