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Reference questions - TOEFL Reading

Reference questions TOEFL Reading ask you to identify referential relationships between the words in the passage. Reference words:Reflexive pronouns: himself, herself, itself, themselves.Demonstrative pronouns/adjectives: this, that, these, those. Other reference words: some, few, any, none, several, both, here, there, most, many, one, ones, another, other, others, the former, the latter.


  1. Remember: reading carefully is the key answer!
  2. Look at the passage and read the sentence where the highlighted word is mentioned then read a few sentences that come before it.
  3. Read the four answer choices carefully then substitute each one of them for the highlighted word.
  4. Read the sentence again with the answer choice and check if it makes sense.
  5. If the pronoun is preceded by a comma, seek out the subject immediately preceding the comma.  It will be in the same sentence as the pronoun.
  6. If the pronoun is preceded by a period, seek out the subject of the sentence immediately preceding the period
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A sample question:

The 20th century was indeed a period of breaking away from everything that ballet stood for. It was a time of unprecedented creative growth, for dancers and choreographers. It was also a time of shock, surprise and broadening of minds for the public, in terms of their definitions of what dance was. It was a revolution in the truest sense.
         What does the first "it" refer to in the passage?
  •           A. ballet
  • B. The 20th century
  •           C. definitions of dance
  •           D. the new dance style

TOEFL Practice tests


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