Dialogues – Details

In some dialogues in the Listening Section on the Paper Based Test TOEFL, you will be asked to remember details that are directly stated. Choose the best answer.

PRACTICE

1. What is the man’s problem? (A). He is tired (B). He is drunk. (C). He is thirsty (D). He is busy.
2. How does the woman want to pay? (A). She wants to pay by check (B). She prefers to use a credit card. (C). She has a cash. (D). She will need a loan.
3. Why did Sharon stop seeing the man? (A). He was too short. (B). She didn’t know him very well. (C). The expensive gift made her uncomfortable. (D). The man never gave her gifts.
4. Why did the man look through the woman’s purse? (A). He thought she was a thief. (B). He wanted to secure it for her. (C). His job was to check everyone’s belongings. (D). He was looking for a standard size.
5. What does the woman want the man to do? (A). Study with her. (B). Help her on the test (C). Take a break (D). Lend her his notebook.
6. Who is driving Steve’s car? (A). Steve’s girl friend (B). Steve’s sister (C). Steve (D). Mary Anne.
7. Why won’t the door open? (A). The door is locked (B). The woman doesn’t have the right key. (C). The door is stuck (D). The doorknob is broken.
8. What does the man want to do? (A). Check the calculators (B). Use a calculator to do his test. (C). Purchase a calculator (D). Borrow a calculator.
9. What is the woman’s advice? (A). She thinks the man should pay the bills (B). She thinks the man should ask his family for help (C). She thinks the man should contact his roommate’s family for money. (D). She thinks the man should leave.
10. How will the woman help the man? (A). By filling out forms (B). By filling his taxes (C). By advising him about student loans. (D). BY completing his application.

UNSTATED DETAIL QUESTIONS (Reading Comprehension SKill)

You will sometimes be asked in the Reading Comprehension section of the TOEFL test to find an answer that is not stated or not mentioned or not true in the passage. This type of question really means that three of the answers are stated, mentioned, or true in the passage, while one answer is not. Your actual job is to find the three correct answers and then choose the letter of the one remaining answer.

You should note that there are two kinds of answers to this type of question: (1) there are three true answers and one answer that is not discussed in the passage, or (2) there are three true answers and one that is false according to the passage.

Example

The passage:

The Florida Keys are a beautiful chain of almost 1,000 coral and limestone islands These islands form an arc that heads first southwest and then west from the mainland. U.S. Highway 1, called the Overseas Highway connects the main islands in the chain. On this highway, it is necessary to cross 42 bridges over the ocean to cover the 159 miles from Miami on the mainland, to Key West the farthest island on the highway and the southernmost city in the United States.

The questions:

1. Which of the following is NOT mentioned about the Florida Keys?

(A) The Florida Keys are a chain of islands.
(B) The Florida Keys contain coral and limestone
(C) The Florida Keys are in the shape of an arc.
(D) The Florida Keys are not all inhabited.

2. Which of the following is NOT true about U.S. Highway 1?

(A) It is also known as the Overseas Highway
(B) It joins all of the islands in the Florida Keys.
(C) It has more than 40 bridges
(D) It connects Miami and Key West

Analysis:

The first question asks for the one answer that is not mentioned about the Florida Keys. The passage states that the Florida Keys are a chain (answer A) with coral and limestone (answer B) in the shape of an arc (answer C), so these answers are not correct. The best answer is therefore answer (D). The passage does not discuss whether or not the keys are all inhabited.

The second question asks for the answer that is not true about U.S. Highway 1. The passage states that it is called the Overseas Highway (answer A), that it has 42 bridges (answer C), and that it cover(s) the 159 miles from Miami. . . to Key West (answer D), so these answers are not correct. The best answer is answer (B). The passage states that the Overseas Highway connects the main islands in the chain, so it does not connect all of the islands.

The following chart outlines the key information that you should remember about unstated detail questions.

TOEFL EXERCISE 3:

Study each of the passages, and choose the best answers to the questions that follow.

PASSAGE ONE (Questions 1-2)

Blood pressure measurement has two components: systolic and diastolic. Systolic pressure is taken when the heart is contracting to pump blood; diastolic pressure is taken when the heart is resting between beats. In the usual blood pressure reading, the systolic measurement is given first and is the higher of the two. Normal blood pressure is a systolic measurement of 120—140, and when the systolic pressure is 160 or higher, then hypertension exists. Systolic pressure between 140 and 160 indicates borderline hypertension.

1. Which of the following is NOT true about systolic blood pressure?

(A) It is taken during the contraction of the heart.
(B) It is usually given first in a blood pressure reading.
(C) A normal systolic measurement is 120 – 140.
(D) Hypertension exists when the systolic pressure is below 140.

2. Which of the following is NOT stated about diastolic pressure?

(A) It is one of the two components of blood pressure measurement.
(B) It is taken when the heart is resting.
(C) It is lower than systolic pressure.
(D) A diastolic measurement of 140 is normal.

PASSAGE TWO (Questions 3 – 4)

In the 1960s, as space travel was becoming a subject of much discussion, Pan
American Airlines began receiving some fairly unusual requests for flight information.
People began making requests to be on the first flight that Pan Am made to the Moon.
On a whim, Pan Am started a waiting list for the first flight to the Moon. Similar
requests have come to Pan Am over the years, and Pan Am has responded by adding the
names of the requesters to the list.
Unfortunately for Pan Am, the original company is no longer in business, and it
never got to the Moon. However, when it went out of business, it had a waiting list of
more than 90,000 names for its first lunar flight.

3. All of the following are mentioned about Pan American Airlines, EXCEPT that
(A) it started business in the 1960s
(B) it received requests for its first flight to the Moon
(C) it kept some people on a long waiting list
(D) it went out of business

4. Which of the following is NOT true about Pan Am’s Moon flights?
(A) People asked Pan Am about its flights to the Moon.
(B) Pan Am kept a waiting list for its Moon flights.
(C) Pan Am never really made any Moon flights.
(D) Pan Am’s waiting list had only a few names on it.

PASSAGE THREE (Questions 5-8)
The tunnel trees in Yosemite Valley are an amazing attraction to people who visit
there. The tunnel trees are huge trees, giant redwoods, which have had tunnels carved
in them, and cars can actually drive through some of the trees. The fact that the trees
are large enough to have cars drive through them should give you some indication of
just how big the trees are.
There are currently two existing tunnel trees in Yosemite Valley. One of them is
called the “Dead Giant.” This is just the stump, or bottom part, of a much larger tree.
The hole was cut through the base of the tree in 1878, and stagecoaches used to drive
through it. Today the Dead Giant still exists, but the stagecoaches do not. Passenger cars
can and do drive through the 10-foot-wide opening in the tree stump.
The other existing tunnel tree is the 230-foot high California Tree, which had a hole
carved through it in 1895. This tree is no longer open to the public, so it is not possible
to take a car through it.
Unfortunately, a third tunnel tree no longer exists. The Wawona Tunnel Tree was a
2,100-year-old tree which was carved in 1881. A terrible snowstorm in 1969 caused this
ancient giant of a tree to fall.

5. Which of the following is NOT true about the tunnel trees in Yosemite Valley?
(A) They are trees with holes cut in them.
(B) They are giant redwoods.
(C) Three tunnel trees currently exist.
(D) Cars have driven through some of
them.

6. All of the following are stated about the Dead Giant, EXCEPT that
(A) it is still a tunnel tree today
(B) it is just the stump of a tree
(C) it was cut less than a century ago
(D) it has a 10-foot opening

7. Which of the following is NOT true about the California Tree?
(A) Its tunnel still exists.
(B) Its tunnel is 230 feet high.
(C) Its tunnel was cut in 1895.
(D) Cars are not allowed to go through it.

8. All of the following are true about the Wawona Tunnel Tree, EXCEPT that
(A) it does not exist anymore
(B) the tree lived for more than 2,000 years
(C) the tunnel tree was destroyed in a snowstorm
(D) the tunnel was destroyed in 1881

TOEFL REVIEW EXERCISE (Skills 1—3): Study each of the passages, and choose the best answers to the questions that follow.

PASSAGE ONE (Questions 1-4)

When the typewriter was first invented, its keys were arranged alphabetically. This
made the keys easy to find. However, this arrangement also caused the bars of the
machine to jam, or get stuck.
To solve this problem, a new letter arrangement was introduced by Christopher
Latham Scholes in 1872. His system, the standard keyboard system, is still used on
typewriters today. He arranged the letters in such a way that the bars hit the inked
ribbon from opposite directions as much as possible. This resulted in far less jamming
than had occurred with the alphabetical models.

1. The main topic of this passage is
(A) the invention of the typewriter
(B) a problem and solution concerning the early typewriter
(C) how to write a letter on the typewriter
(D) why the keys stick on today’s typewriter

2. According to the passage, on the first typewriters
(A) the keys were in alphabetical order
(B) the keys were hard to find
(C) the bars on the machine never jammed
(D) Scholes’s system worked quite well

3. Which of the following is NOT true about the system invented by Scholes?
(A) It was introduced in 1872.
(B) It is still used today.
(C) It became the standard system.
(D) It was alphabetical.

4. The passage indicates that under Scholes’s system, the bars hit the ribbon
(A) in alphabetical order
(B) from opposite directions
(C) and caused the keys to jam
(D) in the same way as they had on the
original typewriter

PASSAGE TWO (Questions 5-9)

Desert tundra, or cold desert, occurs on the Arctic edges of North America, Europe,
and Asia. In these areas the temperatures are almost always freezing, and they cause an
environment in which plant life is virtually impossible. The existence of ice rather than
water for the majority of the year means that vegetation does not have enough moisture
for growth to take place. During the short period of time when the temperature
increases enough for the ice to melt, there is generally a large volume of water. Too
much water and not enough drainage through the frozen subsoil make it difficult for
plants to grow.

5. Which of the following is the best title for the passage?
(A) Where Desert Tundra Is Found
(B) The Weather in the Arctic
(C) The Effect of Desert Tundra on PlantLife
(D) The Variety of Plant Life in Desert
Tundra

6. According to the passage, desert tundra is found
(A) throughout North America, Europe,and Asia
(B) in Antarctica
(C) on the Arctic borders of the northerncontinents
(D) at the North Pole

7. According to the passage, what makes plant life almost impossible in areas of desert tundra during most of the year?
(A) Excessive water on the plants
(B) The frozen state of the water
(C) The increase in temperature
(D) The lack of ice

8. According to the passage, which of the following does NOT happen when the weather heats up?
(A) Plants grow well.
(B) The ice melts.
(C) There is not enough drainage.
(D) There is too much water.

9. According to the passage, why is it impossible for the water to drain after it melts?
(A) The land beneath the surface is stillfrozen.
(B) The temperature is too high.
(C) The period of time is too short.
(D) The vegetation is flourishing.

PASSAGE THREE (Questions 10—14)

Whales are mammals rather than fish, yet they live in the world’s oceans rather than
on land. Because of the fact that they are mammals, scientists have believed for quite
some time that whales are descendants of land mammals.
Some interesting evidence to support this theory has recently been found. In Egypt,
fossils have been found of a forty-million-year-old whale leg, kneecap, ankle, footbones,
and toes. It appears from the fossil evidence that the bones were not very strong and not
very large in comparison to the size of the whale.
Based on this fossil evidence, the following evolutionary path has been
hypothesized. As the whale began its evolution toward the water, its legs weakened and
decreased in size. Then, during its millions of years in the water, the legs slowly
disappeared, leaving only the front flippers today.

10. The main idea of this passage is that
(A) numerous whale fossils have been found in the world’s oceans
(B) there is evidence that whales may have descended from land mammals
(C) whales are mammals and not fish
(D) whales have not evolved very much over the last millions of years

11. All of the following are true about whales, EXCEPT that
(A) they are mammals
(B) they live in the ocean
(C) they are fish
(D) they may have come from the land

12. Which of the following is NOT mentioned about the whale fossils in the passage?
(A) They were found in Egypt.
(B) They support the theory that whales came from land.
(C) They are forty million years old.
(D) They showed that ancient whales had flippers.

13. Which of the following was NOT mentioned in the list of whale fossils found in Egypt?
(A) A whale’s kneecap
(B) A whale’s ankle
(C) A whale’s footbones
D) A whale’s fingers

14. According to the hypothesis in the passage, what happened to whales’ legs?
(A) They got stronger over time.
(B) They got larger over time.
(C) They disappeared quickly.
(D) They became front flippers.

http://www.toeflskill.com/2011/05/problem-about-unstated-detail-questions.html

Listening Comprehension Skill Part B and C

Part B

Directions: In this part of the test you will hear longer conversations. After each conversation you will hear several questions. The conversations and questions will not be repeated.

After you hear a question, read the four possible answers in your test book and choose the best answer. 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.

Remember, you are not allowed to take notes or write in your test book.
SAMPLE CONVERSATION AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS
(narrator) Questions 4 through 7. Listen to a conversation about a trip.
(man) Are you ready for “The Big Apple”?
(woman) Excuse me?
(man) You know, New York City. You are going to New York with us, aren’t you? I wanted to show everybody around my old neighborhood.
(woman) Oh…sure! I wouldn’t miss it especially when the tour guide is a native New Yorker.
(man) I thought we could start at the Museum of Modern Art. Right now there’s an exhibit on twentieth-century American painters.
(woman) Fine with me…but what were you saying about…a big apple?
(man) “The Big Apple.” It’s a nickname for New York. I think I heard once that it started with jazz musicians in the 20’s.
(woman) Oh.
(man) Whenever they played a concert in a city, they called that city an “apple.” In those days, New York was the biggest city in the country, so they called it “The Big Apple.”
(woman) Hey, I have an idea! Let’s go to a jazz club while we’re there.
(man) Sounds good.
Questions:
4. You will hear:
(narrator) What is the man planning to see?
You will read: A. An art exhibit.
B. A Broadway play.
C. A modern dance production.
D. An opera.
5. You will hear:
(narrator) What can be inferred about the man?
You will read: A. He is a jazz musician.
B. He wants to join the woman’s club.
C. He is in his twenties.
D. He was born in New York.
6. You will hear:
(narrator) What does the word “Apple” in the phrase “The Big Apple” refer to?
You will read: A. An instrument.
B. A city.
C. A theater.
D. A concert.
7. You will hear:
(narrator) Who gave New York its nickname?
You will read: A. Painters.
B. Tour guides.
C. Musicians.
D. Grocers.
Part C

Directions: In this part of the test you will hear several talks. After each talk, you will hear some questions. The talks and questions will not be repeated.

After you hear a question, read the four possible answers in your test book and choose the best answer. 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.

Here is an example.

On the recording, you will hear:
(narrator) Listen to an instructor talk to his class about a television program.
(man) I’d like to tell you about an interesting TV program that’ll be shown this coming Thursday. It’ll be on from 9 to 10 p.m. on Channel 4. It’s part of a series called “Mysteries of Human Biology.” The subject of the program is the human brain — how it functions and how it can malfunction. Topics that will be covered are dreams, memory, and depression. These topics are illustrated with outstanding computer animation that makes the explanations easy to follow. Make an effort to see this show. Since we’ve been studying the nervous system in class, I know you’ll find it very helpful.

Here is an example.
You will hear:
(narrator) What is the main purpose of the program?
In your test book, you will read:
A. To demonstrate the latest use of computer graphics.
B. To discuss the possibility of an economic depression.
C. To explain the workings of the brain.
D. To dramatize a famous mystery story.

The best answer to the question, “What is the main purpose of the program?” is C, “To explain the workings of the brain.” Therefore, the correct choice is C.

Here is another example.
You will hear:
(narrator) Why does the speaker recommend watching the program?
In your test book, you will read:
A. It is required of all science majors.
B. It will never be shown again.
C. It can help viewers improve their memory skills.
D. It will help with course work.

The best answer to the question, “Why does the speaker recommend watching the program?” is D, “It will help with course work.” Therefore, the correct choice is D.

Remember, you are not allowed to take notes or write in your test book.
PRACTICE TALK AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS
(narrator) Questions 8 through 10. Listen to a talk about animal behavior.
(woman) Today’s discussion is about a common animal reaction — the yawn. The dictionary defines a yawn as “an involuntary reaction to fatigue or boredom.” That’s certainly true for human yawns, but not necessarily for animal yawns. The same action can have quite different meanings in different species.

For example, some animals yawn to intimidate intruders on their territory. Fish and lizards are examples of this. Hippos use yawns when they want to settle a quarrel. Observers have seen two hippos yawn at each other for as long as two hours before they stop quarreling.

As for social animals like baboons or lions — they yawn to establish the pecking order within social groups, and lions often yawn to calm social tensions. Sometimes these animals yawn for a strictly physiological reason — that is, to increase oxygen levels. And curiously enough, when they yawn for a physical reason like that, they do what humans do — they try to stifle the yawn by looking away or by covering their mouths.
Questions:
8. You will hear:
(narrator) What is the speaker’s main point?
You will read: A. Animals yawn for a number of reasons.
B. Yawning results only from fatigue or boredom.
C. Human yawns are the same as those of other animals.
D. Only social animals yawn.
9. You will hear:
(narrator) According to the speaker, when are hippos likely to yawn?
You will read: A. When they are swimming.
B. When they are quarreling.
C. When they are socializing.
D. When they are eating.
10. You will hear:
(narrator) What physiological reason for yawning is mentioned?
You will read: A. To exercise the jaw muscles.
B. To eliminate fatigue.
C. To get greater strength for attacking.
D. To gain more oxygen.

http://www.ets.org/toefl/pbt/prepare/sample_questions/listening_comprehension_practice_section1

Sentences and Clauses

Clause types

main
subordinate

Main clauses

A main clause is complete on its own. It may be a complete sentence written with a capital letter and full stop (or ?!):

Alice saw a rabbit.

Anna is eating her favourite supper.

Finally, we arrived.

Simple sentences consist of just one main clause:

Hannah is eating her favourite supper.

Finally, we arrived.

Compound sentences consist of two or more main clauses – clauses of equal weight, joined together by and, or, but, or so. (This relationship is called co-ordination, and is explained in a separate unit.)

I’ve lost my school bag but the keys are here so I’m not locked out.

It’s late, so she’s not going.

I like reading and I love Hemingway.

Complex sentences contain one or more subordinate clauses.
Subordinate clauses

A subordinate clause is part of a larger clause.

He burns easily if he doesn’t use sun cream.

Where is the cup of tea that you promised to make?

Everything she buys is really expensive.

The class I taught last year all did quite well.

Because the subordinate clause is part of the larger clause, the remainder of this clause is not itself a complete clause; so in the first example above the main clause is the entire sentence, not He burns easily. For more on this idea click here.

Using subordinate clauses allows writers to vary pace and rhythm and to indicate the relative importance of different ideas.

To learn more about subordinate clauses, click any of the following links:

Subordination signals
Finite and non-finite clauses
Noun clauses
Relative clauses
Adverbial clauses
Nested subordinate clauses

Subordination signals

You can usually recognise subordinate clauses easily because they are signalled:

by a non-finite verb which is the clause’s first or only verb:

We ate early, being excessively hungry.

To be ready in time, he did without supper.

Having eaten early, we watched the news.

We helped unpack the tent.

or by a subordinating word:

They sat there until it started to rain.

He’s the one who started it.

After he arrived things started to happen.

They will walk out unless we give in to them.

However, some subordinate clauses have no signal at all, because the subordinating word – which is always that – is omitted. They are harder to recognise, but can nearly always be identified by replacing the missing that:

I know you are hiding something. (… know that you are …)

Who says I am a coward? (… says that I am …)

That man she likes is very tall. (… man that she likes …)

The book I’m reading won a prize. (… book that I’m reading …)

This is a common feature of writing at KS3, and pupils need to understand and be able to handle it.
Finite and non-finite clauses

Finite clauses have a finite verb as their head.

I know everyone sent their friends birthday cards this year.

Non-finite clauses have a non-finite verb (i.e. an infinitive or a participle) as their head.

Everyone promised to send their friends birthday cards this year.

This important difference is always signalled by the first verb in the verb-chain:

I know everyone has sent their friends birthday cards this year.

Everyone hopes to have finished their projects by the end of the week.

Having already finished their projects, they can have a rest.

This difference also affects the ways in which these clauses can be used:

Finite clauses may generally be used as complete sentences (once any subordinating words have been removed):

Everyone sent their friends birthday cards this year.

Non-finite clauses are always part of a larger clause:

They have made plans to send their friends birthday cards this year.

This is because the use of a non-finite verb such as to send is one of the main signals that a clause is a subordinate clause.

This difference may also affect the meaning of sentences, often in a subtle way. For example, compare:

I remembered that I was responsible. (finite)
I remembered to do it. (non-finite)

I saw that you did it. (finite)
I saw you do it. (non-finite)

These highlighted clauses are non-finite:

We really enjoy sailing our dinghy.

Spurred on by the crowd, they won the match.

He struggled to read the small type.

Changing the tense of the sentence doesn’t change the non-finite clause:

We enjoyed sailing our dinghy.
We will enjoy sailing our dinghy.

He struggles to read the small type.
He will struggle to read the small type.

Spurred on by the crowd, they won the match.
Spurred on by the crowd, they are winning the match.

Noun clauses

Noun clauses, like nouns, pronouns and noun phrases, can act as:

the object of a verb:

I know that Mary bought the dog.

the subject of a verb:

Why she bought it is a great mystery to us all.

the object of a preposition:

Don’t judge her by what she buys.

a complement

She seems to be pleased with it.

If a clause fulfils the role of a noun in a sentence, it is a noun clause.

At Key Stage 3, pupils should be developing the use of expressions like these, where a noun phrase is followed by a noun clause:

We discussed the idea that she had bought a cat.

We discussed the fact that she had bought a cat.

We discussed the possibility that she had bought a cat.

This structure is a useful tool to help thinking skills because it involves important distinctions about the logical status of information – e.g. as facts, beliefs, suggestions, theories, and ideas.
Relative clauses

Relative clauses are adjectival because, like adjectives, they modify a nouns; but unlike adjectives, they come after the modified noun:

Sam is the one who usually sits here.

The shop where I work is closing.

This computer, which I usually use, is faster.

Relative clauses usually start with a relative pronoun:

that, who, which, whom, whose

or a relative adverb:

when, where

Relative pronouns and relative adverbs act as subordinating words – they signal a subordinate clause.

Using relative clauses allows KS3 writers to progress from co-ordination, producing more varied and digestible prose:

Joe bought a dog and the dog barks all night and it keeps us awake.

Co-ordinated main clauses

The dog that Joe bought barks all night and keeps us awake.

Relative subordinate clause

Sometimes, the relative pronoun can be left out, but sometimes it can’t. Click here for details.
Adverbial Clauses

An adverbial subordinate clause modifies the meaning of the main clause in much the same way as an adverb:

Although I regret it, I must decline your invitation. (adverbial clause)
Regrettably, I must decline your invitation. (adverb)

They arrived before it started raining. (adverbial clause)
They arrived promptly. (adverb)

Here are the main relationships expressed by adverbial subordinate clauses:

Time

after, as, as soon as, before, once, since, until, when and whenever, while

Place

where, wherever

Reason

as, because, since

Comparison

as, as if, as though, than

Condition

as long as, if, in case, provided, provided that

Negative condition

if … not, unless

Concession

although, as long as, even if, even though, though, whereas, while

Purpose

to, in order to, so that

Result

so that, so … that, such … that

Notice that some of these words (those shown in bold) can be used to signal more than one relationship.
Clauses within clauses

A subordinate clause can be at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence:

While he was paying for his petrol, his car was stolen.

The teacher who has this group is away today.

His car was stolen while he was paying for his petrol.

Sentences can contain more than one subordinate clause:

While we were away, the girl who was looking after our cat heard that her grandmother had died.

Some of these clauses can be ‘nested’ one inside another, like Russian dolls or Chinese boxes. For example,

He said that his father went to America because Kate is there.

contains the clause:

(that) his father went to America because Kate is there.

which in turn contains the clause:

because Kate is there.

Pupils can learn how to show nested subordinate clauses in a sentence:

by underlining:

or using “Chinese boxes”:

Non-finite verbs

Here is a refresher on non-finite verbs; for more explanation click here.

Non-finite verbs:

present participle: sailing

I was sailing (was is finite, sailing is non-finite)

past participle: sailed

They have sailed (have is finite, sailed is non-finite)

infinitive: to sail, sail

I learned to sail (learned is finite, sail is non-finite)

Watch him sail (watch is finite, sail is non-finite)

Subordinating words

subordinating conjunctions:

after, although, as, as if, as long as, as soon as, as though, because, before, if , in case, in order to, in that, once, provided (that), since, so that, than, that, though, until, unless, when, whenever, where, wherever, whereas, while … and others.

relative or interrogative pronouns or adverbs

how, that, what, when, where, which, who, whom, whose, why; however, whatever … and others.

When can a relative pronoun (that) be omitted?

The computer I use at home is faster.

The computer crashed is outside. X

The lesson I like most is English.

The lesson follows this is English. X

The Alice I know has red hair.

The Alice usually sits next to me is his sister. X

The bullet he saw was silver.

The bullet killed him was silver. X

When the noun that the clause refers to is the object of the relative clause and the relative pronoun would have been that, this pronoun can be omitted; but in Standard English it cannot be omitted if it is the relative clause’s subject.
What’s left when you remove the subordinate clause?

Look at this sentence:

He burns easily if he doesn’t use sun cream.

This is a main clause, which contains a subordinate clause:

if he doesn’t use sun cream

The meaning intended by the writer or speaker is conveyed by the whole main clause. One part of this main clause is the subordinate clause if he doesn’t use sun cream.

But the remainder “He burns easily” is not a clause on its own; it is part of the whole main clause: He burns easily if he doesn’t use sun cream.

Of course the words he burns easily could stand alone as a main clause in a different sentence, or context, if they conveyed the writer’s full meaning; but in some cases the main clause is grammatically incomplete if we remove the subordinate clause. For example:

He said that it was too late. (Remainder: He said.)

Why he did it is unclear. (Remainder: Is unclear.)

http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/dick/tta/sentence/sentence.htm#types

Reading Skill 2 (Stated Details 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 often expresses the same idea as what is written in the passage, but the words are not exactly the same.

Directions and Practice Questions for Reading Comprehension

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.

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?

In modern society we must make more time for our neighbors.
The traditions of society are timeless.
An accepted way of measuring time is essential for the smooth functioning of society.
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

the practice of starting the business day at dawn
friendly relations between neighbors
the railroad’s reliance on time schedules
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

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

http://www.ets.org/toefl/pbt/prepare/sample_questions/reading_comprehension_practice_section3

Listening Comprehension Skill for Part B and C at PBT Toefl

Listening Comprehension Practice Questions
— Section 1
Part B

Directions: In this part of the test you will hear longer conversations. After each conversation you will hear several questions. The conversations and questions will not be repeated.

After you hear a question, read the four possible answers in your test book and choose the best answer. 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.

Remember, you are not allowed to take notes or write in your test book.
SAMPLE CONVERSATION AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS
(narrator) Questions 4 through 7. Listen to a conversation about a trip.
(man) Are you ready for “The Big Apple”?
(woman) Excuse me?
(man) You know, New York City. You are going to New York with us, aren’t you? I wanted to show everybody around my old neighborhood.
(woman) Oh…sure! I wouldn’t miss it especially when the tour guide is a native New Yorker.
(man) I thought we could start at the Museum of Modern Art. Right now there’s an exhibit on twentieth-century American painters.
(woman) Fine with me…but what were you saying about…a big apple?
(man) “The Big Apple.” It’s a nickname for New York. I think I heard once that it started with jazz musicians in the 20’s.
(woman) Oh.
(man) Whenever they played a concert in a city, they called that city an “apple.” In those days, New York was the biggest city in the country, so they called it “The Big Apple.”
(woman) Hey, I have an idea! Let’s go to a jazz club while we’re there.
(man) Sounds good.
Questions:
4. You will hear:
(narrator) What is the man planning to see?
You will read: A. An art exhibit.
B. A Broadway play.
C. A modern dance production.
D. An opera.
5. You will hear:
(narrator) What can be inferred about the man?
You will read: A. He is a jazz musician.
B. He wants to join the woman’s club.
C. He is in his twenties.
D. He was born in New York.
6. You will hear:
(narrator) What does the word “Apple” in the phrase “The Big Apple” refer to?
You will read: A. An instrument.
B. A city.
C. A theater.
D. A concert.
7. You will hear:
(narrator) Who gave New York its nickname?
You will read: A. Painters.
B. Tour guides.
C. Musicians.
D. Grocers.
Part C

Directions: In this part of the test you will hear several talks. After each talk, you will hear some questions. The talks and questions will not be repeated.

After you hear a question, read the four possible answers in your test book and choose the best answer. 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.

Here is an example.

On the recording, you will hear:
(narrator) Listen to an instructor talk to his class about a television program.
(man) I’d like to tell you about an interesting TV program that’ll be shown this coming Thursday. It’ll be on from 9 to 10 p.m. on Channel 4. It’s part of a series called “Mysteries of Human Biology.” The subject of the program is the human brain — how it functions and how it can malfunction. Topics that will be covered are dreams, memory, and depression. These topics are illustrated with outstanding computer animation that makes the explanations easy to follow. Make an effort to see this show. Since we’ve been studying the nervous system in class, I know you’ll find it very helpful.

Here is an example.
You will hear:
(narrator) What is the main purpose of the program?
In your test book, you will read:
A. To demonstrate the latest use of computer graphics.
B. To discuss the possibility of an economic depression.
C. To explain the workings of the brain.
D. To dramatize a famous mystery story.

The best answer to the question, “What is the main purpose of the program?” is C, “To explain the workings of the brain.” Therefore, the correct choice is C.

Here is another example.
You will hear:
(narrator) Why does the speaker recommend watching the program?
In your test book, you will read:
A. It is required of all science majors.
B. It will never be shown again.
C. It can help viewers improve their memory skills.
D. It will help with course work.

The best answer to the question, “Why does the speaker recommend watching the program?” is D, “It will help with course work.” Therefore, the correct choice is D.

Remember, you are not allowed to take notes or write in your test book.
PRACTICE TALK AND PRACTICE QUESTIONS
(narrator) Questions 8 through 10. Listen to a talk about animal behavior.
(woman) Today’s discussion is about a common animal reaction — the yawn. The dictionary defines a yawn as “an involuntary reaction to fatigue or boredom.” That’s certainly true for human yawns, but not necessarily for animal yawns. The same action can have quite different meanings in different species.

For example, some animals yawn to intimidate intruders on their territory. Fish and lizards are examples of this. Hippos use yawns when they want to settle a quarrel. Observers have seen two hippos yawn at each other for as long as two hours before they stop quarreling.

As for social animals like baboons or lions — they yawn to establish the pecking order within social groups, and lions often yawn to calm social tensions. Sometimes these animals yawn for a strictly physiological reason — that is, to increase oxygen levels. And curiously enough, when they yawn for a physical reason like that, they do what humans do — they try to stifle the yawn by looking away or by covering their mouths.
Questions:
8. You will hear:
(narrator) What is the speaker’s main point?
You will read: A. Animals yawn for a number of reasons.
B. Yawning results only from fatigue or boredom.
C. Human yawns are the same as those of other animals.
D. Only social animals yawn.
9. You will hear:
(narrator) According to the speaker, when are hippos likely to yawn?
You will read: A. When they are swimming.
B. When they are quarreling.
C. When they are socializing.
D. When they are eating.
10. You will hear:
(narrator) What physiological reason for yawning is mentioned?
You will read: A. To exercise the jaw muscles.
B. To eliminate fatigue.
C. To get greater strength for attacking.
D. To gain more oxygen.

http://www.ets.org/toefl/pbt/prepare/sample_questions/listening_comprehension_practice_section1