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TOEFL Preparation: Lesson 25 - Politics

Target Words 1. advocate

2. authority

3. bitterly 4. candidate

5. coalition 6. contest 7. election 8. inaugurate

9. policy 10. poll

Definitions and Samples

1. advocate v. To speak out in favor of something Some environmentalists advocate removing large dams from the Columbia River. Usage tips Advocate is usually followed by a term for a process or action, very often the -ing form of a verb Parts of speech advocate n, advocacy n

2. authority n. The power to make decisions, to tell others what to do. The governor has the authority to call the legislature together for emergency sessions. Usage tips A to phrase often follows authority.

Parts of speech authorize v, authoritative adj 3. bitterly adv. Strongly and with a lot of bad feelings Senator Thomas bitterly opposed the movement to design a new state flag. Parts of speech bitterness n, bitter adj

4. candidate n. Someone who wants to be chosen, especially in an election, for a position In most U.S. elections, there are only two major-party candidates for president. Usage tips Candidate is often followed by a for phrase.

Parts of speech candidacy n

5. coalition n. A group of several different groups or countries that are working together to achieve a certain goal. Several local churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples formed a coalition to promote understanding among people of different religions.

6. contest v. To challenge Dave Roper, who narrowly lost the mayor’s race, contested the results, demanding a recount of the votes. Usage tips The noun contest can mean a game, especially one played for a prize. Parts of speech contest n

7. election n. A process in which people choose officials Because of problems with vote counting four years ago, inter-national observers monitored this year’s election to make sure it was fair. Parts of speech elect v, elective adj

8. inaugurate v. To bring into public office; to start formally The U.S. president is elected in November but is not inaugurated until the following January. An effort to bring electric service to farms and small towns was inaugurated with the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. Usage tips When it means “bring into public office,” inaugurate is usually in the passive voice. Parts of speech inauguration n, inaugural adj

9. policy n. An approved way for approaching a certain kind of situation The policy said that government money could not be given to any private hospital.

10. poll v. To find out a small group’s opinion so that you can guess what a much larger group thinks The newspaper polled 500 registered voters and found that only 27 percent were in favor of expanding the city zoo. Parts of speech poll n, pollster n


Find the phrase that best describes each word in the left-hand column.

1. policy (a) a process of choosing 2. candidate (b) a kind of power

3. authority (c) a kind of person

4. coalition (d) a way of handling a situation

5. election (e) a kind of group TOEFL Prep II

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

advocated bitterly contest inaugurated polled

1. In the early twentieth century, politicians fought __________ about whether the U.S. dollar should be based on gold. 2. Only one month after he was __________, President Harrison fell sick and died. 3. My opponent says that I cheated on my taxes. I __________ that charge, and I will prove him wrong.

4. Their predictions about the election results were not very accurate because they __________ too few people in advance.

5. Last year, the Freedom Party __________ giving medical treatment even to people who could not pay for it.

TOEFL Success

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

In the history of U.S. presidential elections, the year 1876 stands out as one of the oddest. That year, polls suggested that one person had won the popular vote but another had won more official electoral votes—just as happened in the year 2000. In 1876, however, the election was so bitterly contested that a special electoral commission was given the authority to determine which candidate—Republican Rutherford B. Hayes or Democrat Samuel J. Tilden—had won. This commission represented a coalition of interests. The Democrats favored this because otherwise the head of the Senate, Republican Thomas Ferry, would probably have been allowed to declare the winner. In the end, the Democrats were

disappointed, as the commission advocated the Republican cause. The situation was not settled until March 2 of 1877, only three days before the scheduled inauguration of a new president— Hayes, as it turned out. Only then did America find out who its new leader would be. Americans seem not to have learned many lessons from 1876, however, because in 2000 there was still no official policy on how to settle an election that hung on a few contested votes. The problem was settled (by the Supreme Court) much faster in 2000, but still, no real system had been set up to deal with the situation. Bonus Structure— As it turned out is an adverbial clause indicating an eventual resolution of a long-standing problem. 1. In what way was the 1876 election even odder than that in 2000?

a. It happened much earlier.

b. It involved only two major candidates.

c. One person won the popular vote and another won the electoral vote.

d. The uncertainty over who would win the presidency lasted many months.

2. Who decided the outcome of the 1876 election?

a. a special electoral commission

b. Thomas Ferry c. the Supreme Court d. Rutherford B. Hayes

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