TOEFL iTP | Grammar | Structure & Written Expression | Parallel Structure Sentence Break Downs

We’re back with the sentence break downs of parallel structures! This is the follow up from ______________.

  1. Frozen orange juice must be packed, _______________, and stored when the fruit is ripe.
  • be frozen
  • must be frozen
  • frozen
  • it must be frozen

2. Sioux is a North American Indian language that is spoken not only ______________ Sioux but also by the Crow and Osage tribes.

  • by the
  • the
  • do the
  • and the

3. In 1900 electrically powered cars were more popular than gasoline powered cars because they were quiet, operated smoothly, and ________________.

  • handled easily
  • easy of handling
  • handling easily
  • easy to handle

4. Roger Williams was a clergyman, _______________ the colony of Rhode Island, and an outspoken advocate of religious and political freedom.

  • founded
  • the founder of
  • was the founder of
  • he founded

5. Paint can be applied to a surface with rollers, _____________, or spray guns.

  • brushes
  • brushes can be used
  • with brushes
  • by brush

6. The use of labor-saving devices in homes, _____________, and factories added to the amount of leisure time people had.

  • at an office
  • used in offices
  • offices
  • in offices

7. A dulcimer can be played by either striking its string with a hammer or ______________.

  • to pluck them with the fingers
  • fingers are used to pluck them
  • they are plucked with the fingers
  • plucking them with the fingers

8. Throughout history, trade routes have increased contact between people, _______________, and greatly affected the growth of civilization.

  • have resulted in an exchange of ideas
  • an exchange of ideas has resulted
  • resulted in an exchange of ideas
  • resulting in an exchange of ideas

9. Walt Disney made many technical advances in the use of sound, color, and ______________ in animated films.

  • photographing
  • using photography
  • photography
  • use of photographs

10. Artist Paul Kane traveled throughout Northwest Canada on foot, by canoe, and _______________ to sketch Native Canadians going about their ordinary lives.

  • on horseback
  • riding a horse
  • horseback
  • by a horse

11. Barbara Jordan was the first woman in the South to win an election to the House of Representatives, _________ as Congresswoman from Texas from 1973 to 1979.

  • to serve
  • served
  • serving
  • has served

12. Photographers’ choice of a camera depends on what kind of pictures they want to take, how much control they want over exposure, and ___________ they want to spend.

  • the amount of money
  • what money
  • how much money
  • so much money that

13. Atlanta is the commercial, financial, and ______________ of Georgia.

  • center of administration
  • administrative center
  • center for administering
  • administering center

14. Even after the Revolutionary War, American importers obtained merchandise from Britain because British merchants understood American tastes, offered attractive prices, and _____________.

  • easy credit was provided
  • because of easy credit
  • easy credit
  • provided easy credit.

TOEFL Podcast

TOEFL iTP | Listening Part B | A Man’s Great-Grandmother

We’re back with a great TOEFL iTP podcast/video today! In today’s episode, I’m going to go over this structurally easy talk, but also emphasize how important it is to figure out a suitable technique for you to follow the questions.  Remember, tests this year are extremely difficult, so what you see me go over on today’s podcast/video is completely different from what you’ll experience. Tune in!

How often does the man usually talk to his great-grandmother?

  • Every evening.
  • Every week.
  • Every Sunday.
  • Every month.

What did the man’s great-grandmother tell him on the phone this morning?

  • That she was eighty-five years old.
  • That a storm was coming.
  • That she was under a great deal of pressure.
  • That she wanted to become a weather forecaster.

Where does the man’s great-grandmother say when she feels a storm coming?

  • In her bones.
  • In her ears.
  • In her legs.
  • In her head.

What will the man probably do in the future?

  • Call his great-grandmother less often.
  • Watch the weather forecasts with his great-grandmother.
  • Help his great-grandmother relieve some of her pressures.
  • Believe his great-grandmother’s predictions about the weather.



Excited about launching this for you students! I’ve already spoken about the coaching that’s available, but it’s important to put out different products to cater to different price points, so today I’m officially launching the TOEFL iBT correction services! For those of you who are having difficulty on any of the speaking parts and would like to be corrected…you can now submit your recordings to me so that I can give you a write-up and a voice note in terms of areas that I think you should improve. The different questions I will give you will provide you genuine practice for the exam. And unlike other services out there, I will give you detailed/actionable items/points so that you can improve.

First speaking grade is free! Try the service and also inquire about packages. There are plenty of them that suit not only your financial needs but also the amount of practice you need before going into the exam. So, whether you need immediate support or you need something a little more short / long-term….hit any of the social links down below and inquire today!


You guys will be extremely excited about this! I will be going over a full test of TOEFL iTP today, doing the Longman test and walking you through a number of techniques. In saying that, I have all the questions down below but make sure you tune into the podcast and YouTube video for explanations.

TOEFL iBT | Reading | 1 on 1 Coaching | Guide to Answering Questions

In this podcast, I discuss with a student from Afghanistan HOW to answer questions. The majority of students out there in the world are unsure how to answer — if they should take two sides or how long they should spend on the reading versus the material they listen to. Regardless of what task it is, here’s a 1 on 1 coaching with me explaining the details in the podcast down below.


Premium Business English Podcast:

Pronunciation Course Phase III:

Pronunciation Course Phase II:

Pronunciation Course Phase 1:


Podcast on Spotify:

Podcast on ListenNote:

Podcast on CastBox:’s-ESL-Podcast-id1251433?country=us




Q & A:



Buzz sprout:

Twitter –…

TOEFL iBT | Speaking Part 4 | Speaking Challenge

In this podcast/video, I’ll be breaking down (through transcription) what a speaking IV looks like, taking out the key details, and then formulating it.
After that, I will play a two-minute recording for you guys to prepare, take notes, then send me voice messages either on my FB page or email so I can grade them.
Whoever does the best in the challenge gets a free hour of coaching with me in any area of TOEFL! Let’s go!

TOEFL iBT | Writing | Forming a good introduction

Welcome back to another video! Well, for those of you reading this blog, this is the blog..and then you have the video and the podcast. Nonetheless, this is the first of it’s kind! A fantastic guide for writing a good introduction. Introductions should be quick and simple. 3-4 sentences (4 sentences max)….and in this short video/podcast, I’ll be explaining just that, along with good stance-markers for you guys to memorize so that you’re not repeating yourself in both essays. Let’s get into this!

Example Introduction

It is critically important that students work as hard as possible when they are at school. Personally, I believe that teachers can motivate students to work hard by giving them grades. I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

Question: Grades encourage students to work harder in school. Do you agree or disagree?

Tom at TOEFL Resources
  • Personally, I think…
  • As far as I’m concerned,
  • In my opinion,
  • I agree with this

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | TOEFL iBT | Reading | The Creators of Grammar

Super grateful for this week! Live videos will be recorded, as well as pre-recorded videos for those of you out there who are studying TOEIC, TOEFL, and IELTS. So…in day 1, I’m going to be going over TOEFL Reading (iBT). So, this is going to be an extensive passage. For the video, YouTube and podcast, make sure you check my links down below! To hear my explanation, you’ll have to surely check out the podcast/video.

The Creators of Grammar

No student of a foreign language needs to be told that grammar is complex.  By changing word sequences and by adding a range of auxiliary verbs and suffixes, we are able to communicate tiny variations in meaning.  We can turn a statement into a question, state whether an action has taken place or is soon to take place, and perform many other word tricks to convey subtle differences in meaning.  Nor is this complexity inherent to the English language.  All languages, even those of so-called ‘primitive’ tribes have clever grammatical components.  The Cherokee pronoun system, for example, can distinguish between ‘you and I’, ‘several other people and I’ and ‘you, another person and I’.  In English, all these meanings are summed up in the one, crude pronoun ‘we’.  Grammar is universal and plays a part in every language, no matter how widespread it is.  So the question which has baffled many linguists is – who created grammar?

At first, it would appear that this question is impossible to answer.  To find out how grammar is created, someone needs to be present at the time of a language’s creation, documenting its emergence.  Many historical linguists are able to trace modern complex languages back to earlier languages, but in order to answer the question of how complex languages are actually formed, the researcher needs to observe how languages are started from scratch.  Amazingly, however, this is possible.

Some of the most recent languages evolved due to the Atlantic slave trade.  At that time, slaves from a number of different ethnicities were forced to work together under colonizer’s rule.  Since they had no opportunity to learn each other’s languages, they developed a make-shift language called a pidgin.  Pidgins are strings of words copied from the language of the landowner.  They have little in the way of grammar, and in many cases it is difficult for a listener to deduce when an event happened, and who did what to whom.  [A] Speakers need to use circumlocution in order to make their meaning understood.  [B] Interestingly, however, all it takes for a pidgin to become a complex language is for a group of children to be exposed to it at the time when they learn their mother tongue.  [C] Slave children did not simply copy the strings of words uttered by their elders, they adapted their words to create a new, expressive language.  [D] Complex grammar systems which emerge from pidgins are termed creoles, and they are invented by children.

Further evidence of this can be seen in studying sign languages for the deaf.  Sign languages are not simply a series of gestures; they utilise the same grammatical machinery that is found in spoken languages.  Moreover, there are many different languages used worldwide. The creation of one such language was documented quite recently in Nicaragua. Previously, all deaf people were isolated from each other, but in 1979 a new government introduced schools for the deaf.  Although children were taught speech and lip reading in the classroom, in the playgrounds they began to invent their own sign system, using the gestures that they used at home.  It was basically a pidgin.  Each child used the signs differently, and there was no consistent grammar.  However, children who joined the school later, when this inventive sign system was already around, developed a quite different sign language.  Although it was based on the signs of the older children, the younger children’s language was more fluid and compact, and it utilised a large range of grammatical devices to clarify meaning.  What is more, all the children used the signs in the same way.  A new creole was born.

Some linguists believe that many of the world’s most established languages were creoles at first.  The English past tense –ed ending may have evolved from the verb ‘do’.  ‘It ended’mayonce have been’It end-did’.  Therefore it would appear that even the most widespread languages were partly created by children.  Children appear to have innate grammatical machinery in their brains, which springs to life when they are first trying to make sense of the world around them.  Their minds can serve to create logical, complex structures, even when there is no grammar present for them to copy.

1  In paragraph 1, why does the writer include information about the Cherokee language?

A To show how simple, traditional cultures can have complicated grammar structures
B To show how English grammar differs from Cherokee grammar
C To prove that complex grammar structures were invented by the Cherokees.
D To demonstrate how difficult it is to learn the Cherokee language

2  What can be inferred about the slaves’ pidgin language?

A It contained complex grammar.
B It was based on many different languages.
C It was difficult to understand, even among slaves.
D It was created by the land-owners.

3  All the following sentences about Nicaraguan sign language are true EXCEPT:

A The language has been created since 1979.
B The language is based on speech and lip reading.
C The language incorporates signs which children used at home.
D The language was perfected by younger children.

4  In paragraph 3, where can the following sentence be placed?
It included standardised word orders and grammatical markers that existed in neither the pidgin language, nor the language of the colonizers. 


5  ‘From scratch’ in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to:

A from the very beginning
B in simple cultures
C by copying something else
D by using written information

6  ‘Make-shift’ in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to:

A complicated and expressive
B simple and temporary
C extensive and diverse
D private and personal

7  Which sentence is closest in meaning to the highlighted sentence?
Grammar is universal and plays a part in every language, no matter how widespread it is.

A All languages, whether they are spoken by a few people or a lot of people, contain grammar.
B Some languages include a lot of grammar, whereas other languages contain a little.
C Languages which contain a lot of grammar are more common that languages that contain a little.
D The grammar of all languages is the same, no matter where the languages evolved.

8  All of the following are features of the new Nicaraguan sign language EXCEPT:

A All children used the same gestures to show meaning.
B The meaning was clearer than the previous sign language.
C The hand movements were smoother and smaller.
D New gestures were created for everyday objects and activities.

9  Which idea is presented in the final paragraph?

A English was probably once a creole.
B The English past tense system is inaccurate.
C Linguists have proven that English was created by children.
D Children say English past tenses differently from adults.

10  Look at the word ‘consistent’ in paragraph 4. This word could best be replaced by which of the following?

A natural
B predictable
C imaginable
D uniform



TOEFL iTP | Reading | North American Colonies | YouTube + Podcast

Welcome back, everyone! In this episode, I’m going to do a thorough break down of this TOEFL iTP reading passage — North American Colonies. I’ve been doing a lot of coaching as of late, so I decided to make my first YouTube video + podcast that pertains to the passage down below. I will give you techniques, how to answer questions, doing the these questions first, and much more. Hope you enjoy this!

The technology of the North American colonies did not defer strikingly from that of Europe, but in one respect, the colonists enjoyed a great advantage.  Especially by comparison with Britain, Americans had a wonderfully plentiful supply of wood.


            The first colonists did not, as many people imagine, find an entire continent covered by a climax forest.  Even along the Atlantic seaboard, the forest was broken at many points.  Nevertheless, all sorts of fine trees abounded, and through the early colonial period, those who pushed westward encountered new forests.  By the end of the colonial era, the price of wood had risen slightly in eastern cities, but wood was still extremely abundant.


            The availability of wood brought advantages that have seldom been appreciated. Wood was a foundation of the economy.  Houses and all manner of buildings were made of wood to a degree unknown in Britain. Secondly, wood was used as a fuel for heating and cooking. Thirdly, it was used as the source of important industrial compounds, such as potash, an industrial alkali; charcoal, a component of gunpowder; and tannic acid, used for tanning leather.


            The supply of wood conferred advantages but had some negative aspects as well. Iron at that time was produced by heating iron ore with charcoal. Because Britain was so stripped of trees, she was unable to exploit her rich iron mines. But the American colonies had both iron ore and wood; iron production was encouraged and became successful.  However, when Britain developed coke smelting, the colonies did not follow suit because they had plenty of wood and besides, charcoal iron was strong than coke iron.  Coke smelting led to technological innovations and was linked to the emergence of the Industrial Revolution.  In the early 19th nineteenth century, the former colonies lagged behind Britain in industrial development because their supply of wood led them to cling to charcoal iron.

  1. What does the passage mainly discuss?
  2. The advantages of using wood in colonies
  3. The effects of an abundance of wood on the colonies
  4. The roots of the Industrial Revolution
  5. The difference between charcoal iron and coke iron
  • The word “strikingly” in line 2 is closest in meaning to
  • Realistically
  • Dramatically
  • Completely
  • Immediately
  • Which of the following is a common assumption about the forests of North America during the colonial period?
  • They contained only a few types of trees
  • They existed only along the Atlantic seaboard.
  • They had little or no economic value.
  • They covered te entire continent.
  • The use of the word “abounded” in line 8 Indicates that the trees were
  • Present in large numbers
  • Restricted to certain areas
  • Cut down
  • Cultivated
  • According to the passage, by the end of the colonial period, the price of wood in eastern cities
  • Rose quickly because wood was becoming so scarce
  • Was much higher than it was in Britain
  • Was slightly higher than in previous years
  • Decreased rapidly because of lower demand for wood
  • What can be inferred about houses in Britain during the period written about it in the passage?
  • They were more expensive than American houses.
  • They were generally built with imported materials.
  • They were typically smaller than homes in North America.
  • They were usually built from materials other than wood.
  • Why does the author mention gunpowder in line 19?
  • To illustrate the negative aspects of some industrial processes
  • To give an example of a product made with wood
  • To remind readers that the Colonial era ended in warfare
  • To suggest that wood was not the only important product of the colonies
  • The word “conferred” in line 21 is cloest in meaning to
  • Consulted
  • Gathered
  • Provided
  • Restricted
  • The phrase “follow suit” in line 27 means
  • Do the same thing
  • Make an attempt
  • Have the opportunity
  • Take a risk
  1. According to the passage, why was the use of coke smelting advantageous?
  2. It led to advances in technology
  3. It was less expensive than wood smelting
  4. It produced a strong type of iron than wood smelting
  5. It stimulated the demand for wood
  1. The phrase “cling to” in line 33 is closest in meaning to
  2. Try to develop
  3. Avoid
  4. Continue to use
  5. Reconsider
  1. Where in the passage does the author begin to discuss in detail the advantages that an abundant supply of wood brought to the colonies?
  2. Lines 1-3
  3. Lines 5-7
  4. Lines 13-14
  5. Lines 21-22



TOEFL iTP | Grammar | Structure & Written Expression | Items Involving Parallel Structures

Now this is going to be a GOOD ONE for most grammar enthusiasts. Just recently, I did a very basic podcast on basic parallel structures.  In this podcast, things get a little bit crazier, but once you understand this, you won’t have just 1 or 2 — BUT THREE new sentence variations that you can not only include in your writing, but also understand when it comes to TOEFL.  Come on in!

In certain Structure items, the correct use of parallel structures is tested. Parallel structures have the same grammatical form and function. Look at the following sentences:

  • She spends her leisure time hiking, camping, and fishing.
  • He changed the oil, checked the tire pressure, and filled the tank with gas.
  • Nancy plan to either study medicine or major in biology.
  • Nancy plans to study either medicine or biology.

All of the structures in italics are parallel. In the first, three gerunds are parallel; in the second, three main verbs; in the third, two simple forms; in the fourth, two nouns. Many other structures must be parallel in certain sentences: adjectives, adverbs, infinitives, prepositional phrases, noun clauses, and others.

The most common situation in which parallel structures are required is in a sequence (A, B, and C) as in the first two sentences above. Parallel structures are also required with correlative conjunctions such as either…or or not only……but also.

Example Question

San Francisco has a pleasant climate, ____________ and many fascinating neighborhoods.

  • exciting scenery,
  • has exciting scenery
  • that the scenery is exciting
  • the scenery is exciting

This sentence contains a series of three objects after the verb has: the first and third are noun phrases (a pleasant climate and many fascinating neighborhoods). To be parallel, the second object must also be a noun phrase. Therefore, choice (A) is the correct answer; (B), (C), and (D) are not parallel.


Example question in podcast….

  1. Insects provide many beneficial services, such as ____________, breaking down deadwood, and pollinating plants.
  • they condition soils
  • to condition soil
  • conditioning the soil
  • soil conditioned