offers hundreds of practice questions and video explanations. Go there now.

Sign up or log in to Magoosh TOEFL Prep.

TOEFL Activity: Identifying Phrases

This activity is based on my last two posts on phrases in written English. In those posts, I identified the verb phrases, noun phrases, and prepositional phrases in several sentences.

Now it’s your turn. Below are five sentences. Underneath each sentence, the number of each kind of phrase is given. You need to find the actual phrases, and put them in front of the numbers. The first one has been done for you.

Some of the “phrase problems” below are very difficult. You may even find yourself disagreeing with my phrase count. And that’s OK— there are a few different ways to calculate the number or phrases in a sentence. If you are not sure of your answers, post them in the comments section below. If you disagree with the number of phrases I counted, you can also tell me your count (and why you disagree with mine) in the comments.

  • SENTENCE 1:
  • They identified five variables that determine the profitability of technology startups.

    • Noun phrases:
    • 1) They
      2) five variables that determine the profitability of technology startups
      3) the profitability of technology startups
      4) technology startups

    • Verb phrases:
    • 1) identified five variables that determine the profitability of technology startups
      2) determine the profitability of technology startups

    • Prepositional phrases:
    • 1) of technology startups

  • SENTENCE 2:
  • Calcium-deficient lagoon sturgeon are often stunted, with fins turning characteristic line yellow, often with the accumulation of infection.

    • Noun phrases:
    • 1)
      2)
      3)
      4)
      5)

    • Verb phrases:
    • 1)
      2)

    • Prepositional phrases:
    • 1)
      2)

  • SENTENCE 3:
  • A worsening of the quality of the air was to be expected as factories popped up in the region, burning, dumping, and contaminating, eventually replacing a clean landscape with smog, landfills, concrete, and steel.

    • Noun phrases:
    • 1)
      2)
      3)
      4)
      5)
      6)
      7)
      8)
      9)
      10)

    • Verb phrases:
    • 1)
      2)
      3)
      4)
      5)
      6)

    • Prepositional phrases:
    • 1)
      2)
      3)
      4)

  • SENTENCE 4:
  • Research into learning and problem-solving ability in the blue squid, for example, indicate that its cognitive ability lies “somewhere between that of a rat and a dog.”

    • Noun phrases:
    • 1)
      2)
      3)
      4)
      5)
      6)
      7)

    • Verb phrases:
    • 1)
      2)

      Practice for your TOEFL exam with Magoosh.
    • Prepositional phrases:
    • 1)
      2)
      3)
      4)

  • SENTENCE 5:
  • The founders of the Penn club of hunters, Charlie Duff and Linda Swanson, attempted to create a groundbreaking model of sustainable hunting, one that would would deal not just with an increase in deer in terms of total numbers and geographical range but also for the patterns of migration and and deer reproduction within herds.

    • Noun phrases:
    • 1)
      2)
      3)
      4)
      5)
      6)
      7)
      8)
      9)
      10)
      11)
      12)
      13)
      14)
      15)
      16)

    • Verb phrases:
    • 1)
      2)
      3)

    • Prepositional phrases:
    • 1)
      2)
      3)
      4)
      5)
      6)
      7)
      8)
      9)
      10)

 

Psst...Need more TOEFL practice? Start your FREE TRIAL today.

Most Popular Resources

No comments yet.


Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply