Study P6 English Synthesis & Transformation and Vocabulary Builder - Geniebook

Synthesis & Transformation And Vocabulary Builder

In this article, we are going to study Synthesis and Transformation. This is a very important topic for the Primary 6 English coursework and PSLE and is also considered somewhat difficult due to the several aspects that govern synthesis. 

We will cover some of the more difficult aspects of this topic such as:

  • Despite / In Spite of
  • Unless
  • Reported speech

The best way to remember the “unless” rule is to convert it to “If __________ does not”.

 

Despite / In Spite of

Despite / In Spite of show contrast. However, unlike other contrast words, we cannot have a verb immediately after the clause despite/in spite of. 

Here are some of the rules when tackling questions involving despite/in spite of:

  1. Transforming verb phrases to gerund phrases (verb + ing / being)

  • Identify the main verb (active) and add the suffix ‘-ing’ to transform the verb into a gerund.

Example:

Raymond lost his way. He refused to ask for directions.

Solution:

Despite losing his way, Raymond refused to ask for directions.

 

  • If the main verb is passive, use the word “being” to transform the verb phrase into a gerund phrase.

Example:

Mary was accused of something she did not do. She remained calm.

Solution:

Mary remained calm despite being accused of something she did not do.

 

Remember, when we use “despite” at the beginning of the sentence, we must put a comma. However, when we use ‘despite’ in the middle of the sentence, we DO NOT use the comma.

 

  1. Transforming adjective phrases to noun phrases

  • If you are given a noun phrase transformation, transform the main adjective/ verb into a noun word class.

Example:

Jane was determined to pass her driving test. She did not manage to pass her driving test.

Solution:

Despite Jane’s determination, she did not manage to pass her driving test.

 

  • Remember, whenever you come across the phrase “Despite [name]’s adjective/verb…”, you have no choice but to necessarily change the verb to a noun. Like “Despite Jane’s determination…”. If the “...‘s” is not there, then you can use any of the given methods to transform the sentence.

Example:

Mark accused Tom of stealing his wallet. Tom insisted that he did not steal his wallet.

Solution:

Despite Mark’s accusation, Tom insisted that he did not steal his wallet.

 

  • Another phrase with similar rules as ‘despite/in spite of’ is ‘much to’. When we come across an “...‘s” with a ‘much to’, then again we have to change the adjective/verb to a noun.

Example:

Jon was annoyed. His brother had used his car without his permission.

Solution:

Much to Jon’s annoyance, his brother had used his car without his permission.

 

  1. Using ‘the fact that’ to transform verb phrases to noun phrases

  • Using ‘the fact that’ is a fail-proof option and works in most situations. When using this rule, you must not change the main verb/ adjective used in the question.

Example:

Raymond lost his way. He refused to ask for directions.

Solution:

Despite the fact that Raymond lost his way, he refused to ask for directions.

 

Practice Questions

 

Question 1:

Mr Lee pulled a muscle during the race. He made it to the finish line. Which of the following transformation(s) is/are suitable?

  1. In spite of the fact that Mr Lee pulled a muscle during the race, he made it to the finish line.
  2. In spite of pulling a muscle during the race, Mr Lee made it to the finish line.
  3. In spite of a muscle being pulled during the race, Mr Lee made it to the finish line.

 

  1. A & B
  2. A
  3. C
  4. B & C

 

Solution:

1

Explanation:

“Mr Lee pulled a muscle…”. Here ‘pulled’ is an active verb and so ‘being’ cannot be used with it. We can use the verb+ing form or we can also use ‘the fact that’.

 

 

Question 2:

Peter was very full, but insisted on having five scoops of ice cream for dessert. Which of the following transformation(s) is/are suitable?

  1. Peter insisted on having five scoops of ice cream for dessert in spite of the fact that he was very full.
  2. Peter insisted on having five scoops of ice cream for dessert in spite of his fullness.
  3. Peter insisted on having five scoops of ice cream for dessert in spite of being very full.

 

  1. A & C
  2. A
  3. C
  4. B & C

 

Solution:

1

 

Question 3:

I ate a huge breakfast. I still ate ravenously during lunch. Which of the following transformation(s) is/are suitable?

  1. Despite I ate a huge breakfast, I still ate ravenously during lunch.
  2. Despite eating a huge breakfast, I ate ravenously during lunch.
  3. Despite the fact that I ate a huge breakfast, I ate ravenously during lunch.

 

  1. A & C
  2. A
  3. C
  4. B & C

 

Solution:

4

 

Question 4:

Martha was ambushed by a gang of thieves. She did not feel scared. Which of the following transformation(s) is/are suitable?

  1. Despite ambushing a gang of thieves, Martha did not feel scared.
  2. Despite the fact that a gang of thieves ambushed her, Martha did not feel scared.
  3. Despite being ambushed by a gang of thieves, Martha did not feel scared.

 

  1. A & C
  2. A
  3. B & C
  4. B

 

Solution:

3


 

Unless

Let’s understand the rules to be followed when doing questions involving ‘unless’.

 

Rules for Tackling ‘Unless’ Questions

  1. ‘Unless’ works like a ‘if (someone) does/does not’
  2. There must not be a double negative for the subordinate clause.

i.e.  Unless Jane does not do her homework (subordinate), she will be allowed to attend my class (main). This is incorrect because ‘unless’ already denotes a negative clause. So it cannot be grouped with another negative word “...does not do…” in the subordinate clause.

  1. 3. If ‘unless’ is used at the beginning of a sentence, a comma must be placed in the middle of the sentence.
  2. 4. If ‘unless’ is used in the middle of a sentence, no comma is required.

 

Let’s look at an example to understand this concept better.

 

Consider the following sentence:

I will give you a second chance provided that you turn over a new leaf. 

  1. Unless you turn over a new leaf, I will not give you a second chance.
  2. I will not give you a second chance unless you turn over a new leaf.

 

Remember, a good way to solve such questions is to mentally replace ‘unless you’ with ‘if you do not’ and see if the sentence makes sense.

 

Practice Questions

Question 5:

This plant will wither if you do not water it regularly.

Which of the following transformation(s) is/are suitable?

  1. Unless you water this plant regularly, it will wither.
  2. This plant will wither, unless you water it regularly.
  3. Unless you water this plant regularly, it will not wither.

 

  1. A & C
  2. A
  3. B & C
  4. B

 

Solution:

2

Explanation:

‘B’ is incorrect because of the comma in the middle. Remember rule 4 above, if ‘unless’ is used in the middle, we must not use a comma.

So ‘A’ is the only correct answer.

 

 

Question 6:

We must take steps to conserve natural resources. Otherwise, they will soon be depleted.

Which of the following transformation(s) is/are suitable?

  1. Unless we must take steps to conserve natural resources, they will soon be depleted.
  2. Unless we take steps to conserve natural resources, they will soon be depleted.
  3. Natural resources will soon be depleted unless we must take steps to conserve them.

 

  1. A & C
  2. A
  3. B & C
  4. B

 

Solution:

4

Explanation:

Here’s another rule you can remember to help you solve such questions. You cannot use ‘must’ with ‘unless’.

 

 

Question 7:

If you do not pay for the course in full, you will not be able to attend it.

Which of the following transformation(s) is/are suitable?

  1. You will not be able to attend the course unless you pay for it in full.
  2. Unless you pay for the course in full, you will be able to attend it.
  3. Unless you pay for the course in full, you will not be able to attend it.

 

  1. A & C
  2. A
  3. B & C
  4. B

Solution:

1

 

 

Question 8:

You will not pass the test if you do not complete all the questions.

Which of the following transformation(s) is/are suitable?

  1. Unless you do not complete all the questions, you will pass the test.
  2. Unless you complete all the questions, you will not pass the test.
  3. You will not pass the test, unless you complete all the questions.

 

  1. A & C
  2. A
  3. B & C
  4. B

 

Solution:

3

 

Reported Speech

Before attempting the questions, highlight the words in the statement that need to be transformed. Remember this acronym: P( Pronoun )  P( Place )  T( Tense )  T( Time )

 

Rules For Dealing With Reported Speech

Pronoun - All proper nouns (James, The students, etc) must be changed to the appropriate pronoun (he, she, him, her, they, them, it, etc).

 

Place - Change as per the following

  • ‘here’ changes to ‘there’
  • ‘this’ changes to ‘that’
  • ‘these’ changes to ‘those’

 

Tense - For these, we need to follow the below rules:

  • Present tense words have to be changed to the past tense
  • Words in the past tense must be changed to the past perfect
  • Words already in the past perfect tense do not need to be changed.

 

Time -  When we talk about ‘time’ in reported speech, we observe the following rules:

  • ‘now’ changed to ‘then’
  • ‘today’ changed to ‘that day’
  • ‘tomorrow’ changed to ‘the following day’
  • ‘yesterday’ changed to ‘the previous day’.
  • ‘ago’ changed to ‘before’

 

Special Note:

  • Whenever you come across “must” it needs to be changed to “had to”
  • Whenever there is a ‘statement’ in direct speech, you must use ‘that’ when doing the transformation.

Example:

John said, “I am hungry.” 

John said that he was hungry.

 

Practice Questions

 

Question 9:

“I will find those children and gobble them up tonight!” the ogre roared.

Which of the following reported speech(es) is/are suitable?

  1. The ogre roared that he would find those children and gobble them up that night!
  2. The ogre roared I would find these children and gobble them up tonight.
  3. The ogre roared that he would find those children and gobble them up that night.

 

  1. C
  2. A
  3. B & C
  4. B

 

Solution:

1

Explanation:

Remember, you cannot use an ‘!’ in reported speech. You must change it to a full stop.

 

 

Question 10:

“We need more food and water as we are starving!” the orphans cried out.

Which of the following reported speech(es) is/are suitable?

  1. The orphans cried out that they needed more food and water as they were starving.
  2. The orphans cried out they needed more food and water as they were starving.
  3. The orphans cried out that they need more food and water as they are starving.

 

  1. C
  2. A
  3. A & B
  4. B

 

Solution:

 

Question 11:

“I went for an interview yesterday,” Brian told his father.

Which of the following reported speech(es) is/are suitable?

  1. Brian told his father that he had went for an interview the previous day.
  2. Brian told his father that he had gone for an interview the previous day.
  3. Brian told his father that he went for an interview the day before.

 

  1. C
  2. A
  3. A & B
  4. B

 

Solution:

4

 

 

Question 12:

“You must eat five servings of fruit and vegetables daily,” Mother reminded Tom.

Which of the following reported speech(es) is/are suitable?

  1. Mother reminded Tom that he must to eat five servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
  2. Mother reminded Tom that he must eat five servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
  3. Mother reminded Tom that he had to eat five servings of fruit and vegetables daily.

 

  1. B & C
  2. A
  3. C
  4. B

 

Solution:

3


 

Conclusion

In this article, we covered a very important topic from the Primary 6 English and PSLE perspective - Synthesis and Transformation. We learned the various aspects and how to use them when doing transformations for 

  • Despite / In Spite of
  • Unless
  • Reported speech

Many students, even after going through the complete Primary 6 English grade, find this topic difficult since there are several rules you must remember when attempting these questions. However, with regular practice, you will be able to internalise these rules and they will become second nature to you.

Revise the concepts given in this article frequently, practise regularly and we wish you the very best!


 

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Composition Structure
Phrasal Verbs: Separable & Transitive
Vocabulary Cloze
Synthesis: Past Participle Verb
Active And Passive Voice
Grammar Cloze
Editing: Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling
Composition Writing - Introductions And Endings
Synthesis & Transformation And Vocabulary Builder
Editing & Vocabulary Builder
Figures Of Speech And Occupations
Verb Forms And Gerunds
Last Lap: Verb Forms, Gerunds & Phrasal Verbs
If Conditionals - Varied Questions
Comprehension Cloze And Synthesis
Vocabulary Cloze & Comprehension Open Ended
Comprehension Cloze
Grammar Cloze & Visual Text
If-Conditionals: Simple Past & Simple Present
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