GRE Verbal : Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives or Adverbs in Three-Blank Texts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted into the sentence, best completes the sentence.

George decided to __________ eating red meat to reduce his high cholesterol, as he had been told by his doctor that his current diet was __________ to his overall health; it was a difficult lifestyle change, as he had a __________ for hamburgers.

Possible Answers:

bolster . . . pragmatic . . . anachronism

impugn . . . disparate . . . abeyance

cease . . . pernicious . . . platitude

abstain from . . . deleterious . . . predilection

forbear from . . . volatile . . . paradox

Correct answer:

abstain from . . . deleterious . . . predilection

Explanation:

For the first blank, we need a verb that means something like stop. "Abstain from," "forbear from," and "cease" could all work, as they mean just that. For the second blank, we're looking for an adjective that means something like "causing harm"; either "deleterious" (causing harm or damage) or "pernicious" (having a gradual harmful effect) could work. For the last blank, we need a noun that means something like "fondness"; in choosing between "predilection" (a preference for something) and"platitude" (a moral saying used too often to be interesting or thoughtful), "predilection" is the better choice, so the answer is "abstain from . . . deleterious . . . predilection."

Example Question #2 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

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

The scientist's theories initially seemed __________ at best, as there existed little evidence to support them; however, later advances in her field __________ her claims and she received many __________ for her work. 

Possible Answers:

tenuous . . . corroborated . . . accolades

empirical . . . bolstered . . . panegyrics

ambiguous . . . vindicated . . . elegies

spurious . . . enervated . . . encomiums

esoteric . . . disparaged . . . harangues

Correct answer:

tenuous . . . corroborated . . . accolades

Explanation:

We know that initially, not a lot of evidence supported the scientist's theories. We know the word for the first blank is a adjective with a negative connotation because of the phrase "at best" that follows it; from these context clues, we can select "ambiguous," "esoteric," and "tenuous" as possible choices. For the second blank, we need a word similar to "confirmed," so "corroborated" and "vindicated" are both suitable choices. For the final blank, we need to choose between "accolades" (awards granted as acknowledgments of merit) and "elegies" (laments for the dead), and "accolades" is the best choice. So, the correct answer is "tenuous . . . corroborated . . . accolades."

Example Question #3 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

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

Lawrence was relatively talentless, so he learned how to __________ his bosses. This ability __________ him the title “doppelgänger” from his coworkers, who were simultaneously amused and __________ at his shifting personality features.

Possible Answers:

emulate . . . earned . . . vexed

please . . . adorned . . . amazed

delude . . . awarded . . . gaped

abate . . . rewarded . . . inebriated

enjoin . . . treasured . . . baffled

Correct answer:

emulate . . . earned . . . vexed

Explanation:

The best clue for this sentence is "doppelgänger," though this is a rather difficult word. It means a "double" of someone—coming from the German word that means "one who goes doubly" (rather strange, but understandable). Even if you do not know this meaning, you can also see that he has "shifting personality features." Only one option provides this for the first blank, namely to "emulate." This means to reproduce. The word "earned" makes sense on the whole, as his actions led to his coworkers giving him this title. Apparently, they simultaneously have two different attitudes. This is at least hinted by the word "simultaneously," so "vexed" (meaning annoyed) is a good contrast to "amused."

Example Question #4 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

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

A gardener must learn to __________ hedges and trees well, for such __________ will become quite ___________ without such paring.

Possible Answers:

plow . . . existents . . . vexing

assay . . . tasks . . . indolent

belittle . . . property . . . testy

cut . . . largess . . . horrendous

prune . . . vegetation . . . overgrown

Correct answer:

prune . . . vegetation . . . overgrown

Explanation:

The word "paring" provides our first and clearest clue. It means to trim the outside of something. This means that the gardener is doing such cutting. "Cut," however, is only partially synonymous. "Pruning" is the process of paring a plant. The second blank refers back to the hedges and trees, which can be called by the general term "vegetation." Finally, the third blank describes what will happen if such vegetation is not cut properly: it will become "overgrown."

Example Question #5 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

The toddler had a strong __________ to broccoli and thus could not be __________ by hiding the __________ vegetable in the much more agreeable mashed potatoes.

Possible Answers:

Attraction . . . Hallowed . . . Venerable

Polemic . . . Deceived . . . Unadulterated

Aversion . . . Duped . . . Revolting

Affliction . . . Pondered . . . Appealing

Juxtaposition . . . Hollowed . . . Desirable

Correct answer:

Aversion . . . Duped . . . Revolting

Explanation:

There are few relevant clues in the sentence to help you solve this problem, apart from the use of the phrase "more agreeable" towards the end. This clue suggests that broccoli must therefore be "less agreeable." Other than that, you have to solve by seeing which of the five answer choices fit best into the blanks together. "Aversion" means dislike for, repelled by;"duped" means tricked; and "revolting" means disgusting. If the toddler strongly dislikes broccoli, he is unlikely to be tricked by the disgusting vegetable being hidden in his mashed potatoes. To provide additional help, "affliction" means disease or problem; "pondered" means thought about; "appealing" means desirable, attractive; a "polemic" is a strong and passionate verbal attack; "deceived" means tricked; "unadulterated" means not altered, not changed; a "juxtaposition" is the comparison of two things; "hollowed" means made a hole through; "hallowed" means holy or sacred; "venerable" means old and respected

Example Question #6 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

We were all drawn in by the twin babies' __________, wanting to __________ as many hugs as possible from the little __________ duo.

Possible Answers:

Hedonism . . . Contrive . . . Spurious

Probity . . . Inveigh . . . Malleable

Eloquence . . . Articulate . . . Devious

Vivacity . . . Garner . . . Dynamic

Charisma . . . Oblige . . . Abstemious

Correct answer:

Vivacity . . . Garner . . . Dynamic

Explanation:

Because the subjects of this sentence seem to want to hug the two little babies as much as possible it seems likely that the blanks will relate to this urge. “Vivacity” means attractive, lively and fun; “garner” means collect, gather; “dynamic” means energetic, exciting, enjoyable. To provide further help, “eloquence” is the ability to speak clearly and well; “articulate” means eloquent, able to express ideas clearly; “devious” means sneaky; “charisma” means charming and engaging in a way that inspires affection from others; “oblige” means force, make to do; “abstemious” means not indulging in things that you want to do that are dangerous or harmful; “probity” means honesty, being strongly moral; “inveigh” means denounce; “malleable” means bendable, flexible; “hedonism” is the pursuit of pleasure above everything else; “contrive” means cause a situation to arise using deceptive or false methods; “spurious” means fake.

Example Question #7 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

My neighbor's well-behaved, __________ son displayed his patience and __________ while he sat still amidst the chaos, refusing to wander and __________ about.

Possible Answers:

Irritable . . . Cunning . . . Garrison

Stoic . . . Compliance . . . Ramble

Wizened . . . Ignominy . . . Appropriate

Erudite . . . Gravitas . . . Curtail

Fleeting . . . Apathy . . . Emigrate

Correct answer:

Stoic . . . Compliance . . . Ramble

Explanation:

You are told that the neighbor's son is "well-behaved" and shows "patience." From this information it is reasonable to conclude that the son could be described as "stoic" meaning calm, not emotional, impassive. Further, if the son is demonstrating his patience it makes sense that he is also demonstrating "compliance" or obedience, by not running around and disrupting his parent. Finally, the last blank is clearly related to running around heedlessly, so the correct answer is "ramble." To provide additional help, "irritable" means easily annoyed; "garrison" refers to troops stationed in a fort to protect it; "erudite" means well-educated, scholarly; "gravitas" means dignity; "curtail" means reduce in impact; "fleeting" means not lasting very long; "emigrate" means move to a new country; "apathy" means not caring; "wizened" means ancient, very old; "ignominy" means shame, disgrace; "appropriate" (when used as a verb) means take something not belonging to you and refit it to fit your need

Example Question #8 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

I feel such a strong sense of __________ at the __________ fees charged by my local bank that I am thinking of __________ banking institutions altogether.

Possible Answers:

Mendacity . . . Cumbersome . . . Espousing

Zealotry . . . Miniscule . . . Remedying

Indulgence . . . Halcyon . . . Jettisoning

Credulity . . . Wanton . . . Delineating

Indignation . . . Exorbitant . . . Eschewing

Correct answer:

Indignation . . . Exorbitant . . . Eschewing

Explanation:

From context it is clear that the author of this sentence has strong feelings about banks; it is not clear what the nature of those feelings are, so you have to try to see which three words fit together logically. The correct answer is, therefore, "indignation" (anger at a perceived injustice, umbrage); "exorbiant" (excessively costly); "eschewing" (abstaining from). To provide additional help, “mendacity” means untruthfulness, dishonesty; “cumbersome” means heavy, a burden; “espousing” means declaring; “credulity” means a tendency to believe everything; “wanton” means random; “delineating” means making a list of; “indulgence” means allowing oneself to gratify a desire; “halcyon” means happy, idyllic, a period of time in the past that was carefree; “jettisoning” means getting rid of; “zealotry” is passion, uncompromising and intense belief in some dogma; “miniscule” means tiny; “remedying” means fixing.

Example Question #9 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

The __________ work of Isidore of Seville __________ all known topics of his era into a single text. It was named after his __________ methodology, which utilized grammar and history to explain the origins of the words listed in the tome.

Possible Answers:

tenacious . . . investigated . . . habitual

impressive . . . undergirded . . . research

intriguing . . . linked . . . philological

classic . . . recounted . . . questionable

exhaustive . . . collated . . . etymological 

Correct answer:

exhaustive . . . collated . . . etymological 

Explanation:

The final blank of this sentence is probably the best place to start with this question. The methodology described is that of using etymologies, which are the historical origins of a given word. (This was, in fact, the method followed by Isidore of Seville in his aptly named Etymologiae.) For the second blank, notice that the sentence says that the various topics were gathered brought "into a single text." The word that most quickly comes to mind is "gathered." While this is not an option, "collated" is, for it means to collect or gather together. It literally comes from the roots "col-," meaning with or together, and "-late," which here means to bring. (There is an etymology for you, too!) Such a work likely is comprehensive or, as is an option here, "exhaustive."

Example Question #10 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

Although the stadium had been filled with a(n) __________ of voices and sounds, it was now stilled to a(n) __________. The people stood with mouths silent and __________ as the lightning struck multiple times on the field.

Possible Answers:

mixture . . . mumble . . . kinetic

blather . . . whisper . . . teeming

crowd . . . din . . . amazed

elation . . . murmur . . . horrified

cacophony . . . hush . . . agape

Correct answer:

cacophony . . . hush . . . agape

Explanation:

This whole sentence indicates that the stadium was filled with sound but then became "silent." It is key to note this word, for the stadium did not merely become quiet. Thus, options like "whisper," "murmur," and "mumble" are not acceptable for our purposes. If the people's mouths were silent, they were either closed or open without making a sound. To be "agape" is to be hanging open, often in amazement. This works well. To be "stilled to a hush" means to be brought to absolute silence. Finally, a "cacophony" is a loud and unpleasant mixture of sounds—a situation which seems to be well described regarding the initial state of the stadium.

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