Jane Birkenhead, July 14 2022

TOEFL Speaking Task 1: Strong Introductions

In every TOEFL speaking response, it's important to make a strong, confident start. During the preparation time for each question, you should decide exactly how you're going to begin your response. This will help to reduce your nerves, and I believe that if you start strongly and confidently, that will continue through the rest of the response.

This is especially true for speaking task 1 where you'll probably be nervous as it's the start of the entire speaking section. But you can use the question wording to help you quickly work out how to start.

Let's look at 2 example questions:

Notice the verbs being used in these questions. In both cases, the key verb is prefer.

Question 1

Why do we use the simple present tense?

It's because the question is asking you about a regular, repeated action - something you frequently do. We use the simple present tense to talk about regular, repeated actions.

Question 2

Why do we use the future conditional tense?

It's because the question is asking you about a specific hypothetical event, and you're being asked to imagine what you would do. In this cases we use the future conditional tense.

NOTE: We don't use the simple future tense with prefer. X I will prefer X is NOT correct.

Written by

Jane Birkenhead

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