Skill 5: FIND PRONOUN REFERENTS
In the reading section of both the paper TOEFL test and the computer TOEFL test, you will sometimes be asked to determine to which noun a pronoun refers. Pronoun reference questions are worded a bit differently on the paper TOEFL test and the computer TOEFL test; on the paper test, pronoun reference questions are multiple-choice questions, while on the computer test, pronoun reference questions are click-on questions.
Either type of pronoun reference question tests the same language skill. In a pronoun reference question, it is important to understand that a noun is generally used first in a passage, and the pronoun that refers to it comes after. Whenever you are asked which noun a pronoun refers to, you should look before the pronoun to find the noun.
HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION
The pronoun “…”in line X refers to which of the following?
WHERETO FIND THE ANSWER
The line where the pronoun is located is given in the question. The noun that the pronoun refers to is generally found before the pronoun.
HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION
- Locate the pronoun in the passage.
- Look before the pronoun for nouns that agree with the pronoun.
- Try each of the nouns in the context in place of the pronoun.
- Eliminate any definitely wrong answers and choose the best answer from the remaining choices.