Synonyms and antonyms in Cambridge Proficiency Listening

All the words below are from real CPE Listening exam questions (Book 2, Test 1) where the words in the listening text are different from those in the question. Brainstorm what you might hear when these things are referred to, usually meaning words with the same meaning, but also examples of that thing or opposite words. The words which occur in the exam are indicated by a “=” if they were synonyms, “e.g.” if they were examples or “–“ if they were opposites, but other categories of words are fine if you can’t manage that one.

frustrating =

a satisfactory conclusion =

so much money =

the question that scientists are trying to solve =

gesture, e.g.

make a sound =

rhythm =

in real time =

has been manipulated, e.g.

interests people =

thinking something up =

adapted =

prevented by regulation =

safety –

protection =

lost his professional status =

legal battles =

studies =

concerned =

in legal contexts =

reasonable =

successfully =

differences =

knew a lot more about the topic =

effective sharing =

successful –

depend on =

vulnerable =

in contrast =

interesting =

scientific evidence =

culture =

good reputation =

practical –

well-paid =

specialise =

lacking =

challenging/ hard work =

surprisingly wide =

difficult/ unlikely =

————————

Mixed answers

Match the words below to those above. The meaning and/ or grammar is not always exactly the same (because of the lack of context here), but there should only be one way of matching up all the words above and below.

a moment of inspiration

a pain

anomalies

carve out a niche area of expertise

civilization

effectively

facial movement

fascinating

gruelling

hampered

hard facts

in danger

in the forensic setting

it paid off in the end

live (adj)

lucrative

modified

not allowed

our entire budget

pattern of sounds and intervals between them

pulls them in

regard (n)

rely on

research

risk

safeguarding

staged

struggle with the law

successful collaboration

the expert on the whole thing

the issue

the odds are pretty long

theoretical

understandable

unlike/ compared to

vocalise

wanting

was stripped of his license

way beyond what you would think

worried

—————————-

Suggested answers

Many more synonyms etc are possible, so if you wrote something different in the first stage, check with your teacher if it really is sufficiently similar.

frustrating = a pain

a satisfactory conclusion = it paid off in the end

so much money = our entire budget

the question that scientists are trying to solve = the issue

gesture, e.g. facial movement

make a sound = vocalise

rhythm = pattern of sounds and intervals between them

in real time = live (adj)

has been manipulated, e.g. staged

interests people = pulls them in

thinking something up = a moment of inspiration

adapted = modified

prevented by regulation = not allowed

safety – risk

protection = safeguarding

lost his professional status = was stripped of his license

legal battles = struggle with the law

studies = research

concerned = worried

in legal contexts = in the forensic setting

reasonable = understandable

successfully = effectively

differences = anomalies

knew a lot more about the topic = the expert on the whole thing

effective sharing = successful collaboration

successful – hampered

depend on = rely on

vulnerable = in danger

in contrast = unlike/ compared to

interesting = fascinating

scientific evidence = hard facts

culture = civilization

good reputation = regard (n)

practical – theoretical

well-paid = lucrative

specialise = carve out a niche area of expertise

lacking = wanting

challenging/ hard work = gruelling

surprisingly wide = way beyond what you would think

difficult/ unlikely = the odds are pretty long

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