TOEFL Preparation: Lesson 1- Food Crops

Updated: Feb 9



Target Words

  1. abandon

  2. adversely

  3. aggregate

  4. cultivation

  5. fertilize

  6. intensify

  7. irrigation

  8. obtain

  9. photosynthesis

  10. precipitation

Definitions and Samples

1. abandon v. To leave; to give up

To save their lives, the sailors had to abandon the sinking ship.

Parts of speech: abandonment n

2. adversely 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

3. aggregate 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

4. cultivation 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

5. fertilize 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

6. intensify 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

7. irrigation 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

8. obtain v. To gain possession of; to get

After a series of difficult interviews, he finally was able to obtain the job.

9. photosynthesis 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

10. precipitation 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) positively

5. adversely (e) drainage

TOEFL Success

Read the passage to review the vocabulary you have learned.

Answer the questions that follow.

In countries like Nigeria and Mauritania, the cultivation of land has changed little in the past several centuries. Additionally, these countries’ mono-modal rainfall pattern brings precipitation for 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.


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

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