How Much Land Does a Man Need?

how much land does a man needThis story by Leo Tolstoy is a based on a Russian folktale. In the story a peasant thinks: “Our only trouble is that we haven’t enough land. If I had a lot of land, I shouldn’t fear the Devil himself!”. The Devil ‘s’ this and puts the man to the test by helping him get land. The more land the man has, the more he wants until, in the last paragraph of the story, we learn the answer to the question.

English Learner Vocabulary Help

The words and expressions in our Pre-Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1200 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .


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(v: overhear, overhears, overheard, overhearing) To hear something that was said to another person by accident; to hear what one was not intended to hear. She overheard two people talking about her in the next room. 6000

acre(n: acre pl acres) A measure of land area in certain English-speaking countries, equal to 4046.86 square meters.
(n: acreage pl acreages) An area of land measured in acres. 4000

breath(n: breath pl breaths) The air that you take into your lungs and send out from your lungs. His breath smells like garlic. 3000
(idiom: hold your breath) To stop breathing for a short time, such as when you dive into water.
(idiom: take a deep breath) To take a lot of air into your lungs.

breathe(v: breathe, breathes, breathed, breathing) To move air into and out of your lungs; to inhale and exhale. He was breathing hard from running.
(phrasal verb: breathe deeply) To take a lot of air into your lungs. 3000

bury(v: bury, buries, buried, burying) To place in the earth and cover with soil. 3000

cart(n: cart pl carts) A vehicle with two wheels that is pulled by an animal such as a horse or donkey. The farmer packed the vegetables into his cart to take them to market. 3000

chief(n: chief pl chiefs) The person who is the leader of a group of people, an organization, etc. A police chief, a fire chief, an Indian chief, a village chief, etc. 2000

commune(n: commune pl communes) 1. A group of people living together and sharing everything they own. 2. In 18th century Russia, a self-governing community of peasant families that elected its own officials and controlled local forests, fisheries, hunting grounds, and land that wasn't privately owned. 9000

crop(n: crop pl crops) A plant or plant product that is grown by farmers. This year the farmer grew a fine crop of rice. 3000

devil(n: devil pl devils) The most powerful spirit of evil; The ruler of Hell; Satan. 3000
(adj: devilish) Looking or acting like a devil; wicked, evil.

forward(adj: forward) 1. Moving or directed ahead or toward the front. A forward movement. 2. Near or belonging to the front part of something. The forward part of a ship is the 'bow'.
(adv: forward or forwards) 1. Moving ahead or towards the front. He moved forwards. 2. To a later time. From this time forward. 1000

fur(n: fur, noncount) 1. The hairy coat of an animal, especially when it is soft and thick. 2. The fur of an animal used for clothing. A fur coat/hat.
(n: fur pl furs) A piece of clothing [such as a coat] made with fur. His shop has the latest furs.
(adj: furry. furrier, furriest) 1. Covered with fur. A furry animal. 2. Like fur. Furry material. 3000

hay(n: hay, noncount) Grass or other plants, cut and dried for use as food for farm animals etc. 3000

horizon(n: horizon pl horizons) The line where the earth or sea seems to meet the sky. 5000

peasant(n: peasant pl peasants) A poor farmer or farm worker who has low social status. This land was farmed by peasants for hundreds of years. 6000

plenty(pronoun: plenty) 1. A large number or amount of something. He's got plenty of land. 2. A number or amount of something that is enough or more than enough for a particular purpose. "There's plenty of food for everyone. Would you like more pie?" "No, thanks. I've had plenty." 2000

(n: purpose pl purposes) 1. The reason why something is done or used; the aim or intention of something. What is the purpose of your visit? 2. the use or function of an object. The purpose of the red button is to stop the machine in an emergency. 1000
(adv: on purpose) In a way that is planned or intended; in a deliberate way. Someone set fire to the house on purpose.

rent(v: rent, rents, rented, renting) 1. To pay money in return for being able to use something that belongs to someone else. 2. To allow someone to use something that you own in return for payment. We rent this flat from Mr Smith. Mr Smith rents this flat to us. 2000

(n: ruble pl rubles; British rouble) The basic unit of money of Russia. One ruble is made up of 100 kopecks.

soil(n: soil pl soils) The top layer of earth in which plants grow. This kind of plant grows well in sandy soil. (ดิน) 3000

sow(v: sow, sows, sowed, sown or sowed, sowing) To plant seeds in an area of ground. Every year we sow corn. The farmer sowed his fields with corn. (หว่าน) 4000

spade(n: spade pl spades) A tool with a metal blade attached to a long handle, used for digging. (พลั่ว) 4000

steppe(n: steppe pl steppes) A large, flat area of land with grass and very few trees, especially in eastern Europe and Asia. (ที่ราบกว้างใหญ่ซึ่งไม่มีต้นไม้) 12000

tent(n: tent pl tents) A movable shelter that is used outdoors, is made of cloth [such as canvas or nylon], and is held up with poles and ropes. We will put up our tent here. (เต็นท์) 3000

wheat(n: wheat, noncount) A kind of grain that is used to make flour for breads, cookies, etc. (ข้าวสาลี) 5000

The Mystery Theater radio series was broadcast from 1974 to 1982. This 42 minute radio play is episode 905. An American Indian chief offers the deal of a lifetime to a greedy white man. For the sum of one hundred pounds, he can purchase as much land as he can travel around in one day. To download the mp3, click here.

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