TOEFL Preparation: Lesson 6 - Ancient Life

Updated: Aug 18

Target Words

  1. accuracy

  2. adjacent

  3. compress

  4. feasibly

  5. gut

  6. integrally

  7. overlap

  8. retain

  9. seep

  10. structure

Definitions and Samples

1. accuracy n. Precision; exactness The research department checks all our articles for accuracy of facts before we print them. Usage tips Accuracy is often followed by of.

Parts of speech accurate adj, accurately adv

2. adjacent adj. Next to Even though the villages are adjacent to each other, their residents speak different languages. Usage tips Adjacent is often followed by to.

Parts of speech adjacency n

3. compress v. To press together To make the foundation stronger, they compressed the soil before pouring the concrete. Parts of speech compression n, compressed adj

4. feasibly adv. Practically; in a way that can work Scientists can’t feasibly bring energy from deep ocean currents to where it is needed—on land. Parts of speech feasibility n, feasible adj

5. gut v. To empty or hollow out In order to remodel the house, we must first gut it and throw away all the old fixtures. Usage tips Gut also means “the stomach of an animal”; this verb makes an image, that the inside of a building is like the inside of an animal. Parts of speech gut n, gutted adj

6. integrally adv. In a whole or complete manner Writing and spelling are taught integrally as part of the reading program. Parts of speech integrate v, integrity n, integral n, integral adj

7. overlap v. To lie over part of something; to have elements in common One of the two assistants will likely get fired, since most of their duties in the office overlap. Parts of speech overlap n

8. retain v. To keep or hold The rain fell so heavily that the banks of the river could not retain all the water. Parts of speech retainer n, retention n

9. seep v. To pass slowly for a long time, as a liquid or gas might As the containers rusted, the toxic waste seeped into the ground.

Usage tips Seep is often followed by into or through.

10. structure n. Something constructed, such as a building Most companies have a social structure that can’t be understood by outsiders. Parts of speech structure v, structural adj, structurally adv


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.

accuracy adjacent feasibly integrally structure

  1. She had no idea how they could __________ take a big vacation and remodel their house in the same year.

  2. Daily meditation is used __________ with medication and massage as part of the recovery plan.

  3. The rival politicians were raised in __________ counties.

  4. If you build a __________ next to this river, you must be sure it is safe against floods.

  5. Once he ran for public office, he understood the importance of checking public statements for __________.


Find the word or phrase that is closest in meaning to the opposite of each word in the left-hand column. 1. seep (a) fill 2. gut (b) separate 3. retain (c) stay contained 4. compress (d) loosen

5. overlap (e) throw away TOEFL Success

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

Organic products from ancient life are an integral part of the Earth’s resources, offering scientists a more accurate picture of ancient life-forms. One key to ancient life comes in the form of petrified matter. Petrifaction is a process that slowly turns the remains of a living object into stone. In this process, minerals seep into a mass of organic matter. After the organic matter has been replaced, a mineral version of the living object is left. Petrifaction often occurs in trees that are found adjacent to rivers, floodable areas, and volcanoes, which provide the mud or ash that initially covers the organic matter. Some pieces of petrified wood retain the original structure of the wood and the grain can be easily seen. Today, it is feasible to petrify wood in a simple laboratory process.

Bonus Structure— In this context, today means “at present; at this time in history.” Fossils are another way that ancient life is preserved. Most fossils include an animal’s hard parts, such as teeth and bones. One type of fossil, called a trace fossil, may also include eggs, tooth marks, contents of the guts, and fossil excrement. Some products from ancient life offer us more than scientific knowledge. One such product is coal, a solid fuel of plant origin. It develops over millions of years, during which swamp vegetation is submerged in water, depleted of oxygen, and covered by layers and layers of sand and mud. These overlapping layers settle with the Earth’s movements and are compressed over time.

1. Which sentence best expresses the essential information of this passage? a) Preserved life-forms, including petrified matter and fossils, teach us about ancient life.

b) The primary function for preserved life-forms is scientific discovery.

c) Scientists try to replicate natural processes that preserve ancient life-forms.

d) Ancient organic matter provides the most concentrated forms of energy known to humans.

2. In the passage, the words submerged in are closest in meaning to a) made wet b) completely covered

c) adjacent to d) depleted of

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