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Explanations for the TOEFL Structure/Written Expression, Test B from the 1997 Official TOEFL Publication

Here are the answers, corrections, and explanations for the Written Expression section section of Test B of the 1997 ETS Publication Kit that I (Erin Billy) have been working on for a while.

You will notice that some of the explanations have extra questions or vocab. That's because these are the questions that TestMagic students actually asked in class for that particular question or the things that I want my students to know for their future TOEFL tests.

Remember, if you want to ask a question, you can do so easily in the TestMagic Forum.

 

Explanations

1. B

Simple sentence: Alice Freeman Palmer became head

B: Nothing is missing from this sentence. Therefore, we need to add something that is both optional and complete. In this case, we are adding a prepositional phrase.

Vocabulary:

head (cn, person): the leader.

Other: Notice that head, a singular count noun, does not have a determiner. This case is one of the exceptions to the Banana Rule: determiners are optional with job titles.

2. C

Simple sentence: United States spends money

B: other than is a preposition.

C: First, we are making a comparison, so we need more + than. That leaves us with B and C. Next, we should choose C because any other (which are a determiner and adjective, respectively) modifies the noun country.

3. C

Simple sentence: penicillin came

C: We have a reduced adjective clause here. The original clause would be: which is probably the best-know antibiotic. antibiotic, a singular count noun, needs a determiner because of the Banana Rule.

Vocabulary:

antibiotic (cn): a medicine that eliminates infection by killing bacteria.

4. D

Simple sentence: seven were published

D: We need a main verb here. That leaves us with C and D. Now, we should have passive voice, since the poems are receiving the action. Furthermore, because of the vi, vt1, and vt2 rules that we learn in class, we know that publish, which is vt1, needs an object in C, but does not need one in D.

5. B

Simple sentence: Thomas Jefferson served as president

B: encourage is vt1 and therefore needs one object.

A: ranging and wide are both adjectives.

C: This is an adjective clause.

D: We have: a (determiner), widely (adverb), and ranging (adjective).

Vocabulary:

served as (vt1): functioned as, had the job of.

a wide range (n phrase): a large variety.

Other: Notice that president, a singular count noun, does not have a determiner. This case is one of the exceptions to the Banana Rule: determiners are optional with job titles.

6. A

Simple sentence: Kansas is famous

A: Nothing is missing from this sentence. Therefore, we need to add something that is both optional and complete. In this case, we are adding its (determiner), seemingly (adverb), and endless (adjective). These words modify the object of the preposition fields.

Vocabulary:

seemingly (adv): apparently. We use this word when we want to say that something seems like something else, but it is really not. In this sentence, we are saying that the fields of wheat in Kansas seem like they have no end.

7. B

Simple sentence: jellyfish are adapted

B: We need a main sentence here. The first part of the sentence, Skimming… balloons, is a reduced adjective clause.

A: We need a main verb here.

C: to is a preposition, we must have a noun after a preposition. perfectly is an adverb.

D: We have a conjunction before the main sentence; this is a big NO-NO.

Vocabulary:

skimming (pres part): moving across the surface of something.

jellyfish (cn): a sea animal that can sting people if they touch it and is very hard to see in the water because it is transparent.

adapted to (adj phrase): In this sentence, if we say that that jellyfish are adapted to their habitat, we mean that jellyfish have changed over many thousands of years so that they can survive in the habitat.

8. C

Simple sentence: day is period

C: We have two sentences here and therefore need a conjunction between them. In this case, we need a conjunction for the adjective clause. As we have studied in class, we need to use a preposition here because we have a complete sentence after the relative pronoun which. The sentence from the clause would be: the Earth completes one rotation on its axis during [this] period.

A: This is in question form, a big NO-NO.

B: We have a double subject here, it and Earth.

D: in that can be a subordinating conjunction, but the meaning is wrong. Remember, in that { because.

Vocabulary:

axis (cn): the imaginary “line” that goes through the Earth or a sphere (a ball). We say that the Earth spins on its axis.

9. A

Simple sentence: it is one

A: We have two sentences here and therefore need a conjunction between them. In this case, we need a conjunction for the adverb clause.

B: why is used only for noun clauses; we cannot use a noun clause here.

C: despite is a preposition and can NEVER, EVER be followed by a verb.

D: due to is a preposition and can NEVER, EVER be followed by a verb.

Vocabulary:

erosion (ncn): the process of losing dirt or other material, usually due to rain, water, or some other liquid.

10. B

Simple sentence: polar bear eats fish and seal

B: We need the main sentence here.

A: We have a subordinate clause here because of the subordinating conjunction that.

C: We have no main verb here; eating is NOT a verb, it is a present participle.

D: We have no main verb here.

Vocabulary:

chiefly (adv): mainly, primarily, mostly.

11. D

Simple sentence: helicopters can rise or [can] descend, [can] hover, and [can] move

D: Whew! What a confusing sentence!! Look at the simple sentence and see whether you can understand it better now. We are missing a conjunction from this sentence because the last two words are parallel (they are both adverbs and are modifying move), but they do not have a conjunction between them.

A: This is a complete sentence.

B: We cannot have a verb here; nor can we use the adjective form, lateral.

C: We cannot use a noun here, motion.

Vocabulary:

hover (vi): to float in one location, like a helicopter. For example, we can see hummingbirds hovering when they eat nectar from flowers.

12. D

Simple sentence: Dallas Theater Center presents plays

D: We have two verbs in this sentence. Therefore, we need a conjunction to join them. In this case, we can use which for the adjective clause. Next, we only want to talk about one of the buildings, not both of them (we know this because the subordinate verb, was, is singular). Remember, when we mention a group in one sentence, we can talk about all or part of that group with an adjective clause. When we do this, we need to say something like one of which, one of whom, some of which, all of which, none of which, half of which, etc.

A: If you got this one wrong, you probably chose me, right? Nope, impossible. Look at the head noun: buildings. Look at the subordinate verb: was. They don’t agree, do they?

B: This is question form.

C: that which might be possible, but very unusual on the TOEFL. We use that which for noun clauses, and we cannot use a noun clause here.

Vocabulary:

renowned (adj): widely respected, praised, or acclaimed. famous.

13. A

Simple sentence: themes are love, jealousy, revenge, disaster, and adventure

A: First, we should notice that we have two verbs here, stem and are. It might be hard to notice that stem is a verb because it is usually a noun, but, nevertheless, it is a verb here. Now, we should realize that we need a conjunction to join the two main sentences. In this case, we can use the subordinating conjunction because for the adverb clause.

B: This would give us two main sentences with no conjunction.

C: with is a preposition and can NEVER, EVER be followed by a verb.

D: This answer is totally crazy—first, we have no conjunction; second, we would have a noun with no function, ballads; third, if we add to, then stem becomes to stem, the infinitive form.

Vocabulary:

stem from (vt1): come from, originate in.

ballads (cn): songs that tell a story.

14. C

Simple sentence: hearing gives us information

C: We need a main subject here.

A: This would give us a double verb.

B: This is not main, it is subordinate because of the subordinating conjunction that.

D: First, the meaning of this clause is wrong. Second, this clause is an adverb clause (whatever can be used in a noun clause, but it is rare to do so) and we cannot have an adverb clause here since we are missing a noun. Third, whatever functions as both a subordinating conjunction and a determiner, so the determine the is wrong.

Vocabulary:

vital (adj): essential, important.

15. B

Simple sentence: library was founded

B: We are missing the main subject here.

A: We have a verb here.

C: We have a verb here.

D: This would give us a noun clause. This noun clause could not be the subject of was founded.

Vocabulary:

**founded** (past participle): established.

 

Written Expression: Test B

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Correction

Explanation

16. B

than that

Word order. We are comparing neck and that; therefore, that must follow than.

17. C

response

Word form. We need the noun form since we need an object for study, which is vt1. responsively is an adverb.

18. A

In

Preposition. We should use the preposition in with years. at is used for time; for example, we say at 4:30.

19. B

little

Word choice. We need to use little with the non-count noun material; few can only be used with count nouns. By the way, you may know that material can be either count or non-count. So, how do we know it is non-count here? Easy—we do not have a determiner, so it must be non-count.

20. A

slowly

Word form. We need the adverb to modify the verb developed; slow is an adjective.

21. C

are

Parallel structure. Simple sentence: soapberry trees and shrubs thrive and [soapberry trees and shrubs] are plants

We need another main verb here to be parallel with the first main verb thrive.

22. A

lengthy

Word form. We need the adjective to modify the noun career. length is a noun.

lengthy (adj): long

23. A

characterize

We need a main verb here.

24. A

medicine

We need a noun here to be parallel with the other nouns research, tourism, and mining.

25. D

out of the

out is usually an adverb; we need to use a preposition with it. For example, we say in the house, but we say out of the house.

26. C

easier

We need the comparative form here because of than.

27. B

it is evident

evidence is a noun; although N + be-verb + N is possible, the meaning here is illogical. We should use the adjective form here.

28. D

indicate

We need the verb form here to be parallel with the other verbs explain and state.

29. A

annually

We need the adverb form to modify the verb awarded.

30. D

spot

We need a singular noun because of the determiner a, which can only be used with a singular noun.

31. C

have been

We need a plural verb to agree with the plural subject spices.

32. C

in

or

for

We have two different forms here: used as and used for. Here are some examples of how to use both:

used as: A coin can be used as a screwdriver sometimes.

A pen can be used as a weapon.

A rock can be used as a hammer.

used for: A coin can be used for tightening a screw sometimes.

A pen can be used for protection.

A rock can be used for different projects.

33. D

long before

adverb + subordinating conjunction. The adverb long must come before the subordinating conjunction or preposition that it modifies. Remember this one!

If you think that this is hard, remember that you probably already use this rule in your own speech. For example, if you say right before I got home…, you are following the same rule.

34. D

needs to

We need the singular form of the verb to modify the singular noun navigator.

35. D

products

Rule: one of + plural

36. A

primarily

We need the adverb form to modify the verb used.

37. C

has also

If we say was published, then we are using passive voice. We cannot use passive voice here because publish is vt1 and we have an object, collections. If we say has published, then we are using active voice, which is correct.

If you are thinking that we need to use active voice because Maya Angelou is a person, you are wrong. In English and with the verb publish, it is possible to use passive voice with a person. For example, we can say Maya Angelou has been published in many different magazines.

38. D

renamed

it is redundant here since we are using passive voice. In other words, as we have learned in class, a vt1 verb in passive voice cannot have an object.

39. A

at a rate

rate is a singular count noun with no determiner. It is therefore WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

40. D

to hold

Rule: able + infinitive

 

 

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