SAT Critical Reading : Verbs in One-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

During World War One, a doctor had to be removed from the frontline because the sight of so much blood made him __________.

Possible Answers:

jubilant

cantankerous

altruistic

enigmatic

swoon

Correct answer:

swoon

Explanation:

From the context of the question you know that the sight of blood caused a certain reaction in the Doctor, you also know that this reaction caused him to be removed from somewhere (the frontline) where he was likely to see a lot of blood; therefore it must have been something that hindered his abilities. Altruistic means generous or charitable, and does not fit. Enigmatic means mysterious, and jubilant means happy. You can rule out those two words. Cantankerous means easily angered and could possibly fit in this sentence, but swoon is the best answer as it means to faint. Fainting is a more plausible reaction to the sight of so much blood.

Example Question #1 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

The effect of the Great Depression was __________ by the policies of President Roosevelt; many millions of Americans rose out of poverty during his presidency.

Possible Answers:

conveyed

received

conceived

tempered

dramatized

Correct answer:

tempered

Explanation:

From the context of the sentence you know that many millions of Americans had their situations improved by the policies of President Roosevelt. You can therefore infer that the effect of the Great Depression must have been lessened or made more manageable by the policies of Roosevelt. Of the five correct answers tempered is the most correct. Tempered, in this usage, means made more moderate and measured. Conceived means imagined; dramatized means exaggerated; received means generally accepted; conveyed refers to the act of getting a point across.

Example Question #2 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Sir Edmund Hillary was __________ throughout the world after he became the first white man to successfully climb Mount Everest.

Possible Answers:

castigated 

lauded

berated 

condemned 

despised

Correct answer:

lauded

Explanation:

The context of the sentence, as well as a very small amount of critical thinking, suggests that Sir Edmund Hillary would be praised for his accomplishment. The correct answer is therefore “lauded” which means praised or celebrated. Despised, condemned, castigated and berated are all very close in meaning and opposite in meaning to praised.

Example Question #3 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

The Era of Good Feelings was __________ in the United States after the Presidency of James Monroe; ten years of political calm came to an end.

Possible Answers:

inculcated

futile 

histrionic

exacerbated

terminated

Correct answer:

terminated

Explanation:

From the context of the second clause you know that the blank in the first clause must describe how the Era of Good Feelings had come to an end. Exacerbated means exaggerated; histrionic means overdramatic in reaction or behavior; futile means pointless; inculcated means to impress something on somebody. The only answer choice that describes something coming to an end is terminated.

Example Question #5 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

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

After years of letting himself be overpowered by his raging emotions, Oswald at long last learned the means by which he was able to __________ these unsettling aspects of his personality.

Possible Answers:

mask

acclaim

appreciate

subdue

display

Correct answer:

subdue

Explanation:

The opposition implied in our sentence is that of passing from being overpowered to overpowering or controlling. While perhaps “mask” would seem to fit this usage, it implies that one has not conquered these aspects fully; however, if one “subdues” something, he or she overcomes it. The word comes from the prefix “sub-” being added to the base that is derived from the Latin for to lead (“ducere”). If one subdues something, he or she draws it down or carries something off from one place to another. This is related to many other words such as “conduct,” “educe,” and “produce.”

Example Question #6 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

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

The dense print and the impenetrable legal jargon __________ the document's message; Suzy didn't immediately understand that the family would have to move once again.

Possible Answers:

objectified

obfuscated

bolstered

contradicted

maintained

Correct answer:

obfuscated

Explanation:

"Obfuscated" is correct because "obfuscate" means confuse or deliberately make something difficult to understand. It is related to "obscure," a word you may have come across more often. Suzy doesn't immediately understand what the document is saying because the dense print and legal jargon is confusing, and therefore "obscuring," the message.

Example Question #4 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

The politicians debated offering aid packages to __________ the declining financial situation.

Possible Answers:

augment

moderate

ameliorate

castigate

complicate

Correct answer:

ameliorate

Explanation:

Ameliorate means to improve or make more bearable. We can hope that the aim of the politicians is to do something positive, combating the negative financial situation. While the aid packages may in fact only complicate or augment (increase) the situation, that is not likely the goal of the politicians' debates.

Example Question #8 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

After finishing a hard day's work, Jo was able to __________ in long, hot bubble bath.

Possible Answers:

repudiate

vandalize

situate

luxuriate

legalize

Correct answer:

luxuriate

Explanation:

Luxuriate means to indulge oneself. It is similar to luxury, and a long, hot bath is a luxury.

Example Question #5 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

The aspiring politican __________ the past presidents and tried to read as much about them as possible in order to follow in their footsteps.

Possible Answers:

emulated

discredited

disdained

vindicated

revered 

Correct answer:

emulated

Explanation:

Since the aspiring politician wants to follow in the presidents' footsteps, the best choice is "emulate," as this means to match or surpass a person, typically by imitation.

Example Question #12 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

They tried pocket dictionaries, pointing, and drawing pictures, but they eventually gave up, realizing that they were not going to __________ the language barrier that easily.

Possible Answers:

ameliorate

vanquish

prosecute

surmount

assuage

Correct answer:

surmount

Explanation:

Looking at the blank, we can tell that we need a word that means something like “overcome.” The best answer, therefore, is “surmount.” “Vanquish” is similar, but it is usually used in the sense of defeating an enemy rather than overcoming an obstacle.

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