GRE Verbal : Three Verbs in Three-Blank Texts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

← Previous 1

Example Question #1 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

__________ by the prospect of having to do most of the group's work for the math project, Riley __________ when asked whether he wanted to join the group, gave in after they begged, and then __________ on his commitment the next day, having decided that he would rather work alone.

Possible Answers:

Inhibited . . . vindicated . . . digressed

Daunted . . . wavered . . . reneged

Deterred . . . oscillated . . . adulterated

Abated . . . refuted . . . disparaged

Dissuaded . . . appeased . . . piqued

Correct answer:

Daunted . . . wavered . . . reneged

Explanation:

For the first blank, we need a verb that means something like discouraged. Either "daunted," "deterred," or "dissuaded" could work. For the second blank, we need a verb that means something like hesitated; either "wavered" or "oscillated" could fit. For the last blank, we need a verb that conveys how Riley went back on his initial promise; between "reneged" and "adulterated," "reneged" is the better option, so the correct answer is "daunted . . . wavered . . . reneged."

Example Question #2 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

Matthew did not merely __________ the philosophical doctrine of logical positivism, he wholly __________ it, so much so that his friends believed his disgust __________ a kind of mental instability.

Possible Answers:

despise . . . detested . . . bemoaned

express . . . endorsed . . . indicated

dislike . . . abhorred . . . evinced

consider . . . reflected on . . . begged

question . . . interrogated . . . enlightened

Correct answer:

dislike . . . abhorred . . . evinced

Explanation:

Clearly, the relationship between the first two blanks is one of intensification. The word that goes in the first blank must be a weaker (but related) form of the word that goes in the second blank. Likewise, we can tell that Matthew's outlook is one of disgust. Therefore, the option that includes "dislike . . . abhorred" is the best for these first two blanks. (The option with "despise . . . detested" does not function for the intensification and hence is not acceptable.) The word "evinced" can mean bore evidence of, which is exactly what his disgust did—at least in his friends' eyes.

Example Question #3 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

The overall plan to capture the hill was __________ because of inclement weather, which would have greatly __________ the troops’ progress up the slope; such difficulties would have endangered their lives greatly while they were __________ to enemy view during the march.

Possible Answers:

surprising . . . slacked . . . taken

"aborted . . . impeded . . . exposed

mitigated . . . prolonged . . . suspect

daring . . . hindered . . . open

lauded . . . ameliorated . . . belittled

Correct answer:

"aborted . . . impeded . . . exposed

Explanation:

Clearly, the troops did not undertake their march. The sentence indicates this by the use of the past tense in several places ("would have greatly" and "such difficulties would have endangered"). Therefore, the best option is "aborted . . . impeded . . . exposed." To "abort" something is merely to stop it—which is what they did by not marching. To "impede" means to make difficult. This describes what would happen due to the difficult ("inclement") weather. Likewise, it does make sense that such impeding would leave the people exposed for some time. The only tempting wrong option for this is likely "open." Indeed, the whole set of answers "daring . . . hindered . . . open" is likely tempting, for this would be a tempting plot and would have been hindered.  However, it is clear that the plot was not undertaken, for the sentence states that it would have been tempting and would have been dangerous, but it was not undertaken.

Example Question #2 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

Although he was known for being quite energetic and organized, Thomas knew how to __________ in the garden. His friends were often quite amazed at his inability to __________ any tasks while among the flowers, for which he had such affection that he could barely __________ himself to productive activity.

Possible Answers:

produce . . . meander . . . misconstrue

mitigate . . . fulminate . . . exonerate

dither . . . complete . . . rouse

putter . . . exhume . . . interrogate

wander . . . reflect on . . . recount

Correct answer:

dither . . . complete . . . rouse

Explanation:

The best clue in this sentence is the opening conjunction "although." This establishes a contrast between Thomas' energetic nature and what seems to be a less-than-energetic approach to gardening. The three options that remain based on this are "dither," "putter," and "wander." This must be synonymous with the thought expressed as part of the second blank (or at least relatively synonymous). The friends marvel at the fact that he cannot do something. Not being able to complete something would indicate that Thomas does not do much work. To "dither" is to avoid making any decisive choices. Thus, the pair of "dither" and "complete" is excellent, given that a dithering person might not complete anything. While "rouse" often describes the process of making someone wake up, it can mean more generally to bring to activity out of inactivity.

Example Question #5 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

In secrecy, Peter __________ to __________ the enemy combatant, though he was ultimately unsuccessful in capturing the soldier; therefore, he had to __________ his plans and prepare for a new outing against his foe.

Possible Answers:

planned . . . annihilate . . . reiterate

scrambled . . . mull . . . formulate

undertook . . . slaughter . . . complete

succeeded . . . interrogate . . . banish

attempted . . . ambush . . . recalibrate

Correct answer:

attempted . . . ambush . . . recalibrate

Explanation:

Since Peter was unsuccessful, we cannot say that he succeeded in his initial plans. For this reason, the wrong answer that includes "planned . . . annihilate" is somewhat tempting, for "planned" does not indicate that he succeeded; however, it is most likely that Peter altered his plans after the lack of success. Therefore, the option containing "recalibrate" (meaning readjust) is the best. The first two words—"attempted . . . ambush"—likewise work well.

Example Question #3 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

After __________ the document, the worker took the document to the secretary, hoping that it would be __________ before anyone even __________ that it could be fraudulent.

Possible Answers:

reproducing . . . signed . . . foresaw

pilfering . . . cashed . . . threatened

insulating . . . belittled . . . oversaw

copying . . . enunciated . . . generated

forging . . . validated . . . suspected

Correct answer:

forging . . . validated . . . suspected

Explanation:

Probably the best clue for beginning to unravel this sentence is the word "fraudulent." This indicates that the document is not an honest or true one. Thus, we can guess that the document was likely forged or fabricated. This lends a lot of weight to the option "forging" in contrast to the mere "copying" or "reproducing." Indeed, it does not make much sense to say that it is pilfered—for a stolen document is not necessarily fraudulent. The sentence implies that the worker hopes that people will believe that it is a true document before they even have a chance to notice its fraudulent nature. To "validate" a document is to pronounce it to be true to "proper form." He would want to do this before any suspicion arose regarding it.

Example Question #7 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

As the pressure __________ in the plane, the hull suddenly began to __________, for the air pressure outside of the aircraft was __________ increasingly damaging forces on its body.

Possible Answers:

leaked . . . beguile . . . buoying

increased . . . explode . . . forcing

wavered . . . crinkle . . . extending

diminished . . . implode . . . exerting

billowed . . . crack . . . invading

Correct answer:

diminished . . . implode . . . exerting

Explanation:

The end of the sentence implies that the air pressure outside of the plane is causing damage on the body of the craft. This means that the pressure is higher outside of the vehicle than inside of it. Something that applies a force to another thing is said to "exert" that force. If such force is being applied inwardly up on the plane, its body is likely collapsing. This is best described among our options by the word "implode," which means "to collapse inward." This could only happen, of course, if the plane had less pressure, not more. Thus, the pressure must be decreasing—or, a good option given here, diminishing.

Example Question #4 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

Although he was unable to __________ the disastrous accident, the bystander was at least able to __________ its effects, bringing comfort to those who managed to __________ the devastation.

Possible Answers:

avert . . . mitigate . . . survive 

aver . . . assuage . . . heal

cajole . . . oversee . . . greet

prevent . . . fluctuate . . . ostend

relegate . . . demarcate . . . generate

Correct answer:

avert . . . mitigate . . . survive 

Explanation:

In two places, the accident is said to be rather terrible. This is indicated by the words "disastrous" and "the devastation." The bystander seems to have been able to help those who were still alive after the accident. Thus, the simplest answer for the last blank is "survived." Given that there were such horrible effects, it does not seem that he was able to completely overcome the disastrous effects; however, the sentence implies that he lessened them. The word "mitigate" means to diminish or to make milder. (The word comes from a Latin base meaning mild.) Finally, the sentence says that he was able to mitigate the disaster's effects; however, it seems that he could not entirely prevent the disaster itself. To "avert" something is to do just that. 

Example Question #5 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

The doctors realized that they had to immediately __________ the growth of the tumor if they were going to __________ any semblance of relief for the patient who had been __________ with pain from the massive cluster of cells. 

Possible Answers:

heal . . . ingratiate . . . impaired

oversee . . . reverse . . . tortured

mend . . . offer . . . desolated

check . . . provide . . . afflicted

invert . . . negotiate . . . disheartened

Correct answer:

check . . . provide . . . afflicted

Explanation:

The first blank of this sentence indicates that the doctors would like to slow the growth of the tumor, perhaps stopping it. The most tempting wrong answer here is "invert," for you might interpret it as "reverse" (as in, making it shrink); however, this is a bit of a stretch, and the sentence hints that they are looking merely to reduce the pain for the time being, which would begin by stopping this growth. The verb "to check" can be used in this way, though we do not often think of this meaning immediately. The option "provide" is quite acceptable and requires very little explanation. Clearly, the patient as been suffering. To be "afflicted" means to experience suffering, which is a good option for the final blank.

Example Question #6 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

Well known for his procrastination, the young man __________ making the decision indefinitely. This greatly __________ his wife, who insisted that he needed to __________ the troublesome matter quickly. 

Possible Answers:

deferred . . . piqued . . . resolve

debilitated . . . enervated . . . overcome

elapsed . . . beleaguered . . . recognize

regarded . . . humbled . . . emphasize

considered . . . intrigued . . . cripple

Correct answer:

deferred . . . piqued . . . resolve

Explanation:

The clearest clue in this sentence is the description of the man as being known for procrastinating, meaning that he puts things off to the future. ("Procrastinate" comes from Latin roots meaning on behalf of / for ("pro-") tomorrow ("-cras").) When someone "defers" something, he or she puts it off for a later date. Clearly, the decision to be made is important (for it is related to a troublesome matter). The man's delay is likely annoying to his wife. To be "piqued" can mean either to be interested (e.g. "piqued his curiosity") or to be irritated. The latter is the case for this sentence. Finally, to overcome his wife's annoyance, it makes sense for the man to deal with the issue. Thus, he should "resolve" it, meaning that he should find a solution to the problem. 

← Previous 1
Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: