C2 Proficiency Exam Guide: Word Formation
Reading & Use of English Paper
Context: Part 3 of the Reading & Use of English paper involves a text with eight gaps and focuses on the task of word-building. This includes creating words using affixation, internal changes, and compounding.
Task: Candidates must transform base words (provided beside each gap) to fit the context of the text. This may involve changing the form of the word significantly, such as turning 'honest' into 'dishonesty' or 'person' into 'impersonal.' Understanding of the text beyond the sentence level is often required.
Objective: To assess candidates' ability to manipulate and build words appropriately in context.
Scoring & Marks: The eight questions are worth eight points, so one point for each. There are 72 points available for the whole Reading & Use of English paper.
How to Approach
- Comprehensive Text Reading: Read the entire text (or sentence) before attempting the gaps. Understanding the overall context is crucial, especially when a negative form or a more complex word structure is needed.
- Word Formation Awareness: Be aware of the various forms a word can take, including negative and compound forms. Practise tasks where words are transformed in different ways can be helpful.
- In-depth Vocabulary Study: When encountering new words, note all their possible forms, not just the base word. Use a good monolingual English dictionary for thorough research.
1. Why don't you demand a bigger say in the running of the company? Your _____________ acceptance of every decision is harming the health of the business.
Focuses on lexical manipulation, including affixation and compounding of words.
- Develop a keen understanding of how words can be transformed and used in different contexts.
- Practise identifying the required word forms by understanding the overall context of the text.
- Use varied reading materials to encounter and learn new word forms.
- Engage in activities that focus on building words from a single root, including negative and compound forms.
- Create word-building tasks for peer learning, which can include researching and presenting different forms of a base word.
- Regularly utilise advanced monolingual dictionaries to explore and understand the full spectrum of word forms in English.
How It Looks
"I used to play a game with my sister to see who could create the most real English words from, say, ten root words. She usually won, but we both got much better. It was like a sort of mental Scrabble!" - Sergio Silva
We have a page on the site to practise: C2 Proficiency: Word Formation Exercises