Can you imagine life without French fries? Potatoes are very popular today. They are the fourth most important crop in the world, after wheat, rice, and corn. But in the past, potatoes were not always popular. People in Europe started to eat them only 200 years ago! In the 1500s, the Spanish went to South America to look for gold. There, they found people eating potatoes for 7000 years! The Spanish brought the potato back to Europe with them. But people in Europe did not like this strange vegetable. Some people thought that if you ate potatoes, your skin would look like the skin of a potato. Other people could not believe that you ate the underground part of the plant, so they ate the leaves instead. This made them sick because there is poison in the leaves. Others grew potatoes for their flowers. At one time in France, potato flowers were one of the most expensive flowers. Around 1780, the people of Ireland started to eat potatoes. They found that potatoes had many advantages. The potato grew on poor land, and it grew well in their cold and rainy climate. It gave more food than any other plant, and it needed little work. All they had to do was to plant the potatoes, and then they could do other work on the farm. On a small piece of land, a farmer could grow enough potatoes to feed his family. A person could eat
eight to ten pounds of potatoes a day, with some milk or cheese, and be very healthy. Soon, potatoes became the main food in Ireland. In 1845, a disease killed all the potatoes in Ireland. Two million people d of hunger. Many Irish who did not die came to the United States at this time. In other parts of Europe, people did not want to change their old food habits. Some preferred to die of hunger rather than eat potatoes. Today, many countries have their own potato dishes. Germans eat potato salad, the United States has the baked potato, and the French invented French fries. 1. Which statement is true? A. Potatoes are only popular in France. B. Potatoes are not very popular today. C. Potatoes are the most important crop in the world. D. Potatoes were not very popular in the past. 2. In the 1500s, people in Europe ________. A. found gold and potatoes from Peru B. found potatoes could harm people's skin C. found potatoes were strange vegetables D. found potatoes and invented French fries 3. Only in about 1780 did people start to ________.
A. grow potatoes for their flowers B. go to Peru to look for gold C. eat potatoes in Ireland D. eat eight to ten pounds of potatoes a day 4. What is one of the advantages of potatoes? A. They grow well in cold and dry weather. B. They have higher productivity compared with others. C. They can be grown with other plants. D. They can be eaten along with milk or cheese. 5. What statement best illustrates the main idea of the passage? A. How potatoes become popular. B. Why potatoes are a good vegetable. C. Why potatoes are healthy and tasty. D. How potatoes have been consumed. Questions 6 to 10 are based on the following passage or dialog. When the telephone rings late at night, most women guess it must be one of only four or five people calling. A sister? Maybe. An emergency? Possibly. A mother? Probably not at that time of night. Much more likely it is a close female friend—someone
calling to tell you that she has split up with her boyfriend again or perhaps simply that a good movie has just started on TV. At a time when families are spread far and wide and marriages often end in divorce, friendships of intimacy and trust are becoming more and more important. Erika, a 32-year-old lawyer, is strengthened by her ten-year friendship with her marr friend Jane. "I was very sick one night, and so I called Jane at about 3:00a.m. to talk about it," she says. "She was very supportive and even came over to take me to the doctor's the next morning." As American TV shows like Friends, which follows the lives of a very close group of young friends, have become very popular, many of us are beginning to see the value of such friendships. TV shows like this tell us that our romantic relationships may not last, but we need to keep in touch with our close friends if we want to survive. Also, a TV show called Real Women is about the lives and relationships of five former school friends. In this show, family, husbands, and work are all less important than friendships. Friendship is about commitment and loyalty. This is true of Erika and Jane's friendship. With Erica's family 200 miles away, it is Jane who keeps a spare set of keys to Erika's apartment and waters her plants whenever she is away.
"Having Jane around gives me a certain amount of freedom. It is not the kind of thing that you could ask anyone to do, but she knows I would do the same for her." Jane, who may move to a different city soon, is worr about leaving such a support system of friends. "My friends have more to do with my life than my parents and, therefore, I don't have to spend a lot of time explaining things to them. Friends are more up to date with what is happening." 6. Friendship is becoming more important because ________. A. people often do not live near their families B. people do not get along with their families C. families are not as dependable as friends D. all marriages end in divorce 7. Friends have become more important than family because ________. A. friends are more intimate than family members B. friends need to be together all the time C. friends are there when these people need help D. friends can talk about anything to each other 8. Good friends usually ________. A. see each other after a long time and are still friends
B. trust and say "thank you" to each other C. trust each other and treat each other nicely D. do not always have to tell each other truth 9. Why does the author mention two TV shows about friendship? A. Friends need to be loyal to each other. B. Friendship means commitment and sacrifice. C. Friends shouldn't keep secret to each other. D. Friendship is becoming more important nowadays. 10. What can you infer from the passage? A. Nothing is more important than friendship. B. Friends are just like a new family in many ways. C. People should help each other to establish friendship. D. Friends are those who can help when they are needed. Questions 11 to 15 are based on the following passage or dialog. For most of human history, people thought the world was flat. That is, they thought that if you travelled far enough in one direction, you would eventually come to the edge of the world. Then, about two thousand years ago, people started to come up with the theory that the earth was round. This meant that by