400 Must Have Words for the TOEFL » LESSON 6 - Ancient Life

Word List
  • accuracy [ˈækjurəsɪ] n.
    Precision; exactness
    The research department checks all our articles for accuracy of facts before we print them.
    Usage tips     Accuracy is often followed by of.
    Parts of speech     accurate adj., accurately adv.
  • adjacent [əˈdʒeɪsənt] adj.
    Next to
    Even though the villages are adjacent to each other, their residents speak different languages.
    Usage tips     Adjacent is often followed by to.
    Parts of speech     adjacency n.
  • compress [kəmˈpres] v.
    To press together
    To make the foundation stronger, they compressed the soil before pouring the concrete.
    Parts of speech     compression n., compressed adj.
  • feasibly [ˈfiːzəblɪ] adv.
    Practically; in a way that can work
    Scientists can’t feasibly bring energy from deep ocean currents to where it is needed—on land.
    Parts of speech     feasibility n., feasible adj.
  • gut [gʌt] v.
    To empty or hollow out
    In order to remodel the house, we must first gut it and throw away all the old fixtures.
    Usage tips     Gut also means “the stomach of an animal”; this verb makes an image,that the inside of a building is like the inside of an animal.
    Parts of speech     gut n., gutted adj.
  • integrally [ˈin(t)əɡrəli] adv.
    In a whole or complete manner
    Writing and spelling are taught integrally as part of the reading program.
    Parts of speech     integrate v., integrity n., integral n., integral adj.
  • overlap [ˌoʊvərˈlæp] v.
    To lie over part of something; to have elements in common
    One of the two assistants will likely get fired, since most of their duties in the office overlap.
    Parts of speech     overlap n.
  • retain [rəˈteɪn] v.
    To keep or hold
    The rain fell so heavily that the banks of the river could not retain all the water.
    Parts of speech     retainer n., retention n.
  • seep [sip] v.
    To pass slowly for a long time, as a liquid or gas might
    As the containers rusted, the toxic waste seeped into the ground.
    Usage tips     Seep is often followed by into or through.
  • structure [ˈstrək(t)ʃər] n.
    Something constructed, such as a building
    Most companies have a social structure that can’t be understood by outsiders.
    Parts of speech     structure v., structural adj, structurally adv.

TOEFL Prep I Complete each sentence by filling in the blank with the best word from the list.Change the form of the word if necessary. Use each word only once.

  • accuracy
  • adjacent
  • feasibly
  • integrally
  • structure
  1. She had no idea how they could __________ take a big vacation and remodel their house in the same year.
  2. Daily meditation is used __________ with medication and massage as part of the recovery plan.
  3. The rival politicians were raised in __________ counties.
  4. If you build a __________ next to this river, you must be sure it is safe against floods.
  5. Once he ran for public office, he understood the importance of checking public statements for __________.

TOEFL Prep II Find the word or phrase that is closest in meaning to the opposite of each word in the left-hand column. Write the letter in the blank.

______ 1. seep(a) fill
______ 2. gut(b) separate
______ 3. retain(c) stay contained
______ 4. compress(d) loosen
______ 5. overlap(e) throw away

Answer Key
TOEFL Prep I
  1. feasibly
  2. integrally
  3. adjacent
  4. structure
  5. accuracy
TOEFL Prep II
  1. c
  2. a
  3. e
  4. d
  5. b
Answer Key

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

Organic products from ancient life are an integral part of the Earth’s resources, offering scientists a more accurate picture of ancient life-forms. One key to ancient life comes in the form of petrified matter. Petrifaction is a process that slowly turns the remains of a living object into stone. In this process, minerals seep into a mass of organic matter. After the organic matter has been replaced, a mineral version of the living object is left. Petrifaction often occurs in trees that are found adjacent to rivers, floodable areas, and volcanoes, which provide the mud or ash that initially covers the organic matter. Some pieces of petrified wood retain the original cellular structure of the wood and the grain can be easily seen. Today, it is feasible to petrify wood in a simple laboratory process.

Fossils are another way that ancient life is preserved. Most fossils include an animal’s hard parts, such as teeth and bones. One type of fossil, called a trace fossil, may also include eggs, tooth marks, contents of the guts,and fossil excrement. Some products from ancient life offer us more than scientific knowledge. One such product is coal, a solid fuel of plant origin. It develops over millions of years, during which swamp vegetation is submerged in water, depleted of oxygen, and covered by layers and layers of sand and mud. These overlapping layers settle with the Earth’s movements and are compressed over time.

Bonus StructureIn this context, today means “at present; at this time in history.”

  1. Which sentence best expresses the essential information of this passage?
    • a. Preserved life-forms, including petrified matter and fossils, teach us about ancient life.
    • b. The primary function for preserved life-forms is scientific discovery.
    • c. Scientists try to replicate natural processes that preserve ancient life-forms.
    • d. Ancient organic matter provides the most concentrated forms of energy known to humans.
  2. In the passage, the words submerged in are closest in meaning to
    • a. made wet
    • b. completely covered
    • c. adjacent to
    • d. depleted of
Answer Key
Answer Key
  1. a
  2. b
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