Guides and Practice for FCE Use of English Part 1

This is a quick guide to some of the common things you need to know in part 1 of the Reading and Use of English test. It's helpful, but not a replacement for a proper coursebook or vocabulary book. There's a lot to learn!

- Seek vs look for vs search vs look after
- Work vs job vs career
- Travel vs journey vs trip vs voyage
- Make vs do
 


Seek vs look for vs search vs look after

1. I went to the shop to __________ for a nice birthday cake.

a - seek
b - look

This one is easy. Only 'look' needs a preposition. Answer: B.

2. She said she was __________ the man who had written the book.

a - seeking
b - searching

If the answer was 'searching', we'd need a 'for' as well. So it's A.

3. English teachers spend most of their time __________ alcohol.

a - seeking
b - looking
c - searching

Easy, right? We know that B and C should have 'for' as the next word. And anyway, if two answers are complete synonyms neither can be the answer. That just leaves A.

4. This weekend I'm going to __________ my children.

a - look for
b - look after

My students always get this wrong. They say 'I'm going to look for my children' and I pretend to be worried. 'You don't know where your children are? Oh my god! Why are you in an English lesson? Let's go and find them right away!'

Soon they say 'oh I mean take care of them'. Which they could say by using 'look after'.


Work vs job vs career

1. I have no money left! I really really need a __________ as soon as possible.

a - work
b - job
c - career

'A work' doesn't exist in English, and 'a career' means your whole working life from start to finish. What he wants is a place where he goes, fills in stupid paperwork, goes to boring meetings, and grows to hate his boss. We call that 'a job.' So the answer is B.

2. Ahead of her lay college and a possible _________ in journalism.

a - work
b - job
c - career

The only one that goes with 'in journalism' is 'career', meaning the answer has to be C. If the word were 'job' the sentence would have to be 'a possible job as a journalist'.

3. I have a lot of __________ to do today.

a - work
b - job
c - career

Job and career don't fit this one. Gotta be A.


Travel vs journey vs trip vs voyage

1. I always enjoy our school __________ to the local museum.

a - travel
b - journey
c - trip

Travel is a general word - it describes the whole concept of going from place to place. It's not very specific. Journey is like trip but is normally for longer distances. Another slight difference is that a journey can be one-way, while trips should involve going back to the start again.

And 'school' collocates strongly with 'trip'. When I was a boy we had a school trip to an island and the students had to fight each other to the death while the teachers watched.

Oh wait, that was the movie Battle Royale.

2. We will start our __________ to the mountain first thing in the morning.

a - travel
b - journey
c - trip

Now this question would never be in a Cambridge exam. Most British people would choose 'journey' because we don't really have any mountains nearby. So mountains feel quite 'far'. (To me, anyway! No mountains in Manchester.) But maybe the speaker is in Lucerne and the Alps are ten minutes away. Then it's just a trip.

See?

Cambridge will always give you a question where only one answer is possible. Like the next one:

3. Captain Cook discovered Australia on a __________ to the Pacific.

a - travel
b - voyage
c - trip

This time 'trip' is not appropriate. The Pacific is a long way from England, where Captain Cook started from. A voyage is a journey on water (or in space).

4. I love __________.

a - travel
b - voyage
c - trip
d - journey

Now we need the concept word. Answer: A.

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Border vs edge

1. You don't need a passport even if you cross the __________ into Germany.

a - border
b - edge

Borders are the lines between countries.

2. I hate it when someone puts their cup on the __________ of the table.

a - border
b - edge

A photo will explain better than me.


Make vs do

This one needs its own website...

1. Andrew, for the 9th week in a row I didn't _________ my homework.

a - make
b - do

2. When I was younger I used to __________ gymnastics.

a - make
b - do

3. Is it easy to __________ business in China?

a - make
b - do

How are you doing? Have you done well on this test? The answers to 1-3 are all 'do'. Spoiler alert - the answers to the next ones are all 'make'.

4. Do you find it easy to __________ decisions?

5. Don't _________ a promise if you can't keep it.

6. It's possible to __________ a mistake if you don't read the sentences properly.

You could find more examples on this website.


 

 

 

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