Grammar for TOEFL: 8 English Grammar Rules Every Test Taker Should Know


toefl grammar rules

Have you been questioning what you can do to raise your TOEFL rating?

There’s one aspect that will assist you improve your performance in all four parts of the exam: grammar.

Even if the TOEFL examination does not check grammar straight, all the 4 parts (speaking, writing, reading and listening) indirectly examine your understanding of grammar.

To make your life much easier, we prepared 8 essential guidelines for you to find out.


1. Utilize the Continuous Aspect When Referring to a Temporary or progressive Action

Each spoken tense has 2 elements: continuous and easy. This suggests that whenever the action takes place (past, future or present), we can concentrate on either the action itself (constant element) or the outcome of the action (easy element).

The constant element is formed with the auxiliary verb “to be” utilized in the designated tense, plus the “- ing” kind of the verb.


He is climbing up that mountain today.

She has actually been composing for the previous 40 minutes.

Have an appearance at the following table to comprehend how each element works for each of the tenses:

[table “1” not found /]

What does this mean for you in the TOEFL examination? You should choose what kind of action you desire to reveal Whenever you utilize a verb in speaking or in composing.

For example, in the very first part of the speaking examination, you will need to discuss a familiar subject like your preferred pastime. In this case, you’ll most likely utilize the easy element due to the fact that you’ll be discussing a regular action that you like performing in basic.

To practice, attempt filling out the spaces with the ideal kind of each verb given up parentheses. (Answers are at completion of the post.)

  1. My feline ___ (beverage) all the milk by the time we got home. Since the one she has is old,
  2. She ___ (think) about purchasing a brand-new cars and truck.
  3. I ___ (compose) an e-mail, so I can’t assist you do the meals.
  4. He ___ (compose) a great deal of e-mails as part of his task. online It’s nearly 10 p.m. and we still ___ (chosen) what to consume.

    You can do more workouts to practice

    The definite article.

    2. Usage “the” for Defined Things, People or Places

    is utilized for things, individuals or locations that are “specified” for the speakers. This suggests that the speakers understand exactly what location, thing or individual they are discussing.

    Have an appearance at the following list of circumstances when we utilize “the”: With people/things discussed in the past, so it’s clear who/what you are describing from the context. We are remaining in a good hotel.


    hotel remains in the center of the city.

    In the 2nd sentence above, we currently understand what hotel we are discussing: the hotel discussed in the very first sentence. With things that are special, even if not discussed before. We went to

    the lake today. You can discover any details you require on



    Since “the lake” and “the Internet” are viewed as special, the speaker understands what they are. These things are, once again, specified. With nouns followed by a specifying relative stipulation (a provision that explains an individual or thing we are discussing).


    book you offered me is good.

    ” Book” is specified, due to the fact that it’s the book that “you offered me,” not simply any book. With superlatives and ordinal numbers. I believe I simply tasted


    finest ice cream ever. In this very first example, “ice cream” is specified due to the fact that it’s not simply any ice cream. It’s an unique one, it’s the very best one ever. “Best” is a superlative, much like “most costly,” “most vibrant,” “best” and “quickest.” This is


    2nd concern he’s asked today.

    In our 2nd example, the concern is once again plainly specified for the speaker, who has actually counted the concerns and understands that this specific concern is the 2nd one. With names of nations that have plurals in them or that consist of the words ” republic” or “kingdom.”
    the United States of America
    the Czech Republic

    the Netherlands This circumstance might not be as clear as the other ones. To streamline it, simply consider the words “states” and “republic” as being specified for the speaker. The speaker defines which states and which republic they are discussing: the United States (instead of any random state) and the


    Republic (instead of any other republic). With names of geographical locations, rivers, range of mountains, groups of oceans, islands and canals.
    the Arctic
    the Alps



    1. In this case, you can generalize that plurals are utilized with “the.” When it comes to the other geographical areas, there is no rational generalization you can make. You just require to discover them properly from the start.
    2. Have an appearance at these sentences. Choose if you need to utilize “the” or absolutely nothing in the spaces:
    3. ___ cost of gas has actually doubled in the previous 3 days.
    4. We can’t forecast which method ___ international economy is going.
    5. I do not like ___ chocolate, however I like ___ sweet that you brought.

    Please pass me ___ sugar. It’s in ___ white bowl. When you talk back to them,

    ___ individuals do not like it.

    Adjectives describe nouns 3. Usage Adjectives Only When Describing People, Places or Things

    Some students puzzle adjectives with adverbs, so let’s take a look at both parts of speech one at a time, starting with adjectives. Adjectives (things, locations or individuals).

    I like romantic films.

    Here, “romantic” explains the noun “films.” To be sure you have an adjective, you can ask “

    What kind

    [Noun] of films?” and the response is the adjective “romantic.”[adjective]

    Adjectives typically precede nouns.

    Adjectives can likewise become part of the following structure: + to be + This very same structure is utilized with verbs that can be changed by “be” (feel, look, taste, odor, noise, appear, appear), as seen in the copying:
    The soup tastes/smells/looks/ appears

    excellent. The soup is excellent.
    Cashmere feels good.

    Cashmere is good.
    The music sounds best.

    The music


    Adverbs are usually formed from adjectives best. In all these examples, “excellent,” “good” and “best” explain the noun, not the verb, so they are adjectives (not adverbs). That’s why it would be inaccurate to state “Cashmere feels perfectly.” “Nice” explains ” cashmere,” not “feels,” so it’s an adjective, not an adverb. Adverbs by including

    – ly

    at the end of the adjective. Adverbs explain verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. Example of an adverb explaining a verb:

    The bird sang magnificently

    ” Beautifully” explains the verb “sang.” You can ask, “

    How did the bird sing?” and you get the response, “magnificently.” Example of an adverb explaining an adjective:

    She is a actually good woman.

    ” Really” describes the adjective “good.” To be sure, you can ask “

    How good?” and get the response “actually good.” Example of an adverb explaining another adverb:

    She talked really loudly.

    ” Very” explains the adverb “loudly.” If you ask “


    loudly?,” you get the response “really loudly.” Spelling adverbs

    When utilizing adverbs in composing, numerous trainees do not get the spelling. The number of l’s? Why 2 l’s and not simply one? As soon as and for all, Let’s make this easy for you. Look at the adjective it comes from Whenever you have to utilize such adverbs in the TOEFL composed examination. If the adjective ends in an “l,” when you include -ly you get 2 l’s.

    gorgeous + ly = beautifuonline ll

    1. y
    2. intriguing + ly = intriguing
    3. l
    4. y
    5. Practice right spelling and usage of adverbs and adjectives

    and by filling out the spaces listed below with the ideal kind of the word given up brackets:

    She ___ (cautious) took the infant out of the cars and truck.

    The puzzle was ___ (extreme) challenging. She stayed ___ (calm) in spite of the turbulence. The ___ (current) introduced item was far better than the ___ (old) variation.
    She made an ___ (regrettable) error. 4. “Who,” “Whom” and “Which” Are Not Interchangeable” Who” describes individuals, “which” describes things and “that” can describe both things and individuals. Here are some examples:

    I understand the male who you spoke with earlier.
    I understand the male that you spoke with earlier.

    The agreement

    which you signed is on the table.

    The agreement


    you signed is on the table.

    • The only exception is that ” which” can be utilized when you have a group of individuals and you wish to pick one. Which of you understands the response? Who vs. Whom” Whom” describes individuals. Many individuals overuse “whom” to sound more scholastic. The guideline is to utilize “who” when you describe the topic of a provision, and to utilize “whom” when describing the things of a provision.
    • You can utilize this easy faster way to choose if you must utilize “who” or “whom”: Use “whom” if you can change “whom” with ” him” or


    Use “who” if you can change “who” with
    ” he” or “she.”

    For example: Whom
    are you going to welcome? (You are going to welcome him


    Whoonline composed the e-mail?

    1. (
    2. She
    3. composed the e-mail.)
    4. When checking your writing in the TOEFL examination, check if you utilized “who,” “which” and “whom” properly.
    5. Practice these guidelines

    and by filling out the spaces listed below with the ideal word: “who,” “which” or “whom.”

    The individual to ___ you are referring no longer works here. I liked the book ___ you offered me. ___ welcomed you here?

    I’m not sure ___ kid was here.

    Give my concerns to your sibling, ___ was my schoolmate in high school. 5. The Future Is Not Used in Time and Conditional Clauses
    You can not utilize “will” to describe the future in time and conditional stipulations. Time stipulations typically start with a time expression, such as “when,” “as quickly as,” “while,” “up until,” “after,” “in the past,” “as Conditional stipulations typically begin with “if

    You just require to leave out “will” (to describe the future) so that rather of the future simple, you will utilize today simple. Wrong:
    After she will return, we can talk. Right: After she returns

    , we can talk.

    Similarly, rather of the future constant, you must utilize today constant in time and conditional stipulations. Wrong:
    While she will read, I’ll be enjoying a motion picture. Right: While she is checking out

    , I’ll be enjoying a motion about the future. The future best modifications into today best and the future best constant modifications into today best constant.

    Wrong: online If she will have ended up the book, she can offer us the essences.

    1. Right:
    2. If she has actually ended up the book
    3. , she can offer us the essences.
    4. In the TOEFL speaking examination, you might be asked to
    5. You need to pay additional attention to the expressions and words provided above so that you do not utilize “will” after them.

    To end up being quicker at choosing if “will” can be utilized or not, practice

    and by choosing if the sentences listed below are right or not:

    Whatever I do, my child will not listen to me.

    If she will play the piano during the night, we can ask her to take a break.

    When I have actually spoken to him, I’ll understand what he believes. Before the physician will see you, you need to do some tests. If you will compose her an e-mail, she might alter her mind.
    6. Today Perfect Is Used When There Is a Connection with today

    You have most likely check out a great deal of guidelines about when to utilize today best and when to utilize the past. You can decrease them all to one easy guideline: If the speaker feels there is a connection with today, then today best must be utilized. If the action remains in the past and is viewed as different from today, then you must utilize the past. Have an appearance at the following circumstances in which we utilize the present best and the previous tense:

    have not seen that motion picture.( Present best– Possible connection with today: I might wish to see the motion picture, do not ruin it for me!)


    that motion picture the other Past tense– No connection with today: The action occurred in the past.)

    1. I
    2. have actually lived
    3. here given that 2004.
    4. ( Present best– Possible connection with today: You can count the years given that I began living here from 2004 to today.)
    5. I last


    him in 2004.

    • ( Past tense– No connection with today: The action occurred in the past.)
    • So in the speaking examination, whenever you need to choose actually rapidly in between the 2 tenses, attempt to consider how essential the action still remains in today. You must utilize the present best if it impacts the present in any method.
    • If you are still unsure, keep in mind to practice as much as you can

    You can begin by filling out the spaces listed below with the ideal kind of the verb in parentheses:

    I ___ (never ever tasted) such an excellent pie before!

    I ___ (see) him in the park 2 hours earlier, so he can’t be at home. How long ___ (you, wait) here? She ___ (simply, talk) to her dad on the phone so we understand he is safe.
    They ___ (buy) a brand-new cars and truck so they are offering the old one. 7. When you desire to make a concern more respectful and less direct, do Not Use Inversions in Embedded Questions Embedded concerns are utilized. You form ingrained concerns by utilizing a brief initial expression, such as

    Can/Could you inform me …? I question … I want to understand …
    After the initial expression you must not utilize an inversion like in typical concerns. Examples: ( Normal Question) Are you

    going to the celebration? If you are going to the celebration,( Embedded Question)

    I would like to understand.

    ( Normal Question)
    Do you have

    any brother or sisters? If

    you have any brother or sisters,

    ( Embedded Questions)

    I question.( Normal Question) How long

    have you

    been waiting?( Embedded Question) I question the length of time you have been waiting. If the initial expression is a concern,

    Only utilize a concern mark at the end.

    1. Can you inform me the length of time you have been living here?

    ( The initial expression “Can you inform me?” is a concern.)

    1. I need to know the length of time you have actually been waiting here.

    ( The initial expression ” I need to know” is not a concern.)

    1. In the TOEFL incorporated speaking test, you might need to summarize points made by speakers in discussions. When doing this, it’s essential to get ingrained concerns right. If you hear:


    1. How numerous courses do you have to take this term?


    I’m unsure. The number of do you need to take?

    You can sum this up as:

    John wished to know the number of courses [noun] Mary needed to take[verb ending in -ing]

    , however Mary didn’t understand the response. It would be incorrect, nevertheless, to state and utilize an inversion: John wished to know the number of courses
    did[noun] Mary

    have to take. ( Incorrect)
    Practice ingrained concerns by rewording the following: [verb ending in -ing] When will they relocate to the brand-new area?

    I question ___[adjective] How frequently do you come here?[adverb]

    Can you inform me ___ What time did you end up composing the e-mail? Tell me ___
    Did you get any totally free samples?[adjective] I wish to ask you ___

    Did they inform you where to wait? I ‘d like to understand ___ 8. To Express Contrast, the Correct Structure Depends on the Phrase Used
    There are numerous expressions you can utilize to reveal contrast in English, however they do not all follow the very same structure. Take a look at these examples and the structures utilized with each of them: [adverb] In spite of/Despite +

    /[subject] In spite of[verb]

    the weather condition, he chose to go browsing.( In spite of + ) Despite

    writing the letter in the early morning, he didn’t handle to publish it today.( Despite +

    ) However/No matter how + /

    No matter how[noun]

    fit you are, you still should not take such dangers.( No matter how +

    )[subject] However[verb]

    difficult I attempt, I can’t find out Chinese.( However +

    ) Although/Even though/Even if + + He was not all set for the finals, although/even though he studied

    a lot.

    Although/Even though he studied a lot, he was not all set for the finals.

    Even if he studied a lot, he would not be all set for the finals.

    Whatever + Whatever the dangers

    , I make certain I will follow his suggestions. Whatever/No matter what + +

    Whatever you state, I will not think you now that you’ve lied to me.

    No matter

    practicing what

    1. he
    2. does
    3. , she will not trust him once again.
    4. ” However,” “however” and “however”
    5. ” However

    ,” “

    1. nonetheless” and ” however” can be utilized separately to reveal contrast with the sentence before.
    2. Her mindset is not favorable at all.
    3. However
    4. , she has excellent technical abilities.
    5. Her linguistic abilities are far from outstanding. She stands out in her decision to find out,
    6. nevertheless
    7. This has actually been a difficult year for the business.
    8. Nevertheless
    9. , there is wish for development this year.
    10. The spaces were really roomy and the food tasty. The area wasn’t perfect,
    11. though
    12. Since they assist link intricate concepts,
    13. Such expressions are utilized a lot in the TOEFL examination.
    14. That’s why it’s actually essential to get the structures right and to utilize them interchangeably so you can prevent repeating. You understand how! By
    15. them a lot.
    16. Join the sentences listed below utilizing the words given up parentheses to get intricate sentences that reveal contrast:
    17. The weather condition was good. The hotel centers were horrible. (although)
    18. Her discussion was excellent. The audience was not pleased. (nevertheless excellent)
    19. She is making development with composing. She is still having problem with speaking. (in spite of)
    20. The cars and truck is really quick. It’s too hazardous for me. (though)
    21. The marketing project went actually well. We didn’t offer much. (although)
    22. Answer Key
    23. had intoxicated
    24. is believing/ has actually been believing
    25. am composing
    26. composes
    27. have not chosen
    28. The (cost of gas)
    29. the (international economy)
    30. — (chocolate), the (sweet)
    31. the (sugar), the (white bowl)
    32. — (People)
    33. thoroughly
    34. incredibly
    35. calm
    36. just recently, old
    37. regrettable
    38. whom



    whichFluentU who


    Incorrect. Proper variation: If she plays the piano during the night, we can ask her to take a break.

Incorrect. Proper variation: If you compose her an e-mail, she might alter her mind.(*) have actually never ever tasted(*) saw(*) have you been waiting(*) has simply talked(*) have actually purchased(*)( I question) when they will relocate to the brand-new area.(*)( Can you inform me) how frequently you come here?(*)( Tell me) what time you ended up composing the e-mail. If you got any totally free samples,(*)( I desire to ask you). If they informed you where to wait,(*)( I ‘d like to understand).(*) Although the weather condition was good, the hotel centers were horrible.(*) However excellent her discussion was, the audience was not pleased.(*) Despite making development with composing, she is still having problem with speaking.(*) The cars and truck is really quick. It’s too hazardous for me.(*) Even though the marketing project went actually well, we didn’t offer much.(*) (*) One method to develop your grammar self-confidence, and supplement your grammar research study, is to routinely see it in context so that it comes naturally to you.(*) Certain language finding out programs can likewise assist you evaluate grammar guidelines in a practical context. One example is (*), which lets you gain from genuine English videos. Each clip has interactive subtitles that supply vocabulary meanings and grammar information, so you can break down syntax word-for-word and after that evaluate them with tests.(*) Learning grammar might appear like a great deal of effort. The excellent part about it is that it provides you the structure and self-confidence you require to find out a language properly. In examination circumstances, you require that self-confidence. It can assist you acquire time and points!(*) Whenever you check your writing or attempt to reveal a concept in speaking, you can depend on the guidelines you discovered, they remain the very same. The entire technique is to keep practicing them!(*) Download:(*)
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