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Use of Language: B1, B2 and C1

Use of language: functions and grammar

Use of Language at B1, B2 and C1

For Aptis General and Aptis for Teachers we’re going to concentrate on use of language at B1 and B2.  This is because those are the levels most students want to reach for their studies or jobs. For Aptis Advanced, our focus is on use of language at high B2 and C1.

There are two main areas to think about: functions and grammar.  So what does that mean?

Well, functions are similar to the ‘can do’ descriptors of the CEFR.  Functions are what you need to be able to do with language at each level.  For example, you need to be able to give personal info about present & past circumstances & activities. 

And grammar is the language you need in order to do that.  In this case, you’ll need the present simple, present continuous, past simple, and past continuous.

Focus on Use of Language: B1, B2 and C1 

These are the main functions and grammatical structures you need to know if you’re taking the Aptis Tests.  So you need to be very familiar with the differences in use of language at B1, B2 and C1.  Remember, the levels are progressive; this means you also need to know the language for the previous level.  So at B1 you already need to know A1 and A2 language points and at B2 you need to know those for A1, A2 and B1.  At C1 you need to know A1, A2, B1 and B2 language points, and of course at C2 you need to know them all.

A1 language is very basic.  A2 language points are also included here.

A2:  Functions & Grammar



Giving personal info about present & past circumstances & activities

present simple, present continuous, past simple, past continuous

Describing routines, people, objects & places

have/have got, adjectives

Describing ability & inability

can/can’t + infinitive

Describing future plans

to be going to + infinitive

Expressing likes & dislikes

gerund verbs (+ing) / plural forms

Describing manner & frequency

adverbs & expressions of frequency

Expressing simple comparisons

comparatives & superlatives

B1: Functions & Grammar



Describing experience & events in the indefinite & recent past

present perfect

Describing the future, informing & predicting, expressing intention

to be going to + infinitive, will + infinitive, open & 1st conditionals

Expressing certainty & uncertainty, obligation & necessity

modal verbs, 2nd conditional

Expressing opinions

In my opinion, As I see it, To my mind, Personally, I think …

Expressing preferences

I’d rather + infinitive, prefer + infinitive/+ ing

Expressing purpose & giving reasons

Expressing feelings & emotions

infinitive of purpose, because

adjectives, qualifiers, extreme adjectives

B2: Functions & Grammar



Describing past habits

used to/would + infinitive

Expanding on the past

present perfect continuous & past perfect

Expanding on the future

future perfect simple & continuous

Expressing & expanding ideas & opinions

passives, relative clauses

Expressing feelings & emotions

extreme adjectives, qualifiers & adjectival expressions

Expressing possibility & impossibility, speculating & hypothesising

modal verbs, 2nd, 3rd  conditionals

Highlighting advantages & disadvantages

on one hand/on the other hand, while/whereas, although/but

Giving advice & making suggestions

modal verbs, 2nd conditional

Reporting conversation & ideas

reported speech, tense control

Using colloquial expressions & registers

phrasal verbs, colloquialisms

High B2 & C1: Functions & Grammar

Expressing abstract ideasverbs followed by gerund and/or infinitive, intensifiers, modifiers

Expressing assumptions

more complex forms of the passive with modals

Expressing possibility & impossibility, speculating & hypothesising

3rd and mixed conditionals, modal verbs + perfect infinitive

Expressing regrets, wishes and hopes

3rd and mixed conditionals, correct verb patterns after wish, if only and hope

Evaluating past actions or course of events

modal verbs + perfect infinitive

Evaluating options

range of condtionals, more complex forms of the passive with modals 

Summarising information, ideas & arguments

So what you’re saying is, to sum up, in a nutshell, to cut a long story short etc

Developing, defending & justifying an argument

signposting expressions (conversely, therefore, thus …) connectors, inversions

Expressing yourself within a range of registerswide range of idiomatic expressions & colloquialisms, phrasal verbs, formal alternatives
You can practise some of these structures in the Grammar Reference section. 

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