Present and Past Participles

Present Participles can cause confusion in the Structure Session of the TOEFL test because a present participle can be either an adjective or a part of the verb. A present participle is the -ing form of the verb. It is part of the verb when it is preceded by some form of the verb ‘be’.

The train is arriving (adjective) at the station now is an hour late.

In this sentence, arriving is an adjective and not part of the verb because it is not accompanied by some form of be. The verb in this sentence is ‘is.’

The following example shows how a present participle can be confused with the verb in the Structure section of the TOEFL test.

The film _____ appearing at the local theatre is my favorite.  (A). now  (B). is (C). it  (D). was

In this example, if you look at only the first words of the sentence, it appears that ‘film’ is the subject and ‘appearing’ is part of the verb. If you think that ‘appearing’ is part of the verb, you might choose answer (B), is or answer (D). to complete the verb. However, this answer is  are incorrect because ‘appearing’ is not part of the verb. You should recognize that ‘appearing’ is a participial adjective rather than a verb because there is another verb in the sentence, ‘is’. In this sentence, there is a complete subject, ‘film,’ and a complete verb ‘is’, so this sentence does not need another subject or verb. The best answer is (A).

PAST PARTICIPLE

Past Participle can cause confusion in the Structure Section of the TOEFL test because a past participle can be either an adjective or a part of the verb. The past participle is the form of the verb that appears with ‘have’ or ‘be.’ It often ends in -ed, but there are also many irregular past participles in English.

The mailman has left (verb) a letter in the mailbox.

The classes were taught (Verb) by Professor Smith.

In the first sentence, the past participle ‘left’ is part of the verb because it is accompanied by ‘has.’ In the second sentence, the past participle ‘taught’ is part of the verb because it is accompanied by ‘were.’

A past participle is an adjective when it is not accompanied by some form of ‘be; or ‘have.’

The letter left (adjective)  in the mailbox was for me.

The classes taught (adjective) by Professor Smith were very interesting.

In the first sentence, ‘left’ is an adjective rather than a verb because it is not accompanied by a form of ‘be’ or ‘have’ (and there is a verb ,’was’ later in the sentence). In the second sentence, ‘taught’ is an adjective rather than a  verb because it is not accompanied by a form of ‘be’ or ‘have’ (and there is a verb ‘were’ later in the sentence).

The following example shows how a past participle can be confused with the verb in the Structure section of the TOEFL test.

The bread _____ baked this morning smelled delicious.  (A). has  (B). was (C). it  (D). just.

In this example, if you look only the first few words of the sentence, it appears that ‘bread’ is the subject and ‘baked’ is either a complete verb or a past participle that needs a helping  verb. But if you look further in the sentence, you will see the verb ‘smelled.’ You will then recognize that ‘baked’  is a participial adjective and is therefore not part of the verb. So the best answer is (D).

 

Review Structure for TOEFL 1 and 2

Choose the correct answers!

1. _____ on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs. (A). For the running of the Kentucky Derby. (B). the Kentucky Derby is run. (C). To run the Kentucky Derby  (D). When the Kentucky Derby is run.

2. According to ___quantum mechanics, it is normally impossible to pinpoint the orbit of an electron bond to an atom.  (A). the related laws. (B). the laws are related  (C). the laws of  (D). the laws are related to

3. Chicago is home to more than 4 million people _______ as many as 54 languages and dialects. (A). Speak  (B). they speak  (C). spoke  (D). speaking.

4. When Mexico ceded California to the United States in 1848, signers of the treaty did not know ______ had been discovered there. (A). golden  (B). that with gold.  (C). that gold  (D). with gold.

5. Rubber came to the attention of Europeans ____ found Native Americans using it. (A). explorers  (B). after explorers  (C). when explored  (D). after explorers they

6. Most asteroids are located in _____ called the asteroid belt.  (A). what is (B). what is in  (C). is what  (D). is it.

7. About three-fourths of the books published in the United States are put out by publishers ______ In New York City. (A). locates  (B). located  (C). they locate  (D). they are located.

8. The physical phenomenon  ________ use to obtain water from the soil is osmosis. (A). plants have roots  (B). that plant roots  (C). what plant roots  (D). plants are rooted.

9. More books have been written about the Civil War _____ any other war in history. (A). that there is   (B). about   (C). of   (D). than about

10. A sheet of clear glasses, ________ with a film of metal, results in a luminously clear mirror.  (A). when backed  (B). it is backed  (C). is backed  (D). when is it backed

11. The Liberty Bell, _______ its own pavilion on Independence Mall, hung for nearly a century at Independence Hall.  (A). that now has  (B). now has  (C). when does it have  (D). which now has

12. Not until about 8,000 years ago ______ come into use.  (A). bronze tools for weapons.  (B). bronze tools for weapons have  (C). bronze tools for weapons were to  (D). did bronze tools for weapon.

13. The state of Michigan can rightfully claim to be a “Water Wonderland” __________ has a 3,121-mile shoreline.  (A). because  (B). that  (C). in that it. (D). that it

14. _______glacial sediment, the moister the surface soil becomes.  (A). It is thicker. (B). In the thick.. (C). The thicker the  (D). The thick

15. _____ cut away, the wheel could be strengthened with struts or crossbars. (A). Were large sections.of a wheel. (B). Large sections of a wheel. (C). Large sections of a wheel were  (D). Large sections of a wheel to

 

Listening Practice Part A for TOEFL 1 and 2

PART ONE

 Direction: In Part A, you will hear short conversation between two people. After each conversation, you will hear a question about the conversation. The conversation and questions will not be repeated. After you hear a question, read the four possible answers. Then, choose the best answers

1.(A) Stop for a while and get some rest    (B). Let the man finish the work.  (C). Wait for the man to catch up with her. (D). Continuing working for a whil

2. (A). Pete might have left his keys in the car.  (B).Pete shouldn’t leave his keys in the car    (C). She can’t help to look for the keys (D). She’ll look for Pete’s keys in the car.

3. (A) The woman doesn’t have time to study again this weekend.   (B) The woman spends too many weekends studying. (C).  He will not spend the entire weekend studying again.  (D). He doesn’t help the woman with her studies this weekend.

4. . (A). The woman shouldn’t go to concerts like this one.  (B). He really doesn’t know how to get to the concert. (C). He is surprised that the woman is enjoying herself. (D). He isn’t having any fun at this concert.

  5. (A). It’s time to go home and relax. (B). He’ll get the cleaning on the way home    (C). They’ll stop for the tea before he drops the woman off.  (D).     (D). It will be easy to get the woman’s jacket  cleaned.

6.(A). The man is quite right about the  exam. (B). Almost everyone succeeded on the  exam. (C). The exam was not exactly what she expected. (D).No one has taken the proficiency exam yet.

7. (A). He must be relieved at the good news  (B). He will have a heavy load at the   university  (C). He won’t mind if he isn’t accepted right away.  (D). He hasn’t had time to make up his mind about college.

8. (A). He’ll start moving out this week (B). He doesn’t have any time this week to move. (C). He doesn’t really need  a new office   (D). He isn’t strong enough to move by himself

9. (A). She called the travel agent. (B). She bought ticket for Frank.(C). Frank contacted the travel agent (D). She doesn’t have time to travel

10. (A). Drink some more coffee. (B).Stop drinking coffee for today. (C). Pass the man his coffee (D). Go out with the man to buy coffee

                                                                                                                                                                                          

Comparison/Contrast

LEVELS OF VOCABULARY

Most languages have several levels of vocabulary that may be used by the same speakers. In English, at least three have been identified and described.

Standard usage includes those words and expressions understood, used and accepted by a majority of the speakers of a language in any situation regardless of the level of formality. As such, these words and expressions are well defined and listed in standard dictionaries. Colloquialisms, on the other hand, are familiar words and idioms that are understood by almost all speakers of a language and used in informal speech or writing, but not considered acceptable for more formal situations. Almost all idiomatic expressions are colloquial language. Slang, however, refers to words and expressions understood by a large number of speakers but not accepted as appropriate formal usage by the majority. Colloquial  expressions and even slang may be found  in standard dictionaries but will be so identified. Both colloquial  usage and  slang are more common in speech  than in writing.

Colloquial speech often passes into standard speech. Some slang also passes into standard speech, but other slang expressions enjoy momentary popularity followed by obscurity. In some cases, the majority never accepts certain slang phrases but nevertheless retains them in their collective memories. Every generation seems to require its own set of words to describe familiar objects and events.

it has been pointed out by a number of linguists that three cultural conditions are necessary for the creation of a large body of slang expressions. First, the introduction and acceptance of new objects and situations in the society; second, a diverse population with a large number of subgroups; third, association among the subgroups and the majority population.

Finally, it is worth noting that the terms ‘standard,’ ‘colloquial,’ and ‘slang’ exist only as abstract labels for scholars who study language. Only a tiny number of the speakers of any language will be aware that they are using colloquial or slang expressions. Most speakers of English will ,during appropriate situations, select and use all three types of expressions.

 

(taken from Baron Practice Exercise)