GRE Verbal : Two Nouns 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 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

The priest's __________ was widely condemned by the more traditional __________.

Possible Answers:

debility . . . braggarts

brevity . . . sluggards

heresy . . . prelates

laxity . . . archetypes

orthodoxy . . . paragons

Correct answer:

heresy . . . prelates

Explanation:

The fact the subject is a "priest" is a good clue that the correct answers will relate in some way to religious offices and structures. "Heresy," an opinion against orthodoxy, and "prelates," religious authorities, fit the sentence best.

Example Question #2 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

Although a dictator, many people saw his rule as a welcome __________ from the __________ of the country's civil wars.

Possible Answers:

respite . . . anarchy

discordance . . . chaos

alibi . . . harmony

egress . . . euphony

restorative . . . lucidity

Correct answer:

respite . . . anarchy

Explanation:

The country has been suffering form civil wars that the "dictator" ended. This means "his rule" was a break, or "respite," from the lack of government authority, or "anarchy," of "the country's civil wars."

Example Question #3 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

Not at all a(an) __________, the prolific cockroach is a(an) __________ to bug phobics worldwide.

Possible Answers:

anomaly . . . anathema

normality . . . infatuation

standard . . . yearning

anomaly . . . infatuation

normality . . . anathema

Correct answer:

anomaly . . . anathema

Explanation:

Anomaly—something that is abnormal or incongruous

Anathema—a loathed or detested thing

Cockroaches are prolific around the world and a person who is afraid of bugs would not want them around.

Example Question #4 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

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

Becoming a professional classical pianist requires not only superior manual __________ but also an extreme level of musical __________ in interpreting the note phrases in each piece.

Possible Answers:

fluidity . . . effrontery

dexterity . . . virtuosity

dispatch . . . epistemology

probity . . . churlishness

vigor . . . hardiness

Correct answer:

dexterity . . . virtuosity

Explanation:

This sentence describes the prerequisites of being a classical pianist, making reference to something having to do with the musician's hands, and something to do with his or her approach to music. Of the five options, "probity" means honesty or fairness and is not used to describe hands. "Dispatch" means speed, but in the sense of traveling speed ("moving with great dispatch"), not in the sense of playing quickly.

"Vigor" means energy or liveliness and might work, but it is not used in conjunction with the word "manual," as it usually refers to the whole of the body and not a part.  

That leaves "dexterity" and "fluidity" as the two possible traits of a pianist's hands, both of which are possible. But "effrontery" is impudence, impertinence, or rudeness, none of which seem likely to describe how a musician interprets music, while "virtuosity" means have a high level of artistry or accomplishment; therefore "dexterity . . . virtuosity" is the correct answer. 

Example Question #5 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

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

The manager's __________ the waitresses in his restaurant was so pronounced that one customer accused him of being a(n) __________

Possible Answers:

antipathy toward . . . misogynist

aggrandizement of . . . tyro

support of . . . suffragist

deference to . . . philanthropist

castigation of . . . iconoclast

Correct answer:

antipathy toward . . . misogynist

Explanation:

We know that the words we're after will have negative connotations, since the customer "accuses" the manager of being something. Knowing this, we can eliminate the answer choices that include "support of," aggrandizement of," and "defference to."

We're then left with "castigation of" and "antipathy toward" as options for the first blank, and "iconoclast" and "misogynist" for the second. "Iconoclast" means a person who criticizes traditions and/or traditional beliefs, so it doesn't fit in the sentence, while "misogynist" (hater of women) works perfectly, since the manager specifically does not like the female waitstaff in his restaurant. The correct answer is thus "antipathy toward . . . misogynist."

Example Question #76 : Two Blank Texts

Antoine's gradual decision to embrace __________ seemed natural and inoffensive to him, but he became a __________ in his devoutly religious family.  

Possible Answers:

monogamy . . . oddity

philosophy . . . intellectual

fundamentalism . . . star

atheism . . . pariah

 

quiescence . . . devotee

Correct answer:

atheism . . . pariah

Explanation:

Antoine "embraced" something that he thought was harmless and inoffensive. The word "but" implies that the other people in the sentence, his family, did not agree. The description of the family as devoutly religious implies that this characteristic was central to their reason for not agreeing with Antoine and they regarded him negatively for doing this; therefore, the first word must be something that a devoutly religious family would be bothered by, and the second word must be a noun with a negative connotation. 

Looking at the first word possibilities, the only ones that might fit are "atheism" and "philosophy," both pursuits that might cause issues with a devoutly religious family. Fundamentalism and monogamy are traits that would likely be regarded positively, and quiescence just means to be quiet or still—something very neutral that would be unlikely to cause much of a reaction from a religious family one way or another. Looking at the second word, we have the choice of "pariah," or outcast, and "intellectual," or thinker. Embracing philosophy might cause one to become a thinker, and a devoutly religious family might be suspicious of that, but there isn't really a strong enough connotation of negativity with "intellectual." "Pariah," on the other hand, indicates that Antoine's family essentially rejected him, and since atheism is a lack of belief in God, it fits that a devout family would reject a member who "embraced" this.  

Example Question #6 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

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

Little did the populace know, when they overthrew the brutal dictator and ushered in the __________, that their eventual new leader would be little more than a charismatic __________ who ultimately proved a small improvement over the old regime. 

Possible Answers:

interregnum . . . demagogue

intermission . . . statesman

libertine . . . raconteur

encomium . . . augur

ellipsis . . . haberdasher

Correct answer:

interregnum . . . demagogue

Explanation:

An "interregnum" is a period between reigns or governments, while a "demogogue" is a person who achieves power through appeals to the mob. Most of the other choices are nonsensical in this sentence. "Intermission . . . statesman" might vaguely fit, but a statesman is generally regarded as a good leader, or at worst a neutral one, and an intermission is a break in time between performances or games, not governments. 

Example Question #7 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

After many years of living as a __________, Henry decided to find a fixed _________ and cease his years of wandering. 

Possible Answers:

raconteur . . . citizenship

carnie . . . location

vagabond . . . habitation

tourist . . . apartment

contractor . . . gradation

Correct answer:

vagabond . . . habitation

Explanation:

From the context of the sentence, we can tell that Harry was living as a wandering person. While tourisim could (in a broad sense) be considered "wandering about" to see things, this is really a far stretch. The word "vagabond," however, literally does mean "a person who wanders around," often having no means of employment. This would well describe Harry's state. After these years of wandering, he wants to find somewhere to "settle down." That is, he wants to find a "homeplace" (of sorts, at least). The word "habitation" means a living place, often implying fixity or stability.

Example Question #78 : Two Blank Texts

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

Whether alone in their houses or gathered in a great __________, the citizens of the state had very little knowledge about the details pertaining to the overwhelming __________ of global politics, with its many actors and numerous concerns.

Possible Answers:

vanguard . . . meetings

polity . . . discussions

legislature . . . corruption

multitude . . . complexity

quorum . . . dealings

Correct answer:

multitude . . . complexity

Explanation:

The first blank is best known by the implied contrast with "alone." In contrast to being alone, one can be gathered in a group. A "multitude" is a large number of people or things together. It is clearly related to "multiply" and "multiple." All of these words come from the Latin meaning "many." The answer for the second blank is best figured out by looking to the subordinate clause beginning "with its many." This clause describes global politics as having many actors (that is, people doing things) and numerous concerns. The implication is that it is "complex."

Example Question #79 : Two Blank Texts

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

Unfortunately, most people judge others based on __________; few look beyond external __________ when choosing friends.

Possible Answers:

qualities . . . abilities

appearances . . . features

integrity . . . character

opinions . . . facts

feelings . . . emotions

Correct answer:

appearances . . . features

Explanation:

Your clue words here are "unfortunately" and "external." "External" means located or seen on the outside or surface of something. You are looking for two synonyms which primarily have to do with externality. So, the answer choice that makes the most sense in the sentence's context is "appearances . . . features." The other words all deal with more internal traits.

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