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Answers to TOEFL Structure: #011-020

All explanations were written by Erin Billy.

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011.
Located in the upper part of the hind shanks of the greyhound [are] the overdeveloped and powerful thigh muscles [enabling] it to make short, [yet] powerful sprints [in race].

are
enabling
yet
in race

Correction: in a race or in races

Difficulty level: Medium

 

  • TestMagic Explanation: A singular count noun with no determiner is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

 

012.______ second in size to Jupiter, Saturn has a mass much smaller than that of Jupiter.

When
While

Difficulty level: Medium

 

  • TestMagic Explanation: First, we have a reduced adverb clause here. The original clause would be While it is second in size to Jupiter. Second, we need to show contrast between being second in size (which sounds like it is close in size) and having a much smaller mass. In other words, from the sentence, it sounds like Saturn is similar in size (even though it is not in reality) but much smaller in mass.

Despite
Nevertheless

 

013.[Given] the difficulty [of mastering] the subtleties of the violin, there is [not] difficulty understanding why there are few children proficient [in] playing it.

Given
of mastering
not

Correction: no or not any

Difficulty level: Hard

 

  • TestMagic Explanation: This is a hard one! Basically, since difficulty is a noun, we can only use a determiner with it, or we can change the sentence to not any difficulty. Remember, no = not any. Are you starting to see how important determiners are?

 

in

 

014.What is known as the Homestead Act of 1862 granted those who ventured westward ______ .

to receive needed and desired land
the land they both needed and desired

Difficulty level: Hard

 

  • TestMagic Explanation: Essentially, granted is a transitive verb that needs to objects (a direct object and an indirect object), just like the verb gave. In this case, the two objects are those and the land.

 

needing and desiring land
where they most needed and desired land

 

015.Almost ninety per cent of [American] high school [students] claim they know [how to read], yet this figure is probably [somewhat lower].

American

Correction: all American

Difficulty level: Hard

 

  • TestMagic Explanation: This is a tough one! I bet if you show it to a native speaker of English, she might not be able to notice that there's anything wrong. And, in fact, maybe this question would be too hard for the real TOEFL, but I thought it would be good to put it on here, at least to teach you the rule.

So, here's the rule:

quantifier + of + determiner + NOUN

If we look at these examples, we can see the grammar rule very clearly:

most of the people, NOT X most of people X

half of my money, NOT X half of money X

 

students
how to read
somewhat lower

 

016.From the simplest single-cell organism floating in prehistoric oceans ______ all forms of life now inhabiting the earth.

evolved

Difficulty level: Hard

 

  • TestMagic Explanation: We have inversion in this sentence. Click the link to see why this sentence has inversion and what other types of inversion are possible. Here's what the original sentence would look like:

All forms of life now inhabiting the earth evolved from the simplest single-cell organism floating in prehistoric oceans .

 

had evolved
evolve
evolving

 

017.Zirconium is [a] [metallic element] with a high [melting] point that is widely [used] alloys.

a
metallic element
melting
used

Correction: used in

Difficulty level: Hard

 

  • TestMagic Explanation: If you study at TestMagic, you will learn why we need a preposition after used, but it takes a little while to explain. I think this one is easier to understand just by seeing the correction.

 

018.______ is the earthquake that is most widely remembered, it was actually the fire that ensued that caused the most damage in San Francisco in 1906.


It
Being that
Although
Whereas it

Difficulty level: Hard

 

  • TestMagic Explanation: This one is hard not because of the grammar but because of the vocabulary. Whereas means although, both of which are adverb clause subordinating conjunctions.

 

019.After the Gold Rush in California in 1849 came [dramatically] higher number of [immigrants] than [had been] [seen in] the previous year.

dramatically

Correction: a dramatically

Difficulty level: Hard

 

  • TestMagic Explanation: Remember, if you see a singular count noun with no determiner, it is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. In this case, number is the singular count noun with no determiner. Why is this one so hard? Simple--the underline is so far from the singular count noun; by the time we get to the singular count noun, we've already forgotten!

 

immigrants
had been
seen in

 

020.[Architect and founder] of the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson [built] his house Monticello [overlooking] the campus [in] Charlottesville, Virginia.

Architect and founder
built
overlooking

Correction: to overlook

Difficulty level: Hard

 

  • TestMagic Explanation: In this case, we need to use the infinitive of purpose to explain why Thomas Jefferson built his house. Some TestMagic students have pointed out that overlooking is grammatically correct. Yes, this is true; it is grammatically correct, but the meaning is completely wrong. If we say overlooking, then it means that the house was already overlooking the campus of the University of Virginia, which is impossible since the house didn't exist before it was built!

Are you wondering why Architect and founder don't need  determiners? They are, after all, singular count nouns, right? Yes, in fact, they are, but determiners are optional with certain job titles.

 

in

 

 

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