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Identify the Complex Missing Word in a Scrambled Set

In this worksheet, students will work out a pattern involving changing more than one letter which can be positioned anywhere in a word, then apply this to find a missing word. It will develop their problem solving and sequencing skills.

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'Identify the Complex Missing Word in a Scrambled Set' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Year:  Year 4 11+ worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Verbal Reasoning

Curriculum subtopic:   Word Scrambles

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

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.


Let’s look at an example together now. 

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 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 explore 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 each time?

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


edplace 11+ detective


Top Tip: Remember to check if any letter 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!

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