ISEE Lower Level Verbal : Synonyms: Using Prefixes to Identify Synonyms

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Synonyms: Using Prefixes To Identify Synonyms

Each synonyms question is made up of a word in capital letters followed by five choices. Choose the one word that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

REJUVENATE:

Possible Answers:

resonate

require

restate

refresh

resume

Correct answer:

refresh

Explanation:

If you rejuvenate something such as wilting flowers, it means that you make them new again or refresh them.

Example Question #2 : Synonyms: Using Prefixes To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

ECSTATIC

Possible Answers:

Optimistic

Elated

Cheerful

Happy

Crazy

Correct answer:

Elated

Explanation:

The word "ecstatic" literally comes from root words meaning standing outside of oneself. The "ec-" at the beginning is like the "ex-" at the beginning of "exit."  Generally speaking, the "ex-" prefix means out of. The "-static" portion is related to "stand." The word "statue" has the same root in it—it is a "standing memorial" to someone or something.

When someone is "ecstatic," he or she is so joyful that he or she is "beside himself or herself." That folksy way of putting it means, "He or she is extremely joyful." Many of our options speak of being happy or cheerful. It might be tempting to pick these or, indeed, to pick "crazy"—an ecstatic person can act very crazily in his or her joy. However, the best description of ecstatic emotion is "overjoyed."  This is best expressed by the word "elated," which means very happy.

Example Question #3 : Synonyms: Using Prefixes To Identify Synonyms

Synonyms: Select the word whose meaning is closest to the word in capital letters.

EXOTIC

Possible Answers:

Elegant

Foreign

Nearby

Classy

Beautiful

Correct answer:

Foreign

Explanation:

The word "exotic" comes from Greek roots basically meaning foreign or from the outside. The prefix "ex-", meaning out of, might hint this to you. We often use "exotic" to describe things like islands in the Pacific and the many flowers that we find on such islands. However, this is really a secondary use of the term, for these plants are called exotic precisely because they are foreign and generally unknown. Therefore, do not be tricked by words like "elegant," "beautiful," and "classy," which might seem to be appropriate for "exotic" things. The best option is the simple "foreign," which describes the main and primary meaning of "exotic."

Example Question #4 : Synonyms: Using Prefixes To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

INEQUITY

Possible Answers:

Quality

Unfairness

Benefit

Relaxation

Equality

Correct answer:

Unfairness

Explanation:

Though you may not be familiar with this word, you've almost certainly seen the prefix "in-" many times. Just think of the words "incapable" (not capable), "insufficient" (not sufficient), or even "inexplicable" (not able to be explained). As these examples show, the addition of "in-" to a root word generally gives it an opposite meaning. Now, the only step left is to look at "-equity," a word that refers to equality or sameness. "Inequity," then, is inequality or "unfairness," which is the correct answer choice. "Equality" is the opposite of the choice we're looking for, while "benefit," "quality," and "relaxation" are not relevant.

Example Question #5 : Synonyms: Using Prefixes To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

POLYCHROMATIC

Possible Answers:

Livid

Multicolored

Malevolent

Porous

Rare

Correct answer:

Multicolored

Explanation:

Even if you have never seen the word "polychromatic," you can find the correct answer by breaking the word into parts. Notice the prefix, "poly-," that precedes "chromatic." "Poly-" is a Greek prefix that means "many." Have you ever heard of a "polygon," or a closed shape formed of many line segments? Or the lesser-known term "polyglot," referring to a speaker of many languages? It can also help to know that "chromatic" refers to color or hue. As for the incorrect answers, "rare" means unusual, "livid" means furiously angry, and "malevolent" describes someone who has evil or cruel intentions. Lastly, a "porous" object is one with many holes.

Example Question #6 : Synonyms: Using Prefixes To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

ENRAGE

Possible Answers:

Remedy 

Equate

Jest 

Infuriate 

Toss

Correct answer:

Infuriate 

Explanation:

In the word "enrage," the prefix "en-" means into and is derived from French. So, the word “enrage” means make angry. The answer choice closest in meaning to "enrage" is “infuriate.” Notice how the word “enrage” has the root "rage" in it and the word “infuriate” has the root "fury" in it; "rage" and "fury" both mean intense anger. To provide further help, “toss” means throw when used as a verb or a throw when used as a noun; “equate” means compare to as being equal; “jest” means joke when used as a noun or as a verb; and “remedy” means fix or make better when used as a verb, and something that fixes a problem when used as a noun.

Example Question #2 : Synonyms: Using Prefixes To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

EXTERIOR

Possible Answers:

Entirety

Opposition

Inside

Outside

Support

Correct answer:

Outside

Explanation:

The prefix "ex-" means outside of, so it makes sense that the word “exterior” means the outside of something. It is the opposite of “interior,” which means the inside of something. The "opposition" is the people who disagree with you or your group, taken as a whole.

Example Question #8 : Synonyms: Using Prefixes To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

ANTONYM

Possible Answers:

Antagonistic

Noun

Opposite

Synonym

Verb

Correct answer:

Opposite

Explanation:

An "antonym" is a word that has a meaning that is the opposite of another word. (This makes sense, given that the word "antonym" is derived from the Greek prefix "anti," which can mean opposite of, and "-onym," which is from the Greek for name.) Therefore, the synonym for this word would be "opposite." Both words mean the same thing, although "antonym" is used specifically for defining the meanings of words. All the other answer choices are not related to the concept of opposites and are therefore incorrect.

Example Question #3 : Synonyms: Using Prefixes To Identify Synonyms

Synonyms: Select the one word or phrase whose meaning is closest to the word in capital letters.

ENDANGER

Possible Answers:

Defend

Extinguish

Falsify

Imperil

Preserve

Correct answer:

Imperil

Explanation:

The word "endanger" is composed of two parts: "en-danger." The "en-" prefix is a form of the "in-" prefix that, unsurprisingly, means in or into. Therefore, the word "endanger" could be read as meaning to place into danger or a dangerous situation. The general idea of "endangering" someone or something is to put that thing at risk for being harmed or even killed. When we talk of "endangered species," these are species that are at a serious risk of being completely wiped out from existence. Extinction is their total death—none being left alive.

To endanger something is to put it at risk or into danger. This is not the same as "extinguishing" something. In fact, "extinguishing" something is more like making it to be extinct than endangering it. Certainly, "preserve" and "defend" cannot be correct, for they are opposites of "endanger." Therefore, "imperil" is the best option.  The word "imperil" itself has the "in-" prefix, though it is in the form "im-".  To "im-peril" something is to put it into danger. ("Peril" is a serious danger.  A "perilous" situation is one that is very dangerous.)

Example Question #4 : Synonyms: Using Prefixes To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

INSANE

Possible Answers:

Crazy

Loud

Cool

Exuberant

Intelligent

Correct answer:

Crazy

Explanation:

The prefix "in-" means not, and "sane" means mentally stable and healthy, so it makes sense that "insane" means not mentally stable and healthy, or "crazy." As for the other answer choices, “intelligent” means smart, and “exuberant” means lively and excited.

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