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STRUCTURE AND WRITTEN EXPRESSION
SKILL 1 : SUBJECTS AND VERBS
You know that a sentence in English should have a subject and a verb. The most common types of problems that you will encounter in the Structure section of the TOEFL test are related to subjects and verbs; perhaps the sentence is missing either the subject, or the verb, or both; perhaps the sentence has an extra subject or verb.
_____ was ringing continuously for hours.
(B) In the morning
(C) The phone
(D) The bells
In this example, you should notice immediately that there is a verb, was ringing, but there is no subject. Answer (C) is the best answer because it is a singular subject that agrees with the singular verb was ringing. Answer (A), loudly, and answer (B), in the morning, are not subjects, so they are not correct. Although answer (D), bells, could be a subject, it is not correct because bells is plural and it does not agree with the singular verb was ringing.
Newspapers ____ every morning and every evening.
(B) are delivered
(C) on time
In this example, you should notice immediately that the sentence has a subject, newspapers, but that there is no verb. Because answer (B), are delivered, is a verb, it is the best answer. Answer (A), (C), and (D) are not verbs, so they are not correct.
The plane ____ landing at the airport in five minutes.
(A) it is
(B) it really is
(C) is descending
(D) will be
This sentence has a subject, plane, and has part of verb, landing ; to be correct, some form of the verb be is needed to make the verb complete. Answer (A) and (B) are incorrect because the sentence already has a subject, plane, and does not need the extra subject it. Answer (C) is incorrect because descending is an extra part of verb that is unnecessary because of landing. Answer (D) is the best answer, will be together with landing is a complete verb.
The following chart outlines the key information that you should remember about subjects and verbs.
SUBJECTS AND VERBS
A sentence in English must have at least one subject and one verb. The first thing you should do as you read a sentence in the Structure section of the TOEFL test is to find the subject and the verb.
EXERCISE 1 : Underline the subjects once and the verbs twice in each of the following sentences. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).
( I ) 1. My best friend always helpful with problems.
( C ) 2. The bus schedule has changed since last week.
( I ) 3. Accidentally dropped the glass on the floor.
( I ) 4. The customer paying the clerk for the clothes.
( I ) 5. The professor handed the syllabus to the students.
( I ) 6. Each day practiced the piano for hours.
( C ) 7. The basketball player tossed the ball into the hoop.
( I ) 8. The new student in the class very talkative and friendly.
( I ) 9. Walking with the children to school.
( C ) 10. The whales headed south for the winter.
SKILL 2 : OBJECTS OF PREPOSITIONS
An object of a preposition is a noun or a pronoun that comes after a preposition such as in, at, of, to, by, behind, and on to form a prepositional pharase.
The trip ( to the island ) (on Saturday) will last (for three hours).
This sentence contains three objects of prepositions.Island is the object of the preposition to ; Saturday is the object of the preposition on ; hours is the object of the preposition for.
An object of a preposition can cause confusion in the Structure section of the TOEFL test because it can be mistaken for the subject of a sentence.
To Mike ____ was a big surprise.
(B) the party
In this example, you should look first for the subject and the verb. You should notice the verb was and should also notice that there is no subject. Do no think that Mike is the subject; Mike is the object of the preposition to, and one noun cannot be both a subject and an object at the same time. Because a subject is needed in this sentence, answer (B), the party, is the best answer. Answer (A), (C), and (D) are not correct because they cannot be subjects.
The following chart outlines the key information that you should remember about objects of prepositions.
OBJECTS OF PREPOSITIONS
A preposition is followed by a noun or pronoun that is called an object of the preposition. If a word is an object of a preposition, it is not the subject.
NOTE : A list of prepositions and exercises to practice recognizing these prepositions can be found in Appendix B at the back of the text. You may want to complete these exercise before continuing with Exercise 2.
EXERCISE 2 : Each of the following sentences contains one or more prepositional pharases. Underline the subjects once and the verb twice. Circle the prepositional pharases that come before the verb. Then indcate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).
( C ) 1. The name of the babby in the crib is Jack.
( I ) 2. By the next meeting of the class need to turn in the papers.
( I ) 3. The directions to the exercise on page 20 unclear.
( C ) 4. Because of the heavy rain throughout the night, the walkways are muddy.
( I ) 5. During the weak eat lunch in the scholl cafetaria.
( I ) 6. In the morning after the concert was tired.
( C) 7. In the summer the trip to the mountains is our favorite trip.
( I ) 8. In a box on the top shelf of the cabinet in the hallway of the house.
( I ) 9. With her purse in her hand ran through the door.
( C ) 10. At 1:00 in the morning the alarm clock on the table beside the bed rang.
TOEFL EXERCISE (Skills 1-2) : Choose the letter of the word or group of words that best completes the sentence.
1. Mark Twain ____ the years after the Civil War the “Gilded Age.”
(C) he called
(D) his calls
2. Early ____ toes instead of hooves on their feet.
(B) had horses
(C) horses had
(D) horses having
3. ____ grow close to the ground in the short Arctic summer.
(A) Above tundra plants
(B) Tundra plants
(C) Tundra plants are found
(D) For tundra plants
4. In 1867, _____ Alaska from the Russians for $7.2 million.
(A) purchased the United States
(B) to purchase the United States
(C) the United States purchase of
(D) the United States purchased
5. Between 1725 and 1750, New England witnessed an increase in the spesialization of ____
(C) they occupied
(D) it occupied them
6. The large carotid artery ____ to the main parts of the brain.
(A) carrying blood
(B) blood is carried
(C) carries blood
(D) blood carries
7. ____ radio as the first practical system of wireless telegraphy.
(A) Marconi’s development
(B) The development by Marconi
(C) Developing Marconi
(D) Marconi developed
8. In 1975, the first successful space probe to ____ beginning to send information back to Earth.
(B) Venus the
(C) Venus was
(D) Venus it was
9. The two biggest resort ____ Arkansas are Hot Springs and Eureka Springs.
(B) towns in
(C) towns are
(D) towns are in
10. NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center ____ control center for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space flights.
(A) it was at the
(B) it was the
(C) was the
Phillips, Deborah. LONGMAN (Introductory Course For The TOEFL Test) : Pearson Education
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