400 Must Have Words for the TOEFL » LESSON 22 - Personal Property

Word List
  • acquire [əˈkwaɪər] v.
    To get something, usually something with special value or meaning
    Bart hoped to acquire the 1898 D Indian Head penny, which would make his collection complete.
    Usage tips     Unlike get, acquire implies that a possession has special value or meaning.
    Parts of speech     acquisition n., acquisitive adj.
  • assess [əˈses] v.
    To estimate the value of something
    The Barnes building was assessed at $1.3 million,but it can probably sell for much more than that.
    Parts of speech     assessor n., assessment n.
  • asset [ˈæset] n.
    A possession that has positive value
    Usage tips     Some examples of assets are real estate, cash, and stock shares.
  • hazardous [ˈhæzədəs] adj.
    Dangerous
    Parents have to be careful not to buy children’s clothes and toys made of hazardous materials.
    Parts of speech     hazard n., hazardously adv.
  • jointly [ˈdʒɔɪntlɪ] adv.
    Together with one or more other parties
    In most states, a husband and wife are assumed to own all their possessions jointly.
    Parts of speech     join v., joint n.
  • lease [liːs] v.
    To rent something for a long time (several months or years)
    Some drivers prefer to lease a car rather than buy one.
    Parts of speech     lease n., lessor n., lessee n.
  • liability [ˌlaɪəˈbɪlɪtɪ] n.
    Legal responsibility for harming a person or property; a disadvantage
    Before you go river rafting, you sign a document releasing the trip leaders from liability in case of injury.
    Usage tips     In its second meaning, liability is often followed by a to phrase.
    Parts of speech     liable adj.
  • proprietor [prəˈpraɪətər] n.
    Owner, usually of a business or a building
    The proprietor of Hekman’s Windows is Nels Hekman,grandson of the people who established the factory.
    Usage tips     Very often, proprietor is followed by an of phrase.
    Parts of speech     proprietary adj.
  • safeguard [ˈseɪfgɑːd] v.
    To protect
    A burglar-alarm system safeguards our house when we go away on vacation.
    Usage tips     Safeguard implies continuous protection over a long time.
  • sole [soul] adj.
    Only
    Many people have wanted to invest in Harry’s publishing business, but he remains the sole owner.
    Usage tips     Sole almost always appears before the noun it modifies. It does not come after a linking verb like be.
    Parts of speech     solely adv.

TOEFL Prep I Find the word that is closest in meaning to each word in the left-hand column. Write the letter in the blank.

______ 1. assess(a) dangerous
______ 2. hazardous(b) evaluate
______ 3. jointly(c) protect
______ 4. liability(d) responsibility
______ 5. safeguard(e) together

TOEFL Prep II Circle the word that best completes each sentence.

  1. The building company is trying to (safeguard / acquire) the whole neighborhood so it can put up a mall.
  2. To the average farm family, every child was (an asset / a liability), one more set of hands to gather eggs or plant beans.
  3. Gary’s Cookie Shop has to move because the owner of the building won’t renew the (lease / asset).
  4. The (hazardous / sole) adult influence on Sarah as she grew up was her grandmother.
  5. Some people are born with the disease, but others (acquire / assess) it later in life.
Answer Key
TOEFL Prep I
  1. b
  2. a
  3. e
  4. d
  5. c
TOEFL Prep II
  1. acquire
  2. asset
  3. lease
  4. sole
  5. acquire
Answer Key

TOEFL Success Read the passage to review the vocabulary you have learned. Answer the questions that follow.

It is not easy to make a living as the proprietor of apartment buildings. There is a huge initial expense, not only to acquire the properties but to assess the buildings and to remove any hazardous materials like lead 108 Money based paint. A landlord also has to buy the best liability insurance available just to safeguard the investment. Otherwise, one tragic accident could wipe out the value of the entire asset. Because of this expense, it’s rare to find a sole individual owning such a property. The risk is more often taken on jointly by a group of investors who then split the profits from the leases.

Bonus StructureIt’s rareis the opposite of “it’s common.”

  1. What is the main idea of this reading?
    • a. Being a landlord is enjoyable.
    • b. It costs a lot of money to be a landlord.
    • c. Friendships can be destroyed by owning property jointly.
    • d. Income from leases is greater than a landlord’s expenses.
  2. Which of the following is not an expense mentioned in the reading?
    • a. property taxes
    • b. insurance
    • c. making the property safe
    • d. buying the building you hope to rent
Answer Key
Answer Key
  1. b
  2. a
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