TOEFL/IELTS/Advanced English Vocab Practice

Root Words: exist, impress, prefer, threat

By Jacqueline Schaalje

The advanced English texts that academic exams such as TOEFL and IELTS, and informative texts, all tend to use similar vocabulary. That is to say that the same words come back many times. You could simply read a lot of academic texts or books, or you can do a speedup course and learn lists of words. A combination of both is probably the best way to learn.

Underneath we’ll practise some common exam words. That is to say, they’re not only good for exams of course. You will find them in any texts at an advanced level.

I’ll show you the roots of the words, and also derivatives. Derivatives are words that are made from the roots. As an example, let’s take the word exist. This is a verb. You can make existence, which is a noun. You can also make existing and existed, which can be verb forms (conjugations) or adjectives and adverbs. What function the word will have in the sentence, you will understand from the context. It’s always good to learn the context of words = the environment in which you find them.

Here is an infographic with lots of examples:

Word Roots

Quiz (difficult!!):

Do this quiz online here

Fill in roots or derivatives of the following words: exist, impress, prefer or threat.

1 Margarita had never even supposed that such evil thoughts ___________ in her jealous lover’s mind.

2 I intend first to interview candidates who’ve expressed a ___________ for classical music.

3 In choosing a platform for my blog I’d ____________ applications that can be manipulated by simple mouse clicks.

4 When two magnets attract each other it means there __________ a difference in the electric charge between them.

5 We don’t ask for your name or too many details about you, as we aim to create a non-_____________ atmosphere in which you can feel at home.

6 I wonder why with such an _____________ CV she hasn’t been able to find a well-earning job.

7 In order to eliminate this ____________, public awareness must be heightened.

8 The government’s failure in curbing the greediness of the banks was felt most _______________ during the recession.

9 Did he buy that yellow Lamborghini only to __________ his dates?

10 I’ve never seen a vampire, and I very much doubt their ______________.

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