TOEFL SKILL 1-5

Sebelum membahas lebih jauh mengenai TOEFL skill penulis akan sedikit menyinggung apa itu TOEFL. TOEFL adalah singkatan dari Test of English as a Foreign Language yaitu ujian kemampuan berbahasa Inggris (dengan logat Amerika) yang diperlukan untuk masuk ke college atau universitas di Amerika Serikat atau negara-negara lain didunia. Ujian ini sangat diperlukan bagi pendaftar yang bahasa ibunya bukan dengan bahasa Inggris. Secara umum, tes TOEFL lebih berorientasi kepada American English sedangkan test IELTS berorientasi kepada British English. Nilai hasil ujian TOEFL berkisar antara : 310 (minimum) sampai 677 (maximum) untuk versi PBT (paper-based test).

Itu sekilas tentang TOEFL dan kali ini penulis akan menguraikan setidaknya 5 skill yang ada dalam TOEFL, yaitu :

  1. Subject and Verbs
  2. Object of Preposition
  3. Present Participle
  4. Past Participle
  5. Coordinate Connector
  1. A.     Subject and Verbs

The sentence in English should have a subject and a verb. The most common types of problems that you will encounter in the TOEFL test are :

  1. related to subjects and verbs
  2. perhaps the sentence is missing either the subject, or the verb, or both
  3. perhaps the sentence has an extra subject or verb.

Example of Subject and Verb :

  • Arizona has a very dry climate.

Arizona in this sentence as a subject and has become a verb.

  • Advertising provides most of the income for magizines, newspaper, radio and television in Indonesia today.

In this sentence Advertising become a subject and provides as a verb.

Example 1:

___________ is a new form of work affording those previously unable to work, such as fathers with children, the chance to work while remaining at home.

  1. Telecommuting
  2. Telecommated
  3. While telecommuting
  4. Telecommutes

The correct answer is a.

Example 2:

The plane __________ landing at the airport in five minutes.

(A) it is
(B) it really is
(C) is descending
(D) will be

Analysis:

This sentence has a subject, plane, and has part of a verb, landing; to be correct, some form of the verb be is needed to make the verb complete. Answers (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 a verb that is unnecessary because of landing. Answer (D) is the best answer; will be together with landing is a complete 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 ).

  1. The whales headed south of the winter. (C)

Analysis : The sentence has a subject, the whales and verb, headed.

  1. Walking with the children to school. (I)

Analysis : The senctence does not have a subject. It has main verb, walking but without tobe. The correct sentence could be She/he is walking with the children to school.

  1. The basketball player tossed the ball into the hoop. (C)

Analysis : The sentence has a subject, the basketball player and verb, tossed.

  1. B.     Object of Preposition

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 phrase.

Example Object of Preposition:

  • Genes control all of the physical traits that we inherit.

 Traits followed by of (preposition). So, noun in this sentence is object of preposition.

Example 1:

To Mike ____ was a big surprise.

(A) really
(B) the party
(C) funny
(D) when

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 not 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. Answers (A), (C), and (D) are not correct because they cannot be subjects.

 

EXERCISE 2

Each of the following sentences contains one or more prepositional phrases. Underline the subjects once and the verbs twice. Circle the prepositional phrases that come before the verb. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).

  1. In the summer the trip to the mountains is our favorite trip. (C)

Analysis : subject is the trip and verb is Is. So, it is correct.

  1. With her pursue in her hand ran through the door. (I)

Analysis : verb is ran but there is no subject. So, this sentence is incorrect. Her pursue and her hand are only object of preposition.

  1. C.     Present Participles

Present participles can-cause confusion in TOEFL test because a present participle can be either an adjective or a part of the verb. A present participle is the – ing form of the verb. It is part of the verb when it is preceded by some form of the verb be.

Example 1

The film ____________ appearing at the local theater is my favorite.

(A)  Now

(B)   Is

(C)   It

(D)  was

In this example, if you look at only the first words of the sentence, it appears that film is the subject and appearing is part of the verb. If you think that appearing is part of the verb, you might choose answer (B), is, or answer (D), was, to complete the verb. However, these two answers are incorrect because appearing is not part of the verb. You should recognize that appearing is a participial adjective rather than a verb because there is another verb in the sentence, is. In this sentence, there is a complete subject, film, and a complete verb, is, so this sentence does not need another subject or verb. The best answer to this question is answer (A).

EXERCISE 3

Each of the following sentences contains one or more present participles. Underline the subjects once and the verbs twice. Circle the present participles, and label them as adjectives or verbs. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).

 1. The crying baby needs to be picked up. (C)
                                   ADJ.

2. The clothes are lying the floor should go into the washing machine. (I)
                                    VERB

 

  1. D.    Past Participles 

Past participles can cause confusion in the TOEFL because a past participle can be either an adjective or a part of the verb. The past participle is the form of the verb that appears with have or be. It often ends in -ed, but there are also many irregular pas participles in English.

Example :

The mailman has left a letter in the mailbox. (Left is VERB)

The classes were taught by Professor Smith. (Taught is VERB)

In the first sentence, the past participle left is part of the verb because it is accompanied by has. In the second sentence, the past participle taught is part of the verb because it is accompanied by were.

A past participle is an adjective when it is not accompanied by some form of be or have.

The letter left in the mailbox was for me. (Left is ADJECTIVE)

 

The classes taught by Professor Smith were very interesting. (Taught is ADJECTIVE)

In the first sentence, left is an adjective rather than a verb because it is not accompanied by a form of be or have (and there is a verb, was, later in the sentence). In the second sentence, taught is an adjective rather than a verbbecause it is not accompanied by a form of be or have (and there is a verb, were, later in the sentence).

The following example shows how a past participle can be confused with the verb in the Structure section of the TOEFL test.

Example :

The bread _____ baked this morning smelled delicious.

(A) has

(B) was

(C) it

(D) just

In this example, if you look only at the first few words of the sentence, it appears that bread is the subject and baked is either a complete verb or a past participle that needs a helping verb. But if you look further in the sentence, you will see the verb smelled. You will then recognize that baked is a participial adjective and is therefore not part of the verb. Answers (A) and (B) are incorrect because baked is an adjective and does not need a helping verb such as has or was. Answer (C) is incorrect because there is no need for the subject it.Answer (D) is the best answer to this question.

EXERCISE 4:

Each of the following sentences contains one or more past participles. Underline the subjects once and the verbs twice. Circle the past participles, and label them as adjectives or verbs. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).

1. The photographs developed yesterday showed Sam and his friends. (Correct)

Analysis : Subject is The photograph and Verb is showed Developed is past     participle as adjective

  1. The locked drawer contained the unworn jewels. (Correct)

Analysis: Subject is the locked drawer and Verb is contained Locked and unworn are past participle as adjectives

  1. 3.     The tree was blown over in the storm was cut into logs. (Incorrect)

Analysis :The sentence should be The tree blown over in the storm was cut into

Logs was blown should be blown (past participle as adjective) Subject is The tree and verb is was cut.

  1. E.     Coordinate Connector

Many sentences in English have more than one clause. (A clause is a group of words containing a subject and a verb.) When you have two clauses in an English sentence, you must connect the two clauses correctly. One way to connect two clauses is to use andbut, or, or so between the clauses.

The sun was shining and the sky was blue.

The sky was blue, but it was very cold.

It may rain tonight, or it may be clear.

It was raining outside, so I took my umbrella.

In each of these examples, there are two clauses that are correctly joined with a coordinate connector—and, but, or, or so—and a comma (,).

Example

I forgot my coat, ____ I got very cold.

(A) then
(B) so
(C) later
(D) as a result

In this example, you should notice quickly that there are two clauses, I forgot my coat and I got very cold. This sentence needs a connector to join the two clauses. Then, later, and as a result are not connectors, so answers(A), (C), and (D) are not correct. The best answer is answer (B) because so can connect two clauses in this manner.

The following chart lists the coordinate connectors and the sentence pattern used with them.

 

EXERCISE 5

Each of the following sentences contains more than one clause. Underline the subjects once and the verbs twice. Circle the connectors. Then indicate if the sentences are correct ‘(C) or incorrect (I).

1. The bill must be paid immediately, or the electricity will be turned off. (C)

Analysis: Both clauses are correct and coordinate connector is correct, too

  1. The dress did not cost too much, but the quality it seemed excellent. (I)

    Analysis: Second clause has two subject; the quality and it. It should be the quality seemed excellent. Coordinate connector is correct.

  2. The leaves kept falling off the trees, and the boys kept raking them up, but the yard was still covered. (C)

    Analysis: All clauses and coordinate are connectors correct, too.

Source :

  1. http://www.toeflskill.com
  2. http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOEFL
  3. Yusdi Muhammad. 2009. Magic TOEFL. Inspirita : Banten.

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