Hello again, everybody! ABC English Levels and Valentine are here. We’re back from holidays and glad to continue our audio lessons. Hope you’ve had a whale of a time during the past month. The expression ‘to have a whale of a time’ means to enjoy very much.
Today’s lesson is about Reading and Use of English Part 4 of the FCE exam. You’ll learn what it’s like and I’ll show one of the approaches to deal with it better. So, let’s go!
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What is the Reading and Use of English Part 4 like?
Part 4 consists of 6 separate questions, each with a lead-in sentence and a gapped second sentence. The second sentence is to be completed in 2 to 5 words, one of which is given as a ‘key word’. You must NOT change the given word and must complete the second sentence so that it has the same meaning as the first one.
What does the Reading and Use of English Part 4 test?
This part tests your ability to say the same thing using different grammar, vocabulary and collocations.
How is the Reading and Use of English Part 4 marked?
For Part 4, they give you a mark of 2, 1 or 0 for each question according to the accuracy of your response. Please, remember that correct spelling is obligatory in Part 4 as well as in Parts 2 and 3. So, if you choose the right word but spell it wrongly, they will award you with lower mark.
Examples and tips
Let’s have a look at some examples.
They don’t live in the city as much as in the country.
They live … in the city.
It’s necessary to understand the idea of the given sentence clearly. The next thing that should be clear for you is part of what phrase the given word is.
Try to analyse. ‘MORE’ is the given word that you must NOT change. It’s a comparison of ‘much’ and ‘many’.
It means that you have to find an appropriate comparative phrase with ‘more’. What are the two things compared in the lead-in sentence? Right, living in the city and the country. If they don’t live in the city as much as in the country, where do they live MORE? Yes, in the country. So, the correct answer is ‘They live MORE IN THE COUNTRY THAN in the city‘. This is quite an easy example. Let’s have another one.
A very cheerful guy drove us into town.
We … a very cheerful guy.
Pay attention to grammar tenses in the given sentence and do NOT change them unless it’s required by the structure of a second sentence.
‘Driven’ is the past participle of the verb ‘drive’. When do we use past participle? In the passive voice and perfect tenses (present perfect, for example). The second sentence starts with a different subject. ‘We’ is the subject and ‘a very cheerful guy’ is the object now. When do we make an object the subject? When dealing with the passive voice. So, the right sentence is We WERE DRIVEN INTO TOWN by a very cheerful guy.
Now, can you answer yourself why an option We ARE DRIVEN INTO TOWN by a very cheerful guy is NOT correct? Because you must NOT change the grammar tenses in lead-in sentences.
They didn’t sell many articles at the fair last Sunday.
Very … at the fair last Sunday.
Remember about general grammar rules.
‘Few’ is a quantifier which means a small number of something. It may go with ‘a’ (a few) or ‘very’ (very few) and is normally followed by countable nouns. So, we put ‘few’ after ‘very’, the first word of the second sentence. Now, what countable noun can we find in the first sentence? Right, ‘articles’ which is the object of the sentence. As we have to place it after ‘very few’, it becomes the subject. It means the second sentence should be in the passive and past simple. Very FEW ARTICLES WERE SOLD at the fair last Sunday.
She made the dish healthier because she decided to add olive oil rather than use butter.
She made the dish healthier because she decided to add … butter.
Learn as many prepositional phrases as possible.
‘Instead’ is an adverb that means ‘in place of’ and very often goes with the preposition ‘of’ (instead of). Here, you should remember that after prepositions we must use a gerund. So, from the lead-in sentence, we understand that she added olive oil, not butter. She used it INSTEAD OF USING butter. The second sentence is as follows: She made the dish healthier because she decided to add OLIVE OIL INSTEAD OF USING butter.
Last Wednesday was the first time my car ever broke down, even though it ‘s very old.
Until last Wednesday, my car … down, even though it is very old.
Do not forget about time adverbs like ever, never, always, so far and some others. They indicate the tense you should use.
This sentence tests your knowledge of grammar tenses. ‘Never’ is often used in perfect tenses. Have never done, has never been, had never lost, etc. It’s always important to understand at what moment of the time the action is collocated. The first sentence says that the car broke down last Wednesday for the first time. So, it’s clear that before that it had worked all right. We need past perfect to complete the second sentence. Until last Wednesday, my car HAD NEVER BROKEN down, even though it is very old.
‘All your complaints will be investigated by our staff tomorrow’.
I promised that our staff … all their complaints the next day.
According to the question, you may have to change several things in one sentence. Learn as many phrasal verbs, idioms and collocations as possible.
This sentence tests three things at the same time:
- the reported speech (‘the next day’ instead of ‘tomorrow’);
- the knowledge of phrasal verbs: When we investigate sth, we LOOK INTO it;
- and the ability to replace the passive with the active voice.
‘Will’ in the first sentence indicates the future, and we have to change it for ‘would’ because ‘the next day’ shows the reported speech. And the object ‘our staff’ in the place of the subject requires the active voice. So, the right sentence says:
I promised that our staff WOULD LOOK INTO all their complaints the next day.
Merilyn doesn’t want to work for her aunt any more.
Merilyn doesn’t want … for her aunt.
Again, the lead-in sentence and the given word make us deal with the phrasal verb CARRY + preposition. To do sth longer implies continuation. What preposition do we need after ‘CARRY’ to get this meaning? Right, CARRY ON means continue. The second sentence would be like this: Merilyn doesn’t want TO CARRY ON WORKING for her aunt. You remember that we use an ing form after any preposition. That’s why workING is the right option.
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This was ABC English Levels and your Valentine. Take care and good luck!