400 Must Have Words for the TOEFL » LESSON 1 - Food Crops

Word List
  • abandon [əˈbændən] v.
    To leave; to give up
    To save their lives,the sailors had to abandon the sinking ship.
    Parts of speech     abandonment n.
  • adversely [ˈædvərsli] adv.
    In a harmful way; negatively
    Excessive rainfall early in the spring can adversely affect the planting of crops.
    Usage tips     Adversely is often followed by affect.
    Parts of speech     adversity n., adverse adj.
  • aggregate [ˈæɡriɡət] adj.
    Gathered into or amounting to a whole
    It is impossible to judge last year’s performance without knowing the aggregate sales numbers.
    Usage tips     Aggregate is often followed by a term like sum, total, or numbers.
    Parts of speech     aggregate v., aggregate n.
  • cultivation [ˌkʌltəˈveiʃən] n.
    Preparing the land to grow crops; improvement for agricultural purposes
    With the development of land cultivation, hunters and gatherers were able to settle in one place.
    Parts of speech     cultivate v.
  • fertilize [ˈfə:rtilaiz] v.
    To supply with nourishment for plants by adding helpful substances to the soil
    This farm fertilizes tomatoes more than any other crop.
    Parts of speech     fertilizer n., fertilization n.
  • intensify [inˈtensəˌfai] v.
    To increase in power;to act with increased strength
    Jacob’s long absence intensified his certainty that he should marry Rose.
    Parts of speech     intensification n., intense adj.
  • irrigation [ˌiriˈgeiʃən] n.
    The supplying of water to dry land
    In dry areas of the country,you can see ditches all over the farmland for irrigation.
    Parts of speech     irrigate v.
  • obtain [əbˈtein] v.
    To gain possession of; to get
    After a series of difficult interviews,he finally was able to obtain the job.
  • photosynthesis [ˌfoutouˈsinθəsis] n.
    The process by which green plants make their own food by combining water,salts,and carbon dioxide in the presence of light.
    Oxygen is a by-product of the process of photosynthesis.
    Parts of speech   photosynthesize v.
  • precipitation [prəˌsipəˈteiʃ(ə)n] n.
    Water that falls to the Earth’s surface
    In the Pacific Northwest, the high level of precipitation ensures rich, green plant life.

TOEFL Prep I Complete each sentence by filling in the blank with the best word from the list. Change the form of the word if necessary. Use each word only once.

  • abandoned
  • precipitation
  • cultivation
  • fertilize
  • photosynthesis
  1. Through __________, green plants create organic materials with the help of chlorophyll.
  2. The coastal city gets half of its __________ during the months of January, February, and March.
  3. Farmers use various methods of land __________.
  4. When they heard the hull crack, all but two of the sailors __________ ship.
  5. Inexperienced gardeners may not realize how important it is that they __________ their plants.

TOEFL Prep II Find the word or phrase that is closest in meaning to the opposite of each word in the left-hand column. Write the letter in the blank.

______ 1. obtain(a) weaken
______ 2. intensify(b) separate
______ 3. irrigation(c) lose
______ 4. aggregate(d) drainage
______ 5. adversely(e) positively

Answer Key
TOEFL Prep I
  1. photosynthesis
  2. precipitation
  3. cultivation
  4. abandoned
  5. fertilize
TOEFL Prep II
  1. c
  2. a
  3. d
  4. b
  5. e
Answer Key

TOEFL Success Read the passage to review the vocabulary you have learned. Answer the questions that follow.

In countries like Niger and Mauritania,the cultivation of land has changed little in the past several centuries. Additionally, these countries’mono-modal rainfall pattern brings precipitationfor only three months during the year. As a result, food production doesn’t nearly meet demand.

Several agencies and organizations have intensified their efforts to increase the productivity of land in these countries. They have introduced new strains of seed, improved irrigation techniques, and introduced new methods of fertilization and soil management. With ample sunlight for photosynthesis and modern irrigation techniques, sustainable farming techniques should allow farmers to boost aggregate production in order to meet demand.

Still, crop revitalization faces an unexpected adversary: institutional incompetence. Where crop specialists have convinced individual farmers to abandon old farming techniques in place of new, they can’t readily obtain the governmental cooperation they need. The biggest hurdles are political corruption, incompetence, and the absence of a marketing infrastructure.

Bonus StructureAs a result means “therefore,” “for this reason.”

  1. In this passage,the word adversary is closest in meaning to
    • a. friend
    • b. helper
    • c. enemy
    • d. leader
  2. In the last paragraph, the word they refers to
    • a. crop specialists
    • b. farmers
    • c. farming techniques
    • d. adversaries
Answer Key
Answer Key
  1. c
  2. a
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