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ENGLISH Lesson 1.   Putting it Another Way.

One of the tests that candidates for the Certificate may be asked to attempt is writing a given sentence in a different way, but retaining as nearly as possible the same meaning. This requires practice, but the following changes are the kind which are usually required.


1. Active/Passive

ActiveMy grandfather built that house.
PassiveThat house was built by my grandfather.
PassiveHe was carried down the hill on a stretcher.
ActiveThey carried him down the hill on a stretcher.

2. Gerund/Infinitive

GerundDriving at night is dangerous.
InfinitiveIt is dangerous to drive at night.
Infinitivet is difficult to learn English.
GerundLearning English is difficult.

3. Direct/Indirect speech

DirectShow me your exercise book, Mary, said her father.
IndirectMaryís father asked her to show him her exercise book.
IndirectMary said she would be coming on the 6 30 train.
DirectIíll be coming on the six-thirty train,í said Mary.

4. More than/Not so (as) many as/Not so (as) much as

More thanI have more friends than Peter.
Not so (as) many asPeter hasnít so (as) many friends as I have.
More thanJane has more money than Susan.
Not so (as) much as

Susan hasnít so (as) much money as Jane.


5. Comparison of Adjectives:- er than/ not so (as) ó as

-er thanMy flat is bigger than yours.
Not so (as) ó asYour flat isnít so (as) big as mine.

6. Too - to/Not - enough to.
Here the opposite of the adjective in the first sentence will usually be required to make the necessary change.

Too -toHe is too weak to lift that case.
Not -enough toHe is not strong enough to lift that case.
Not -enough toBobby is not old enough to go to school b himself.
Too - toBobby is too young to go to school by himself.

7. So/Such a/Such (for plurals or uncountable nouns)

SoThe girl was so beautiful, everyone stared at her.
Such aShe was such a beautiful girl, everyone stared at her.
SoThe weather was so hot, I sat in the garden all day.
SuchIt was such hot weather, I sat in the garden all day.
NOTE: the position of so before the adjective and such a/such before the adjective immediately before the noun.

8. It /There with To be


The station is four miles from the City centre.
 It is four miles from the City Centre to the station.
 He didnít arrive till after four oíclock.
 It was after four oíclock when he arrived.


A policeman is standing at the corner of the road.
 There is a policeman standing at the corner of the road.
 No one will be in the office now.
 There will be no one in the office now.
 This suitcase has nothing in it.
 There is nothing in this suitcase.


Exercise 1. Re-write the following sentences, keeping as closely as possible to the original meaning.
1. He asked when the post arrived.
2. He broke two of his ribs in the fight.
3. The day was so beautiful, we decided to have a picnic.
4. His wallet had a photograph of his wife in it.
5. He's not well enough to come to the party tomorrow.
6. Watching the sports programmes on television is quite entertaining.
7. Was that picture painted by Turner?
8. That exercise is too easy for my class.
9. Can you tell me where the Post Office is?í said the old man.
10. Stephen hasnít as much work as John.
11. It is hard work teaching children to spell.
12. They were such cheap apples, I bought two pounds.
13. It was half-past one when the fire broke out.
14. My husband knows more about painting than I do.
15. She told me she never had time to go to the cinema.
16. Translating that book took Philip about two years.
17. His brother is not so tall as he is.
18. "Please leave me alone," I said to the children, "Iím very tired."
19. The newspaper had nothing interesting in it today.
20. The distance from here to Canterbury is about six miles.
21. I know him better than anyone.
22. The book was so interesting, I read it again.
23. The teacher told the children to be quiet.
24. " Whatís your name?" he asked me.
25. I donít like jazz as much as Sarah does.


It is, of course, possible to change sentences in other ways, and still retain the meaning. In this case a Key word or phrase may be given. For example:

I paid $20 for this coat.Youíll enjoy the journey.
This coat ...... .Youíll find ...... .
This coat cost me $20.Youíll find the journey enjoyable.


Exercise 2.

1. Itís impossible for him to catch the 7.30 train.
He canít ...... .
7. Would you rather have sausages or fish?
Which ......?
2. Isnít there any sugar in that tin?
Hasnít ......?
8. He does his work very carelessly.
He is ...... .
3. He doesnít want to sell his house.
His house ...... .
9. How much did that dress cost you?
What ...... .......?
4. His English was very bad.
He spoke ...... .
10. Ishall never go away from home.
I shall always ...... .
5. What is the distance from here to London?
How far ......?
11. Has the school got a swimming pool?
Is ......?
6. Is this your first visit to London?
Have you ......?
12. Itís a six hour drive from here to Birmingham.
It takes ...... ...... .
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