Objects of Prepositions

An object of a preposition is a noun or a pronoun that comes after a preposition such as in, at, of, to, by, behind and on to form a prepositional phrase.

The trip (to the island) (on saturday) will last (for three hours).

This sentence contains three objects of prepositions. Islands is the object of the preposition to; Saturday is the object of the preposition on; hours  is the object of preposition for.

An object of a preposition can cause confusion in the Structure section of the TOEFL test because it can be mistaken for the subject of a sentence.

Example”

To Mike ___ was a big surprise.  (A). really  (B). the party (C). funny  (D). when.

In this example, you should look first for the subject and the verb. You should notice the verb ‘was’ and should also notice that there is no subject. Do not think that Mike is the object of the preposition ‘to,’ and one nounc cannot be both a subject and an object at the same time. Because a subject is needed in this sentence, answer (B), ‘the party,’ is the best answer. Answers (A), (C), and (D) are not correct because they cannot be subjects.

The following chart outlines the key information that you should remember about objects of prepositions:

A preposition is followed by a noun or pronoun that is called an object of the prepositions, if a word is an object of a preposition, it is not the subject.

 

Conjunctions

Conjunction Conjunctions are tested in both the Structure and Written Expression sections. The two kinds of conjunctions tested are: a. Coordinating Conjunctions b. Correlative Conjunctions Coordinating Conjunctions Coordinating Conjunctions connect words or phrases that have the same function in a sentence. The coordinating conjunctions tested on the TOEFL Test are and, but or, and so.

1. And ‘and’ joins two or more words, phrases, or clauses of similar functions and is used to show addition.

Like peas and broad beans, soya beans grow in pods.

The plant is ready for harvesting when the leaves turn yellow and drop off, and the pods and stems dry out.

Note: When ‘and’ joins two subjects, the verb is plural. Soya beans and peas have pods.

2. But ‘but’ joins two or more words, phrases, or clauses and is used to show contrast.

In the U.S soya is not harvested by hand but my machine.

Soya is not a new discovery but is one of the oldest crops grown in the Orient.

3. Or ‘or’ joins two or more words, phrases, or clauses. It is used to give a choice.

The beans may be yellow, green, brown, or mottle.

After being chilled, the margarine is packed into tubs or cut in blocks.

4. So ‘so’ joins a clause. It does not join single words or phrases. ‘So’ is used to show effect.

The soya beans is versatile, so it is grown widely.

Correlative Conjunctions Like coordinating conjunctions, these words are used to join words, phrases, and clauses.

Correlative Conjunctions or paired conjunctions appear in two parts: either … or neither … nor both … and not only … but also whether …… or Each of the pair of words should be followed by a word of the same grammatical form. Either (noun) or (noun) Not only (adj) but also (adj)

1. Either .. or Either … or is used to indicate alternative.

Soya can be used in either fish feed or chicken feed.

2. Neither … nor Neither ….. nor is used to indicate negative alternatives.

Soya is dangerous to neither humans nor animals

The subject closest to the verb will determine if the verb is singular or plural.

3. Both … and Both …. and indicates addition.

Soya protein isolate is used in both meat and fish products.

Subject connected with both … and take a plural verb.

4. Not only …. but also Not only …. but also emphasizes addition.

Soya is not only the most efficient but also the least costly source of protein.

The not only clause must come before the phrase it refers to. The subject closest to the verb will determine if the verb is singular or plural.

5. Whether … or

Whether …. or indicates a condition.

Whether it is in the print of a newspaper or the food we eat, our lives are touched by soya.

Reading Comprehension (Stated Detail Questions)

A stated detail questions asks about one piece of information in the passage rather than the passage as a whole. The answers to these questions are generally given in order in the passage, and the correct answer is often a restatement of what is given in the passage. This means that the correct answer expresses the same idea as what is written in the passage, but the words are not exactly the same.

Example:

Flutes have been around for quite some time, in all sorts of shapes and sizes and made from a variety of materials. The oldest known flutes, are about 2,000 years old; they were made from hollowed-out bones with holes cut in them. In addition to bone, older flutes were often constructed from bamboo or hollowed-out wood.

Today’s flutes are generally made of metal, and in addition to the holes they have a complicated system of keys, levers, and pads. The instrument belonging to well-known flautist James Galway is not just made of any meta: it is made of gold.

The questions:

1. According to the passage, the oldest flutes (A). had holes cut in them (B). were made of metal. (C). were made 200,000 years ago. (D). had a complicated set of levers and pads.

2. The passage indicates that James Galway’s flute is made of (A). bones (B). bamboo (C). wood (D). gold

The answers to the questions are generally found in order in the passage, so you should look for the answer to the first question near the beginning of the passage.Since the first question asks about the oldest flutes, you should see that this question is answered in the second sentence.

The answer to the second question will probably be located in the passage after the answer to the first question. Since the second question is about James Galway’s flute, you should skim through the passage to find the part of the passage that discusses this topic.

 

Reading Comprehension for TOEFL 2 (Narration/Sequence-Arts/Architecture)

In some  questions in the Reading Section on the Paper-Based TOEFL or the Computer Based TOEFL, you will be asked to recall and relate information and content from narration or sequence passages in various of study. Choose the best answer for the multiple choice questions.

EUGENE O’NEILL

Universally acclaimed as America’s greatest playwright, Eugene O’Neill was born in 1888 in the heart of the theater district in New York city. Ad the son of an actor he had early exposure to the world of the theater. He attended Princeton University briefly in 1906, but  returned to New York to work in a variety of jobs before joining the crew of a freighter as a seaman. Upon returning from voyages to South Africa and South America, he was hospitalized for six months to recuprate from tuberculosis. While he was recovering, he determined to write a play abotu his adventures on the sea.

He went to Harvard, where he wrote the one act Bound East for Cardiff. It was produced in 1916 on Cape Cod by the Provincetown Players, an experimental theater grup that was later  to settle in the famous Greenwich Village theater district in New York City. The Players produced several more of his one-acts in the years between 1916-1920. With the full-length play Beyond the Horizon, produced on Broadway in 1920, O’Neill’s success was assured. The play won the Pulitzer Prize for the best play of the year. O’Neill was to be awarded the prize again in 1922, 1928 and 1957 for Anna Christie, Strange Interlude, and Long Day’s Journey into Night.  Although he did not receive the Pullitzer Prize for it, Morning Becomes Electra, produced in 1931, is arguably his most lasting contribution to American theater. In 1936, he awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

O’Neill’s plays, forty-five in all ,cover a wide range of dramatic subjects, but several themes emerge, including the ambivalence of family relationship, the struggle between the sexes, the conflict between spiritual and material desires, and the vision of modern man as a victim of uncontrollable circumstances. Most of O’Neill’s character are seeking meaning in their lives.According to his biographers, most of the characters were portraits of himself and his family. In a sense, his work chronicled his life.

Listening Comprehension for TOEFL 1 (Restatement)

Often the correct answers in Listening Part A is an answer  that contains a restatement of the ideas in the second line of the conversation.Example:

On the recording, you hear:

(woman): Steve, is something the matter? You don’t look very good.

(man): Oh, I am feeling a little sick today. (second line of the conversation)

(narrator): What does the man mean?)

In your test book, you read: (A). He’s not very good-looking. (B). He’s a bit ill. (C). He looks worse than he feels.  (D). His feet are a little thick.

In this conversation, sick means ill, and a little means a bit. The best answer to this question is therefore answer (B) because answer (B) restates the idea in the second line of the dialogue. Please note that answer (D) is definitely not a correct answer because it contains feet instead of feel and thick instead of sick. These words are similar in sound but not in meaning to the words that you hear on the recording.

THE BEST STRATEGY: CHOOSE ANSWERS WITH RESTATEMENTS

1. As you listen to the second line of the conversation, you should focus on the key idea(s) in that line.

2. If you see a restatement of the key idea(s) in a particular answer, then you have probably found the correct answer.

3. Do not choose answers with words that sound similar to the words on the recording.

 

 

Listening Comprehension Exercise 1 (Dialogues-Topics)

In some dialogues in the Listening Section on the Paper Based TOEFL, you will be asked ti identify the main topic from among several secondary subjects in the conversation. Choose the best answer.

1. What are the man and woman talking about? (A). A health club. (B). A class (C). A game (D). A dentist

2. What are these two people most probably discussing? (A). Food and grocery items  (B). Gasoline prices (C). Wights and measures  (D). Money

3. What are the two people talking about?        (A). A vacation           (B). The mail           (C). The newspaper          (D). The office

4. What are the two people discussing?     (A). A new doctor     (B). A party they attended            (C). Their friend Marry     (D). A graduate program

5. What are the man and the woman discussing?  (A). An exchange program      (B). The man’s trip     (C). The man’s illness        (D). Their friend Nancy

6. What are the man and woman talking about?  (A). The professor’s lecture      (B). The woman’s children.  (C). The chairs they are sitting in     (D). The size of the lecture room

7. What are the two people discussing? (A). The woman’s computer   (B). The woman’s paper   (C). The man’s hometown    (D). The woman’s class

8. What are the two people talking about?  (A). The campus    (B). Registration week   (C).The parking situation   (D). The woman’s class

9. What are the man and the woman discussing? (A). The professor, Dr. Smith   (B). The lab reports     (C). The attendance policy       (D). The teaching assistant.

10. What are the man and the woman talking about?  (A). The chemistry department.  (B). The woman’s house   (C). The man’s employer    (D). Having lunch on campus

 

Restatement

Often the correct answer in Listening Part A is an answer that contains a restatement of the ideas in the second line of the conversation

Example: On the recording, you hear:

(woman): Steve, is something the matter? You don’t look very good.

(man): Oh, I’m feeling a little sick today.

(narrator): What dos the man mean?

In your test book, you read: (A). He’s not very good looking (B). He’s a a bit ill. (C). He looks worse than he feels (D). His feet are a little thick.

In this conversation, sick means ill and a little means  a bit. The best answer to this question is therefore answer (B) because answer (B) restates the idea in the second line of the dialogue. Please note that answer (D) is definitely not a correct answer  because it contains  feet and thick insted of sick. These words are similar in sound but not in meaning to the words that you hear on the recording.

Introduction (Subject and Verb)

SUBJECTS AND VERBS

You know that a sentence in English should have a subject and a verb. the most common types of problems that you will encounter in the Structure section of the TOEFL test are related to subjects and verbs; perhaps the sentence is missing either the subject or the verb or both; the sentence has an extra subject or verb.

Example 1: ______ was ringing continuously for hours. (A). Loudly (B). In the morning (C). The phone (D). The bells

In this example, you should notice immediately that there is a verb, was ringing but there is no subject. Answer (C) is the best answer because it is a singular subject that agrees with the singular verb was ringing.

Example 2. Newspaper _______ every morning and every evening. (A). delivery (B). are delivered (C). on time (D). regularly

In this example, you should notice immediately that the sentence has a subject, newspaper, but that there is no verb. Because answer (B) are delivered, is a verb, it is the best answer.

Exercise: Underline the subjects once and the verbs twice in each of the following sentences. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).

1. ______ My best friend always helpful with problems.

2. ______ the bus schedule has changed since last week.

3. ______ Accidentally dropped the glass on the floor.

4. ______ The customer paying the clerk for the clothes.

5. ______ The professor handed the syllabus to the students.

6. ______ Each day practiced the piano for hours.

7. ______ The basketball player tossed the ball into the hoop.

8. ______ The new students in the class very talkactive and friendly.

9. ______ Walking with the children to school.

10. _____ The whales headed south for the winter.

 

Sentences-Verbs

In some sentences in the Structure Section on the Paper-Based TOEFL, you will be asked to identify the correct verb. In fact, most of the sentences in the Structure Section are verb problems. A verb is a word or phrase that expresses action or condition. A verb can be classified as transitive or intransitive according to whether it requires  a complement, it can be classified further according to the kind of complement it requires, including not only nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs, but also -ing forms or infinitives. Choose the correct answers in the incomplete sentences. Choose the incorrect word or phrase in the underlined choices.

1. Almost everyone fails _____ the driver’s test on the first try. (A). passing. (B). to have passed (C). to pass (D). in passing

2. When the silkworm(A) gets through to lay (B) its (C) eggs, it dies (D).

3. If endangered species ___________ saved, rain forests must be protected. (A). are to be (B). be (C). can be (D). will be

4. The average spoken sentence in conversational English takes 2.5 seconds ___________. (A). for to complete (B) completing (C). to complete (D). by completing

5. Only twenty years ago, most doctors agreed _____ truthful with their terminally ill patients, a trend that has reversed itself in modern medical practice. (A). don’t to be  (B).not to be (C). we shouldn’t been (D). not to been

6. William Torrey Harris was one of the first educators interested ________ a logical progression of topics in the school curriculum. (A). in establishing (B). for establishing (C) establishing (D). to establish

7. North American Indian tribes used signs language _______ with tribes that spoke a different language or dialect. (A). to communicating (B) for communicate (C). to communicate (D). for communicated

8. Art tends to be __________ more after the death of the artists, but most literary works tend to decrease in value when the writer dies. (A). price  (B). worthy (C). worth  (D). value

9. Adult eagles let their offspring ____ nests near their original nesting area. (A). build (B). builds (C). building (D). to build

10. A barometer (A) is a device with a sealed (B) metal chamber designed to reading (C) the changes in the pressure of air (D) in the atmosphere.

11. If  a person does not have an attorney, the court ____ one. (A). will appoint  (B). appointed  (C). would appoint  (D). appointing

12. Since lightning was probably significant in the formation of life, understanding it (A) might help (B) in to understanding (C) life itself(D).

13. Iowa ______ of flat-topped hills erected by the ancient Mount Builder people as temples and burial sites.(A). with a larger number (B). has a larger number (C). having a large number (D). a large number

14. If the oxygen supply in the atmosphere (A) was (B) not replenished by plants (C), it would soon be exhausted (D).

15. ____ the eight Ivy League schools are among the most prestigious college in the United States. (A). It is generally accepted that (B). That it is accepted (C). Accepting that it is (D). That is accepted

16. The Girl Scouts, which was found (A) by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912 (B), has grown (C) to current membership of more than (D) three million girls.

17. To relieve pain caused by severe burns, prevent infection, and treat for shock____ immediate steps. (A). taking  (B). to take  (C). taken (D). take

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definition/Illustration-Popular Culture (Reading Comprehension Text for TOEFL 2)

In some questions in the Reading Section on the Paper Based Test TOEFL, you will be asked to recall and relate information and content from definition or illustration passages about popular culture. Choose the best answer.

MICKEY MOUSE

Mickey Mouse was not Walt Disney’s first successful cartoon creation, but he is certainly his most famous one. It was on a cross-country train trip from New York to California in 1927 that Disney first drew the mouse with the big ears. Supposedly, he took his inspiration from the tame field mice that used to scamper into his old studio in Kansas City. No one is quite sure why he dressed the mouse in the now-familiar shorts with two buttons and gave him the yellow shoes. But we do know that Disney had intended to call him Mortimer until his wife Lilian intervened and christened him Micky Mouse.

Capitalizing on the interest in Charles Lindbergh, Disney planned Mickey’s debut in the short cartoon Plane Crazy, with Minnie as a co-star. In the third short cartoon, Steamboat Willie, Mickey was whistling and singing through the miracle of the modern soundtrack. By the 1930s, Mickey’s image had circled the globe. He was a superstar at the height of his career.

Although he has received a few minor changes throughout his lifetime, most notably the addition of white gloves and the alterations to achieve the rounder forms of a more childish body, he has remained true to his nature since those first cartoons. Mickey is appealing because he is nice. He may get into trouble but he takes it on the chin with a grin. He is both good natured and resourceful. Perhaps that was Disney’s own image of himself. Why else would he have insisted on doing Mickey’s voice in all the cartoons for twenty years? When interviewed, he would say,”There is a lot of the mouse in me.” And that mouse has remained one of the most pervasive images in American popular culture.