ISEE Lower Level Verbal : Conjunctions and Sentence Logic in Word-Based Sentence Completions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ISEE Lower Level Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #3 : Sentence Completions

Choose the word or phrase that best completes the following sentence.

The teacher generally wished for each day to be unique and exciting, but sometimes she welcomed a little bit of __________.

Possible Answers:

distinctiveness

variety

monotony

anticipation

amusement

Correct answer:

monotony

Explanation:

Let's divide this sentence into two parts. First, we're told that the teacher usually wanted her days to be "unique and exciting." However, the conjunction "but" lets us know that we're looking for the opposite. In other words, sometimes the teacher looks forward to days that are not unique or exciting. Of the answer choices, a little bit of "variety" is similar to uniqueness; "distinctiveness" can be eliminated for the same reason. Even "amusement" is too close in meaning to "excitement," so we are left with "monotony," a word that refers to repetition of tedious or boring tasks. So, the teacher generally wished for excitement, but occasionally looked forward to a dull or "monotonous" day.

Example Question #4 : Sentence Completions

Ariel refused to cheat on the test, as she believes that it is important to be ______ and honest. 

Possible Answers:

unusual

authentic

polite

straight

obvious

Correct answer:

authentic

Explanation:

Here, Ariel is being authentic by deciding not to cheat. To be authentic means to be true and honest to oneself. Cheating is the opposite of this. Therefore, authentic is the best answer choice. 

Example Question #3 : Sentence Completions

Choose the word or phrase that best completes the following sentence.

While Andrew is very good at sports, Mary is by contrast rather __________.

Possible Answers:

bookish

interesting

talented

unathletic

kind

Correct answer:

unathletic

Explanation:

In this sentence, the words, "by contrast" indicate that there will be a difference between the phrase preceding those words and the adjective that comes afterwards. The opposite of the phrase "good at sports" would be "bad at sports." Someone who is "unathletic," or not athletic, is most likely bad at sports. Therefore, "unathletic" is the correct answer.

Example Question #4 : Sentence Completions

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

I have a very strong __________ of spiders, so whenever one crawls into my room I have to go get my dad.

Possible Answers:

sorrow

phobia

demand

adoration

attraction

Correct answer:

phobia

Explanation:

From the context, it sounds like the person speaking is afraid of spiders. The word “phobia” means fear, so this is the correct answer. The word “adoration” means love; the word “sorrow” means great sadness; an “attraction” is something you want to go see, like the zoo; and a “demand” is a rude or forceful request for something.

Example Question #5 : Sentence Completions

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

The __________ colors in the painting's foreground contrasted with the dull, muted colors used in its background.

Possible Answers:

speckled

vivid

transparent

opaque

dark

Correct answer:

vivid

Explanation:

The sentence contrasts the word describing the colors used in the painting's foreground with the "dull, muted" colors used in its background. This means that we need to pick out a word that means the opposite of "dull" and "muted." "Opaque" and "transparent" each refer to how much light can pass through something—light can't pass through "opaque" objects at all, but lots of light can pass through "transparent" objects, like window panes; neither of these answers can be correct because they are not opposites of "dull" and "muted." Similarly, "speckled" refers to something spotted in appearance and so describes an arrangement of colors, not if they are the opposite of "dull." "Dark" colors can be "dull" and "muted" or rich and vibrant, so "dark" cannot be the correct answer either. This leaves us with the correct answer, "vivid," a word that means bright and lively in appearance. Colors that are "vivid" can be contrasted with colors that are "dull" and "muted."

Example Question #1 : Context Clues In Word Based Sentence Completions

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

Andrew was __________ when he heard that his brother had gotten in a fight at school; his brother was the most peaceful and nonviolent person he knew.

Possible Answers:

grumpy

anxious

speechless

outraged

afraid

Correct answer:

speechless

Explanation:

Given that Andrew's brother was "the most peaceful and nonviolent person he knew" and his brother got into a fight at school, it's most reasonable to infer that Andrew would be shocked by this news. "Speechless" means extremely shocked to the point where you can't say anything, so it is the best answer choice.

Example Question #2 : Context Clues In Word Based Sentence Completions

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

He is __________ ready on time, and as a result, his friends often start playing basketball without him.

Possible Answers:

seldom

always

invariably

frequently

reliably

Correct answer:

seldom

Explanation:

Because the subject’s friends usually start playing basketball without him, it is obvious that he must never or rarely be ready on time. The word “seldom” is the only answer choice that conveys that the subject of the sentence is rarely ready on time; all of the other answer choices emphasize how often he is ready on time, and so don't make sense in the sentence.

Example Question #3 : Context Clues In Word Based Sentence Completions

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

Unless Lisa __________ the required material, she will probably earn a good grade on the Spanish exam.

Possible Answers:

forgets

practices

studies

masters

completes

Correct answer:

forgets

Explanation:

To complete this sentence, it is important to note its first word, "unless." This conjunction has a similar meaning to the phrase except when. In other words, Lisa will probably get a good grade on the Spanish test, except when she has done something specific in relation to the required material. So, we're looking for the one verb that would lead Lisa to do poorly. If Lisa "masters" the material, she'll likely earn a good grade, not a poor one; the same goes for "practices" and "completes." Our answer, then, must be "forgets." If Lisa forgets the material, she won't earn that good score on the test.

Example Question #3 : Conjunctions And Sentence Logic In Word Based Sentence Completions

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

The apple was mushy from being overly __________, and its texture made it no longer appetizing.

Possible Answers:

large

red

picked

crunchy

ripe

Correct answer:

ripe

Explanation:

An apple becomes mushy when it is too mature. The words that best describes an apple being so old that its texture changes is the word "ripe," which means fully developed. The stage following ripeness is rottenness. 

Example Question #4 : Conjunctions And Sentence Logic In Word Based Sentence Completions

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

In order to __________ how much money I had, I had to get a job.

Possible Answers:

increase

spend

discover

protect

decrease

Correct answer:

increase

Explanation:

You get paid to do your job, so if the author had to get one, it makes sense that he would get more money. The answer is therefore “increase,” which means to go up in amount. It is the opposite of “decrease.” The prefix "in-" in this context means up and the prefix "de-" means down. "Inspire” means to get someone to do something by making them feel they want to do it.

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