Check Your Vocabulary for FCE by Rawdon Wyatt (z-lib

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Table of Contents


Who is this book for?

This book has been written for students who are planning to take the Cambridge First Certificate in English (the FCE) and who want to develop their vocabulary for the exam.

The various exercises throughout the book focus on the vocabulary that FCE students would expect to use in the Speaking, Writing and Use of English papers, or that they might come across in the Reading or Listening papers.

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Why is the book called ‘Check your vocabulary: FCE +?

It is also ideal for students who are going to take the Certificate in Advanced English (the CAE) within the next 6 – 12 months and would like to review / reinforce their vocabulary.

Furthermore, unlike other FCE vocabulary resources, it also looks at some of the ‘real’ English that native speakers use in their everyday lives – idioms, colloquialisms, slang expressions and so on.

Non-exam students at an intermediate or upper-intermediate level will also find the book ideal for developing their vocabulary.

How is the book organised?

There are two parts in the book:

Part 1 focuses on general vocabulary items that would be useful in the exam as a whole (for example, word forms, phrasal verbs, prepositions, language of contrast, and uses of common verbs such as make and do ).

Part 2 focuses on common topics that often come up in the FCE exam and which students might need to speak or write about (for example, the environment, money, shopping and relationships).

There is a complete answer key at the back.

How should you use the book?

When you use this book, you should not go through the exercises mechanically. It is better to choose areas that you are unfamiliar with, or areas that you feel are of specific interest or importance to yourself.

Remember that you should keep a record of new words and expressions that you learn, and review these from time to time so that they become an active part of your vocabulary. Some students keep a notebook or file specifically for this purpose.

Also remember that there are other methods of acquiring new vocabulary. For example, you should read as much as possible from a different variety of authentic reading materials (books, newspapers, magazines, etc).

To help you learn English, you should use an English dictionary that can clearly define words, provide information about grammar and give sample sentences to show how words are used in context. You can use any good English learner’s dictionary with this workbook. Many of the sample sentences in the book have been taken or adapted from the Easier English Dictionary for Students (0 7475 6624 0).







05 General Vocabulary

01 Adjectives to nouns

02 Compound adjectives 03 Compound nouns 04 Confusing pairs and false friends 07 Contrast and comparison 08 Expressions with get 10 Human actions 13 Make or do 15 Materials 18 Modified words 19 Noises 21 Nouns and verbs to nouns 22 Opposites 1 24 Opposites 2 25 Opposites 3 26 Phrasal verbs 36 Prepositions 38 Shape and size 40 Spelling 41 Verbs to adjectives 42 Verbs to nouns

46 Topic Specific Vocabulary

46 Working words 47 Accommodation

50 The arts 52 Character and personality 53 Clothes 55 Crime 57 Education 59 Food and drink 61 Free time activities 62 Geography 63 Health 65 Learning languages 66 The media 68 Money 70 Nature and the environment 72 On the road 74 Physical description 76 Relationships 78 Services and facilities 79 Shopping 81 Sport 83 Travel and holidays 86 24 hours 88 Weather and natural phenomena 90 Work

93 Vocabulary record sheets

95 Practice essays 1 – 8

105 Answers


Adjectives to nouns

general vocabulary

A lot of adjectives can be changed to nouns by the addition of a suffix (e., brave – bravery, equal – equality,, etc), or by changing other features of the word (e., proud – pride, sympathetic – sympathy, etc). Some nouns need a prefix and a suffix, depending on how they are being used (e., equal = equality or inequality)

Task 1. Look at these sentences, and decide if the nouns in bold are correct or incorrect (the key adjectives are in brackets at the end of each sentence). Look at the meaning of the whole

sentence before you decide, and don’t forget to check the spelling.

  1. I’m not sure you’re old enough to be given such a responsibility. (responsible)

  2. Although there are several differents between British and American English, there are also

many similarity. (different / similar)

  1. It was a terrible lesson, the hotness in the room was unbearable, we were almost falling

asleep with boredom , and our stomachs were rumbling with hungryness. (hot / bored / hungry)

  1. I asked her if she was telling the trueth. (true)

  2. The check-in staff said that the flight was late and apologised for the convenience ,

although they didn’t show much sympathetically. (convenient / sympathetic)

  1. They almost died of thirstiness before they were rescued. (thirsty)

  2. Your calculations are wrong; there are several accuracies. (accurate)

  3. We had to measure the length , the wideth and the deepth of the swimming pool, and then

measure the hight of the diving board. (long / wide / deep / high)

  1. She experienced a lot of happyness and lonelyness in her lifetime; her parents died when

she was still in her youth , her first husband left her, and her only child ran away from home. (happy / lonely / young)

  1. He lacked confidence in his ableness , and seemed unaware of his own intelligence.

(confident / able / intelligent)

  1. There’s a strong probableness , perhaps even a certainty , that he’s going to get a grade A

in the exam. (probable / certain)

Task 2. Here are some more adjectives which can be made into nouns. How many can you


pessimistic • patient • mature • optimistic • honest • brave

accurate • selfish • possible • inferior • violent • stupid

necessary • safe • realistic • ill • proud • superior • strong

general vocabulary


Compound adjectives

A compound adjective is a combination of two words which function as a single adjective. The two words are often joined with a hyphen.

Task 1. Join one word on the left with one word on the right to make compound adjectives.

absent- • dark- • eye-

fair- • half- • hand-

hard- • home- run-

short- • semi- • sun-

three- • well- • world-

burnt • catching • detached

down • eyed • famous •

haired • hearted • made

minded • off • read

sighted skilled • skinned

star • tanned • up

Task 2. Use the compound adjectives to complete the following sentences.

  1. We stayed in a ____ hotel on the seafront.

  2. Everybody has heard of Mel Gibson; he’s a ____ actor.

  3. After six hours on the beach, he had a terribly ____ face.

  4. I can’t see very clearly. I’m a bit ____.

  5. It wasn’t a particularly ____ tennis racket; it broke soon after I bought it.

  6. She was wearing an ____ dress that made heads turn as she walked through the room.

  7. All these items are ____ by skilled craftsmen in a local factory.

  8. I feel a bit ____. Perhaps I should take more vitamins.

  9. My wife comes from a ____ family; they’ve always had more money than my own family.

  10. My grandfather’s becoming very ____. Last week he went to the library in his slippers.

  11. To make a bit of money, my sister and I used to sell ____ cakes.

  12. He made a ____ attempt to take an interest, but it was obvious he didn’t want to be there.

  13. My father is a very ____ man. His favourite authors are Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco.

  14. I live in a rather plain ____ house on the outskirts of Nottingham.

  15. There are lots of jobs for ____ workers in the factories in my area.

general vocabulary


Confusing pairs and false friends

Confusing pairs are two words which have a similar meaning to each other, but are used in a different way.

or Are related to the same topic, but have a different meaning.

or Look similar, but have a different meaning

False friends are words in English which have a similar-looking word in another language but which have a different meaning.

Complete the following sentences with the appropriate word.

  1. actually / now Please can we go home ____? It looks quite small, but ____ it is over 5 metres high.

  2. advice / advise My grandfather gave me a very useful piece of ____. I ____ you to put all your money into a deposit account.

  3. affect / effect The cuts in spending will have a serious ____ on the hospital. The strike will seriously ____the train service.

  4. already / yet I haven’t seen her ____this morning. I’ve ____done my shopping.

  5. afraid of / worried about I am ____snakes. She’s ____ the baby; he doesn’t look very well.

  6. avoid / prevent The police will ____ anyone from leaving the building. You should travel early to ____the traffic jams.

  7. beside / besides Come and sit down ____ me. ____managing the shop, he also teaches in the evening.

  8. bring / fetch It’s your turn to ____ the children from school. Don’t forget to ____the books to school with you.

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    chance / possibility Our team has a good ____ of winning tonight. There is always the ____that the plane will be early.

  10. channel / canal You can take a boat trip around the ____s of Amsterdam. Can you switch the television to ____ 4 for the news? England and France are separated by the ____.

Confusing pairs and false friends

general vocabulary


  1. conduct / direct Von Karajan will ____ the Berlin Symphonic Orchestra at the concert. It took two policemen to ____ the traffic.

  2. continuous / continual She has been in ____ pain for three days. I am getting fed up with her ____ complaints.

  3. driver / chauffeur The ____ brought the Rolls Royce to the hotel’s main entrance. He’s got a job as a bus ____.

  4. formidable / wonderful They had a ____ holiday by a lake in Sweden. The castle is surrounded by ____ walls and gates.

  5. fun / funny I didn’t have much ____ on my birthday. He made ____ faces and made the children laugh.

  6. go / play Shall we ____ jogging or swimming? Neither. Let’s ____ tennis.

  7. come along with / follow Would you like to ____ me to the cinema tonight? Make sure the dog doesn’t ____ me to the shops.

  8. harm / damage Don’t ____ my sunglasses if you borrow them. He didn’t mean to ____ your little girl.

  9. invent / discover Did Alexander Fleming ____ penicillin? When did she ____ the new computer terminal?

  10. job / work He goes to ____ every day on his bicycle. She’s got a ____ in the supermarket.

  11. kind / sympathetic You should always be ____ to little children. I’m very ____ to her problems.

  12. lay / lie I’m very tired; I’ll just go and ____ down for a few minutes. My father is going to ____ a new carpet in the dining room.

  13. lend / borrow Can I ____ you car to go to the shops? He asked me if I would ____ him £5 till Monday.

Contrast and comparison

general vocabulary


Complete these sentences with the most appropriate word or expression from A, B or C.

  1. Her political opinions are the _____ mine.

A. same like B. same to C. same as

  1. The weather in my country is very _____ that in the United Kingdom.

A. similar with B. similar to C. similar like

  1. My idea of a good night out is very _____ yours.

A. different from B. different as C. different with

  1. The two machines _____ considerably; one has an electric motor, the other runs on oil.

A. differ B. differentiate C. differential

  1. When he travelled down the east coast of the USA, he became aware of the _____ in weather between

the north and south of the country. A. comparison B. contrast C. compare

  1. Children must be taught to _____ between right and wrong.

A. differ B. contrast C. distinguish

  1. Can you tell the _____ between an apple and a pear with your eyes shut?

A. difference B. differentiate C. contrast

  1. When companies employ people, they must not _____ between people of different sex or race.

A. differ B. contrast C. discriminate

  1. My sister works extremely hard. _____, my brother is rather lazy.

A. By way of contrast B. By ways of comparing C. By similar means

  1. My two brothers are almost identical. They are very difficult to _____.

A. tell apart B. say apart C. speak apart

  1. They have two things _____; they are both Welsh, and they are both left-handed.

A. in similar B. in particular C. in common

  1. He’s not lazy. _____, he works very hard.

A. By way of contrast B. On the other hand C. On the contrary

  1. He’s very rich and lives in a big house. _____, he doesn’t seem very happy.

A. On the other hand B. On the contrary C. On the opposite

  1. British and Australian people share the same language, but in other respects they are as

different as _____. A. cats and dogs B. chalk and cheese C. salt and pepper

  1. We share the same language, but in other respects we are _____ from each other.

A. worlds apart B. miles away C. a lifetime away

general vocabulary


Expressions with get

Task 1. DEFINITIONS Look at the expressions in bold in box A and choose a suitable definition for that expression in box B.

A. 1. I think Ben got out of bed on the wrong side this morning. 2. We’re planning a little get-together of people from the office. 3. The manager began the meeting with a few comments and then got down to brass tacks. 4. Jan and Richard get on like a house on fire. 5. Rory and Jeannie are getting married? Get away with you! 6. You’ll get the sack if you talk to the boss like that. 7. That humming noise is really getting on my nerves. 8. He’s got a nerve to ask for a day off. 9. I rang the shops to try and find a new dishwasher, but got nowhere. 10. When she asked him for money, he told her to get lost. 11. OK everyone, we’re a bit late so let’s get going. 12. Got it! 13. Do you think he got my meaning? 14. Get a grip on yourself – you’ve got an interview in half an hour. 15 president is having to get to grips with the failing economy. 16. If they don’t get their act together, they’ll miss the last date for entries to the competition. 17. How can I get him off my back? 18. If I don’t get a rise soon, I’ll start looking for another job. 19. I’ve got out of the habit of eating chocolates. 20. Rainy weather always gets me down.


A. to be unsuccessful B. a meeting of friends C. to stop pestering someone D. to understand. E. to be dismissed from a job. F. not to do something any more G. to start to deal with something H. Go away. Leave me alone. I. over-confidence or rudeness J. to start K. to receive an increase in salary L. to try to control yourself; to try to be less emotional M start discussing the real problem N. Don’t try to make me believe that.

general vocabulary


Human actions

Task 1. GENERAL ACTIONS Complete each of the sentences below with the most suitable word from the box. In some cases, more than one answer is possible.

fainted • shivered • fidgeted • sweated • trembled • nodded

dived started • squatted • crouched • dozed

stretched • leaned / leant • dragged • blushed

  1. He woke up, stood up and ____ his arms and legs.

  2. The suitcase was too heavy to pick up, so she ____ it across the platform.

  3. We ____ down to get through the low hole in the wall.

  4. She ____ on the floor, trying to get the stains out of the carpet.

  5. He ____ in and swam across the pool under water.

  6. He ____ out of the car window and was almost hit by another car coming in the opposite direction.

  7. She ____ in fear when she saw the lion come towards her.

  8. She ____ with cold in the bitter wind.

  9. The tennis players ____ in the hot sun.

  10. She ____ with embarrassment when he spoke to her.

  11. She ____ in surprise when she heard the loud bang.

  12. She ____ when she saw the blood, and remained unconscious for about ten minutes.

  13. She ____ off for a while after lunch and was suddenly woken up by the telephone ringing.

  14. When he asked her if she understood the question, she ____ yes.

  15. After an hour, he couldn’t sit still any longer and ____ in his seat.

Human actions

general vocabulary


Task 2. WAYS OF MOVING Match the verbs on the left with the person who might behave in that way on the right.













A. A man who has been injured in an accident but is still able to walk to the hospital.

B. People walking in the park on a warm summer evening

C. A girl jumping across a wide stream of water

D. Soldiers on parade

E. Someone who has hurt their foot and must move around on one leg.

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F. A young man running home to watch the football on television.

G. Young children running, hopping and jumping along the road.

H. A very young baby who can’t walk yet.

I. A teenage daughter arriving home late and walking quietly up the stairs.

J. A boy walking quietly past a sleeping dog

K. A child walking very slowly to school


Task 3. HAND AND ARM ACTIONS Choose the correct verb in each of the following sentences.

  1. He punched / snapped / grabbed me on the nose.

  2. They all punched / slapped / shook him on the back to congratulate him.

  3. The nurse pointed / beckoned to / saluted her to come into the room.

  4. She rubbed / wiped / stroked the cat as it sat in her lap.

  5. He patted / wiped / folded his pocket to make sure his wallet was still there.

  6. He snapped / grabbed / flexed his suitcase and ran to the train.

  7. It was dark in the cellar and he had to grope / scratch / grab for a light switch.

  8. Ordinary soldiers must salute / shake / point their officers.

Make or do?

general vocabulary



Look at the sentences below and decide whether they should be completed with the verb

make or the verb do. The form of these verbs will need to change in most sentences. Use the

words in bold to help you.

  1. Has your mother ____ a will yet?

  2. She ____ her piano exercises every morning.

  3. The storm ____ a lot of damage last night.

  4. Who will be ____ the speech at her wedding?

  5. We ____ a large profit when we sold our house.

6 There’s a lot of work still to be ____.

  1. At the moment he’s ____ great efforts to learn Spanish.

  2. They ____ a lot of business with European countries.

  3. I’m not ____ the washing today.

  4. When we got to the hotel, the beds hadn’t been ____.

  5. The workmen are ____ so much noise we can’t use the telephone.

  6. We are ____ good progress towards finishing the house.

  7. He didn’t mean to ____ any harm.

  8. His wife usually ____ all the housework.

  9. The milk boiled over and ____ a mess on the stove.

  10. I can’t ____ today’s crossword – it’s too hard.

  11. Are you going to ____ a Christmas cake again this year?

  12. How much money did you ____ last year?

  13. It took us hours to ____ the washing up after the party.

  14. He ____ an inquiry about trains to Edinburgh.

  15. I need to ____ a quick phone callbefore we leave.

  16. Don’t ____ such a fuss – it’s only a little scratch.

  17. She ____ a mistake in typing the address.

  18. We ____ friends with some French people on holiday.

  19. Our company is small but it’s ____ well.

  20. She ____ a few notes before her speech.

  21. She was ____ the ironing when I came home.

  22. Companies often ____ a loss in their first year of operations.

general vocabulary


Make or do?


Replace the words and expressions in bold with an expression using make from the box.

make the best of • make a break with • made a meal of • make do with

make time • made off with • make-believe • make up my mind

  1. The burglar stole all their silver.

  2. She forgot her pyjamas and had to use a T-shirt because there was nothing else available.

  3. They say it will rain this afternoon so we’d better take advantage of the sunshine while it’s here.

  4. I can’t decide whether to take the afternoon off to do some shopping or stay in the office and work.

  5. She spent a lot of unnecessary time and went to a lot of effort repainting the kitchen.

  6. His stories about his love affairs are just not true, although he pretends they are.

  7. We must arrange to visit the new sports club even though we are short of time.

  8. I’ve tried to forget my last girlfriend, but it’s not always easy to move away from the past.


The words in bold are all in the wrong sentences. Decide which sentences they should go in.

  1. If the computer doesn’t work, hit it – that should do the sights and get it working again.

  2. Will you do the turn , John, and pour us all a drink?

  3. He never uses violence himself. He just gets other people to do the yourself work for him.

  4. He looks a bit unhappy. An evening out would do don’ts to cheer him up.

  5. She’s very good at painting, decorating and other do-it- trick jobs.

  6. You don’t have a car? How can you do turn one? You must have a good public transport system in our area.

  7. This chicken is cooked perfectly. It’s done to a dirty.

  8. She told him all the do’s and without about working in the office, and helped him to settle in.

  9. He did me a good honours by writing a job reference for me, so I helped him in return.

  10. When we went to Barcelona, we did all the wonders and took hundreds of photographs.

You will find more expressions using make and do in the phrasal verbs section on pages 27 and 29.

Learn More: Effective Ways to Build Your Vocabulary


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