Reading Comprehension Practice Questions — Section 3

The Reading Comprehension section contains reading passages and questions about the passages. The questions are about information that is stated or implied in the passage and about some of the specific words in the passages. Because many English words have more than one meaning, it is important to remember that these questions concern the meaning of a word or phrase within the context of the passage.

Before completing these practice questions, you might wish to print out an answer sheet.

Directions and Practice Questions for Reading Comprehension

Directions and examples of the types of questions you will find in the Reading Comprehension section of the TOEFL® test follow. Use the answer key to see the correct answers for the Reading Comprehension questions.

Section 3 measures your ability to read and understand short passages similar in topic and style to those that students are likely to encounter in North American universities and colleges. This section contains reading passages and questions about the passages.

Directions: In the Reading Comprehension section you will read several passages. Each one is followed by a number of questions about it. You are to choose the one best answer, A, B, C or D, to each question. Then, on your answer sheet, find the number of the question and fill in the space that corresponds to the letter of the answer you have chosen.

sa-d

Answer all questions about the information in a passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in that passage.

Read the following passage:

The railroad was not the first institution to impose regularity on
society, or to draw attention to the importance of precise
timekeeping. For as long as merchants have set out their wares at
Line daybreak and communal festivities have been celebrated, people
(5) have been in rough agreement with their neighbors as to the time of
day. The value of this tradition is today more apparent than ever.
Were it not for public acceptance of a single yardstick of time,
social life would be unbearably chaotic: the massive daily transfers
of goods, services, and information would proceed in fits and
(10) starts; the very fabric of modern society would begin to unravel.

Example I

What is the main idea of the passage?

  1. In modern society we must make more time for our neighbors.
  2. The traditions of society are timeless.
  3. An accepted way of measuring time is essential for the smooth functioning of society.
  4. Society judges people by the times at which they conduct certain activities.

The main idea of the passage is that societies need to agree about how time is measured in order to function smoothly. Therefore, you should choose answer C.

Example II

In line 6, the phrase “this tradition” refers to

  1. the practice of starting the business day at dawn
  2. friendly relations between neighbors
  3. the railroad’s reliance on time schedules
  4. people’s agreement on the measurement of time

The phrase “this tradition” refers to the preceding clause, “people have been in rough agreement with their neighbors as to the time of day.” Therefore, you should choose answer D.

Now begin work on the questions.

PRACTICE PASSAGE

The Alaska pipeline starts at the frozen edge of the Arctic Ocean.
It stretches southward across the largest and northernmost state in
the United States, ending at a remote ice-free seaport village nearly
Line 800 miles from where it begins. It is massive in size and extremely
(5) complicated to operate.
The steel pipe crosses windswept plains and endless miles of
delicate tundra that tops the frozen ground. It weaves through
crooked canyons, climbs sheer mountains, plunges over rocky
crags, makes its way through thick forests, and passes over or
(10) under hundreds of rivers and streams. The pipe is 4 feet in diameter,
and up to 2 million barrels (or 84 million gallons) of crude oil can
be pumped through it daily.
Resting on H-shaped steel racks called “bents,” long sections of
the pipeline follow a zigzag course high above the frozen earth.
(15) Other long sections drop out of sight beneath spongy or rocky
ground and return to the surface later on. The pattern of the
pipeline’s up-and-down route is determined by the often harsh
demands of the arctic and subarctic climate, the tortuous lay of the
land, and the varied compositions of soil, rock, or permafrost
(20) (permanently frozen ground). A little more than half of the pipeline
is elevated above the ground. The remainder is buried anywhere
from 3 to 12 feet, depending largely upon the type of terrain and
the properties of the soil.
One of the largest in the world, the pipeline cost approximately
(25) $8 billion and is by far the biggest and most expensive construction
project ever undertaken by private industry. In fact, no single
business could raise that much money, so 8 major oil companies
formed a consortium in order to share the costs. Each company
controlled oil rights to particular shares of land in the oil fields and
(30) paid into the pipeline-construction fund according to the size of its
holdings. Today, despite enormous problems of climate, supply
shortages, equipment breakdowns, labor disagreements, treacherous
terrain, a certain amount of mismanagement, and even theft, the
Alaska pipeline has been completed and is operating.

PRACTICE QUESTIONS

  1. The passage primarily discusses the pipeline’s
    1. operating costs
    2. employees
    3. consumers
    4. construction
  2. The word “it” in line 4 refers to
    1. pipeline
    2. ocean
    3. state
    4. village
  3. According to the passage, 84 million gallons of oil can travel through the pipeline each
    1. day
    2. week
    3. month
    4. year
  4. The phrase “Resting on” in line 13 is closest in meaning to
    1. Consisting of
    2. Supported by
    3. Passing under
    4. Protected with
  5. The author mentions all of the following as important in determining the pipeline’s route EXCEPT the
    1. climate
    2. lay of the land itself
    3. local vegetation
    4. kind of soil and rock
  6. The word “undertaken” in line 26 is closest in meaning to
    1. removed
    2. selected
    3. transported
    4. attempted
  7. How many companies shared the costs of constructing the pipeline?
    1. 3
    2. 4
    3. 8
    4. 12
  8. The word “particular” in line 29 is closest in meaning to
    1. peculiar
    2. specific
    3. exceptional
    4. equal
  9. Which of the following determined what percentage of the construction costs each member of the consortium would pay?
    1. How much oil field land each company owned
    2. How long each company had owned land in the oil fields
    3. How many people worked for each company
    4. How many oil wells were located on the company’s land
  10. Where in the passage does the author provide a term for an earth covering that always remains frozen?
    1. Line 3
    2. Line 13
    3. Line 19
    4. Line 32
http://www.ets.org/toefl/pbt/prepare/sample_questions/reading_comprehension_practice_section3

Structure and Written Expression Practice Questions — Section 2

The Structure and Written Expression section contains sentences that test your knowledge of important structural and grammatical elements of standard written English. These sentences include a variety of topics and give no particular advantage to individuals in any specific field of study.

 

When topics have a national context, they refer to the United States or Canadian history, culture, art, or literature. However, you do not need to have a prior knowledge of these contexts to answer the structural or grammatical points being tested.

 

Before completing these practice questions,you might wish to print out an answer sheet.

 

Directions and Practice Questions for Section 2

 

Following are directions and examples of the types of questions you will find in the Structure and Written Expression section of the TOEFL® test. If you would like to see the correct answers for the Structure and Written Expression questions, use the answer key to check your answers.

 

This section is designed to measure your ability to recognize language that is appropriate to use in standard written English. There are two types of questions in this section, with special directions for each type.

 

Structure

 

Directions: Questions 1–4 are incomplete sentences. Beneath each sentence you will see four words or phrases, marked A, B, C and D. Choose the one word or phrase that best completes the sentence. Then, on your answer sheet, find the number of the question and fill in the space that corresponds to the letter of the answer you have chosen.

 

Look at the following examples:

 

Example I

 

Geysers have often been compared to volcanoes _______ they both emit hot liquids from below the Earth’s surface.

 

  1. due to
  2. because
  3. in spite of
  4. regardless of

 

The sentence should read, “Geysers have often been compared to volcanoes because they both emit hot liquids from below the Earth’s surface.” Therefore, you should choose answer B.

 

Example II

 

During the early period of ocean navigation, ________ any need for sophisticated instruments and techniques.

 

  1. so that hardly
  2. where there hardly was
  3. hardly was
  4. there was hardly

 

The sentence should read, “During the early period of ocean navigation, there was hardly any need for sophisticated instruments and techniques.” Therefore, you should choose answer D.

 

PRACTICE QUESTIONS

 

1. Refrigerating meats ________ the spread of bacteria.

 

  1. retards
  2. retarding
  3. to retard
  4. is retarded

 

2. Throughout the animal kingdom, ________ bigger than the elephant.

 

  1. whale is only the
  2. only the whale is
  3. is the whale only
  4. only whale is the

 

3. The fact ________ money orders can usually be easily cashed has made them a popular form of payment.

 

  1. of
  2. that
  3. is that
  4. which is

 

4. The first article of the United States Constitution gives Congress ________ to pass laws.

 

  1. the power
  2. has the power
  3. the power is
  4. of the power

 

Written Expression

 

Directions: In questions 5–10, each sentence has four underlined words or phrases. The four underlined parts of the sentence are marked A, B, C and D. Identify the one underlined word or phrase that must be changed in order for the sentence to be correct. Then, on your answer sheet, find the number of the question and fill in the space that corresponds to the letter of the answer you have chosen.

 

Look at the following examples:

 

 

The sentence should read, “Guppies are sometimes called rainbow fish because of the males’ bright colors.” Therefore, you should choose answer A.

 

 

The sentence should read, “Serving several terms in Congress, Shirley Chisholm became an important United States politician.” Therefore, you should choose answer B.

 

PRACTICE QUESTIONS

 

http://www.ets.org/toefl/pbt/prepare/sample_questions/structure_written_expression_practice_section2

Verb Terminology

There is a lot of grammatical terminology associated with verbs. Below are explanations of those used most frequently by grammarians. (There is a more comprehensive list in the Glossary of Terms.)

INFINITIVE FORM

When a verb is preceded by the word to, it is said to be in its infinitive form (i.e., most basic form).

  • I have to smoke that!

(to smoke – infinitive form of the verb)


PAST TENSE

Verbs which express actions in the past are said to be in the past tense.

  • He talked with more claret than clarity. (Susan Ertz)

(talked – past tense of the verb to talk)

  • I ran to the lake.

(ran – past tense of the verb to run)

  • They were all there.

(were – past tense of the verb to be)


PRESENT TENSE

Verbs which express present actions are said to be in the present tense.

  • John jumps out the window.

(jumps – present tense of the verb to jump)

  • Who is ill?

(is – present tense of the verb to be)

  • He is the kind of a guy who lights up a room just by flicking a switch.

(is – present tense of the verb to be)
(lights up – present tense of the verb to light up)


FUTURE TENSE

Verbs which express actions in the future are said to be in the future tense. These are usually formed by preceding the verb with the word will.

  • I will take the blame.

(will take – future tense of the verb to take)

  • They will surrender.

(will surrender – future tense of the verb to surrender)

  • Give me where to stand, and I will move the earth. (Archimedes, 287-212 BC)

(will move – future tense of the verb to move)


SUBJECT OF A VERB

The person or thing performing the action of the verb is said to be the subject of the verb or the subject of the sentence.

  • Tony stole the boat.

(Tony – subject of the verb to steal)

  • Tony is guilty.

(Tony – subject of the verb to be)

  • Who was that?

(Who – subject of the verb to be, i.e., was)


DIRECT OBJECT OF A VERB

Many verbs perform an action on something. This is called the direct object of the verb.

  • Terry kissed her hand.

(her hand – direct object of the verb to kiss)

  • Beverly will eat a whole chicken.

(a whole chicken – direct object of the verb to eat)


INTRANSITIVE VERBS

Some verbs cannot have a direct object. These verbs are said to be intransitive verbs.

  • The rain fell heavily.

(The rain fell, but it did not perform an action on anything. In this example, the verb to fall is an intransitive verb.)

  • Jack protested in the street.

(Jack protested, but he did not perform an action on anything. In this example, the verb to protest is an intransitive verb.)


Verbs that can have a direct object (most of them) are called transitive verbs.

  • Barney copied the answer.

(the answer – direct object of the transitive verb to copy)


INDIRECT OBJECT OF A VERB

Some verbs have two objects, a direct object (see above) and an indirect object. The indirect object is the person or thing for whom the action was performed.

  • Jamie read the children a story.

(a story – direct object; the children – indirect object) 

  • I will bake him a cake.

(a cake – direct object; him – indirect object) 

  • The postman gives Anne a letter everyday.

(a letter – direct object; Anne – indirect object)


PASSIVE SENTENCE

The subject of a sentence does not always do the action of the verb. Sometimes, the action is done to the subject. Such sentences are called passive sentences, because the subjects are being passive, i.e., not doing anything. 

  • Carl was arrested.

(Carl is not doing anything, but he is the subject of the sentence.)
(Note: Carl is the subject of the verb to be, i.e., was.)


Passive verbs always comprise two parts (was arrested in this example). The person doing the action of the verb in a passive sentence is usually shown with the word by.

  • Carl was arrested by PC Adams.


Passive verbs are said to be in the
passive voice. Passive sentences are quite useful:

  • The carpet was damaged. (< passive sentence – no blame)
  • We damaged the carpet. (< active sentence)


ACTIVE SENTENCE

Active sentences are the opposite to passive sentences (see above). In an active sentence, the subject of the verb performs the action.

  • We damaged the carpet.

(This is an active sentence. We is the subject.
We damaged the carpet.)

  • Jamie read a story.

(This is an active sentence. Jamie is the subject.
Jamie read a story.)


CONJUGATION OF VERBS

A verb will change its form a little depending on the subject. For example:

  • I write / He writes (< write and writes)
  • The camel laughs / The jackals laugh (< laughs and laugh)


When verbs change in this way, it is known as conjugation. A verb conjugates according to the subject. The subject of a verb can be in one of six forms:

1. I
2. You
3. He / She / It
4. We
5. You
6. They

The first three are the singular forms (known as first person singular, second person singular, and third person singular). The second three are the plural forms (known as first person plural, second person plural and third person plural).

All subjects fit in one of these categories. Camel is like he (i.e., third person singular) and jackals is like they (i.e., third person plural).

This topic rarely causes problems for native English speakers, who conjugate verbs correctly without much thought.

Interestingly, this is the origin of the insurance term third party (insurance for them).

PARTICIPLES

Participles are formed from verbs. There are two types: present participles and past participles. Present participles end …ing. Past participles have various endings. Below is a table showing some participles:

Verb

Present Participle

Past Participle

to sing

singing

sung

to drive

driving

driven

to go

going

gone

to rise

rising

risen

to watch

watching

watched

to be

being

been


Participles can be used as adjectives. For example:

  • Soaring prices affect the quality of the wool.

(soaring – present participle – used as an adjective)

  • I am not the first to comment that prices are falling.

(falling – present participle – used as an adjective to describe prices)
(Note: When an adjective is placed after the word it is describing, it is called a
predicate adjective.)

  • He is a forgotten hero.

(forgotten – past participle – used as an adjective)

  • They were neglected.

(neglected – past participle – used as an adjective)
(Note: This is a passive sentence (see above). In this role, neglected is known as a
past passive participle.)


Read more at
http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/verbs.htm#XJbwL5A7WjaGgj4I.99

What are verbs?

Verbs are doing words. A verb can express a physical action, mental action or a state of being.

Verbs Express Actions

Verbs are doing words. A verb can express:

  • A physical action (e.g., to swim, to write, to climb).
  • A mental action (e.g., to think, to guess, to consider).
  • A state of being (e.g., to be, to exist, to appear).

The verbs which express a state of being are the ones which take a little practice to spot, but, actually, they are the most common. The most common verb is the verb to be. That’s the one which goes:

Subject

Verb to be in the past tense

Verb to be in the present tense

Verb to be in the future tense

I

was

am

will be

You

were

are

will be

He / She / It

was

is

will be

We

were

are

will be

You

were

are

will be

They

were

are

will be


If you’re a native English speaker who’s new to studying grammar, you probably know this table without even knowing you know it.

Lots of Verbs Express Physical Actions

Here are some sentences with the verbs highlighted. (These verbs express physical actions.)

  • She sells pegs and lucky heather.

(In this example, the word sells is a verb. It expresses the physical activity to sell.)

  • The doctor wrote the prescription.

(In this example, the word wrote is a verb. It expresses the physical activity to write.)

  • Alison bought a ticket.

(The word bought is a verb. It expresses the physical activity to buy.)

Verbs Express Mental Actions Too

As we covered at the start, verbs do not necessarily express physical actions like the ones above. They can express mental actions too:

Example:

  • She considers the job done.

(The word considers is a verb. It expresses the mental activity to consider.)

  • Peter guessed the right number.

(The word guessed is a verb. It expresses the mental activity to guess.)

  • I thought the same thing.

(The word thought is a verb. It expresses the mental activity to think.)

Verbs Express a State of Being

A small, but extremely important group of verbs do not express any activity at all. The most important verb in this group – arguably of all – is the verb to be. As already mentioned, this is seen in forms like is, are, were, was, will be, etc.

Some real examples:

  • Edwina is the largest elephant in this area.

(The word is is a verb from the verb to be.)

  • It was a joke.

(The word was is a verb from the verb to be.)

  • I am.

(The word am is a verb from the verb to be.)
(Point of interest: I am is the shortest sentence in English.)

This article was taken from http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/verbs.htm

Verbs Express Actions

Verbs are doing words. A verb can express:

  • A physical action (e.g., to swim, to write, to climb).
  • A mental action (e.g., to think, to guess, to consider).
  • A state of being (e.g., to be, to exist, to appear).

The verbs which express a state of being are the ones which take a little practice to spot, but, actually, they are the most common. The most common verb is the verb to be. That’s the one which goes:
Read more at http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/verbs.htm#XJbwL5A7WjaGgj4I.99

A verb can express a physical action, a mental action, or a state of being.
Read more at http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/verbs.htm#XJbwL5A7WjaGgj4I.99
Verbs are doing words. A verb can express a physical action, a mental action, or a state of being
Read more at http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/verbs.htm#XJbwL5A7WjaGgj4I.99

using ‘have’ and ‘has’

“Malta has colourful fishing boats.”
“The fishermen have traditional boats.”

 

Here are some points to remember when using ‘have’ and ‘has’.

 

Let’s start with the basics.

 

They can both be used to show possession and are important in making the ‘perfect tenses‘.
‘Had’ is the past tense of both ‘has’ and ‘have’.

 

have

 

Have is used with some pronouns and plural nouns:
‘I have a great English teacher.’
‘You have toothpaste on your chin.’
‘We have a meeting at 12.’

‘Nurses have a difficult job.’

 

has

 

Has is used with the third person singular. For example:
‘She has a great personality.’
‘He has a new haircut.’
‘The washing machine has a leak in it’.
‘It has a hole near the door.’

 

contractions

 

I have = I’ve
you have = you’ve
we have = we’ve
they have = They’ve
he has = he’s
it has = it’s

 

negative contractions

 

has not = hasn’t
have not = haven’t
had not = hadn’t

 

‘have’ and ‘has’ in questions

 

‘Have you been to Australia?’
‘Has Andrew left yet?’
‘Who has my pen?’
‘Has anyone seen my mobile phone?’

 

‘have got’ and ‘have’

 

Both ‘have got’ and ‘have’ mean the same thing. There is no difference.

 

‘I have got an i-phone.’ = ‘I have an i-phone’.
‘You have got a message.’ = You have a message.’
‘She has got no time to sleep.’ =’She has no time to sleep.’

 

‘have’ and ‘has’ verb tenses

 

‘have/has” is an important verb in making the ‘perfect tense':

 

Present Perfect
She has lived here for a long time.’
‘We have seen this TV show before.’
‘I have cut my finger.’

 

Past Perfect
‘I had already decided not to go before he asked me.’
‘They had finished the race before it started raining.’
‘She had already left when he arrived’

 

modal verbs: ‘have to’

 

‘have to’ is used to mean that something is necessary. It is used in the following way in affirmative sentences:
subject + modal (have to / has to) + verb
‘I have to wash my car today.’
‘He has to write a report.’
‘I had to go to the bank yesterday.’

 

‘have to’ in negative sentences

 

In negatives to show that something is not necessary we follow this rule:
subject + doesn’t have to + verb
‘We don’t have to work tomorrow.’
‘She doesn’t have to wear a uniform to school’
‘I didn’t have to make my bed when I was young’

PRACTICE

  • She ___ a lot of homework.


  • We ___ a busy day yesterday.



  • India ___ a very interesting culture.



  • They ___ eaten all the food!


  • The workers ___ to arrive at 8:30.


  • When she was young, she ___ to help her mother.



  • The boys ___ been here all day.


  • Others ___ no say in the matter.


  • Elvis Presley ___ many hit records in the 50s.


  • ___ you got a moment?


  • ___ it stopped raining?


THIS ARTICLE WAS TAKEN FROM http://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/using-have-and-has

what are ‘auxiliary verbs’?

Auxiliary verbs are also known as ‘helping verbs’.

The three most common auxiliary verbs are:

be, do and have

I am leaving = Leaving is the main verb. Am is the auxiliary.

She has arrived = Arrived is the main verb. Has is the auxiliary.

Do you smoke? = Smoke is the main verb. Do is the auxiliary.

Do / does / did

Do is common for forming questions and making negatives.

Did is used for do and does in the past tense. Do and does is never used for the past.

In statements

I do my homework.

You do the laundry.

We do the washing up.

They do yoga.

He/she does the cleaning.

In questions

Do I know you?

Do you live here?

Do we have time?

Do they come from Vietnam?

Does he/she drive to work?

In negative sentences

I do not. (I don’t)

You do not. (you don’t)

We do not. (we don’t)

They do not. (they don’t)

He/she does not. (he/she doesn’t)

Be = am / is / are

Be can be used as an auxiliary verb or the main verb in a sentence.

Is tells us that an action is happening now or is going to happen in the future.

Be is also used to make passives.

Are is used for they and we.

Was is used for the past tense of am and is.

Were is used for the past tense of you, we and they.

In statements

I am 21.

You are Indian.

We are waiting.

They are excited

He/she is cool.

In questions

Am I in the right place?

Are you my new boss?

Are we nearly there?

Are they the best players on the team?

Is he/she old enough to go to bars?

In negative sentences

I am not. (I aren’t)

You are not. (you aren’t)

We are not. (we aren’t)

They are not. (they aren’t)

He/she is not. (he/she isn’t)

Have = has / had

Have is used to make the present perfect tense (it is always followed by the past participle).

Has is used for the third person singular.

Had is used for past tenses especially the past perfect tense. It describes an action that began in the past and continues into the present or that occurred in the recent past.

In statements

I have a dog.

You have something on your shirt.

We have seen it before.

They have called me three times.

He/she has lived in America.

In negative sentences

I have not. (I haven’t/ I’ve not)

You have not. (you haven’t/you’ve not)

We have not. (we haven’t/we’ve not)

They have not. (they haven’t/they’ve not)

He/she has not (he/she hasn’t)

Others

Other common auxiliary verbs are:

can, could, may, might, must, ought, should, and would.

These are also known as modal verbs. We use them to show obligation, possibility and necessity.

For example:

Jack is late. He might be sleeping. (possibility)

I should clean my room today. (obligation)

I must wear a tie to school. (necessity)

Answering questions

Auxiliary verbs are useful in giving short answers to questions.

Basically, your answer can end with the auxiliary verb.

The following examples are natural and completely acceptable ways to answer questions:

Do you like reading?
Yes, I do (like reading)

Can you speak English?
Yes, I can (speak English)

Do you have a sister?
No, I don’t (have a sister)

PRACTICE

  • I’m not coming tomorrow,___ I?




  • ___ you seen the Mona Lisa?




  • ___ your family celebrate Easter?




  • They ___ opened yet.




  • ___ everyone ready?




  • The Russian tourists ___ in the museum.




  • Which floor ___ they live on?




  • I’m using your pen, ___ I?




  • She ___ already finished the project before he asked for it.




  • He ___ brought it yet




THIS ARTICLE WAS TAKEN FROM http://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/what-are-auxiliary-verbs