C2.2 Proficiency Exam Revision / Use of English Part 3 (5)

More practice!  What’s the key word missing from the sentences below?

Clue:  the answers are all verbs which are among the most frequently used words in English.  I have chosen mostly idiomatic expressions so these examples aren’t necessarily reflective of the real exam where there will be looser, less fixed collocations among the 3 sentences you will be asked to complete.  You might find only one expression like these in the actual test.  In another break from exam protocol, some of the examples here mix forms (there are a few past and -ing forms here mixed with mostly infinitives).

You can check the idioms you don’t know and can’t work out at  http://dictionary.cambridge.org/ or a similarly reputable online dictionary.


  Key word   Revision break!

We’ll have to


cracking if we want to arrive on time!

Is this the greatest song with this key word in the title?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKPoHgKcqag



I think she does like you but she’s just playing hard to


… you should ask her out, I’m sure she’ll say yes.

I don’t even want to think about what my boss will say when she finds out how late I am with the deadline – I’m really going to


it in the neck!

It’s probable that the latest government spending cuts will mean that many community arts projects will


the axe.

Look, I know emotions are running high here but can we please not let things


too personal and ensure that we keep things professional in this meeting?

Look!  I’ve told you I’m not going to help you and flattery will


you nowhere!

Really, I thought he was never going to shut up, I couldn’t


a word in edgeways.

No matter how many times I read them I just can’t


my head around these instructions for assembling this wardrobe.

I know it might be difficult in the long run but let’s cross that bridge when we


to it.


  Key word   Revision break!

Everyone makes mistakes, don’t worry about it, just


it down to experience and move on.

Listen to the song.  One of the lyrics is about finding something “I can (key word) my heart and soul into.”  How does this fit into the overall theme and mood of the song?



I had no doubt that he was ready for the first team and his performance proves my point – he didn’t


a foot wrong, did he?

Let me


you in the picture about what’s being going on while you were away on holiday.

I wonder if you could


in a good word for me with your boss – I’m going to try to get a move to your department.

I know you’ve all been waiting for a long time to hear who has won the prize, so I’ll


you all out of your misery…the winner is…

It’s time to


your money where your mouth is – we’ve all talked about going on strike for ages and I’m prepared to make a stand – are you with me?

Perhaps the whole affair was a government cover up – I would


nothing past them – including hiding the truth!

Hemmingway’s descriptions of the wild celebrations during San Fermines


Pamplona firmly on the map and even today they help the city attract thousands of tourists.

Her professionalism and dedication really


other people to shame.


  Key word   Revision break!

It’s no use trying to control things that are out of your hands, just let them


their natural course.

All these examples could come from a (probably very bad) self-help book.  Can you add some more extracts using the following idioms / collocations with the key word?

–          _____ round in circles

–          ______ the risk of doing something

–          Be ______ off your feet

–          Passions ______ high

Try not to imagine the worst, if we let our imaginations


riot, we often end up thinking that things are much worse than they really are.

Make sure you don’t overwork yourself, there’s no point


yourself into the ground and having no energy left.

Don;t be afraid of failure – too many people


a mile every time the thing they really want is just within their grasp.  Grab these opportunities while you can!

Planning is key to success, the better you plan, the more things will


like clockwork.

Remember the tale of the hair and the tortoise…life is a marathon not a sprint.  You may not have achieved everything you want out of life yet, but you’ll get there in the long



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