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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زوم»
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Question Type: Purpose
Next, we’ll look at purpose questions in the TOEFL reading. Purpose questions ask about the purpose. That is, why an author puts in some word or phrase or sentence. Now we also call these function questions. Maybe you know them by that name because they ask how something functions, how it is used.
They’re not very common but you will see one or two of them in most passages. It’s possible you’ll see zero but usually you’ll see one or two. They’re a medium frequency question. And, in order to answer them correctly, you have to think about the big picture. What is the author’s main message? What do they want to communicate?
If you can connect a detail with the big picture, then you can answer this correctly. And that detail can be well, anything really, it can be a word, it can be a sentence or a phrase, it can be a few sentences in an example or an idea, or it could even be a full paragraph. These can be about a small piece or a large piece of the text, but in either case it’s a piece of the text related to a bigger idea.
All right, let’s try it. Just like in the previous lessons, we’re going to use the sample text that’s linked below, from out sample reading passage lesson. And, here’s our question. Why does the author mention modern scientific advancements in the first passage?
Okay. And on your real test, it will be highlighted on the actual TOEFL, it will be gray, so you can find it quickly. Here it is and let’s read that sentence for context. Although people commonly associate the word clone with modern scientific advances, its usage in botany is far removed from those developments.
A clone is, in the world of plants, a completely natural thing even a common one. All right. So here, the author is telling us that clone is associated with modern scientific advancements. But in the study of plants it is not associated with modern scientific advancements.
And if we think about the whole passage, well we don’t mention modern science anywhere else. In fact, this is all about possibly very old science, something we’ve known for a long time, something that’s not modern. So, this in the beginning, it’s said so that we can avoid any confusion with something that we are actually not going to discuss.
The text is not about this, so we don’t want to think about it. We don’t want to get confused with the meaning of the word clone. Once we have that guess, we can go back to the question and look at our answer choices, to avoid possible confusion about the meaning of a term. This matches my guess perfectly but what if you don’t have such a good guess? Then you’ll probably want to look at the other answer choices.
Let’s keep this definitely for now, and see if we can find why the other answer choices are wrong. Next we have to correct a common misconception. Okay, this is very tempting, it’s almost right. But, we’re not correcting anything that is the author doesn’t mean that the word clone is wrongly used for modern scientific advancements.
The author says it is sometimes used for that, but in botany it has a different meaning. They’re not saying that anything is wrong, they are just trying to avoid a confusion between two different ideas. Misconception is also a strong word here. It’s close but it’s too strong.
We are not saying that anybody has the wrong idea. We are just saying that they might be confused. Let’s check the next one, to relate a botanical term to an idea from another field of study. Okay, so we do have a botanical term, clone. And we do have an idea from another field of study, that is clones in modern scientific advancements, whatever field that is.
But we’re not trying to connect the two, in fact, we’re trying to separate the two. This word clone is not what is used in the other field of study. So this can’t be right. It’s the opposite. To explain the history of an important word. This is simply not in the passage.
We have nothing about history, so it can’t be correct and again, our answer is A.
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