If you have TOEFL speaking limitations with grammar, you may get a score of 23/30 pts. However, what does it really mean when ETS says, that your response may be “somewhat limited in the range of structures used?”
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TOEFL Speaking Limitations with Grammar. What is a limitation?
If you have a limitation, your control of your grammar is not as good as it could be. In other words, your lack of grammar knowledge is preventing you from being able to fully express your ideas.
TOEFL Speaking Limitations with Grammar. What does “somewhat” mean?
“Somewhat” means to a moderate extent or amount. In other words, your grammar is a little bit (to some extent) limited in its range of expression. In addition, “somewhat” is antithetical to “very.”
TOEFL Speaking Limitations with Grammar. Example Limitation 1 with Point of View
This limitation is especially evident during the TOEFL integrated speaking tasks.
- Limitation: The speaker explains that you can understand how dinosaurs died through three main theories.
- Revised sentence: The speaker explains three theories regarding the extinction of dinosaurs.
Example Limitation 2 with Adjective Clauses
Sometimes students will choose only basic grammar to express their ideas. As a result, they will avoid more advanced grammar structures like adjective clauses.
- Limitations/avoidance of adjective clauses: Last week in my biology class, I spoke to a student. His research paper received acclaim from the professor.
- Revised sentence: Last week in my biology class, I spoke to a student whose research paper received acclaim from the professor.
Example Limitation 3 with Sentence Variety
In other cases, students will heavily rely on shorter, simpler sentence constructions to convey their ideas.
- Limitations with sentence variety: The author in the reading passage explains three theories. The three theories focus on the extinction of dinosaurs. The speaker in the lecture opposes those three assertions.
- Revised sentence: The author in the reading passage explains three theories regarding the extinction of dinosaurs, and the speaker in the lecture opposes those three assertions.
Example Limitation 4 with Verb Tenses
During the TOEFL independent speaking task, some students cannot control their verb tenses. Thus, they frame their stories/experiences using simple present tense verbs.
- Limitations with verb tenses: Last week while waiting for my car to be washed, I talk to someone who is from another country. During our conversation, he tell me that he cannot complete his college degree until he earn enough money to pay for his tuition and books.
- Revised sentences: Last week while waiting for my car to be washed, I talked to someone who was from another country. During our conversation, he told me that he could not complete his college degree until he earned enough money to pay for his tuition and books.
How can I improve my grammar so I have better control?
Enroll in my TOEFL Speaking and Writing Service, which will help you to
- Find out whether or not you have limitations with grammar
- Identify what your grammar limitations are
- Practice grammar lessons and speaking exercises to eliminate your limitations