TOEFL Speaking Grammar Errors

You should avoid TOEFL speaking grammar errors. In addition, some errors will count against your score more than others.

What TOEFL speaking grammar errors can you make when you score 4.0/4.0 on a speaking task?

TOEFL speaking grammar error

 

A systematic error occurs not because of chance.  A systematic error is the opposite of a random error. These types of errors have little or no effect on the meaning of your ideas. Systematic errors are committed by even advanced learners of English. You can still score above 26 points if the speaking section of the TOEFL exam if you commit these kinds of errors. Here are five types of systematic errors.

Problems with Articles

Advanced ESL learners often neglect to use articles when they are needed. In addition, these students may use an article when it is not needed.

  • Omission of an Article:   Author in the passage explains an academic term called flow system, and speaker in the passage gives two examples to further illustrate the idea.
  • Revised: The author in the passage explains an academic term called flow system, and the speaker in the passage gives two examples to further illustrate the idea.
  • Unnecessary article:  Most students who complete the TOEFL exam take the test on the Saturday.
  • Revised: Most students who complete the TOEFL exam take the test on Saturday.

Deletion of Inflectional Affixes

  • Deletion of third-person present singular inflection -s:  The author explain an important point about photosynthesis.
  • Revised: The author explains an important point about photosynthesis.

Preposition Misuse

  • Wrong preposition: On the lecture, the professor uses two examples to explain how greenhouse gases damage the environment.
  • Revised: In the lecture, the professor uses two examples to explain how greenhouse gases damage the environment.

Not Using a Gerund after Expressions  like “accustomed to” and “look forward to”

  • Not using a gerund: I am accustomed to run every morning before work.
  • Revised: I am accustomed to running every morning before work.

Problems Talking about the Hypothetical

  • Inconsistent hypothetical tone: If I win the lottery, I would donate the 1/2 of the money to a nearby school in my community.
  • Inconsistent hypothetical tone: If I won the lottery, I would donate the 1/2 of the money to a nearby school in my community.

Keep in mind that at some point too many systematic errors may affect the overall “automaticity” of your language use.

You will score 3.0/3.0 if you make these kinds of TOEFL Speaking Grammar Errors.

TOEFL example grammar errors with a score of three

Unlike systematic errors, students who score 3.0/4.0 commit errors that result imprecise, inaccurate grammar.  Or, their grammar is limited in some way.

Limitations with Relative Clause Pronoun “Whose”

  • Inability to use “whose”:  The professor who his lecture discusses a concept called scope creep explains two examples to further explain the idea.
  • Revised: The professor whose lecture discusses a concept called scope creep explains two examples to further explain the idea.

Confusion with Present Perfect Tense vs. Simple Past

  • Misuse of present perfect tense: I have graduated from my pharmacy program in 2019, and now I am completing my English studies to pass the TOEFL exam.
  • Revised: I graduated from my pharmacy program in 2019, and now I am completing my English studies to pass the TOEFL exam.

TOEFL Speaking Grammar Error: Misuse of “During” vs. “When”

  • “During” vs. “when“: During I was in my dorm, my roommate didn’t clean our room often.
  • Revised: When I was in my dorm, my roommate didn’t clean our room often.

Problems with Infinitives after Modals

  • Misuse of infinitive: I must to go with my friends later on to see a lecture about cell division.
  • Revised: I must go with my friends later on to see a lecture about cell division.

Omission of “Be” Verb

  • Omission of “Be” Verb: I swimming in the ocean for a few minutes when I saw a dolphin.
  • Revised: I was swimming in the ocean for a few minutes when I saw a dolphin.

Speakers who commit these TOEFL grammar speaking errors will score 2.0/2.0.

Speaking grammar scores 2.0

These grammar errors show even more limited range and control. In addition, students with these grammar limitations cannot fully express their ideas.

TOEFL Speaking Grammar Error: Missing Words

  • Missing words: The professor explaining econom concept  artificial intelligment.
  • Revised: The professor explains an economic concept called artificial intelligence.

Garbled Sentence

  • Mixed construction: By the lecture discuss two points in cell division.
  • Revised: In the lecture, the speaker discusses two points about cell division.

TOEFL Speaking Grammar Error: Vague Expression

  • Unclear meaning: The thing I give right there make others sound that.
  • Revised: The advice that I offered others helped them to complete the assignment without too much difficulty.

Choppy Sentence Style

  • Choppy sentence: I have friend college. She live with me for two years. This friend teached patent me.
  • Revised: In college, I had a friend who lived me for two years and who taught me patience.

Word Order

  • Word order problem: Most of the students completed without the proctor the test room.
  • Revised: Most student completed the test without the proctor in the room.

Do you know what types of grammar errors you might be making in your TOEFL speaking practice tests?  Join my inexpensive TOEFL Speaking and Writing Service so that you can

  • find out whether your grammar errors are causing you to score lower.
  • get corrective feedback to understand how to rephrase your error-laden sentences.
  • review grammar lessons to help you avoid future TOEFL speaking grammar errors.

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