TOEFL iTP | Course Sneak Peek | Structure | Items Involving Verb Problems

We’re here with a sneak peek! I was going back and forth with a student who had followed me on IG and he/she was having difficulties with prepositions and verbs in general. From the past participle, passive verbs, verbs to be, relative pronouns, etc. All of it was very confusing, so I decided to share/do a video for the public (and this video will be one of the 23 lessons on my TOEFL iTP course) so you guys can not only see what’s in the course but also improve in the #1 area. Here we go! Also, the answers, if you would like to try to answer them, are on my IG Stories.

The answer choices for this type of problem are all or almost all different forms of the same verb. From the context of the sentence stem, you’ll have to decide which form works best in the sentence. Distractors are generally incorrect for one of these reasons:

  • The “verb” is not really a verb.

Used alone, an infinitive, a gerund, or participle cannot be a main verb.

  • The verb is active but should be passive, or it is passive but should be active.

If the subject of the sentence performs the action, the verb must be in the active voice. If the subject of the sentence performs the action, the verb must be in the active voice. If the subject of the sentence receives the action, the verb must be in the passive.

The architect designed the building.

(active verb)

The building was designed by the architect.

(passive verb)

  • The verb does not agree with its subject.

Singular subjects require singular verbs; plural subjects require plural verbs.

  • The verb is not in the right tense.

According to the time words or ideas in the sentence, the appropriate tense must be used.

  • An unnecessary element comes before the verb.

Personal pronouns (he, she, it), relative pronouns (who, which, that, and so on), or conjunctions (and, but, and so on) may be used unnecessarily before verbs in some sentences.

Sample Items

Before the late eighteenth century, most textiles _______ at home.

  1. Produced
  2. Was produced
  3. Producing
  4. Were produced

Choice D is the best answer. A can be considered either an active verb in the past tense or a past participle; both are incorrect. An active verb is incorrect because a passive verb is needed; a past participle is incorrect because a past participle cannot serve as a main verb. B is incorrect because the plural subject textiles requires a plural verb, were. C is incorrect because, by itself, an –ing form can never be a main verb.

Exercise

  1. R.M. Bartlett of Philadelphia __________ the first private business college in the United States in 1843.
  1. Founding
  2. Founded
  3. Was founded
  4. Founds
  • In 1989 the space probe Voyager 2 _________ by the planet Neptune.
  1. Fly
  2. Having flown
  3. Flying
  4. Flew
  • A cup full of stagnant water may _____ millions of microorganisms.
  1. Contains
  2. To contain
  3. Contain
  4. Containing
  • Computers and new methods of communication ______ revolutionized the modern office.
  1. Have
  2. To have
  3. That have
  4. Has
  • Sarah Knight ________ a fascinating account of a journey she made from Boston to New York in 1704.
  1. Written
  2. Write
  3. Wrote
  4. Writing
  • All animals ______ on other animals or plants.
  1. Feed
  2. Feeds
  3. Fed
  4. Feeding
  • Chromium ________ in the manufacture of stainless steel.
  1. Using
  2. Is used
  3. Uses
  4. Is using
  • The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad ________ the first air conditioning system for trains in 1931.
  1. Has installed
  2. Installed
  3. To have installed
  4. Installing
  • Porous rocks such as chalk and sandstone allow water _______ through them.
  1. Soaks
  2. Is soaked
  3. To soak
  4. Can soak
  1. By 1790, rice ______ an important crop in the South.
  1. Being
  2. Has been
  3. Was
  4. Was being
  1. Wavers are social birds that _______ complex nests housing hundreds of families.
  1. Build
  2. Are built
  3. Are building
  4. Built
  1. The American dancer Maria Tallchief first ______ prominent in Europe.
  1. To become
  2. Become
  3. Has become
  4. Became

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