TOEFL STUCTURE

Skill 1 : Subjects and Verb

A sentence in English must have at least one subject and one verb. The thing should do as you red a sentence in the Structure section of the TOEFL test is to find the subject and the verb.

SINGULER VERB                                        PLURAL VERB

– My friend lives in Boston. – My friends live in Boston Verb + -s/-es = third person singular in the simple present tenseNoun + -s/-es = plural
– That book on political parties is interesting. – The ideas in that book are interesting. A propositional phrase that comes between a subject and a verb does not affect the verb.
– My brother and sister live in Boston. Two (or more) subject connected by and take a plural verb.
– Every man, women, and child needs love.- Each book ang magazine is listed the card catalog. EXCEPTION : every  and aech  are always followed immediately by singular nouns. In this case, even when there are two (or more) nouns connected by and the verb is singular.
– Growing flowers  is her hobby. A gerund used as the subject of a sentence takes a singular verb.
– Some of the book is good.- A lot of the equipment is new.- Two-thirds of the money is mine. – Some of the books are good.- A lot of my friends are here.- Two-thirds of the pennies are mine. The verb is determined by the noun (or pronoun) that follows of in most expression of quality. Notice in (i) and (l) :Some of + singular noun + singular verbSome of + plural noun + plural verb
– One of my friends is here.- Each of my friends is here.- Every one of my friends is here. EXCEPTIONS : one of, each of and every one of take singular verbs.One of, each of, and every one of+ plural noun + singular verb.
– None of the boys is here. – None of the boys are here.   (informal) Subjects with none of are considered singular in very formal English, but plural verbs are often used in informal speech and writing.
– The number of students in the class is fifteen. – A number of students were late for class. COMPARE  in (t) : The number is the subject. In (u) : A number ofis an expression of quality meaning “a lot of”. It is followed by a plural noun a plural verb.
– There is a book on the shelf. – There are some books on the shelf. The subject follows be when there is used*.In (v) : The subject is book.In(w) : The subject is books.

.*In the structure there + be, there is called an expletive.

EXERCISE
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. My best friend always helpful with problems. ( I )
Analysis:
The subject of the sentence above is My best friend, but there is no Verb. So, incorrect.
The correct sentence should be My best friend is always helpful and with problems.

2. The bus schedule has changed since last week. (C)
Analysis:
The subject is The bus and verb is has changed, so the sentence is Correct.
3. Accidentally dropped the glass on the floor. ( I )
Analysis:
The sentence doesn’t have a Subject. The verb is dropped, so it is incorrect.
The correct sentence should be Accidentally she or he dropped the glass on the floor.

4. The customer paying the clerk for the clothes. (I)
Analysis:
The sentence doesn’t have to be, is. So incorrect
It should be The customer is paying the clerk for the clothes.

5. The professor handed the syllabus to the students. (C)
Analysis:
The sentence has subject, the professor and verb, handed. So it is correct

6. Each day practiced the piano for hours. (I)
Analysis:
The sentence doesn’t have subject. The verb is practiced. So incorrect.
It should be Each day they practiced the piano for hours.

7. The basketball player tossed the ball into the hoop. (C)
Analysis:
The sentence has subject, The basket ball player and verb, tossed. So it is correct

8. The new student in the class very talkative and friendly. (I)
Analysis:
The sentence has subject, The new student, but no verb. So incorrect.
The correct sentence can be The new student in the class is very talkative and friendly.

9. Walking with the children to school.(I)
    Analysis:
The sentence doesn’t have a Subject. It has main verb, walking but without tobe. So incorrect.
The correct sentence could be She/he is walking with the children to school

10. The whales headed south for the winter. (C)
Analysis:
The sentence has a subject, the whales and verb, headed. So, it correct

Skill 2 : Objects 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 etc.

“The trip (to the island) (on Saturday) will last (for three hours)”.

This sentence contains tree 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.

Example

To Mike _____ was 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.

The following chart outlines the key information that you should remember about objects of preposition.

COMMON PREPOSITION

About               before              despite             of                            to

Above              behind             down               off                             toward(s)

Across             below               during              on                            under

After                beneath            for                    out                             until

Against            beside              from                 over                          up

Along               besides             in                     since                           upon

Among             between           into                through                    with

Around            beyond             like                throughout                within

At                       by                      near                     till                              without

EXERCISE : 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. The name of the baby in the crib is Jack. (C)
Analysis:
Subject is The name of baby and Verb is IS. So, it is correct
The Crib is only object of preposition

2. By the next meeting of the class need to turn in the papers.( I)
Analysis:
Verb is need but there is no Subject. So, it is Incorrect
The next meeting of the class is NOT subject, it is object of preposition

3. The directions to the exercise on page 20 unclear.
Analysis:
Subject is The directions but there is no Verb. So, it is incorrect.
The exercise is not subject, it is object of preposition.
4. Because of the heavy rain throughout the night, the walkways are muddy.
Analysis:
Subject is the walkways and Verb is Are. So, it is correct.
The heavy rain throughout the night is only object of preposition.

5. During the week eat lunch in the school cafeteria.
Analysis:
Verb is eat but there is no Subject. So, it is incorrect
The week is not Subject, it is object of preposition

6. In the morning after the concert was tired.
Analysis:
Verb is was but there is no Subject. So, it is incorrect.
The concert is not Subject, it is object of preposition.

7. In the summer the trip to the mountains is our favorite trip.
Analysis:
Subject is the trip and verb is Is. So, it is correct

8. In a box on the top shelf of the cabinet in the hallway of the house.
  Analysis:
No Subject and No verbs.

9. With her purse in her hand ran through the door.
Analysis:
Verb is ran but there is no Subject. So, it is incorrect.
Her purse and her hand are only object of preposition

10. At 1:00 in the morning the alarm clock on the table beside the bed rang.
Analysis:
Subject is the alarm clock and Verb is rang. So, it is correct

Skill 7 : Noun Clause Connectors

A noun is used as a subject or an object.

A noun clause is used as a subject or an object. In other words, a noun clause is used in the ame ways as a noun.

In Skill 7 we saw that noun clause connectors can be used to introduce noun clauses. In Skill 8 we will see that in some cases a noun clause connector is not just a connector; a noun clause connector can also be the subject of the clause at the same time. Study the clauses and connectors in the following sentences.

I know what happened yesterday

            NOUN CLAUSE AS OBJECT OF VERB

We are thinking about what happened yesterday.

            NOUN CLAUSE AS OBJECT OF PREPOSITION

In the first example, there are two clauses: I know and what happened yesterday. These two clauses are joined by the connector what. It is important to understand that in this sentence the word what serves two functions. It is both the subject of the verb happened and the connector that joins the two clauses.

In the second example, there are two clauses. In the first clause we is the subject of are thinking. In the second clause what is the subject of happened. What also serves as the connector that joins the two clauses. The noun clause what happened yesterday functions as the object of the preposition about.

WORDS USED TO INTRODUCE NOUN CLAUSE

  1. Question words :                         2. Whether                  3. that

When               who           whose                    if

Where              whom

Why                what

How                which

QUESTIONWhere does she live?What did he say?When do they arrive? NOUN CLAUSE

  1. I don’t know  where she lives.
  2. I could’t hear what he said.
  3. Do you know when they arrive?
In (a) : where she livesis the object of the verb know. Do not use question word order in a noun clause. In a noun clause, the subject precedes the verb.Notice : does, did and do are used in question but not in noun clause.
Who live there?What happened?Who is at the door?
  1. I don’t know who live there.
  2. Please tell me what happened.
  3. I wonder who is at the door.
In (d) : The word order is the same in both the question and the clause because who is subject in both.
Who is she?Who are those men?Whose house is that?
  1. I don’t know who is she.
  2. I don’t know who those men are.
  3. I wonder whose house that is.

 

In (g) : she is the subject of the question, so it is placed in front of the verb be in noun clause.
What didi she say?What should they do?
  1. What she said surprised me.
  2. What they should do is abvious.
In (j) : what she said is the subject of the sentence. Notice in (k) : A noun clause subject takes a singular verb (e.g.,is).

The following example shows how this sentence pattern could be tested in the Structure section of the TOEFL test.
Example

The company was prepared for ________ happened with the economy.

(A) it
(B) the problem
(C) what
(D) when

EXERCISE : 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 teacher heard who answered the question. (C)
Analysis:
Who answered the question is a noun clause connector, and the sentence is correct.
2. I do not understand it went wrong. (I)
Analysis:
it went wrong is a noun clause connector/subject. But, the sentence is incorrect.
It should be what went wrong
3. Of the three movies, I can’t decide which is the best. (C)
Analysis:
Which is the best is a noun clause connector/subject. The sentence is correct.

4. She did not remember who in her class. (I)
Analysis:
Who in her class is a noun clause connector, but the sentence is incorrect.
It should be Who is in her class.

5. No one is sure what did it happen in front of the building. (I)
Analysis:
What did it happen in front of the building is a nouc clause connector, but the sentence is incorrect.
It should be what happened in front of the building.

6. We found out which was her favorite type of candy. (C)
Analysis:
Which was her favorite type of candy is a noun clause connector/subject, and the sentence is correct.

7. Do you know what caused the plants to die? (C)
Analysis:
What caused the plants to die is a noun clause connector/subject and the sentence is correct.

8. I am not sure which it is the most important course in the program. (I)
Analysis:
which it is the most important course in the program is a nou clause connector/subject, but it is  incorrect.
It should be which is the most important course in the program.

9. We thought about who would be the best vice president.(C)
Analysis:
Who would be the best vice president is a noun clause connector, and the sentence is correct.

10. She saw what in the box in the closet. (I)
Analysis:
What in the box in the closet is a noun clause connector, but it is incorrect.
It should be what is in the box in the closet.

Skill 14 : Parallel Structure with Coordinate Connector

One use of a conjunction is to connect words or phrases that have the same grammatical fuction in a sentence. This use of conju ctions is called parallel structure. The conjunction used in this pattern are and, but and or.

The job of the coordinate conjunctions (and, but, or) is to join together equal expressions. In other words, what is on one side of these words must be parallel to what is on the other side. These conjunctions can join nouns, or verbs, or adjectives, or phrases, or clauses; they just must join together the same structures. Here are examples of equal structures correctly joined by coordinate conjunctions:

He discussed the problem with the nurse and the doctor

The professor was knowledgeable but boring

She hikes, jogs, or rides her bicycle whenever she can.

There are meetings in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening

You can do the work because you want to do it or because you have to do it

In the first example, two nouns are joined by the coordinate conjunction and. In the second example, two adjectives are joined by the coordinate conjunction but. In the third example, three verbs are joined by the coordinate conjunction or. In the fourth example, three phrases are joined by the coordinate conjunction and. In the last example; two clauses are joined by the coordinate conjunction or.

The sentences that follow show the types of errors in parallel structure that are common on the TOEFL test.

The evening dress was beauty* but expensive.

The student reads each chapter, takes a lot of notes, and memories* the material.

In the first example, the coordinate conjunction but joins the noun beauty and the adjective expensive. The adjective beautiful is needed in place of beauty. In the second example, the coordinate conjunction and joins the verb reads, the verb takes, and the plural noun memories. The verb memorizes is needed in place of memories.

The following chart outlines the use of parallel structures with coordinate con junctions.

PARALLEL STRUCTURE WITH COORDINATE CONJUNCTIONS

(same structure)

and

but

   (same structure)

(same structure)

         (same structure)     and

but

(same structure)

EXERCISE : Each of the following sentences contains words or groups of words that should be parallel. Circle the word that indicates that the sentence should have parallel parts. Underline the parts that should be parallel. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).

1. The pastries in that shop are very expensive but quite deliciously. (I)

Analysis:

  • before BUT  and after BUT must have the same structure. EXPENSIVE is adjective, but deliciously is adverb. So, it is incorrect.
  • It should be ….very expensive but quite delicious.

2. You can find some change to buy a paper in the drawer, on top of the dresser, or in the jar. (C)

Analysis:

  • in the drawer, on top of the dresser, or in the jar are all in same structure (adverb). So, it is correct.

3. The living room was decorated with expensive paintings and elegance lamps. (I).
Analysis:

  • expensive (adjective) painting and elegance (noun) lamps have different structure. So, it is incorrect.
  • It should be ….expensive painting and elegant lamps.

4. He knew that the financial problems were serious, that the situation was not going to improve, and that he needed to get a job.
Analysis:

  • ……that the situation was not going to improve and that he needs to get a  job have the same structure. Both sentences are clauses. So, it is correct

5. All day long during the trip to the mountains, they were skiing, sledding, or played in the snow. (I)

Analysis:

  • skiing, sledding, or played.…(incorrect). It should be ..skiing, sledding, or playing.

6. The car needs new tires but not a new engine. (C)
Analysis:

  • new tires (phrase) but not a new engine (phrase). So, it is correct

7. He stops working when he gets too tired to continue or when he has finished. (C)
Analysis:

  • when he gets too tired to continue (clause) or when he has finished (clause). So, it is correct

8. To get to the office, you should go through this door, turn to the left, and continuation down the hall. (I)
Analysis:

  • go (verb) through this door, turn (verb) to the left, and continuation (noun) down the hall. So it is incorrect.
  • It should be “…..go……, turn, and continue,,,,,,,”

9. For dessert we could serve lemon pie, fruit tarts, chocolate cake, or butter cookies.(C)
Analysis:

  • ….lemon pie, fruit tarts, chocolate cake and butter cookies are all phrases. So, it is correct.

10. The sick child needs some medicine, some juice, and to rest. (I)
Analysis:

  • some medicine, some juice and to rest. (incorrect)
  • It should be “..some medicine. some juice and some rest

SKILL 15 : Parallel Structure with Paired Conjunction

The paired conjunctions both …… and, either …… or; neither …… nor; and not only ….. but also require parallel structures.

The lecture was both informative and enjoyable

Either the history exam or the physics exam is on Tuesday.

The missing papers are neither on his desk nor in the file

He visited not only his cousin but also his grandmother.

The following is not parallel and must be corrected:

They want either to play tennis or golf*
It is not correct because to play tennis is not parallel to golf It can be corrected in different ways.

They want either to play tennis or to play golf

They want to play either tennis or golf.

When you are using these paired conjunctions, be sure that the correct parts are used together. The following are incorrect:

He lent me both some paper or a pencil

Either breakfast nor* lunch is included in the price.

These sentences are incorrect because the wrong parts of the paired conjunctions are used together. In the first example, and should be used with both. In the second example, or should be used with either.

PARALLEL STRUCTURE WITH PAIRED CONJUNCTION

Both

(same structure)

And

(same structure)

Either

Or

Neither

Nor

not

But also

EXERCISE : Each of the following sentences contains words or groups of words that should be parallel. Circle the word or words that indicate that the sentence should have parallel parts. Underline the parts that should be parallel. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).

1. He either lied or telling an unbelievable story. (I)

Analysis:

  • either ……or….. (correct), but
  • before and after OR  should have the same structure: telling should be told.

2. The music at the concert was neither well played nor well liked. (C)

Analysis:

  • neither ……nor…(correct). well played and well liked have same struture, too. So it is correct.

3. He regularly studies both in the morning or in the evening. (I)

Analysis:

  • both……or ……(incorrect). it should be both…..and…..

4. The play that we saw last night was not only rather delightful but also quite meaningful. (I)

Analysis:

  • not only ………….but also…..(correct)

5. He married her neither for her ability to cook nor her ability to clean house. (C)

Analysis:

  • neither ………….nor….(Correct)

6. The discussion was both exciting and interest. (I)

Analysis:

  • both …………and…….(Correct), but
  • before  and after and should have same structure. Exciting is adjective, but interest is noun.  Interest should be interesting.

7. He withdrew all the money not only from the checking account but also from the savings account. (C)

Analysis:

  • ..not only …but also…(correct)

8. Neither the teacher or the students are ready to leave the classroom. (I)

Analysis:

  • Neither…..or…(Incorrect). It should be Neither …..nor.

9. You can meet with me either in the next few minutes or at 4:00. (C)

Analysis:

  • either…..or…(correct)

10. John is an adventurous person who enjoys not only skydiving but also goes parasailing. (C)
Analysis:

  • …not only….but also…(correct)

Skill 16 : Past Participle Setelah Kata Have

Whenever you see the verb have in any of its forms (have, has, having, had), be sure that the verb that follows it is in the past participle form.

We had complete* the work.

They have went* to the market.

In the first example, complete should be the past participle completed because it is after had. In the second example, went should be the past participle gone because it is after have.

The following chart outlines the use of verb forms after have.

VERB FORMS AFTER HAVE

Have             +                    past participle

EXERCISE :

Each of the following sentences contains a verb formed with have. Underline the verbs twice. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).

1. We have already hearing the good news. (Incorrect)

Analysis: have hearing should be have heard

2. She has ridden her bicycle to school every day. (Correct)

Analysis: has ridden is correct

3. I have always believe you. (Incorrect)
Analysis : have always believe is incorrect, it should be have always believed.

4. He has find the missing car keys. (Incorrect)
Analysis :  has find is incorrect. It should be has found.

5. They have put their money in a savings account. (Correct)
Analysis : have put is correct

6. Their parents have allowed them to stay up late. (Correct)
Analysis: have allowed is correct

7. She has never ran away from home before. (Incorrect)
Analysis:  have never ran is correct. It should be have never run.

8. Have you ever saw a ghost? (Incorrect)
Analysis:  saw is incorrect. It should be seen.

9. They have taken three tests already this week. (correct)
Analysis: have taken is correct.

10. He has offer me a high-paying job. (Incorrect)
Analysis: has offer is incorrect. It should be has offered.

Skill 17 : Present Participle or Past Participle Setelah Be

The verb be in any of its forms (am, is, are, was, were, be, been, being) can be followed by another verb. This verb should be in either the present participle or the past participle form.

They are turn* on all the lamps.

The office door is lock* in the evening.

In the first example, turn on should be turning on because it is after are. In the second example, lock should be locked because it is after is.

The following chart outlines the use of verb forms after be.

Verb forms after be (am, is are, was, ware, be, been, being)

VERB FORMS AFTER BE

Be              +             (1)    present participle

                            (2)    past participle

EXERCISE :

Each of the following sentences contains a verb formed with be. Underline the verbs twice. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).
1. She was study the textbooks all night long. (I)
Analysis:

  • study should be studying because after be should present participle (-ing)

2. The pie was cut into six equal pieces. (C)
Analysis:

  •  ” was cut” is correct because after was should be past participle.

3. Today the teacher is allow the students to leave class a few minutes early. (I)
Analysis:

  • allow should be allowing because after is should be present participle.

4. The class is teach every other semester. (I)

  • teach should taught because after is should be past participle.

5. Tom is bringing some drinks to the party. (C)
Analysis:

  •  “is bringing” is correct because after is should be “present participle (bringing)“.

6. The sick child was taken to see a doctor. (correct)
Analysis:

  •  “was taken” is correct because after was should be past participle (taken).

7. The children are swim in the backyard pool. (I)
Analysis:

  • swim should be swimming because after are should be present participle.

8. The diamond jewelry is always keep in a safe place. (I)
Analysis:

  • keep should be kept because after is should be past participle.

9. The teacher is preparing a difficult exam for the students. (C)
Analysis:

  • “is preparing” is correct because after is should be present participle.

10. Dinner is served from 6:00 to 8:00.
Analysis:

  • “is served” is correct because after is should be past participle.

Skill 18 : Kata Kerja (Base Form) Setelah Jenis Kata Kerja Modals

Whenever you see a modal such as will, would, shall, should, can, could, may, might, or must, you should be sure that the verb that follows it is in its base form.

You must telling* her the truth.

The child may comes* in now.

  • In the first example, telling should be the base form tell because it follows must.
  • In the second example, comes should be the base form come because it follows may.

The following chart outlines the use of verb forms after modals.

VERB FORMS AFTER MODALS

Modal         +          base form of the verb

EXERCISE :

Each of the following sentences contains a verb formed with a modal. Underline the verbs twice. Then indicate if the sentences are correct (C) or incorrect (I).
1. You should try to respond politely. (C)
2. Everyone must leaves the room immediately. (I)
Analysis:

  • leaves should be leave

3. I could sat on the beach for hours. (I)
Analysis:

  • sat should be sit

4. She will asking you many difficult questions. (I)
Analysis:

  • asking should be ask

5. You can look at the book, but you cannot borrow it. (C)
6. He may lies to you because he is not very truthful. (I)
Analysis:

  • lies should be lie

7. He knew that he would forgot the phone number. (C)
Analysis:

  • forgot should be forget

8. The weatherman said that it might snowing tonight. (I)
Analysis:

  • snowing should be snow

9. Perhaps we could bought a new car this year.(I)
Analysis:

  • bought should be buy

10. This course will satisfy the graduation requirement. (C)

Sumber :

Azar, Betty Schrampfer. Understanding and Using English Grammer. Third Edition. USA : Longman, 1999.

Widham, Mircea. Cara Praktis Kuasai Toefl  Yogyakarta : Pustaka Solomon, 2010.

http://www.toeflskill.com/2011/03/parallel-structure-with-coordinate.html

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