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TOEFL Vocabulary: Verbs

TOEFL Prep: Pronounce these words by stressing the first syllable.

Study the definitions, then practice below.

alter: to change, usually to change in small or detailed ways

He has not altered his appearance in years. He still has the same beard and mustache.
Please do not alter your plans because of me. You should go on vacation without me.

analyze: to organize information for usefulness, to observe information and figure out how and why things are

When we analyzed the budget, we found that with several small cuts we can save $500 a month.

baffle: to confuse, often used with the phrase "as to why" or used with an object-word following, as in "she baffled him."

I'm baffled as to why the salesman called me 10 times in one day. I certainly won't buy anything from him.
My nephew baffled me with his electronics knowledge. He knew of so many applications and devices.

bear: to put up with, to deal with, usually something difficult

Please bear with me. I'm doing my best to help you.
She had to bear many difficulties last year. Her husband was sick, and then he lost his job.

block: to stop something physically

He blocked the ball with his arm.
The exit was blocked by a large family that stood in the doorway.

Choose the correct word. Answers are at the bottom of the page.

1. He could not ___________ her mean words and angry attitude.

2. His strange ways _________________ me.

3. I'm sorry. I didn't realize I was ____________________ the door.

4. After ________________ the data, we will present our report.

5. You don't need to _________ your home. The house will sell as it is.

More first syllable verbs. Study the definitions, then practice below.

blur: to make seeing difficult, to cause things to be unclear either physically or symbolically

She suffers from eye strain. It blurs her vision.
He blurred the line between right and wrong.

caution: to tell or alert someone to be safe

He cautioned me not to buy a used car without having my own mechanic check it first.

challenge: to make something difficult in order to increase a person's motivation or competitive nature

The teacher challenged her students with several extra credit questions.

clarify: to make clear

I want to clarify my meaning. Your work has been excellent, but we have to cut your hours because of our budget problems.

crush: to make flat, destroy, either physically or symbolically

We crushed the ice and then used it to make summer drinks.
His manager was unkind for years. He finally crushed the man by denying him the promotion he deserved.

Choose the correct word. Answers are at the bottom of the page.

1. My father often ________________ me with difficult games.

2. He had to _______________ the rules so that everyone understood.

3. The drug ______________ her vision, and she couldn't drive.

4. She _________________ her grandchildren to avoid playing in the street.

5. She _______________ me in the competition. She did everything so much better.

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TOEFL Verb Answers: 1. bear, 2. baffle, 3. blocking, 4. analyzing, 5. alter
More Verb Answers: 1. challenged, 2. clarify, 3. blurred, 4. cautioned, 5. crushed

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