TOEFL Listening Quiz: English Question Words 2

Understanding question words is important for listening on the TOEFL. It can be even more important on the IELTS interview or in a job interview.

Recognizing spoken English question helps you understand what will be said next, and helps you reply intelligently to English questioning. The good news is that there are only six commonly-used question words in English. The bad news is that these words sound very similar to each other.

Yes, whowhatwhenwhere, why, and how sound alike. Fortunately, with a word list this short, you can learn to distinguish the question words with just a little practice. I’ve already given you some practice with the first TOEFL Listening Quiz on English question words. In that quiz, you can practice comparing the question words directly, hearing them spoken one after another. In this quiz, we’ll look at how the question words sound in complete sentences.

TOEFL Listening Quiz: English Question Words 2

Note: Listen to each track ONLY one time

Match each numbered audio track to each lettered sentence

Track 1 

Track 2

Track 3

A) I don’t understand where he’ll go.
B) I don’t understand why he’ll go.
C) I don’t understand when he’ll go.

Match each numbered audio track to each lettered sentence

Track 4

Track 5

Track 6

D) Who are you meeting?
E) How are you meeting?
F) Where are you meeting?

Match each numbered audio track to each lettered sentence

Track 7

Track 8

Track 9

Track 10

G) What is that?
H) Why is that?
I) Where is that?
J) When is that?

Match each numbered audio track to each lettered sentence

Track 11

Track 12

Track 13

K) Please tell me when you’re leaving.
L) Please tell me why you’re leaving.
M) Please tell me what you’re leaving.

TOEFL Listening Quiz English Question Words

Answer key

Question 1:
Track 1: b, Track 2: a, Track 3: c

Question 2:
Track 4: f, Track 5: d, Track 6: e

Question 3:
Track 7: g, Track 8: i, Track 9: j, Track 10: h

Question 4:
Track 11: l , Track 12: m, Track 13: k

How to use the results of this quiz

This quiz is harder than the previous one — like the first quiz I gave you, there’s still no real context for the question words. And now the words are in connected speech, which makes them less distinct. Still, with some basic English skills, you should have gotten at least half of these answers right.

If you correctly matched at least 7 of the tracks to their lettered sentence, you’re at the high beginner level for English question words. If you got 9 tracks right, your level is high intermediate. If you got 10 or more tracks right, you are in the advanced to proficient range.

Of course, the real test is whether or not you can correctly hear English question words in context. Recognizing English question words in conversations is the skill you need for the TOEFL… and for real-life English use. For the former– listening skills on the TOEFL– be sure to check out Magoosh’s complete guide to TOEFL Listening.

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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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