TOEFL Sentence Variety Practice

TOEFL sentence variety practice on this web page will help you score higher on the speaking and writing sections of the exam. In the picture are some tips to help you vary our sentence style.

TOEFL sentence variety practice

TOEFL Sentence Variety Practice: ETS’s Speaking Rubrics

A close look at the language-use category of ETS’s independent and integrated speaking rubrics reveal an important tip: “You should use both basic and advanced grammar.”

TOEFL Sentence Variety Practice: ETS’s Writing Rubrics

In the same manner, ETS’s scoring rubric for the independent writing task explains that test-takers’s essays should be “demonstrating syntactic variety.”  The integrated writing rubric, created by ETS, makes no mention of sentence variety. However, having good sentence variety will help you to only have “occasional language errors.”  Furthermore, having good sentence variety will help you to have a coherent or well-organized structure to your ideas.

TOEFL Sentence Variety Practice:  Study four important lessons

To help you improve your “basic and advanced grammar,”  and your “syntactic variety,” I  will list some important lessons that you should study. Moreover, I will include a brief description of each lesson.

TOEFL Sentence Variety Practice

  • Clauses and sentence structure:  This lesson will introduce to you three important sentence styles: simple, compound, and complex.  In addition, the lesson will put these sentences into the context of model speaking and writing responses.
  • Integrated speaking and writing practice: Practice reading and listening to passages and then create complex sentences combining the information. See model examples on how you can paraphrase the information from the two sources.
  • TOEFL connecting word quizzes:  Get 50 practice test questions on how to use prepositions, coordinators, and subordinators in simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  • TOEFL connecting words:  See what connecting words look like in model speaking and writing prompts. In addition, learn how paying attention to these types of connecting words can improve your reading and listening scores on the TOEFL iBT.

TOEFL Sentence Variety Practice:  Writing Exercise 1

1.  Combine both sentences using “and”.

Larry served in the military.  He went to Iraq for an 8 month tour of duty.

2. Separate the sentence into three separate sentences.

An active duty recruit from Sacramento, Larry, who went to Iraq as a soldier for 8 months, was eventually killed in combat.

3.  Combine the following two sentences using “provided”.

He finishes his research project. John will attend the concert with his friends.

 

4. Combine the following sentences into a compound-complex sentence using “whose” and “but”.

Professor Thompson’s students competed in a national debate last week. Professor Thompson had trained his students to be superior public speakers. They still did not finish as one of the top ten finalists.

Possible answer

5.  Place “Located next to the mountains” in the beginning of the sentence.

The beautiful city of Rancho Cucamonga is located next to the San Gabriel Mountains.

 

6.  Place “scarcely ever” at the beginning of the sentence.

Sami scarcely ever misses class during the school year.

 

7.  Omit “if” and change the word order appropriately.

If the students had finished their assignment, they would have attended the celebration.

 

8. Place the participial phrase “Occupying several blocks in downtown New York City” at the beginning of the sentence.

The new Word Trade center is occupying several blocks in downtown New York City.

 

9.  Separate the following sentence into four sentences.

The climate, seen by researchers as being in a gradual warming trend over the last 100 years, is changing dramatically with more frequent and more damaging tornadoes, so many politicians are warning society that these weather changes could be life-altering to the human race.

Possible answer

10.  Combine the sentences using “inasmuch as,” “or,” and “if.”

Tom passes his final exam in chemistry. He will be able to graduate. He doesn’t pass that test.  He will have to take one more semester of classes.

TOEFL Sentence Variety Practice:  Writing Exercise 2

1. Place “next to this house” at the beginning of the sentence.

Several junk cars that have not been driven in years are next to his house.

 

2. Put “not for all the money in the world” at the beginning of the sentence.

I  would not parachute from an airplane for all the money in the world.

 

3. Change the second sentence into a participial phrase and place it at the beginning of the other sentence.

His Bible lay next his bed. His Bible beckoned him to open it one more time. His Bible was worn from many years of reading.

 

4. Combine the following sentences using a coordinator conjunction that most appropriately expresses the logical relationship.

Throughout every grade in high school, John got straight A’s. He was not able to get admitted into the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

5.  Separate this sentence in three separate ones.

Maha, who had been writing a 30-page academic capstone project, went to San Francisco with her colleagues, all of whom  had also been working on this writing project.

 

6. Combine the following three sentences into one sentence using an appositive and an adjective clause (who).  Add commas.

Elton John is a pop music artist. He has sold millions of records and digital downloads. He is my favorite singer.

 

7. Place “never” at the beginning of the sentence. Change word order accordingly.

I have never tasted such delicious meat.

 

8. Omit “if” at the beginning of the sentence and change the word order appropriately

If I were at home, I would be working on my homework assignment.

 

9.  Combine the following sentences into one sentence using a colon (:).

I like to do several hobbies. I like fishing. I also like swimming in the ocean.  I like playing basketball with my friends.

 

10.  Separate into three different sentences.

Circled by debris from Space Junk discarded from rockets as they launch into space, Earth needs to be better taken care of.

TOEFL Sentence Variety Practice:  Writing Exercise 3

1.  Combine the following sentences, using the second sentences as an adjective clause (two of whom).

On the freeway, there was an accident involving four drivers. Two of the drivers died.

 

2.  Combine the sentences and reduce the first sentence to a present participial phrase.

The boy is swimming in the ocean. The boy works as a lifeguard at the Oceanside public pool.

 

3.  Combine the following sentences using “which” and “since.” Place “out of nowhere” at the beginning of the sentence. Change the word order and add a comma.

A cat named Wilford came out of nowhere. It had not been domesticated. Its birth was more than three years prior.

 

4. Combine the following sentences using “although,” “but,” and “where.” Change the first sentence into a reduced adverb clause.

The computer is damaged. It still works. A chip on the side shows… It was damaged there.

 

5. Place “at no time” at the beginning of  the sentence. Combine the sentences using a semicolon and “who.”

The lighting at no time struck near the came site. Nevertheless,  the loud thunder scared most of the hikers. The loud thunder scared especially the young children. They were not used to hearing such loud cracking noises.

Possible answer

6. Combine the sentences and reduce the first sentence to a participial phrase.

Cade was excited because he had purchased a new game yesterday. Cade played on his iPad for several hours.

 

7. Combine these two sentences and place “that” at the beginning of the sentence.  Omit “that fact.”

The United States is seeing more category 5 hurricanes. That fact indicates the severity of the effects of climate change.

 

8. Combine the sentences using “whose” and “even though.”

The woman’s purse was stolen. The woman called the police to report the crime. However, she was not injured in the incident.

 

9. Omit “because” and reduce the first sentence to an participial phrase.

Because she had so much to do, Angela hired a worker to help her get ready for the party.

 

10.  Combine the following sentences using “all of which,” “because,” and “and.”

Last year, my 10-year old boy bought three pairs of shoes. All of his shoes do not fit him this year.  He had a growth spurt. His shoe size increased from 4 to 6.

 

TOEFL Sentence Variety Practice:  Writing Exercise 4

1. Combine the following sentences using “which,”  “and” and “three of which.”

The Oceanside beach house complex is located on 412 South Strand Way. The Oceanside beach house complex sold for 3.5 million. The Oceanside beach house complex contains five separate living units. Three of the units rent for $300 a night.

Possible answer 

 

2.  Combine the following sentences using an appositive in the beginning of the sentence and then use “who.”

Chen Lee is a teacher with more than 25 years of teaching experience. Chen Lee has published countless ESL-related articles. Chen Lee became the current academic coordinator for the English Language Program at the University of California.

Possible answer

3. Separate the following sentence into separate sentences.

The second most profitable holiday in the United States for consumer spending, Halloween, in which children go from house to house asking for candy, is celebrated on Oct 31st of every year.

Possible answer 

4. Place “scarcely ever” at the beginning of the sentence and change the word order.

The professor scarcely ever allows students to submit assignments late.

 

5.  Change the second sentence into a participial phrase and combine it with the other sentence. Place the participial phrase at the beginning of the sentence.

Death Valley is the hottest geographical area in the world.  Death Valley is surrounded by mountains on all sides.

 

6. Combine the two sentences using the most appropriate coordinating conjunction.

During our hike in the Grand Canyon, the temperature will get hotter and hotter the lower we climb. Everyone should bring at least 4 liters of water.

 

7. Reduce the adverb clause to a phrase.

When they were climbing the mountain, the students decided to go pretty anywhere they wanted.

 

8. Place the prepositional phrase at the beginning of the sentence and change the word order.

A community called Oak Hills, California is near the edge of the Mohave Desert.

 

9. Change the first sentence into a participial phrase and combine it with the second sentence.

The student was fumbling on his phone.  The student distracted others from the professor’s lecture.

 

10.  Combine the following sentences using a participial phrase and “for.”

The student shared an example of how climate change had affected her life. The student explained how recycling had helped her and her family reduce the amount of waste going to the local landfill. The student believed that everyone could make the environment a better place to live.

Possible answer

Writing Exercise 5

1.  Combine the sentences using “now that.”

The workers have finished digging the trenches. They will create the concrete forms and foundation.

 

2.  Combine these sentences using “as soon as” and “all of which.”

The TOEFL students complete their assignments. They will begin completing integrated speaking practice tests. All of the integrated speaking practice tests are come from previously administered iBT tests.

Possible answer 

 

3.  Combine the two sentences by placing “inside the car” at the beginning and add “for which.”

The phone is inside the car. You have been looking for that phone.

 

4. Place “not often” at the beginning of the sentence and change the word order.

California has not often seen a magnitude 8.0 earthquake.

 

5.  Reduce the adverb clause to a phrase.

When he heard the good news, the coach told his players that they had made the playoffs.

 

6.  Combine the following sentences using “whereby.”

Photosynthesis is the process. Plants convert light into energy for food through this process.

 

7. Separate into three sentences.

Riding a bike for at least thirty minutes strengthens the legs, and running for a period of twenty minutes makes the heart stronger, so as you continue to exercise, you will notice a dramatic improvement in your health.

Possible answer

 

8. Combine the following sentences into a compound-complex sentence using the coordinating conjunction “and” and the dependent clause connectors “where” and “whom.”

You choose to study somewhere. This is an important decision. You choose to live with someone. This affects your quality of life while you are a student.

 

9.  Combine both sentences using “whose.”  Place the prepositional phrase at the beginning of the sentence and change the word order.

A very old house is an the end of the street.  The house’s previous owners mysteriously disappeared.

 

10.  Separate into two sentences.

The Golden Doodle, wandering into the desert aimlessly in search of its owner, eventually died due to starvation and dehydration.

Now what do I do? Your next step!

If you feel comfortable with this TOEFL sentence variety practice combining the sentences on this web page, maybe you are ready to begin completing TOEFL-level speaking and writing practice tests.  If you join my TOEFL speaking and writing service,  you will be able to send me pronunciation, speaking, and writing practice tests from anywhere on the Internet, including TPO.  After I will provide you written and audio feedback.

    • That way you can monitor how well you are combining sentences as well as other areas relating to your English grammar.
    • My feedback will help you to see your pronunciation strengths and weaknesses.
    • Finally, I will tell you how well you are organizing and developing your responses and whether or not you have any incompleteness or inaccuracies in content.

Good luck!

Michael Buckhoff, mbuckhoff@aol.com

TOEFL Sentence Variety Practice
Michael Buckhoff

 

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