Objective: First Certificate (FCE)

Anywhere, anytime: a FCE companion

Comparative and Superlative (and ‘key’ word transformation)

with 6 comments

Common mistakes when doing the ‘key’ word transformation activity. If you do the following, you won’t get a full mark but a partial one:

    1. 5 words is the maximum: so if your sentence is ok but you wrote 6 words, you won’t get a full mark (2) but just 1 mark (=partially correct answers). Very important!: let me remind you that contractions are 2 words, so if you write “haven’t”= have+not, 2 words.
    2. The sentence can be grammatically correct but you didn’t use the ‘key’ word, smart alec…
    3. You gave two possible sentences…again, smart-ass [;)], if you’re up for giving two possible asnwers, both must be correct.
    4. You changed the ‘key’ word. Remember! You can’t modify it.
    5. You misspelled the word.
    6. You changed the tense of the original sentence.

                Written by ElenaBen

                March 3, 2008 at 10:59 am

                6 Responses

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                1. I have just done the exercise and i have some doubts:
                  In the first sentence, I wrote “such a” but it was wrong, is it because food it is a uncountable name?
                  In the second one, can I use “hadn’t” instead of “didn’t have”?Is that a big mistake?
                  In the third one, I wrote “haven’t seen” instead of writing “have never seen”. Is my choice right?
                  The others mistakes were because i haven’t read carefully the summary where it said the structures can be appear in that exercise.

                  Best regards,


                  March 9, 2008 at 2:04 pm

                2. Hi Maribel,

                  You can use ‘such’ with an uncountable noun (and adjective) or with a plural countable noun (and adjective). You can use ‘such a’ or ‘such an’ with a singular countable noun (and adjective)

                  a) Such ideas are hard to understand.
                  b) It was such a long journey that it took a day to get over it.

                  Regarding the 2nd answer, didn’t have to or hadn’t. When the word ‘have’ is used as a main verb, we negate the sentence by using “didn’t have” (or “don’t have, etc.): “He didn’t have a car, so he couldn’t drive her home”. When the word ‘have’ is used as an auxiliary verb that forms the perfect tense with a past participle, we negate the sentence by using “hadn’t”, not “didn’t have”: “He hadn’t done it when I got there.”

                  In the third sentence, you have to add ‘never’ and ‘such a/ a more’.

                  And next time, read carefully first ;)!

                  Thanks for posting!


                  March 9, 2008 at 8:56 pm

                3. i really again the knowledge and understanding through reading this, which are usefull to me us a student.


                  June 16, 2008 at 7:12 pm

                4. hi
                  me comparative and superlative samples


                  January 1, 2009 at 4:06 pm

                5. Q MAS MARICAS


                  November 9, 2010 at 9:54 pm

                6. RESPONDAN


                  November 9, 2010 at 9:56 pm

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