ISEE Upper Level Verbal : Synonyms: Prefixes from Latin

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

IMPOSE

Possible Answers:

Force

Rest

Overcome

Inquire

Place

Correct answer:

Force

Explanation:

For this word, there are two parts that are helpful in coming up with a general meaning of the word, though you must be careful. The “im-” prefix is really the form of “in,” though it changes here because of the way we pronounce “n” when it is followed by “p.” Sometimes “in” can also mean on when used as a prefix. The “-pose” is related to “position,” here meaning something like to place; therefore, we can think of “impose" as being to place upon. Now, to force someone to do something is to place something on them (or to “foist” it on them). It should be noted that “impose” does add an additional shade meaning implying that this imposing is also something of an infliction or a penalty.

Example Question #2 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

EXCLAIM

Possible Answers:

Interrupt

Berate

Opine

Shout

Swear

Correct answer:

Shout

Explanation:

The word “exclaim” literally means to shout out. The “ex-” prefix is likely familiar, being taken from the Latin for out or out of. The “-claim” portion is related to words like “clamor” and “proclaim.” It comes from the Latin for to call in the sense of to call out. When someone “exclaims” something, he or she shouts it out, often in anger or surprise. For instance, upon unexpectedly discovering an answer, one might exclaim, “Eureka!”

Example Question #8 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

INGRESS

Possible Answers:

Entryway

Private

Discredit

Insult

Interior

Correct answer:

Entryway

Explanation:

The word “ingress” is perhaps a bit strange looking, but you can infer its meaning from two relatively well known bases. The prefix “in-” merely means in or into. While the “-gress” may seem unknown, think of words like “progress” or “digress.” The “-gress” in these words comes from the Latin word for to step. The words “grade” and “gradual” both come from this same base. Literally speaking, an “ingress” is a “going in” or—more appropriate for our word choices—the means of going in. For this reason, it often means merely “door,” “entrance,” or “entryway.”

Example Question #3 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

Answer the following question by selecting the word that is most nearly the same in meaning as the word in capital letters.

PRESCIENCE

Possible Answers:

malediction

modicum

juxtaposition

omniscience

maelstrom

Correct answer:

omniscience

Explanation:

"Prescience" and "omniscience" both mean foresight. "Juxtaposition" means adjacency or positioning side-by-side. "Malediction" means curse or damnation. "Maelstrom" means agitation or chaos. "Modicum" means a bit or small amount.

Example Question #4 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

CONSTITUTION

Possible Answers:

health

argument

document

altercation

lawyer

Correct answer:

health

Explanation:

Likely, you think of the word “constitution” as it is used to describe the founding document of the United States or another country. The word is literally derived from a prefix meaning “with”—as found in “concur” as well as “community” (in the “com-” form of that prefix)—and the base coming from to stand or to set up. The constitution of something is the way that it has been established as a whole, that is, how it is composed. Because of this meaning, the term is at times used to describe the state of health that someone experiences. For instance, someone might say, “He did not have a strong constitution but, instead, was always getting sick.”

Example Question #5 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

REPOSE

Possible Answers:

Overthrow

Rest

Burial

Death

Question

Correct answer:

Rest

Explanation:

The word “repose” is related to words like “impose,” “depose,” and “suppose,” all of which have the base “-pose,” which is related to “position” or “place.” While “repose” does not mean to place back, as one would expect from the “re-” prefix, it does take on a stronger sense of “positioning” or “placement,” meaning rest. Used as a verb, it can mean to be resting or sitting in a single location. It likewise can be used figuratively sense of placing (for example) one’s trust in someone else. Sometimes, you will hear people speak of burying a body as placing that person in “final repose”—that is, in his or her “final resting place.”

Example Question #7 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

TRANSITION

Possible Answers:

Oversight

Termination

Dismissal

Regress

Alteration

Correct answer:

Alteration

Explanation:

The word “transition” is taken from two familiar components, though you might not see the second component at first sight. The prefix “trans-” means across. When someone “translates” something, he or she “carries” it from one language to another. Likewise, “transferring” is the sending or carrying of something “across from one person or place to another.” The “-ition” is related to the small “-it” in “exit.” It means to go, and “exit” means to go out. A “transition” is a going across from one place, quality, etc. to another. Better stated, it means a change from one thing to another. "Alteration" is thus the answer choice closest in meaning to "transition."

Example Question #6 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

PREDICT

Possible Answers:

Love

Foretell

Remark

Announce

Invoke

Correct answer:

Foretell

Explanation:

The word “predict” is very familiar, but let us be careful not to associate it with incorrect meanings (such as “announce” or even “invoke”).

The word is clearly composed of two parts—“pre-” and “-dict.” The former means before (in the temporal sense). The latter means to speak or say. It is related to many English words like “diction,” “dictation,” “valedictorian,” and “edict.”

To "predict" something is to state that something will happen in the future, often as the consequence of something else. To make a pop cultural reference, think of how many people “predict the outcome of the football game.” This means that they try to declare who will be the winner—before the competition even takes place. The word “foretell” merely comes from different roots—clearly meaning to tell before.

Example Question #7 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

ACQUIT

Possible Answers:

Ignore

Judge

Exonerate

Imprision

Sentence

Correct answer:

Exonerate

Explanation:

When someone is “acquitted” of an action, he or she is “forgiven” or set free from any sort of charges of that action. For instance, someone “acquitted of murder” is judged to be innocent of the crime. The word “exonerate” best matches this usage. It means to remove blame officially. Literally, it is derived from the Latin meaning to lift the burden from someone. The “-onerate” portion of the word means “burden,” while (as you likely know) “ex-” means out of or away from. The word is related to “onerous,” meaning burdensome or difficult.

Example Question #8 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

DEPOSE

Possible Answers:

inquire

contemn

hate

toss

overthrow

Correct answer:

overthrow

Explanation:

When someone is “deposed,” he or she is removed from a position or office in a forceful manner. For instance, one could say, “The insurgents deposed the sitting government and replaced it with their own officers.” The word comes from the prefix “de-,” meaning down from, and “-pose,” meaning to place (as related to “position”). Therefore, "depose" literally means to place down (from its original place). Think of “tearing someone down” from his or her throne. Of all the options, the word “overthrow” matches most closely. Note that a “deposition” might also mean the giving of evidence in court.

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