ISEE Lower Level Verbal : Style, Intensity, and Connotation in Phrase-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 #1 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In Phrase Based Sentence Completions

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

Already __________, the last thing Jessica wanted to do was take on more work.

Possible Answers:

friends with her daughter's first grade teacher

having relaxed all weekend

having an unusually slow week

available nearly all of the time

overwhelmed by multiple assignments

Correct answer:

overwhelmed by multiple assignments

Explanation:

The second half of this sentence is fairly strong; if taking on more work is the "last thing Jessica wanted to do," then we're looking for an answer that explains why she so strongly wants to avoid putting more on her plate. Immediately, we can eliminate the idea that she is friends with her daughter's teacher; that fact alone wouldn't deter Jessica from working more intensely. We can also assume that if she were "available nearly all of the time," "having an unusually slow week," or had "relaxed all weekend," she would have no reason to avoid extra work at all costs. The only answer left is "overwhelmed by multiple assignments," which would certainly explain why Jessica wouldn't want to add even more projects to her schedule.

Example Question #2 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In Phrase Based Sentence Completions

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

Sandra pulled out of her driveway slowly, making sure to __________.

Possible Answers:

look both ways on the street

buy a new laptop later that day

ignore the other cars around her

meet her brother for lunch downtown

hit the mailbox on the way out

Correct answer:

look both ways on the street

Explanation:

To properly complete this sentence, choose a completion that would be a reason to drive slowly out of a driveway. Meeting her brother for lunch downtown and buying a new laptop today are not relevant answers. Sandra would not drive slowly to “hit the mailbox on the way out” or “ignore other cars around her,” so the correct answer is that she would “look both ways on the street”.

Example Question #3 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In Phrase Based Sentence Completions

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

One of the most concerning issues regarding eating too much unhealthy food is __________.

Possible Answers:

being unable to pass a driving test

making new friends when going out to eat

always being late for appointments

having too much fun eating junk food

having heart problems later in life

Correct answer:

having heart problems later in life

Explanation:

Here, we are looking for “issues regarding eating too much unhealthy food,” meaning that the answer must be a negative side effect of eating unhealthy food. “Having too much fun eating junk food” and “making new friends when going out to eat” are not negative side effects. “Being unable to pass a driving test” and “always being late for appointments” are negative side effects, but not related to eating unhealthy food. Therefore, the correct answer is “having a heart problems later in life,” which is a possible negative side effect of eating unhealthy food.

Example Question #4 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In Phrase Based Sentence Completions

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

When her soda loses all of its carbonation, Bailey __________.

Possible Answers:

hugs her mother

enjoys the refreshing feeling of bubbles in her soda

tries to find her cowboy hat

congratulates it on a job well done

pours it out and gets a new drink

Correct answer:

pours it out and gets a new drink

Explanation:

Here, we are looking for a response to the first part of the sentence, in order to complete it properly. We need to decide what Bailey would do if her soda loses all of its “carbonation” (what makes soft drinks fizzy or bubbly). We can automatically knock out “enjoys the refreshing feeling of bubbles in her soda” as an answer, since it is the opposite of what has happened. Bailey would not congratulate the soda on a job well done, since losing carbonation is a negative characteristic, and the soda is an inanimate object. Hugging her mom and finding her cowboy hat are entirely unrelated actions to the soda losing carbonation. The correct answer is Bailey “pours it out and gets a new drink."

Example Question #5 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In Phrase Based Sentence Completions

Choose the phrase that best completes the following sentence.

In order to celebrate her brother’s exciting birthday properly, Becky __________.

Possible Answers:

surprised him with a big gift at dinner

gave him a high five and walked away

bought herself a new backpack

played soccer with her best friend

remembered to wash the dishes

Correct answer:

surprised him with a big gift at dinner

Explanation:

In the first part of the sentence, it is revealed that it is Becky’s brother’s birthday, so in order to celebrate it properly, Becky “surprised him with a big gift at dinner.” “Playing soccer with her best friend,” “bought herself a new backpack” and “remembered to wash the dishes” have nothing to do with celebrating a birthday. Because the birthday is described as “exciting,” Becky would celebrate properly by doing more than giving her brother “a high five and walking way.”

Example Question #6 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In Phrase Based Sentence Completions

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

Jessica always makes time for her friends because she likes them and __________.

Possible Answers:

enjoys spending time with them

gets sick of their petty arguments

thinks they are rude

is apathetic towards them

feels obligated to spend time with them

Correct answer:

enjoys spending time with them

Explanation:

This sentence insinuates a positive connotation by indicating that Jessica likes being with her friends. Thus, the blank should be occupied by a phrase that is also positive. The only positive phrase from the answer choices is: "enjoys the connection of being with them."

Example Question #7 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In Phrase Based Sentence Completions

Choose the phrase that best completes the following sentence.

The science teacher, who vehemently believed in the superiority of science above all other school subjects, had a __________ for mathematics.

Possible Answers:

strong preference

deep love

professional respect

general distaste

unsurpassed passion

Correct answer:

general distaste

Explanation:

Right away, you may have noticed that both the question and the answer choices are extremely emotional! Words like "vehement," "superiority," "love," and "passion" all imply strong feeling. Our task is simply to figure out what type of emotion is being conveyed. We know that the science teacher "vehemently," or very intensely, believes that science is the best school subject. She would certainly never prefer a different subject! Likewise, we can guess that she does not deeply love mathematics, and we certainly know her passion for math would not be "unsurpassed." We're left with only one potential answer. The science teacher must have a "general distaste," or dislike, for mathematics.

Example Question #8 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In Phrase Based Sentence Completions

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

There was no deadline for her homework so __________.

Possible Answers:

she asked for forgiveness 

she felt no need to hurry 

she asked her mother to call her teacher 

she worked hard throughout the night 

she threatened to drop out of school 

Correct answer:

she felt no need to hurry 

Explanation:

A "deadline" is a date by which something has to be finished. So, if the "deadline" for your homework is tomorrow you need to finish it by tomorrow. In this sentence the girl finds out there is no deadline for her homework so it makes sense that she would "feel no need to hurry (rush)." 

Example Question #9 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In Phrase Based Sentence Completions

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

__________, so the doctor was forced to bring an umbrella. 

Possible Answers:

It always poured with rain on the way to work 

It was his birthday tomorrow 

He had just gotten out of the swimming pool 

The night was dark and cold

He was wet and cold 

Correct answer:

It always poured with rain on the way to work 

Explanation:

In this sentence you are told that the doctor was "forced to bring an umbrella." The main reason why someone would bring an umbrella is to prevent them from getting wet. If the doctor was wet or had just gotten out of the pool and umbrella would not really make sense. 

Example Question #10 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In Phrase Based Sentence Completions

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

The team was __________ in the media after they lost the biggest game of their season with a particularly dreadful performance.

Possible Answers:

compromised

consolidated

exhibited

devised

crucified

Correct answer:

crucified

Explanation:

To begin with "dreadful" means terrible. The team lost their biggest game of the season and played terribly. So, it makes sense that they would be criticized severely or "crucified" by the media. To "crucify" means to criticize severely, to attack the reputation of. Additionally, "exhibited" means showed, displayed; "devised" means came up with (a plan); to "compromise" means to work together to find an agreement that is pleasing to both parties, to resolve a dispute by each side giving something up; "consolidated" means combined into one whole.

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