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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 several factors that influence the physical form of cities.

    • Noun phrases:
    • 1) They
      2) several factors that influence the physical form of cities
      3) the physical form of cities
      4) cities

    • Verb phrases:
    • 1) identified several factors that influence the form of cities
      2) influence the form of cities

    • Prepositional phrases:
    • 1) of cities

  • SENTENCE 2:
  • Phosphorus-deficient plants are often stunted, with leaves turning characteristic dark green, often with the accumulation of anthocyanin.

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

    • Verb phrases:
    • 1)
      2)

    • Prepositional phrases:
    • 1)
      2)

  • SENTENCE 3:
  • A worsening of the plight of deer was to be expected as settlers encroached on the land, logging, burning, and clearing, eventually replacing a wilderness landscape with roads, cities, towns, and factories.

    • 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:
  • Studies on discrimination and problem-solving skills in the bottlenose dolphin, for instance, have concluded that its intelligence lies “somewhere between that of a dog and a chimpanzee.”

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

    • Verb phrases:
    • 1)
      2)

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

  • SENTENCE 5:
  • The founders of the Chicago school of sociology, Robert Park and Ernest Burgess, attempted to develop a dynamic model of the city, one that would account not only for the expansion of cities in terms of population and territory but also for the patterns of settlement and land use within cities.

    • 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)

 

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