Asentence in English should have a subject and a verb. The most commontypes of problems that you will encounter in the Structure section of the TOEFL testare related to subjects and verbs; perhaps the sentence is missing either the subject, or the verb, or both; perhaps the sentence has an extra subject or verb.
______wererotatingcontinuously if you drive your car.
(B) The tires
(C) Last summer
(D) The wheel
In this example, you should notice immediatelythat there is a verb, were rotating, but there is no subject. Answer (B) is the best answer because it is a pluralsubject that agrees with the pluralverb were rotating. Answer (A), fast, and answer (C), last summer, are not subjects, so they are not correct. Although answer (D), the wheel, could be a subject, it is not correct because wheelis singularand it does not agree with the pluralverb were rotating.
Newspapers _______ every morning and every evening.
(B) are delivered
(C) on time
In this example, you should notice immediately that the sentence has a subject, newspapers, but that there is no verb. Because answer (B), are delivered, is a verb, it is the best answer. Answers (A), (C), and (D) are not verbs, so they are not correct.
The plane __________ landing at the airport in five minutes.
(A) it is
(B) it really is
(C) is descending
(D) will be
This sentence has a subject, plane, and has part of a verb, landing; to be correct, some form of the verb be isneededto 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.
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 )
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 isalways helpful and with problems.
2. The bus schedule has changed since last week. (C)
The subject is The busand verb is has changed, so the sentence is Correct.
3. Accidentally dropped the glass on the floor. ( I )
The sentence doesn’t have a Subject. The verb is dropped, so it is incorrect.
The correct sentence should be Accidentally she or he droppedthe glass on the floor.
4. The customer paying the clerk for the clothes. (I)
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)
The sentence has subject, the professorand verb, handed. So it is correct.
6. Each day practiced the piano for hours. (I)
The sentence doesn’t have subject. The verb is practiced. So incorrect.
It should be Each day they practicedthe piano for hours.
7. The basketball player tossed the ball into the hoop. (C)
The sentence has subject, The basket ball playerand verb, tossed. So it is correct.
The sentence has subject, The new student, but no verb. So incorrect.
The correct sentence can be The new studentin the class isvery talkative and friendly.
The sentence doesn’t have a Subject. It has main verb, walkingbut without tobe. So incorrect.
The correct sentence could be She/he is walkingwith the children to school.
10. The whales headed south for the winter. (C)
The sentence has a subject, the whalesand verb, headed. So, it correct.