FCE (First Certificate in English) Writing- Reviews

Level: Intermediate

Topic: General

Grammar Topic: Exam Traps and Tricks

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

Brainstorming Language for Writing FCE Reviews

Cambridge First Certificate Writing Part Two
Brainstorm words into the categories below that can be used to describe things that you 
might have to review in FCE Writing. Only write down the words which are new to you and
so your partner has to explain to you. 
Positive adjectives

Negative adjectives 

Expressions for talking about positive things

Expressions for talking about negative things

Types of music

Types of movies

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

Types of TV programme

People connected to movies

Other nouns related to movies

Verbs related to movies

Nouns to describe plays and theatres 

Nouns to describe aspects of a restaurant or meal

Compare your answers with those on the next page. You get one point for anything you 
wrote which is not below. 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

Suggested answers
Positive adjectives
(good) value for money
action-packed
addictive
amusing/ funny
attractive
award winning
brilliant/ wonderful/ fantastic/ fabulous/ excellent/ terrific/ splendid
classic/ timeless
cosmopolitan
delightful
distinctive/ unique
dramatic
entertaining/ fun
exciting
flawless/ impeccable/ perfect
gripping
haunting
interesting/ fascinating
intriguing
lovely
memorable
moving
original
realistic
satisfying
sophisticated
spectacular
the bee’s knees
thought-provoking
topical
underrated
unforgettable
unmatched
unpredictable
uplifting
well-acted
well-directed

Negative adjectives 
(instantly) forgettable
amateurish
annoying/ irritating
awful/ dreadful/ terrible
bland
boring/ tedious

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

chaotic
cheesy
childish
clichéd 
commercial
confusing
dated
depressing
disappointing
dull
expensive/ overpriced/ bad value for money
gloomy
melodramatic
monotonous
notorious
odd/ strange/ weird
over the top
overpriced
overrated
pointless
predictable
pretentious
random
repetitive
sentimental
unintentionally funny

Expressions for talking about positive things
A (unique) selling point…
A strong point/ strength…
Don’t miss…/ You shouldn’t miss…/ You mustn’t miss…
I (highly/ thoroughly) recommend this… for…
I can’t/ couldn’t get enough of it.
If you like…, you’ll love…
It will make you feel…
It would suit…
It’s (really/ well) worth…
It’s suitable for…
My favourite…
You won’t regret…
one in a million
… stands out (from the crowd)…

Expressions for talking about negative things
Don’t bother…
I couldn’t (really) get into…
I wasn’t keen on…

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

I would only recommend…
I wouldn’t recommend…
I wouldn’t rush out and…
It wouldn’t suit…
It’s not (really) suitable for…
It’s not (really) worth…
I’d avoid…
I’d be in no hurry to…
My (main) criticism is…
My least favourite…
One of the (main) weaknesses…

Types of music
classic rock
classical
dance/ techno/ house
disco
easy listening
folk
funk
girl band/ boy band
hip-hop/ rap
indie/ alternative
R&B
world music

Types of movies
(spaghetti) western
action movie/ thriller
cartoon/ animation
crime/ cop movie
horror
musical
prequel/ sequel
remake
rom-com
sci-fi

Types of TV programme
adaptation
cop series
costume drama
current affairs
miniseries
murder mystery/ whodunit
news broadcast
quiz show

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

reality show
sit-com
soap opera
stand-up comedy
talk show
travel programme
weather forecast
wildlife documentary

People connected to movies
(lead/ supporting) actor
(main) character
bad guy/ antihero
cameraman
cast
director
extra
hero/ heroine
producer
screenwriter
star

Other nouns related to movies
(car) chase
(happy/ surprise) ending
(wide) screen
ads
CGI/ special effects
dialogue/ lines
plot
script
setting
shoot out
soundtrack
stunt
trailer
twist(s and turns) (in the plot)

Verbs related to movies
(re)watch
direct/ is directed by
features
is set in
perform
release
stars

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

Nouns to describe plays and theatres 
(first/ second) act
(foot)lights/ lighting
audience
balcony
costume
curtain
interval
performance(s)
scenery
script
stage
stalls

Nouns to describe aspects of a restaurant or meal
(waiting) staff
atmosphere
décor
dessert
main course
menu/ drinks menu
reservation
service
set menu
starter

Practice
Read out vocabulary from one section above, starting with the most difficult, until your 
partner works out which section it is. 

Choose words and expressions above and try to agree on real places and things which 
you could describe that way. 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014