Let’s scrutinize this problem.
- Factory _______ have helped Zubiri Footwear to improve the design of its popular Airwing running shoe.
With enough practice, it takes only 2 seconds to answer this question. Look at the word after the blank; it’s a verb that requires a plural noun. Even a student with the most basic training will immediately sense that the answer is B.
- The mayor of Pipersville has not ______ reviewed the proposal to expand Grey Park.
For TOEIC test takers who do not speak English as an official language, this is something needs to be committed to memory.
Yet goes with a negative verb, as shown in this simple example:
A: Have you had dinner?
B: Not yet.
Now, let’s take a look at this problem.
- Please ______ the owner’s manual before using your Kivi Craft oven for the first time.
This sentence is an imperative sentence. It’s a sentence that gives a command or makes a request. In an imperative sentence, the subject is always YOU, the person spoken to. If the subject is YOU and there is no be-verb, there is no need for an –ing main verb, so immediately cross out Choice A. And because the subject is YOU, you don’t need a verb that ends in S. Cross out Choice C as well.
Now you are left with two possible choices. If you compare choice A and choice D, you can immediately feel the bump. If you answer A, your sentence is like this: Please consulting the owner’s manual before using your Kivi Craft oven for the first time. For someone who speaks English, the bump is felt right away. For a test taker who doesn’t use English as his language, however, this may sound right. BUT… the sentence is giving an instruction, right? We don’t use verb-ing in giving instructions. We don't say, “Please sitting down, Please coming here… Please eating your meal…” Therefore, we don’t say “Please consulting the manual…” Cross out Choice A and choose D.