Incomplete Sentences Strategies

In this part, you will need to complete a Sentence which is missing a word (or a group of words).  Each incomplete Sentence has four possible Answer Choices.

Incomplete Sentence STRATEGY #1
Understanding Relationships inside a Sentence

For Questions that focus on Conjunctions, you will need to look for clues that tell you the relationship between the different parts (clauses) of the sentence.

With sentences that have two clauses (often separated by a comma), try to determine if the two clauses have either:

  • a clear and understandable ‘cause and effect’ relationship, OR
  • if they do not agree with each other

Question Sentence: “This week’s report says that ________ the recent housing crisis, our home-building business is doing quite well.”

Because the clause before the comma is about a “housing crisis” and the clause after the comma is about “home-building” doing “well”, these two clauses are a little contradictorythe sentence needs a conjunction that shows this contradiction.

A) because              WRONG - not used in contradictory sentences
B) because of          WRONG – not used in contradictory sentences
C) despite                CORRECT - used for contradictory sentences
D) even though       WRONG - its clause needs a Subject and Verb

To be able to answer these questions correctly, you will need to focus your studies on what kind of clauses are needed AFTER Adverb Clauses and Conjunctions (i.e., “because” needs a Noun and Verb after it, while “because of” just needs a Noun).

Incomplete Sentence STRATEGY #2
Divided Answer Choices

These wrong Answer Choices use words that could fit if only the word before or after it was part of the same answer choice–they do not work by themselves.

To avoid this Trick, after you pick an Answer Choice always read the sentence completely with your Answer Choice in the blank–this will help you avoid not only this Trick but other Tricks, too!


Question Sentence: “Everyone is happy they will receive a 5% _______ under the new contract.”

A) wage              WRONG
B) salary         WRONG
C) pay                WRONG
D) increase       CORRECT

Notice that Answer Choices A), B) and  C) cannot work by themselves–only if they were combined with “increase” would they be correct.

Remember, the TOEIC Testmakers are testing your ability to not only understand English–they are testing your ability to understand English when you feel the pressure of time (or a deadline–something you will experience when using your English in a job).

More Free TOEIC Reading Strategies!

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