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Open cloze – FCE

Read the text below just to get the gist of it. After reading the text, for questions 9 – 16 insert the correct word that goes in each of the gaps. The first example (0) is done for you.

Tip: In this particular exercise in the Cambridge exam you will be asked to find a word that best fits each gap. You will not be asked to find random words, so successful completion of this exercise is not based on having an extensive vocabulary, rather, the words are grammar-related. This means that the words will be part of the main parts of speech in English, such as; conjunctions, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, nouns, prepositions and/or passive voice and active voice forms. Therefore, when doing the open cloze you need to think grammatically with regard to which word fits correctly.

A new era of computers?

The current system of computing is (0) ­­­­­_______on binary code, that is, a system of zeros and ones. The binary system of computing is how computers have always worked. Every function (9) _______ you do on your computer is a function based on zeros and ones at the core of every computer.

(10) ______ you’re typing the letter “k” on your keyboard or clicking on something in your browser, all these functions are based on a combination of 0’s and 1’s. That’s all there is to it.

(11) ________, a new era of computing is looming on the horizon. Many of the big tech companies (12) _______ as Google, IBM and Microsoft are investing huge amounts of money in what’s called “quantum computing”. This new approach to computing will not be based on the standard binary system, but (13) ______ on quantum mechanics whereby computers will be based on 0’s, 1’s or both 0 and 1.  

This (14) _______ radically change the way we do computing in ways that are not yet comprehensible. Basically, quantum computing will allow computers (15) ______ process information 100 million times faster than your average laptop! That’s crazy!

For the meantime, quantum computers have not yet been built, and the operations that you (16) _______ on a daily basis on your normal computer will not change any time soon. But the future certainly looks interesting.

Let’s work together and try to understand how we can successfully do the open cloze section.

  1. When you see the verb ‘be’, “the current system of computing is…” it will either be used with adjectives, or the passive voice (we use ‘be’ in the passive voice). Also, the first word after the space is a preposition (on), so we know that the verb we need is part of a phrasal verb (phrasal verb construction = verb + preposition or adverb). It’s also going to be the passive voice in the present simple because ‘is’ is the third person singular form of ‘be’ in the present. So, the word we need is going to be in the passive, in the present simple, part of a phrasal verb with ‘on’, and meaning “finding something on a particular idea”. Hence, based on.
The current system of computing is (0) ______ on binary code, that is, a system of zeros and ones.
  1. “Every function” is the first clause in the sentence. “You do on your computer… etc.” is the second clause in the sentence. When a sentence is divided by two clauses a relative pronoun needs to be inserted. I.e., “I know a guy who is very tall”. “I know a guy” is the first clause. “Who” is the relative pronoun connecting the two clauses, and “is very tall” is the second clause. There are different types of relative pronouns to talk about time, place, people and things.
The binary system of computing is how computers have always worked. Every function (9) _____ you do on your computer is a function based on zeros and ones at the core of every computer.
  1. There are two options being given. First option: “you’re typing the letter…”, which is followed by the conjunction “or”, which in turn is followed by the second option: “clicking on something in your…”. “Or” is part of a correlative conjunction and you need to insert a conjunction in the gap. It is very similar in meaning to another conjunction “if”. I.e., “______ you want to go or not, I don’t care”. There are two options being given.
(10) ________ you’re typing the letter “k” on your keyboard or clicking on something in your browser, all these functions are based on a combination of 0’s and 1’s.
  1. Once again, when you have no word at the beginning of the sentence, chances are, you’re going to need a conjunction. This conjunction can introduce a way, manner or state. In this case, there is a state.
(11) _____________ a new era of computing is looming on the horizon.

Cambridge First – Tutorial

  1. This is a fixed phrase meaning “for example”. The examples being “Google, IBM and Microsoft”.
Many of the big tech companies (12) _______ as Google, IBM and Microsoft…
  1. The word needed is an adverb, and it is functioning as a sentence connector or a sort of comparative. The comparative being “on quantum mechanics whereby computers…”. Think, which word would you use to compare two options? E.g. I would ____ this apple than the orange. She would _____ listen to music than do chores.
This new approach to computing will not be based on the standard binary system, but (13) ________ on quantum mechanics whereby computers will be based on 0’s, 1’s or both 0 and 1.
  1. Typical word order in English is the following: subject + verb + object. “This” is functioning as a pronoun here (a pronoun replaces a noun), and in turn, the subject of the sentence. “change” is an ordinary verb, so in this case, it will go after an auxiliary verb. Remember, we’re talking about the future (radically change the way we do computing…), so we need an auxiliary verb that is used for the future tense (there is only one). “Radically” is an adverb, and adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.
This (14) _______ radically change the way we do computing in ways that are not yet comprehensible.
  1. When we want to express a purpose, it is generally “___ + infinitive”. The infinitive here being “process”. E.g. “I came here ___ learn”. “Maria walks every day ___ keep fit”. In these examples their purposes are “learn” and “keep fit”, but a preposition is missing.
Basically, quantum computing will allow computers (15) ______ process information 100 million times faster than your average laptop! That’s crazy!
  1. “Operations” are the tasks being implied, tasks that you have to execute on a “daily basis”. Therefore, a “doing” word is needed. A word that is similar to “make” and acts as a general-purpose word with regard to jobs and tasks.  
For the meantime, quantum computers have not yet been built, and the operations that you (16) ______ on a daily basis on your normal computer will not change any time soon.
Answers:
  1. based
  1. that
  2. whether
  3. however
  4. such as
  5. rather
  6. will
  7. to
  8. do

Cambridge First

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