I wanna explain about grammar on toefl test. I will discuss some of the few materials that are often out on the toefl test.




Subject (S) + Verb (V) + Complement (C) + Modifier (M)


1. Subject

the subject is the agent of the sentence in the active voice; it is the person or thing that performs or is responsible for the action of the sentence, and usually located before the verb.


Examples of subjects :

  •  She is not going to the office
  •  The Departemnt Store open at ten o’clock
  • I explain how to study English



2. Verb

The verb follows the subject in a declarative sentence; it generally shows the action of the sentence.


Examples of verbs :

  • She will go to Bali next week
  • My sister is very clever
  • I am learning english



3. Complement

A complement completes the verb.  It is similar to the subject. A complement answers the question what? Or whom?.


Examples of complements :

  • Nick was driving a new car                          (what was Nick driving? -> a new car)
  •  Sarijon bought a cake yesterday                    (What did Sarijon buy yesterday?  –> a cake)
  •   He saw Tony at the movie                            (Whom did he see at the movie? –> Tony)


4. Modifier

A modifier tells the time, place, or manner of the action.


Examples of modifier :

  • Joe was swimming in the pool
  • Where was Joe swimming? -> in the pool
  • We ate dinner at seven o’clock
  • When did we eat dinner? -> at seven o’clock



Many English learners worry too much about tense. If you stopped 100 native English speakers in the street and asked them about tense, 1 of them might give you an intelligent answer – if you were lucky. The other 99 would know little about terms like “past perfect” or “present continuous”. And they would know nothing about aspect, voice or mood. But they can all speak fluent English and communicate effectively. Of course, for ESL it helps to know about tenses, but don’t become obsessed with them.


How do we make the Present Simple Tense?



auxiliary verb


main verb






How do we use the Present Simple Tense?

We use the present simple tense when:

  • the action is general
  • the action happens all the time, or habitually, in the past, present and future
  • the action is not only happening now
  • the statement is always true

Look at these examples:

  • I live in New York.
  • The Moon goes round the Earth.
  • John drives a taxi.

*Present Continuous Tense

The structure of the present continuous tense is:



auxiliary verb


main verb





base + ing

How do we use the Present Continuous Tense?

We use the present continuous tense to talk about:

  • action happening now
  • action in the future


Look at these examples:

  • Muriel is learning to drive.
  • am living with my sister until I find an apartment.

*Present Perfect Tense

The structure of the present perfect tense is:



auxiliary verb


main verb





past participle

How do we use the Present Perfect Tense?

This tense is called the present perfect tense. There is always a connection with the past and with thepresent. There are basically three uses for the present perfect tense:

  1. experience
  2. change
  3. continuing situation


3. Simple Past Tense

The simple past is used for a completed action that happened at one specific time in the past.


Examples :

  • Jerry went to Spain last year
  • Mark washed the dishes after dinner



4. Past Progressive (continuous)


Use of Past Progressive

a.. puts emphasis on the course of an action in the past

    Example: He was playing football.

b. two actions happening at the same time (in the past)

    Example: While she was preparing dinner, he was washing the dishes.

c. action going on at a certain time in the past

    Example: When I was having breakfast, the phone suddenly rang


5. Present Perfect



Subject  +  [has/have]  +  [verb in past participle] …


We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. You CANNOT use the Present Perfect with specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day, etc. We CAN use the Present Perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet, etc.


Examples :

  • have seen that movie twenty times.
  • We have already written our reports
  • Maria hasn’t called her parents yet



6. Present Perfect Progressive (continuous)


Subject  +  [has/have]  +  been  +  [verb+ing]


Use of Present Perfect Progressive

a. puts emphasis on the duration or course of an action (not the result)

    Example: She has been writing for two hours.

b. action that recently stopped or is still going on

    Example: I have been living here since 2001.

c. finished action that influenced the present

    Example: I have been working all afternoon.


7. Past Perfect


Subject  +  had  +  [verb in past participle]…


Examples :

  • You had studied English before you moved to New York.
  • John went home after he had gone to the store



8. Past Perfect Progressive (continuous)


Subject  + had  + been  +  [verb+ing]…


Examples :

Nate had been working at the university forforty-five years before he retired


The Example of Grammar in Toefl Questions


Choose the best answer for each of the following questions. There is only one correct answer choice for each.


1. With the passing of time and the encroachment of people, the habitat of gorillas ______ to decrease.

a                 a. Continuing

b        b. Which continue

c        c. Continues

d        d. That it has continued

         Answer :   c. continues

                           Because this is sentence to use simple present tense



2.   Despite being basically arboreal in nature, koalas ________ to inhabit a specific territory and range of some 30 square miles.

a. Knowing

b          b. Which know

            c. Are knowing

d          d. Are known

Answer :   d. are known

Because this is sentence to use simple past tense




 *sumber :