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Identify the Missing Word in a Scrambled Set

In this worksheet, students will work out the missing word by replacing endings, changing the function and meaning of the words present. It will develop their problem solving and sequencing skills.

'Identify the Missing Word in a Scrambled Set' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Verbal Reasoning

Curriculum subtopic:   Word Scrambles

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

When people get tired, they sometimes say their brains are scrambled!

 

Well, there is no room for that here, as we need your best brainpower to unscramble the following puzzle.

 

Challenge accepted, word detective?

 

 

 

Below are some pairs of words.

They each follow a special pattern and we need to find out what each pattern is!

 

You need to think about what the pattern is between the first two pairs, and then complete the third pair in the same way.

 

What could be the special pattern below?

 

(appear, pears)          (return, turns)          (beside, ____ )            

           

    A green pear

 

Did you notice that the second word has had the first two letters removed and an -s added at the end?

 

This is our special pattern and we need to do the same to the word beside it to find the missing word.

 

If we remove the be, we are left with side and then we need to add an -s to get sides.

 

This makes our missing word SIDES.

 

So the complete set of words would be:

(appear, pears)          (return, turns)          (beside, sides)

 

 

 


Let’s investigate another example now. 

 

Look at these word pairs.

Can you work out the special pattern to figure out which word comes next?

 

(scares, care)          (brains, rain)          (cabled, ____ )

 

Did you notice that the first and last letters are being removed in each case?

 

We need to do the same for cabled and this gives us the answer ABLE.

 

So the complete set of words would be:

 

(scares, care)          (brains, rain)          (cabled, able)        

         

    A little girl in the rain in a yellow raincoat

 

Pssstt!! Here’s a handy hint to help you reach superstar status:

Remember to check if any letters have been added or removed from the word.
 

In this activity, you will need to be a word detective and work out the missing word in a pair.

 

Let’s get started!

Ready, steady, go word scrambler!

 

Here are two groups of words:

 

[leaf, leaves]

[shelf, ____ ]

 

A green oak leaf

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

Here's another challenge for you to get your teeth into now!

 

Here are two new word pairings: 

 

[bounty, bountiful]

[beauty, ____ ]

   

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first and second pairs, find the missing word.

Here's a new sneaky set to investigate: 

 

[happy, happily]

[funny, ____ ]

 

Smiley jam biscuit

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words. 

 

Following the same pattern as the first group, find the missing word.

Here's a fresh dastardly duo: 

 

[dance, dancing]

[taste, ____ ]

 

Young boy disco dancing

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair of words, find the missing word. 

Review the word groups below:

 

[worried, worry]

[carried, ____ ]

 

Worried woman

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first two groups of words, find the missing word.

Here are your next challenge words: 

 

[flies, fly]

[cries, ____ ]

 

bird flying

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first group of words, find the missing word.

Here are two new groups of words:

 

[time, timing]

[shine, ____ ]

 

Silver stopwatch

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first two pairs, find the missing word.  

Investigate these new suspicious words:

 

[messily, messy]

[easily, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

Here are your penultimate word groups: 

 

[half, halves]

[hoof, ____ ]

 

horse legs

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first two groups, find the missing word.

Here's your final mission:

 

[life, lives]

[safe, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair of words, find the missing word.

  • Question 1

Ready, steady, go word scrambler!

 

Here are two groups of words:

 

[leaf, leaves]

[shelf, ____ ]

 

A green oak leaf

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Shelves
EDDIE SAYS
The second word in each group has had the last letter removed and the letters ves added. In this case, the second word is also a plural of the first. How did you find this first challenge, word detective? Ready for another?
  • Question 2

Here's another challenge for you to get your teeth into now!

 

Here are two new word pairings: 

 

[bounty, bountiful]

[beauty, ____ ]

   

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first and second pairs, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Beautiful
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on here? The second word in each group has had the last letter removed and the letters iful added at the end. This has changed the nouns of 'bounty' and 'beauty' into adjectives instead.
  • Question 3

Here's a new sneaky set to investigate: 

 

[happy, happily]

[funny, ____ ]

 

Smiley jam biscuit

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words. 

 

Following the same pattern as the first group, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Funnily
EDDIE SAYS
Fantastic effort so far! The second word in each group has had the last letter removed and the letters ily added. The first words are adjectives, but, by adding this ending, they have become adverbs. Isn't the word 'funnily' a strange one? It almost doesn't sound like a real word but, believe us, it is!
  • Question 4

Here's a fresh dastardly duo: 

 

[dance, dancing]

[taste, ____ ]

 

Young boy disco dancing

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair of words, find the missing word. 

CORRECT ANSWER
Tasting
EDDIE SAYS
The second word in each group has had the last letter removed and the suffix -ing added. So the infinitives of our verbs have become gerunds, which is just a fancy way of saying a verb in the present tense with an -ing ending. Do you like dancing?
  • Question 5

Review the word groups below:

 

[worried, worry]

[carried, ____ ]

 

Worried woman

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first two groups of words, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Carry
EDDIE SAYS
Our word has got shorter this time! The second word in each group has had the word ending -ied removed and replaced with the letter y. So, in this case, our verb in the past tense has been converted back into an infinitive. This just means the basic form of the verb, without any tenses or subjects being included. A top tip for spotting a verb in the infinitive form is to ask yourself, can I add 'to' before this? If you can, it probably is an infinitive, whereas if you can't, then it's probably not.
  • Question 6

Here are your next challenge words: 

 

[flies, fly]

[cries, ____ ]

 

bird flying

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first group of words, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Cry
EDDIE SAYS
Don't cry - you're nearly at the end of this activity! The second word in each group has had the word ending -ies removed and the letter y added instead. In this case, we have converted the present tense verb back into the infinitive again - did you spy that detective?
  • Question 7

Here are two new groups of words:

 

[time, timing]

[shine, ____ ]

 

Silver stopwatch

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first two pairs, find the missing word.  

CORRECT ANSWER
Shining
EDDIE SAYS
The second word in each group has had the last letter removed and the letters -ing added instead. This change has converted the infinitive into the gerund again. Can you remember what both of these terms mean? You just have three cases left to crack! Don't stop now, you're on a roll!
  • Question 8

Investigate these new suspicious words:

 

[messily, messy]

[easily, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Easy
EDDIE SAYS
Did you find this one EASY?! The second word in each group has had the word ending -ily removed and replaced with the letter y instead. This time, we have changed an adjective into an adverb.
  • Question 9

Here are your penultimate word groups: 

 

[half, halves]

[hoof, ____ ]

 

horse legs

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups of words.

 

Following the same pattern as the first two groups, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Hooves
EDDIE SAYS
It's those dreaded irregular plurals again! The second word in each group has had the last letter removed and replaced with the word ending -ves instead. Here, our first word is singular but our second is plural. Whenever a noun ends in an 'f', the plural is usually formed by adding the -ves ending. 'Hooves' sounds much better and is much easier to say than 'hoofs', isn't it? Only one mission remains now, word detective!
  • Question 10

Here's your final mission:

 

[life, lives]

[safe, ____ ]

 

The second word is missing in one of the groups.

 

Following the same pattern as the first pair of words, find the missing word.

CORRECT ANSWER
Saves
EDDIE SAYS
The second word in each group has had the last two letters removed and the word ending -ves added. The first two words are nouns, but they have become verbs in the second words. Similarly to our last question, the letters f's in these words, becomes v's when this change occurs so they are easier to say and sound right. Your last challenge is now complete, word scrambler - well done! You can now create new words by adding and removing a range of different endings, which change the function and meaning of the word provided.
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