Sentence Rewriting for ESL, EFL, TESOL English Students

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The ability to rewrite sentences so that they have the same meaning as the original is often required for many English ESL EFL Exams such as Cambridge's First Certificate, CAE and Proficiency. This skill can also help you prepare for the TOEFL examination (Test of English as a Foreign Language). It is also an important skill which can help you improve your understanding of similar English expressions and vocabulary.

Rewrite the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first. Use no more than 5 words. See answer key at the bottom of the page.

1. You must never take your helmet off while you are riding a motorcycle.


Helmets must be worn    __________    when riding a motorcycle.

2. They wanted to apologize for their behavior: that's why they paid for dinner.


They paid for dinner   __________  for their behavior.

3. It isn't necessary to bring skis as they are included in the package.


You  _________  bring skis as they are included in the package.

4. I thought parking was allowed here.

under the impression

I   _________  that parking was allowed here.

5. Tom said, "I will be playing tennis when you arrive."


Tom said  __________ tennis when I arrived.

6. When I was a child, we would go to the local park every Saturday afternoon.


When I was a child,  _________  the park every Saturday.

7. His daughter continued to cry until he could not be seen any longer.


She continued to cry until he  ___________  .

8. I'm afraid that car is just too expensive.


That car is   ___________  .

9. They moved to this suburb in 1997.


They  ___________  in this suburb since 1997.

10. One other thing before I forget - Jack is coming to visit next weekend.


______________ , Jack is coming to visit next weekend.


Answer Key:

1. at all times

2. in order to apologize

3. don't have to

4. was under the impression

5. he would be playing

6. we used to go to

7. was out of sight

8. beyond my means

9. have lived 

10. By the way