TOEIC Grammar Guide – Word Choice
In word choice, how well you understand many kinds of grammar are tested. Your knowledge of vocabulary is also tested. You will see many commonly confused words. The right answer may be a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition or conjunction. The questions with four answers listed are related in some way. The words may look or sound similar, but have different meanings. Words that are opposite in meaning might also be used. Sometimes more than one word may seem to be the right choice. Picking the right one will depend on knowing how and when a word is used in English. These words may have similar meanings (for example, house and home) or grammatical use (for example, much and many). Only one choice can work properly in the sentence.
This is one of the most difficult parts of learning English because there are many words that sound or look the same, but have different meanings. Pay close attention to each answer choice and check whether it fits in the context of the sentence.
II. Common Examples
Words with similar spelling, words that rhyme, words that sound alike, or words that are opposite that do not have similar meanings:
1) Make sure to only use the _____ paper.
The correct answer is (D). An adjective is needed to complete the sentence. Plain is the only adjective that makes sense. (A) is an adjective used to describe people, not things (paper). (B) is a noun that sounds like (A). (C) is a noun that rhymes with vein and plain.
2) Charles forgot to order more _____ for the office.
The correct answer is (B). A noun is needed to complete the sentence. (B) is a noun meaning writing materials. (C) is a singular noun which does not make sense in this sentence. (A) is an adjective meaning unmoving. (D) is an adjective with the opposite meaning of (A).
Words with similar meanings, but different usage:
1) The boss thinks we are doing a _____ job.
The correct answer is (C). An adjective needed to complete the sentence. Good is the only adjective. (A) is a noun. (D) is an adverb. (B) is also an adverb. To use well, the sentence would be, The boss thinks we are doing the job well. How is the job being done? It is being done well. You cannot say, The boss thinks we are doing the job good.
2) I need to choose _____ the report and the presentation.
The correct answer is (B). Between compares exactly two things. Among always compares more than two. The prepositions along and beside are not used for comparisons.