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TOEFL Preparation: Lesson 27 - The Police

Target Words 1. apprehend

2. ascertain 3. bureaucratic

4. condemn 5. evidence 6. implicate

7. inquiry 8. intrusively

9. seize

10. surveillance

Definitions and Samples

1. apprehend v. To capture The police apprehended the robbery suspect as he tried to get on a bus to Chicago. Parts of speech apprehension n

2. ascertain v. To make sure of The police failed to ascertain that the man they arrested was the Gregory Brown they were really looking for. Usage tips Ascertain is often followed by a that clause.

Notice that the root of the word is the adjective certain, meaning “sure.”

3. bureaucratic adj. Related to a large organization with a lot of complicated procedures Before I could speak with the chief, I had to go through a bureaucratic runaround of identity checks and written requests. Usage tips Bureaucratic implies that something is inefficient and unnecessarily complicated. Parts of speech bureaucracy n

4. condemn v. To speak out against something in very strong terms Religious radicals condemned the government for allowing alcohol to be sold in restaurants. Parts of speech condemnation n

5. evidence n. Something that makes the truth of a statement seem more likely The most convincing evidence that Garner robbed the store was a videotape from surveillance cameras. Parts of speech evidence v, evident adj, evidently adv

6. implicate v. To suggest that someone was involved in a crime or other wrong behavior No group claimed responsibility for the bombing, but the type of explosive used implicates the Heartland Freedom Militia.

Usage tips Implicate is often followed by in. Parts of speech implication n

7. inquiry n. An investigation The FBI launched an inquiry into the relationship between organized crime and the trucking company. P

arts of speech inquire v

8. intrusively adv. In a way that brings an unwanted person or thing into someone else’s affairs The new consultant from company headquarters appeared intrusively at meetings, staff parties, and other functions where he was not wanted. Parts of speech intrude v, intrusion n, intruder n, intrusive adj 9. seize v. To take something against its owner’s will Federal agents can seize private homes and other property possibly used in the production or sale of illegal drugs.

Parts of speech seizure n

10. surveillance n. A process of watching something or someone for a long time, usually because the person is suspected of something Police surveillance of one suspected car thief resulted in the arrest of a whole gang of carjackers. Usage tips Surveillance is often followed by an of phrase.


Find the word or phrase that is closest in meaning to the opposite of each word in the left-hand column.

1. ascertain (a) unnoticeably 2. intrusively (b) simple and straightforward 3. seize (c) give back 4. condemn (d) cause doubt about 5. bureaucratic (e) praise TOEFL Prep II

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.

apprehend evidence implicate inquiry surveillance

  1. Officials could not __________ Basil because people in villages and towns throughout the country were willing to hide him.

  2. During their __________ of O’Brien’s house, detectives audiotaped his phone conversations.

  3. Until we finish our __________ into the disappearance of the cash, all employees are suspects.

  4. Even if there is __________, such as fingerprints, that might __________ someone in a crime, there might be other indications that the person is innocent.

TOEFL Success

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

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. Some civil libertarians have condemned the federal anti-drug bureaucracy for threatening this basic right. In a drug case, police need no evidence to intrude on private property, apprehend a suspected dealer, and seize all the person’s property. Property taken under this law may be sold for a profit later by the law-enforcement officials involved in the raid. The target of a raid might be implicated only by an unreliable report from an unfriendly neighbor. The police are not required to ascertain whether there’s any physical evidence of drug activity at the site. In one case, surveillance of a large California property convinced local authorities to seize it—not because they saw drug activity but because the property was worth a lot of money. The property was taken, and its owner was shot trying to defend himself. A later inquiry determined that there were no illegal drugs on the property.

Bonus Structure— In one case introduces an example.

1. According to this reading, which of these activities does the author oppose?

a. marijuana possession

b. surveillance c. property seizures d. civil libertarians

2. Why does the author of this reading mention the Fourth Amendment?

a. because drug-related seizures seem to violate it

b. because it outlaws the use of certain drugs

c. because it has finally stopped the antidrug forces from seizing property

d. because he disagrees that Americans should be protected by it

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