GRE Verbal : GRE Verbal Reasoning

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

Critics gave the movie rave reviews, and the lead performance especially won their              .

Possible Answers:

plaudits, appraisal

plaudits, approbation

approbation, lethargy

tedium, appraisal

tedium, lamentation

Correct answer:

plaudits, approbation

Explanation:

We need synonyms for “praises”. The words which make sense are "plaudits" and "approbation." "Appraisal" sounds right, but this means an estimation or look-over, like a real estate appraisal.

Example Question #2 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

The equipment crew wanted to get the field ready for the big game, but the constant snow               their progress.

Possible Answers:

assisted, enfranchised

hampered, burgeoned

hampered, impeded

burgeoned, enfranchised

impeded, harangued

Correct answer:

hampered, impeded

Explanation:

The snow obviously slowed or hindered their progress, and “hampered” and “impeded” are synonyms for this. "Enfranchise" means to give voting rights, while "harangued" means gave a verbal attack.

Example Question #3 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

Our company needs to respond to complaints with more              if we want customers to be satisfied quickly enough that they will continue to come back.

Possible Answers:

celerity, swiftness

celerity, blasphemy

nuance, perpetuity

nuance, tenacity

blasphemy, tenacity

Correct answer:

celerity, swiftness

Explanation:

The customers need to be satisfied quickly, so this implies we need words associated with speed. “Celerity” and “swiftness” both mean haste. "Tenacity" and "nuance" might make sense, but do not have a synonym amongst the choices.

Example Question #4 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

Even the small amount of contaminant __________ the chemical enough that the technicians had to dump it.

Possible Answers:

capitulated, alloyed

shunned, eschewed

ameliorated, adulterated

alloyed, adulterated

ameliorated, shunned

Correct answer:

alloyed, adulterated

Explanation:

The contaminant obviously contaminated the chemical, making it less pure. Both "alloy" (as a verb, pronounced al-LOY) and "adulterate" mean this. "Ameliorate" means to make something better.

Example Question #5 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

The mayor was __________ for his speech, which nearly everyone agreed was inappropriate and offensive.

Possible Answers:

censured, lambasted

praised, malingered

malingered, riposted

lauded, praised

censured, lauded

Correct answer:

censured, lambasted

Explanation:

Since they did not like the speech, the people obviously harshly criticized the mayor. Synonyms for this are "censured" and "lambasted."

Example Question #6 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

The king had a good heart, but lacked courage. He was too __________ to take any risks that would have bettered the lives of his people.

Possible Answers:

astute, insipid

pusillanimous, timorous

timorous, genteel

insipid, frugal

astute, genteel

Correct answer:

pusillanimous, timorous

Explanation:

The context suggests that the king would better the lives of his people if he were not too afraid to take risks. “Pusillanimous” and “timorous” mean “cowardly”, so these make sense. “Frugal” or “insipid” (dull, boring) could make sense in context, but have no synonym in this list.

Example Question #7 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

When insulted, the man at the bar struck back verbally, but made it clear that he did not wish to __________ any physical violence.

Possible Answers:

reciprocate, instigate

unleash, retaliate

disseminate, foment

instigate, foment

reciprocate, disseminate

Correct answer:

instigate, foment

Explanation:

The man does not want to start any trouble, which would be to “instigate” and “foment." Both mean to start or cause something to happen. “Reciprocate” and “retaliate” could be synonyms, but they don't make sense since no physical violence has occurred yet.

Example Question #8 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

A local car dealer has received negative publicity over the last month because of fraud allegations from former customers. The car dealer recently claimed that all his cars have have been sold for their market value, a spurious statement that has angered former customers. The customers have suggested that a technically correct but elusive statement does not absolve the dealer of responsibility.

As used in the above passage, "spurious" most accurately means which of the following?

Possible Answers:

confused

false

deceitful

coercive

antagonistic

Correct answer:

deceitful

Explanation:

"Spurious" could be used to describe a misleading statement that is either false or deceitful. Since the statement in this passage was technically correct, "spurious" in this context more accurately means "deceitful" than "false."

Example Question #8 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

The political change in 1979 was not merely a change in power.  Instead, it was a cataclysmic shift, ushering in a new era through hostility. 

As used in the passage above, "cataclysmic" most accurately means which of the following?

Possible Answers:

politically destructive

political uprising

violent destruction

disorderly

disastrous

Correct answer:

political uprising

Explanation:

While several answers could fit, "political uprising" most accurately defines the word as it is used here.  "Cataclysmic" is generally used in the context of government and politics and that is the context here as well.  Further, "cataclysmic" indicates an uprising but not necessarily destruction or disaster.

Example Question #9 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

Certain dog breeds undoubtedly pose a greater danger than others.  Yet, dangerous dog breeds provide protection to their owners that less dangerous dogs could not provide.  Lawmakers are justified in restricting which dog breeds may be kept as pets, but they must not __________ ownership of dangerous dog breeds entirely.

Which of the following best completes the paragraph?

Possible Answers:

prohibit

contravene

permit

qualify

contain

Correct answer:

prohibit

Explanation:

"Prohibit" most logically completes the paragraph.  The passage makes the point that dangerous dogs provide the benefit of protection.  This answer accounts for that assertion.  

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