GRE Verbal : Conjunctions and Text Logic in Two-Blank Texts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

Fill in the blanks with the best answers.

The judge, despite occupying a _________ role, demonstrated her _________ when she ruled in favor of the district lawyer.

Possible Answers:

prominent . . . animosity

disinterested . . . animosity

prominent . . . prejudice

partisan . . . prejudice

disinterested . . . prejudice

Correct answer:

disinterested . . . prejudice

Explanation:

"Despite" is hint that the two blanks are opposites. Here "partisan" is an adjective that means inclined to favor one side over the other—it's the opposite of what we want. The judge may be prominent, but that doesn't describe why she shouldn't be taking sides. "Disinterested" is the best choice, which means free from bias. "Prejudice" answers the second blank the best, as the opposite of neutrality and impartiality.

Example Question #2 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Sarah was __________ and Jordan was  __________, so they made a good couple: one talked while the other listened.

Possible Answers:

flirtatious . . . forgiving

talkative . . . extroverted

gregarious . . . introverted

meek . . . chary

garrulous . . . laconic

Correct answer:

garrulous . . . laconic

Explanation:

The definitions of the words in the two blanks are given in the last phrase: “garrulous” means overly talkative, while “laconic” means reserved and tight-lipped.

Example Question #3 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

The __________ old woman was surprisingly __________ in conversation.

Possible Answers:

cruel . . . malicious

decrepit . . . necrotic

desiccated . . . vivacious

affable . . . convivial

neurotic . . . fretful

Correct answer:

desiccated . . . vivacious

Explanation:

“Desiccated” means dried out and can be used to indicate extreme age or frailty, while “vivacious” indicates liveliness and energy. Since the second blank is preceded by “surprisingly,” the two words in the correct choice must have dissimilar meanings.

Example Question #4 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

The famous story that H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds caused panic in the streets is __________; instead of running in fear, many listeners were simply __________ by the storytelling, staying inside in order to not miss any part of the story.

Possible Answers:

apocryphal . . . riveted

salubrious . . . intrigued

arcane . . . harrowed

mendacious . . . perused

unsubstantiated . . . perused

Correct answer:

apocryphal . . . riveted

Explanation:

In regard to the first blank, on the surface, "mendacious" (lying) and "apocryphal" (doubtful, though believed to be true) are fairly similar words. However, you can use context clues in the sentence to figure out which word to use. Here, you have the "famous" story about panic, where, instead, people did something else. Therefore, while the story may be a lie, it is thought of as a fact that needs to have a counterpoint ("instead . . ."). Thus, "apocryphal" is the better fit.

In regard to the second blank, the storytelling made the listeners want to stay inside, so you can conclude that the storytelling was interesting to the listeners. While perused means read or paid attention to carefully and it can be argued that "interest" means careful listening, it doesn't fit grammatically (a person cannot be "perused by" a story), nor does it fit as well as "riveted" (engrossed).  Thus, "riveted" both fits and is the correct answer. This makes the correct answer "apocryphal . . . riveted."

Example Question #5 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Although the wine aficionado __________ Tori for her love of rosé, he did appreciate her for her __________ the opinions of a fellow wine critic, with whom he had always disagreed.

Possible Answers:

tested . . . fervor for

adored . . . vexation to

annoyed . . . support of

ameliorated . . . rejection of

rebuked . . . lambasting of

Correct answer:

rebuked . . . lambasting of

Explanation:

In this sentence, "although" the wine aficionado performed the first blank's action towards Tori, he then "appreciated" her for other actions. In other words, he "appreciated" her in spite of whatever action he took towards her in the first blank. Therefore, "ameliorated," or soothed, doesn't quite fit, as "soothed" and "appreciated" are not quite opposites. "Rebuked," however, means reproved sharply; therefore, the later appreciation/approval that Tori receives makes "rebuked" fit the sentence.

Considering the second blank, the wine aficionado "appreciated" Tori for her doing something in regard to the opinions of a rival, so we know that Tori does not agree with that particular critic's opinions. Both "lambasting" and "vexation" are negative, but "lambasting" (thoroughly criticizing) requires direct action by Tori that can act on the opinions of the wine critic, whereas "vexation" means that Tori directly vexes (annoys/irritates) the wine critic's opinions, which doesn't make much sense grammatically. 

Therefore, "rebuked . . . lambasting of" is the correct answer.

Example Question #1 : Conjunctions And Text Logic In Two Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Anna both __________ and revered her father, though she did not fear to __________ with him when she disagreed with him.

Possible Answers:

venerated . . . dispute

detested . . . quarrel

spoiled . . . contend

deified . . . worship

despised . . . argue

Correct answer:

venerated . . . dispute

Explanation:

The first part of the sentence is not contrasting the blank to the word "revered." We can tell this by looking at the portion of the sentence that is after the comma. The "though . . ." indicates that she did in fact disagree with her father—though this was a different affair from her reverence and affection. For this reason, the best answer is "venerated" and "dispute." To "venerate" someone or something is to hold it, him, or her in high esteem. This captures well the "both . . . and" relationship between the blank and "revered." Clearly, Anna could disagree with her father. Hence, she did not fear to dispute (disagree and/or argue) with him.

Example Question #2 : Conjunctions And Text Logic In Two Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Kevin was one of the most __________ people in his class. While others feared to __________, he would readily interrupt the teacher to ask questions.

Possible Answers:

audacious . . . interject

argumentative . . . ponder

intelligent . . . question

sagacious . . . inquire

intriguing . . . reflect

Correct answer:

audacious . . . interject

Explanation:

The sentence hints that there is a contrast being made, as is indicated by the word "while" in the second sentence. The classmates are fearful, so Kevin must be brave. To be "audacious" is to be daring. Clearly, the bravery is aimed at asking questions by interrupting the teacher. To "interject" is to is just to interrupt in this way. The word comes from literal roots meaning to throw in between (just as "eject" means to throw out).

Example Question #8 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Patrick told Isidore that he was a(n) __________.  In response, Isidore said, "Good, I do not want others to be able to __________ my actions easily."

Possible Answers:

wretch . . . comprehend

perplexity . . . condemn

sage . . . underrate

enigma . . . decipher

fool . . . enjoy

Correct answer:

enigma . . . decipher

Explanation:

The best way to work through this question is to notice how well certain combinations work well together. There is a general idea stated that Isidore does not want something to be done easily. To "decipher" something is to decode it from a cryptic code to an understandable language. This is often used in the sense of meaning to make clear or understandable. In order for someone to need to be deciphered, however, he or she must be a mystery. The word "enigma" fulfills this well.

Example Question #9 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Despite the importance of the topic, the audience treated it as a(n) __________ matter, giving it __________ attention.

Possible Answers:

questionable . . . abstract

detestable . . . profound

debatable . . . regular

ephemeral . . . negligible

ignorant . . . severe

Correct answer:

ephemeral . . . negligible

Explanation:

The word "despite" hints that the audience did not believe that the topic actually was important. Although it was quite important, they thought it to treat passing and unimportant matters. The word "ephemeral" means lasting only a brief time. Among the options provided for the first blank, this is the best possible option. Since they believed it to be unimportant, they likely gave it little attention—that is, "negligible" attention. (This is related to the word "neglect.")

Example Question #10 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

Meredith was a markedly __________ person, especially in contrast to her taciturn sister, who __________ spoke in public.

Possible Answers:

prolix . . . infrequently

vexing . . . formerly

imaginative . . . rarely

reflective . . . partially

erudite . . . scarcely

Correct answer:

prolix . . . infrequently

Explanation:

Several of the options for the second blank are likely tempting, for the words "infrequently," "rarely," and "scarcely" all work well for this sentence; however, everything hinges on the word "taciturn," which is contrasted to Meredith's personality. Someone who is "taciturn" is silent, just as "tacit consent" is unspoken consent to something. Thus, we are looking to describe Meredith as being "chatty" or talkative. The best option here is "prolix," which describes someone who is too wordy. It comes from roots from which we derive the word "liquid." To be "pro-lix" is to make words "pour forth" from our mouths.

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