David Recine

TOEFL Vocabulary Study: Hard Words, Part 3 of 6

This is the latest post in my 6 part series about the hardest words from the Magoosh TOEFL Vocabulary PDF. Each post looks at all of the different word forms of the words from the original PDF, and each post is followed by a Magoosh Comics vocabulary review.

Difficult words 17-24: Different suffixes, different word forms

Below is a list of all the different forms of hard words 17-24 from our TOEFL PDF. As noted, some word forms are not really TOEFL words. I still recommend studying the non-TOEFL forms a little, to help you get a full, deep understanding of each word.

Suffixes that change the form of the words:

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Nouns: -ity, -ence, -ment, -ion, -ization, -ation,

Verbs: -ify, -ize, -ty

Adjectives: -ing, -ed, ive

Adverbs: -ly


Explanations of the words in the chart (read the definitions from the original PDF first)

  • Diversity
    Diversity is a quality something has, the quality of containing many different things. In the TOEFL, diversity usually refers to a diversity of different life forms, such as many different species of animals or plants. To diversify something means to take a group of things and give it more variety. For example, if a businessperson diversifies their investments, they invest in more types of things. If something contains a variety of things, it is said to be diverse. You could also describe a diverse thing as diversely.
  • Emerge
    To emerge means to come out of something, or to become visible. A caterpillar emerges from a cocoon to become a butterfly. If you are driving toward a large mountain range in a car, more and more mountains will emerge before your eyes as you get closer. Emergence is a noun that means the act of emerging (a butterfly’s emergence from a cocoon, the mountains’ emergence into view). Emerging can describe a thing that is in the process of coming out of something or coming into view (the emerging mountains, coming into view). Emerged can describe a thing that has completed the act of coming out of something or coming into view (the emerged butterfly, flying away). If something is done emergently, it is done by something while it is emerging (the mountains looked emergently impressive, the butterfly emergently pulled its wings out of the cocoon).
  • Enforce
    To enforce a rule or law is to make people follow it. A librarian may enforce the rule that people must be quiet in the library by telling loud people to be less loud, and making loud people leave if they don’t quiet down. Enforcement is the act of making people follow rules or laws. Police officers work in law enforcement. A law or rule is enforced if everyone is made to follow it. Something is described as enforcing if it acts to make people follow laws and rules. Police could also be described as enforcing.
  • Entity
    An entity can simply be a thing that exists. For example, all of the different animals in a zoo could be described as the entities within the zoo. An entity can also describe something that acts like a single thing, even if it’s made up of multiple things. A government agency with a specific purpose can be called a government entity even if it has multiple employees. A coral reef could be described as an ocean entity, even though it contains many different organisms.
  • Exclude
    If you exclude something, you leave it out or do not consider it. For example, I come from a family of four people. But when people ask me how may family members I have, I say I have three family members, because I exclude myself from the count. An exclusion is the act of excluding For example, in the state where I live (Wisconsin, United States), there is an exclusion of food from sales tax requirements. This means that when I buy food, I don’t pay any taxes on it, but I pay taxes on everything else I buy in my state. Something is excluded if it is left out (the excluded food items that are not taxed). Something is excluding if it leaves something out (the excluding law that says I don’t need to pay sales tax on food). Something is exclusive if it leaves things out (an exclusive club that only accepts certain members). Something is done exclusively if it is done in a way that excludes things (a clothing store would probably exclusively sell clothing and fashion accessories, but wouldn’t sell computers, books, etc…).
  • External
    Something is external if it is on the outside of something else. For example, the radio antenna on a car is an external part, and the United Nations is an external government that probably has at least some external influence on your country. Something is done externally if it is done on the outside of something (the externally attached car antenna, the externally governing bodies in the UN). To externalize something is to put it on the outside of something else, or make it outwardly visible. For example, the US Embassy in Tokyo is an externalized government office outside of its home country. And emotions can be externalized if someone shows their emotions to others through face expressions and body language.
  • Facilitate
    To facilitate means to make something possible, or to make it easier. Magoosh facilitates test preparation for the TOEFL and several other important exams. A facility can be a place where something can be done more easily. This is why bathrooms are sometimes called facilities. It’s much harder to take a bath or use a toilet if there isn’t a special room facilitating these things. A facility can also be a device or function that allows something to be done more easily. Magoosh’s TOEFL blog and video lessons are technological facilities that help you study the TOEFL. Your own mental facilities— the functioning of your brain— help you study too. Something that’s in some way related to a facility can be described as “facility”. A bathroom floor, for instance, could be described as a facility Facilitating can be used to describe something that facilitates something else; facilitated can be used to describe something that is made easier through facilitation (the facilitating videos on Magoosh’s premium TOEFL service, your facilitated preparation for the TOEFL).
  • Factor
    A factor is a fact or a real thing that influences something, changes something, or makes something be the way it is. The cold weather in my city is a factor in my desire to want to travel somewhere else in the winter. The temperature dropping below 0 Celsius is the key factor that makes water freeze into ice. Many different historical and cultural factors have made spicy food popular in South Korea.

Previous posts in this series:



  • 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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