How to Answer Sentence Transformation Questions – Cambridge PET Writing Exam

How to Answer Sentence Transformation Questions – Cambridge PET Writing Exam

Hello, I’m Martin. Welcome to Oxford Online English! In this lesson, you can learn how to answer
sentence transformation questions in the Cambridge PET or PET writing exam. In sentence transformation questions, you’re
given two sentences, like this: You have to complete the second sentence with
one, two or three words, so that it has the same meaning as the first sentence. These questions test your grammar and vocabulary
knowledge. In this question, do you know the answer? Here, the answer is ‘reading’. You need to know that after the verb ‘spend,’
you use a verb plus -ing. In this lesson, you will learn about the 10
most common topics for PET sentence transformation questions. You’ll see sample answers for each question,
and how to answer these questions in your PET writing exam. Look at a sample question. I’ll give you a hint: to report what someone
said, remember to always use the verb one step further in the past. The answer should be: “would be”, this
is ‘will’ one step further in the past. When you transform reported questions into
direct questions, don’t forget the auxiliary verb! What is the auxiliary verb for a present simple
question? Use the auxiliary verb ‘do’ for a present
simple question, then ‘you want’ to complete the question, like this: Now you try! Do you know the answer? Pause the video if you think you need more time to think. Both the past simple and the present perfect
can change to the past perfect in reported speech. However, here you use the verb ‘start’. ‘Start’ refers to a finished action in the
past, so the original question must be past simple. In the PET writing exam, you might need to
use some typical present perfect forms, like ‘Have you ever…?’ or ‘I’ve just…’. Let’s look at how you can use everything you
know! Look at our first practice question: If you
have never been somewhere before, then this is …
The answer is: “the first time”. Did you get it? The present perfect is often used to talk
about things which started in the past and are still true now. Here’s an example: So, here you need to
use the present perfect, because you’re talking about the last 5 years. But, you need to use a different verb. Do you know what to do here? Now, here’s one for you to practice with:
Did you guess get it? Here’s the answer: Let’s move on to the next topic. Conditionals with ‘if’ or unless often appear in PET sentence transformation questions. Here’s an example. Did you see that the order of the sentence
has changed? Don’t get confused! The question is: what’s another word for
‘if not’? Let’s try one more:
This is a very common second conditional phrase: ‘If I were you’ is always followed by
‘I would’. This is a great one to remember! In the PET writing test, you’ll often be
asked to change an active sentence to passive or the other way around. Let’s look at some examples together. The first sentence is in the passive; how
could you make it active? Don’t forget that ‘entry fee’ is a third
person subject, so add –s at the end of the present simple verb. Next, let’s look at an example of changing
an active to a passive sentence. First, think about what verb you need to add
to make a passive sentence. Then, check which verb tense the active sentence
is in. Ready? Pause the video if you need more thinking
time. Otherwise, let’s see the answer. Don’t worry if you get something wrong,
but make a note of any grammar points that you make mistakes with, so you can review them
before your exam. It’s very probable that you’ll see a sentence
transformation question about modal verbs. Look at an example: Here, the verb ‘must’
is used to give strong advice. What’s another way to do that? You can use ‘must’ or ‘have to’ to
give strong advice. The meaning is the same. Here’s another question. There are actually two possibilities: “shouldn’t”
or “ought not to”. They both mean ‘be advised not to’, or
‘it’s a bad idea to’. Now it’s your turn to try! Here’s a clue: there are two possible answers. Ready? Let’s look. What’s next? Adjectives can appear in many different types
of PET sentence transformation question. A common example is comparatives, like this
question: Any ideas? Do you remember the structure ‘as …as’? It fits here! The answer is “good as”. Here’s a different kind of question:
Here, we need an adjective with the opposite meaning. Do you know? Now, it’s your turn:
Pause the video if you want extra time to think about it. Ready? What’s the meaning of ‘prefer’? It’s when you like something more than something
else. So you can use that! Again, there are two possible answers: ‘more
than’ or ‘better than’. There will often be a few questions about
the use of quantifiers such as many, much and most. For example: What’s the meaning of ‘nearly’? ‘Nearly’ means ‘almost’. So ‘most people’ is the same as ‘nearly
…’ Don’t forget to add the third person –s
after the verb ‘take’! Here’s another one for you to try:
You normally ask ‘How much …?’. You also need an auxiliary verb to form the question. Because ‘sneakers’ is plural, you have
to use the verb ‘do’ for the question. Here’s a harder one:
Is ‘questions’ countable or uncountable? So, do you need ‘many’ or ‘much’? That’s right, it’s a countable plural
noun. Here’s a useful tip: if you’re not sure
if the noun is countable or uncountable, use “a lot of” or “lots of”, because they
can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns. Now it’s time to test your memory! There are many verbs in English that are used
with specific prepositions. Changing the prepositions can change the meaning
completely. Look at our first sample question: Do you
know a phrasal verb with ‘out’ that means ‘discover’? Let’s ‘find out’! Let’s do one more:
This one is tricky, as it’s a phrasal verb with two prepositions. The phrasal verb is ‘to look forward to
something’. Remember this one; it often appears in the
exam! Many PET writing questions test whether you
know a word with the opposite meaning to another. For example:
Because the second sentence uses the negative verb, you need an opposite, but what
should you write? Don’t forget the preposition ‘from’! Look at another question, which is about opposite
verbs. The verb ‘borrow’ is for the person using
the money for a short time; do you know the opposite? The verb is ‘lend’; it’s an irregular
verb, so you also need to know the past tense: ‘lent’. Using ‘there is’ and ‘there are’ is
probably one of the first things you learned in English. However, English learners often make mistakes
with this grammar! It’s basic, but it’s still a good idea
to practice and make sure you can use it correctly. Look at a question:
That’s easy, right? Because ‘questions’ is a plural noun,
you have to use ‘there are.’ Here’s your last question:
This is more difficult, because you need to decide which verb to use instead of ‘there
was’. Do you know? Now, you can identify and answer lots of types
of sentence transformation questions in the Cambridge PET writing exam. If you enjoyed this lesson and you would like
more free lessons, you can visit our website: Oxford Online English dot com. Good luck with your exam preparation and let
us know when you pass! Thanks for watching!

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52 Replies to “How to Answer Sentence Transformation Questions – Cambridge PET Writing Exam”

  1. Thanks teacher.but I'm confused about must.You say that it is used for advice and we learnt that it is used for obligation and the negative form for prohibition ..How can we differcinat between these cases?

  2. Great teacher
    I have a question could you answer me please ?
    You said (Nearly everybody takes photes with their mobile phones, not with a camera)
    I think there is a mistake here
    How you use takes with everybody then use their not his or there is another rule l dont known please answer me . I want to learn
    I am really confused .

  3. Thank very much for your lesson OOE . It is extremely helpful to get in touch with your lesson and revision of garmmar to improve it again !

  4. Thank you very much for the useful video you've made for us. Wonder if it would be possible for you to make another video about accepting and rejecting an invitation ( varous situations ). Take care!

  5. Sir, please make a complete video on subject verb agreement.
    '' Look forward to '' can be used in ing form. Do I need to avoid using ing.

  6. Hey OOE, thanks a lot for these instructor and delightful videos. The given answers, at 8:45 in video, are "more/better than" but I believe "rather than" also fit there. Am I wrong?
    Best regards,

  7. So I need here any British partner … So come on . We both will get benefit from each other communication .

  8. Thank you so much. These lessons are really useful and practical. I have learn a great deal from it. I hope you always make many valuable videos for people all over the world 🙂

  9. Thank you very much for the useful lesson… It would be great if you take the lesson for "Direct and Indirect Speech"

  10. Help others prepare for the PET exam and share a translation in your own language!

  11. Thank you! Now you are my favourite teacher! I have PET Exam this week. Thank you again! I will follow your other videos…

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