Feb 5, 2017

TOEFL: Structure and written expression (Test 1, Section 2)

40 cards
, 160 answers
    TOEFL
    Section 2: Structure and Written Expression (25 minutes, 40 questions)

    This section will test your knowledge of the structure and grammar of the English language. The items in this section will include a number of sentences which contain errors. You will be required to find the mistakes and correct them by choosing the right answer. Other sentences will be incomplete. For these, you must choose the answers that correctly complete the sentence.

  • DIRECTIONS:
    Questions 1–15 are incomplete sentences. Beneath each sentence are four words or phrases marked (A), (B), (C), and (D). Choose one word or phrase which best completes the sentence.
    1. Vasco Nunez de Balboa  . . . 
      discovered
      the Pacific Ocean in 1513.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct isdiscovered’ — The simple past tense must be used to describe an action that took place on a specific date.
      • Incorrect are:
      was discovered — It suggests that Nunez de Balboa was discovered, rather than the ocean.
      had discover had’ must be followed by the past participle of the verb.
      discover — The verb has not been put in the right tense.
      1. discovered
      2. was discovered
      3. discover
      4. had discover

    2. If we  . . . 
      had added
      salt, the soup would have been tastier.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct is ‘had added’ — Since the first action should have taken place before the second action, the tense to be used is past perfect. ‘If we had added salt, the soup would have been tastier.’
      • Incorrect are:
      add — The sentence is in the past as indicated by the verb ‘would have’.
      could add — ‘Could add’ means that the salt could be added later, but the sentence is in the past.
      don’t add — If we had not added the salt, the soup would have been tastier. The verb don’t add’ is inconsistent with the sentence.
      1. had added
      2. add
      3. don’t add
      4. could add

    3. My cousin lives  . . . 
      on
      a farm.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct ison’ — The accepted preposition used with ‘farm’ is ‘on’.
      • Incorrect are:
      at — ‘at suggests nearness rather than exactness with reference to places.
      in — Although this would be the obvious choice as in live in a house’, or ‘live in New York’, it is incorrect when used with farm’.
      within — it suggests confinement to a place.
      1. within
      2. in
      3. on
      4. at

    4. For a variety of reasons, many American young adults are returning home or are not leaving home at all,  . . . 
      which is making families react in different ways
      .       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct is ‘which is making families react in different ways’ — To keep consistent with the tense throughout the sentence, it must read, ‘which is making families…
      • Incorrect are:
      which has made families to react in different ways — The use of the present perfect in the second half of the sentence is not consistent with the correct tense throughout. The use of the preposition to is incorrect also. The correct structure is make families react to something’.
      which makes families react in different ways to this — ‘To this’ is redundant because of the presence of which, a relative pronoun.
      to which makes families react in different ways — the use of both ‘to which’ and ‘which makes’. It can only be either, not both.
      1. which makes families react in different ways to this
      2. which has made families to react in different ways
      3. to which makes families react in different ways
      4. which is making families react in different ways

    5. When he was going away for the weekend, he  . . . 
      had
      his neighbor water the lawn.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      Correct ishad — The structure is have someone do something’ for the person. As the sentence is in the past tense, the verb should be had’.
      Incorrect are:
      gotgot’ should be followed by ‘to water the lawn’. The structure is getting someone to do something’.
      has The sentence talks about an incident that took place in the past, when he went away for the weekend.
      requestedrequested’, like got, has to be followed by to do something’.
      1. has
      2. had
      3. requested
      4. got

    6. Travelers checks are useful when one is traveling because  . . . 
      few
      people refuse to accept them.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct is ‘few’ — ‘Few’ used without an article means that there are very few people who would accept the checks.
      • Incorrect are:
      quite a few It contradicts the sentence. Why would they be useful if quite a few people don’t accept them?
      a few Here it is important to pay attention to the difference between few and a few. Few signifies a lesser number than a few. In this sentence the least number is preferred.
      many It contradicts the sentence. Why would they be useful if quite a few people don’t accept them?
      1. quite a few
      2. many
      3. few
      4. a few

    7. Your friends won’t be late,  . . . 
      will they
      ?       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct is ‘will they’ — The negative question has a positive tag, e.g., They are not coming today, are they?
      • Incorrect are:
      won’t they — A negative question always has a positive tag question.
      isn’t it It is important to watch for the main verb in the question, when adding a tag, as it is easy to make a mistake and add isn’t it?
      is it — The auxiliary verb in the question is won’t’.
      1. won’t they
      2. will they
      3. isn’t it
      4. is it

    8.  . . . 
      Until 1798, when Eli Whitney came up with a new idea
      , guns had been made by skilled gunsmiths, one at a time.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct is ‘Until 1798, when Eli Whitney came up with a new idea’ — Until such time when Eli Whitney came up with a new idea, guns had been made by gunsmiths.
      • Incorrect are:
      In 1798, Eli Whitney came up with a new idea the clause Eli Whitney came up with a new idea does not have a relative pronoun which makes the sentence complete.
      In 1798, when Eli Whitney came up with a new idea — the act of making guns should be described in the past continuous tense rather than the past perfect. The sentence would then read. In 1798, when Eli Whitney came up with a new idea, guns were being made by skilled gunsmiths one at a time.
      Since 1798 Eli Whitney had been working on a new idea — there is no conjunction between the first and second parts of the sentence.
      1. In 1798, Eli Whitney came up with a new idea
      2. In 1798, when Eli Whitney came up with a new idea
      3. Until 1798, when Eli Whitney came up with a new idea
      4. Since 1798 Eli Whitney had been working on a new idea

    9. We usually expect that  . . . 
      telegrams
      bring bad news.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct is ‘telegrams’ — The plural noun is used to represent the entire class of telegrams.
      • Incorrect are:
      a telegram — The verb is conjugated to the third person plural, while the subject is in the third person singular.
      telegram — The verb is conjugated to the third person plural, while the subject is in the third person singular.
      the telegrams — When referring to telegrams as a class, it is not required to use the’.
      1. telegram
      2. a telegram
      3. the telegrams
      4. telegrams

    10. Not only did many people volunteer to bring food for the picnic,  . . . 
      but also drinks and games
      .       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct isbut also drinks and games— ‘Not only… but also is the structure. They not only offered to bring food, but also drinks and games.
      • Incorrect are:
      many people offered to bring drinks and games — ‘many people is redundant and not only would not be necessary if the sentence is simply about what people offered to bring.
      many people did not offer to bring drinks and games — ‘not only suggests immediately that people offered more than to bring just food for the picnic.
      they brought food — ‘not only suggests immediately that people offered more than to bring just food for the picnic.
      1. but also drinks and games
      2. many people did not offer to bring drinks and games
      3. many people offered to bring drinks and games
      4. they brought food

    11. You  . . . 
      had
      better study a lot next week, if you want to get through that exam.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct is ‘had’ — ‘Had better study is a structure used to warn or to make a strong suggestion, e.g., you had better take an umbrella today, it looks like rain.
      • Incorrect are:
      should — The presence of ‘better. It is, however, correct to say ‘you should study, if…’
      will — The presence of ‘better’. ‘Will’ also does not have that element of warning or precaution.
      must — ‘better’ in the middle of the verb. ‘You must study a lot’ is correct by itself.
      1. had
      2. should
      3. will
      4. must

    12. When she was a young girl, she used to wish she  . . . 
      were
      a princess.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct is ‘were’ — ‘Wishes’ are always used with ‘were’, whether in the past or present, e.g., ‘I wish I were a…
      • Incorrect are:
      was Although this would be the obvious choice because third person singular is used with was, the verb ‘wish changes that to were’.
      is The entire sentence is in the past.
      became The young girl can only wish she could become (the future past tense).
      1. became
      2. is
      3. was
      4. were

    13. Paterson was angry  . . . 
      with
      his friend and threw a book at him.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct is ‘with’ — One can be angry with a person and angry at a situation or thing.
      • Incorrect are:
      at — Although it is an accepted colloquially, it is incorrect to say that a person was ‘angry at someone’.
      on — ‘on’ is not an accepted preposition to be used with angry.
      about — ‘about’ is also an unacceptable preposition with angry.
      1. on
      2. about
      3. at
      4. with

    14. Had I run out of gas, I  . . . 
      would have
      called the garage.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct is ‘would have’ — If I had run out of gas, I would have called the garage. (speculation in the past).
      • Incorrect are:
      had — ‘had called’ suggests that the action already took place, whereas the whole sentence is speculative, if it had happened to me...
      would — ‘would’ cannot be used with a past participle alone without the auxiliary verb.
      should have — ‘should have’ can be used if the incident really happened, as in, ‘When I ran out of gas, I should have called the garage.’
      1. would
      2. had
      3. would have
      4. should have

    15. While my brother has excellent eyesight, he  . . . 
      is
      hard of hearing.       ⇢       Answers:
      Answers:
      • Correct is ‘is’ — The structure is ‘to be hard of hearing’. So in use, the structure would read, He is hard of hearing, The old men are hard of hearing.
      • Incorrect are:
      has — ‘has’ is used with ‘poor vision’.
      was — The sentence is in the present.
      isn’t — ‘while’ is used when comparing the brother’s sensesWhile one is good, the other is poor.and not to suggest that both are good.
      1. has
      2. was
      3. is
      4. isn’t

  • DIRECTIONS:
    In questions 1–25 each sentence has four underlined words or phrases. Choose one word or phrase which is incorrect and must be changed to make the sentence correct.
    1. A few and the 50 stamps that my sister had were either for sale or trade.       ⇢       The answer is
      and — ‘And’ should be replaced by of’.
      1. and
      2. trade
      3. were
      4. the

    2. “The Starlight Cafe” is a good place for order seafood but not to order meat.       ⇢       The answer is
      for — The main verb is ‘order and it should be in the infinitive, to order, when preceded by a good place’.
      1. is
      2. for
      3. but
      4. not

    3. The professor managed to attending to the needs of his family while working day and night for the prestigious award.       ⇢       The answer is
      attending — The structure is attending to’ a person’s needs, a person’s problem, etc. The correct sentence would read, ‘The professor managed to attend to the needs of his family…’.
      1. attending
      2. working
      3. of
      4. the

    4. The labs conversational desktop is a voice-controlled computer system that acts like an automatic receptionist, personal secretary, and travel agent which screening all calls, taking messages, and making airline reservations.      ⇢       The answer is
      whichwhich is unnecessary because of the use of that earlier in the sentence.
      1. which
      2. lab’s
      3. that
      4. is a

    5. The legendary Robin Hood used to steal from the rich people to give to all poor.       ⇢       The answer is
      all poor — Since there is no repetition of people’, the definite article should be used with rich’. It should read ‘…to give to all the poor’.
      1. The
      2. all poor
      3. to
      4. used

    6. In the event something happening to the family, the lawyer assured her that the house would go to her friend.       ⇢       The answer is
      the event — The preposition of should follow in the event’, when followed by the verb in the ~ing form. Otherwise, it would have been correct to read it as in the event something happens to…’.
      1. the lawyer
      2. go to
      3. to
      4. the event

    7. Noise is external and excessive stimulus that increases rather than decreases your tension.       ⇢       The answer is
      external and excessive — Although there are two adjectives, the first one should carry the article ‘an’.
      1. than
      2. rather
      3. increases
      4. external and excessive

    8. Having spent his childhood longing for books, Andrew Carnegie realized their value and went on to become the largest donor of funds the American public library system has ever had donors.       ⇢       The answer is
      had donors — ‘donors’ at the end of the sentence is redundant. In such a case, the rule of ellipsis enables us to drop repeated information. Largest donor’ suggests that he donated the maximum amount of money among donors, so it is unnecessary to repeat donors’.
      1. went on to become
      2. Having spent
      3. the American
      4. had donors

    9. Peter Weir, the prominent Australian filmmaker and screenplay writer, and was planning to visit the United States to make a film.       ⇢       The answer is
      and — ‘and’ is unnecessary. If the adjectival clause the prominent Australian filmmaker and screenplay writer’ were removed, the sentence should read Peter Weir was planning to visit the U.S. to make a film.’ In such a case, ‘and’ is simply redundant.
      1. the prominent
      2. make
      3. was planning
      4. and

    10. While most Americans may admire a person who speaks more than one language, most of them do not place any value on learning another language themself.       ⇢       The answer is
      themself — The plural reflexive pronoun is themselves’.
      1. on
      2. speaks
      3. themself
      4. language

    11. Americans tend to embody to what many is a curious combination of admiration for their political system in general and disdain for its particular operations.       ⇢       The answer is
      to what — it is a case of reversal of the relative pronoun and the preposition. ‘Americans tend to embody something what to many appears to be a curious combination…’.
      1. its
      2. to what
      3. for
      4. is

    12. Frank and Anna Johnson had a daughter who were born in 1950, but who died a few years later.       ⇢       The answer is
      were — This sentence requires a detailed look: who’ refers to the daughter that Frank and Anna had, and so the verb should be ‘was’.
      1. had
      2. later
      3. died
      4. were

    13. The survival instinct of cockroaches are so great that they are known to reproduce even within a ring of fire.       ⇢       The answer is
      survival instinct — The subject is the ‘survival instinct’, not ‘cockroaches’, so the verb should be ‘is’.
      1. are
      2. within
      3. are
      4. survival instinct

    14. Hunger is not an unavoidable phenomena as are death and taxes.       ⇢       The answer is
      phenomena — The singular ‘phenomenon’ should be used to describe the singular noun hunger’.
      1. not
      2. taxes
      3. Hunger
      4. phenomena

    15. Coastal erosion is the only natural process that has altered the world’s shorelines ever since the oceans formed first some three billion years ago.       ⇢       The answer is
      formed first — The adjectives in most cases precede the noun therefore, it should read, …since the oceans first formed’.
      1. the only
      2. process
      3. has altered
      4. formed first

    16. The entire city except the western section is being plunge into darkness for the night.       ⇢       The answer is
      being plunge — The past participle of the main verb should be used: plunged’, as the sentence is in the passive voice.
      1. being plunge
      2. entire city
      3. is
      4. except

    17. Surveys note however, that the elderly are frequent victims of certain types of crimes, like purse-snatching.       ⇢       The answer is
      crimes — ‘crime’ is an uncountable noun. The sentence should read, ‘victims of certain types of crime’.
      1. crimes
      2. note
      3. like
      4. purse-snatching

    18. Thousands years ago, the world had several ice ages; or periods of time when the climate was very cold and thick sheets of ice covered much of the earth.       ⇢       The answer is
      Thousands — When there is no clear indication of how many thousand years ago, it is correct to say ‘Thousands of years ago’, in general.
      1. Thousands
      2. ages
      3. much of
      4. periods

    19. Even among the general public, consciousness has been raised high enough so that anyone sporting finery made from the skins of an endangered animal run the risk of at least a verbal assault.       ⇢       The answer is
      run — ‘anyone is used with the third person singular form of the verb. Therefore, it would be correct to say anyone runs the risk…’.
      1. run
      2. so that
      3. has been
      4. verbal

    20. Jan later laughs about having fell into the pond, although she was very embarrassed about it then.       ⇢       The answer is
      having fell — ‘having fallen’ should be the correct tense of the verb. The sentence describes an action that took place in the past, but is being talked about in the present.
      1. then
      2. about
      3. having fell
      4. into

    21. Only one egg hatched after twenty-eight days, while all the others hatched after twenty-ninth day.       ⇢       The answer is
      twenty-ninth day — The definite article the’ should be placed before the specific day.
      1. the
      2. while
      3. others
      4. twenty-ninth day

    22. Although teachers around the world are separated by thousands of miles, their methods of trying to encourage children to write springs from a common source.       ⇢       The answer is
      separated by — It is an error in number. ‘Their methods… spring is correct.
      1. separated by
      2. of
      3. springs
      4. Although

    23. Although the poor families are fast learning the new trade, the lack of education are hampering their advancement.       ⇢       The answer is
      are — ‘Lack of education’ is singular and should be followed by is hampering…’.
      1. lack of
      2. are
      3. fast learning
      4. their

    24. My grandmother could never understand why I preferred a 20-stories building to a rambling house in the fields.       ⇢       The answer is
      20-stories — It is an example of a compound noun, where the noun is always in the singular. It should read a 20-story building’; other examples: a four-door car, a three-room apartment.
      1. 20-stories
      2. to
      3. in
      4. preferred

    25. I have been having headaches so often later that I think I ought to see a doctor.       ⇢       The answer is
      later — ‘later’ has been wrongly used instead of the correct adverb of time, lately’.
      1. later
      2. ought to
      3. that
      4. have been

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