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    #1

    Toefl reading 2000-01

    Please help me with the following question based on the paragraph

    The mineral particles found in soil range in size from microscopic clay particles
    to large boulders. The most abundant particles-sand, silt, and clay-are the focus
    of examination in studies of soil texture. Texture is the term used to describe the
    composite sizes of particles in a soil sample, typically several representative handfuls.To measure soil texture, the sand, silt, and clay particles are sorted out by size and weight. The weights of each size are then expressed as a percentage of the sample weight.

    24. The author mentions "several representative handfuls" in line 4 in order to show
    (A) the range of soil samples
    (B) the process by which soil is weighed
    (C) the requirements for an adequate soil sample
    (D) how small soil particles are

    I think it should be C.
    (C) the requirements for an adequate soil sample
    because
    "Handful" means a small number of people and things. But "range" means a variety of things of a particular type. So I eliminate answer A. Moreover, only several representative handfuls are eligible for texture. In other words, the phrase"several representative handfuls" refers to the requirements for an adequate soil sample.


    but the answer key is A.
    (A) the range of soil samples. Can you explain it to me?
    Thanks in advance!

  1. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Toefl reading 2000-01

    Quote Originally Posted by san2612 View Post
    Please help me with the following question based on the paragraph

    The mineral particles found in soil range in size from microscopic clay particles
    to large boulders. The most abundant particles-sand, silt, and clay-are the focus
    of examination in studies of soil texture. Texture is the term used to describe the
    composite sizes of particles in a soil sample, typically several representative handfuls.To measure soil texture, the sand, silt, and clay particles are sorted out by size and weight. The weights of each size are then expressed as a percentage of the sample weight.

    24. The author mentions "several representative handfuls" in line 4 in order to show
    (A) the range of soil samples
    (B) the process by which soil is weighed
    (C) the requirements for an adequate soil sample
    (D) how small soil particles are

    I think it should be C.
    (C) the requirements for an adequate soil sample
    because
    "Handful" means a small number of people and things. But "range" means a variety of things of a particular type. So I eliminate answer A. Moreover, only several representative handfuls are eligible for texture. In other words, the phrase"several representative handfuls" refers to the requirements for an adequate soil sample.


    but the answer key is A.
    (A) the range of soil samples. Can you explain it to me?
    Thanks in advance!
    A handful (of soil, in this case), is the amount of soil you can hold in one hand. The paragraph says that more than one (representative, i.e. useful because it is taken from an average, not particular point/area) handful of soil is needed to obtain a valid sample of soil for analysis.

    Greetings,

    Charliedeut

  2. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Toefl reading 2000-01

    several representative handfuls = a few typical samples

    Handfuls just refers to the size of the sample, not to the number of samples. Think about the word several as referring to the number.

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