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TOEFL Preparation: Lesson 31 - The War on Drugs

Target Words 1. addictive 2. cartel 3. concentrated

4. interdict 5. juxtapose 6. misconception

7. modify 8. potent 9. residual 10. subtly

Definitions and Samples

1. addictive adj. Making someone want it so much that the person feels ill without it Some drugs, like heroin or methamphetamines, are addictive to almost everyone who tries them. Parts of speech addict v, addict n, addiction n

2. cartel n. A small group controlling a certain area of business The world’s major oil producers formed a cartel to control the price and supply of petroleum.

3. concentrated adj. Strong because large amounts are in a certain space

Concentrated lemon juice is very sour, so I mix it with water when I make lemonade. Parts of speech concentrate v, concentration n, concentrate n 4. interdict v. To keep something/someone from reaching a certain place With faster patrol boats, the Coast Guard can more easily interdict drugs being smuggled by sea.

Parts of speech interdiction n

5. juxtapose v. Place next to one another If you juxtapose these two similar flowers, you can see clear differences between them. Parts of speech juxtaposition n

6. misconception n. A mistaken belief A common misconception about rabbits is that they are a kind of rodent.

7. modify v. Make small changes in order to get a certain result People who live in high mountains often modify their car engines to run well in the thinner air. Parts of speech modification n, modifier n

8. potent adj. Powerful A very potent type of marijuana with surprisingly strong effects became available in Burrytown. Parts of speech potency n

9. residual adj. Left behind after most of a thing has gone

In the airplane, agents found residual traces of heroin. Usage tips Residual is often followed by trace, amount, or some other word referring to “quantity.” Parts of speech residue n

10. subtly adv. In a quiet, hard-to-notice way By subtly changing the soft drink’s formula, we improved its taste and made production cheaper. Parts of speech subtlety n, subtle adj


Find the word or phrase that is closest in meaning to each word in the left-hand column.

1. cartel (a) stop 2. interdict (b) remaining 3. juxtaposed (c) next to

4. residual (d) without drawing attention 5. subtle (e) a kind of group TOEFL Prep II

Choose the word that best completes each sentence.

  1. With a (subtle/residual) nod of his head, the inspector signaled his agents.

  2. Sunlight is a (concentrated/potent) source of energy for electricity generation, but it can be expensive to collect and store.

  3. Things other than drugs can be (addictive/subtle), such as gambling or even television.

  4. A security official tries to (modify/interdict) foreign terrorists before they can enter the country.

  5. Your advertisement created the (misconception/cartel) that everything was on sale for 50 percent off.

TOEFL Success

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

Illegal addictive drugs, like heroin or cocaine, come from plants grown and harvested mostly by poor farmers. Their small farmhouses juxtaposed with the mansions of billionaire drug lords illustrate the unequal payouts to various players in the drug trade. The farmers sell their product cheaply to a drug-distribution cartel that is owned by the drug lords. People working for the cartel then refine the drugs into a concentrated form, or even modify them chemically to make them more potent and therefore more valuable. Other cartel members then transport the drugs to distributors for sale, smuggling them over huge distances, including international borders. Governments try to interdict smugglers, using both new technology and old (like sniffer dogs) to find residual traces of drugs. Their occasional successes have led to a popular misconception that anti-drug campaigns are close to stopping the flow of illegal drugs. On the contrary, as long as drug lords can make vast fortunes in their illegal trade, smugglers will come up with ever-more-subtle ways of concealing their goods, and the War on Drugs goes on.

Bonus Structure— Because this reading describes a system of operations, the word then appears very often.

1. Who makes the most money from the drug trade? a. rural farmers b. people who refine drugs

c. drug lords d. anti-drug officers

2. Select which phrase goes into which category based on which one it relates to according to the reading.

Drug producers and dealers or Anti-drug forces

a. subtle ways of hiding drugs b. sniffer dogs c. high-tech detection d. concentrate drugs to make them potent e. pay farmers to grow plants that yield drugs

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