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ANSWERS to TOEFL Structure: #021-030

All explanations were written by Erin Billy, specifically for TestMagic students.

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021.
[Born] Marguerite Johnson in 1928, [author and poet] Maya Angelou has received [awards numerous] for her [works], including Grammy Awards in 1994 and 1996.

Born
author and poet
awards numerous

  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Correction: numerous awards
  • Magic Explanation: This one is simple to explain--we need the adjective before the noun. This one is tricky because in some languages the adjective comes after the noun. In this case, numerous is an adjective and awards is a noun. A simple example of this rule is the phrase little house.

works

 

022.Modern psychological theory allows [for] the concept of [free will], a [recent relatively] development [in] this field.

for
free will
recent relatively

  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Correction: relatively recent
  • Magic Explanation: In English, when an adverb modifies an adjective, the adverb must come before the adjective. A simple example of this rule is the phrase very delicious.  In this case, relatively is an adverb, and it modifies the adjective recent.

in

 

023.One of ______ smallest particles thought to exist, the quark is believed to exist in pairs, together forming a hadron.

what was the
what the
those of the
the

  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Magic Explanation: This sentence already has a main subject and main verb, so we don't need to look at that part of the sentence. We need only look at the first part:

One of ______ smallest particles thought to exist

In this case, we are only missing the determiner the; we cannot add anything else. We can see a simple example of this pattern in the phrase One of the best ways...

 

024.The first [years] of one's education are thought [to provide] the [basic] of one's ability [to learn] in later years.

years

  • Some people think years is wrong because they learn that the word first must modify a singular noun. This is not true. It is very easy to use first to describe a group. For example, we could say The first people I met in the United States were very friendly. When we have first + plural noun, it means the first ones.
    to provide
    basic
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Correction: basis
  • Magic Explanation: Here, we need a noun, basis. basic is an adjective, so it is wrong. This one is tricky because in some languages (like Portuguese) the word for the noun basis is very similar to the English adjective basic.

to learn

 

025.Most wood will float in water, but if it is ______ , it will sink.

dense enough

  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Magic Explanation: The general rule is:

adjective + enough

or

enough + noun

In this case, dense is an adjective.

so dense that
enough dense
density

 

026.Nationwide elections are [held] in the United States every four years, [primarily] [choosing] public officials for the [offices] of president and vice-president.

held
primarily
choosing

  • Level of Difficulty: Difficult
  • Correction: to choose
  • Magic Explanation: In this case, we need to use the infinitive to explain why the nationwide elections are held. A simple example of this pattern would be the sentence: Music is played in stores to make people happy.

offices

 

027. ______ are contained in DNA, the complex chemical mixture that determines the hereditary characteristics of an organism.

The genes

  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Magic Explanation: We are missing a main subject in this sentence, nothing more. The second part of the sentence, the complex chemical mixture... is a reduced adjective clause that modifies DNA.

The genes that

  • If we choose this answer, we have no main verb.
    Although the genes
  • If we choose this answer, we have no main verb.
    There are genes
  • This answer is almost correct, but we would have to say There are genes that

 

028.Although some species are among [the smallest] of all mammals, the shrew is known [as preying] [on] other animals [twice] its size.

the smallest
as preying

  • Level of Difficulty: Difficult
  • Correction: to prey
  • Magic Explanation: To answer this question correctly, we need to understand the difference between known as, known for, and known to do something. Click here to learn more!

on
twice

 

029.Born in 1924, Shirley Chisholm became ______ elected to the Congress of the United States.

the first African-American woman who
the first African-American woman to be

  • Level of Difficulty: Difficult
  • Magic Explanation: This is a very common pattern on the TOEFL; you should memorize it. Here's the pattern:

the first + NOUN + to do something

Here's a simple sentence to help you remember the pattern:

You are the first person to tell me that I am funny.

first African-American woman who was
the first African-American woman to

 

030.The three-toed sloth [moves] so slowly [that] its movements from one place [to] another are [imperceptible practically].

moves
that
to
imperceptible practically

  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Correction: practically imperceptible
  • Magic Explanation: In English, when an adverb modifies an adjective, the adverb must come before the adjective. A simple example of this rule is the phrase very delicious. In this case, practically is an adverb, and it modifies the adjective imperceptible.

 

 

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