GRE Verbal : Nouns and Verbs in Two-Blank Texts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

The students were instructed to __________ the building during the fire drill and line up on the lawn in orderly groups, but they exited the building as a large, noisy, confused crowd and the whole drill dissolved into a state of __________.

Possible Answers:

enter . . . disorder

provoke . . . anger

inter . . . sadness

vacate . . . tumult

exit . . . calm

Correct answer:

vacate . . . tumult

Explanation:

For the first blank, we need to pick out a word that means something like leave, because the sentence is describing what students do relative to a building during a fire drill. Either "vacate" (leave a location) or "exit" could be correct. For the second blank, we need to pick out a word that means something like chaos, so either "disorder" or "tumult" could be correct. Of the possible words that we've identified as potentially correct for each blank, only "vacate" and "tumult" appear in the same answer choice, so the correct answer is "vacate . . . tumult."

Example Question #1 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Sentences

The company stopped production for a few days to figure out what was going wrong in the robotic assembly line and thought they had fixed the issue, but the problems unfortunately began to ___________ soon after the __________, making it apparent that no solution had been found.

Possible Answers:

recur . . . hiatus

disappear . . . break

evaporate . . . job

vanish . . . tension

resurface . . . possibility

Correct answer:

recur . . . hiatus

Explanation:

For the first blank, we can infer that the problems began to happen again soon after the company started production again, so we need to pick out an answer choice that means something like "happen again" or "continue." Either "recur" ("occur again, periodically, or repeatedly") or "resurface" ("arise or become evident again") could be correct. For the second blank, we know that the company stopped production for a few days, so we can infer that we need to pick out a word that means something like "rest period." Either "hiatus" ("a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process") or "break" could be correct. Of the possible words that we've identified as potentially correct for each blank, only "recur" and "hiatus" appear in the same answer choice, so the correct answer is "recur . . . hiatus."

Example Question #61 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

Even though the far-right Greek politician __________ the influx of undocumented immigrants from Africa, he does not believe he is a __________.

Possible Answers:

abhors . . . hedonist

abhors . . . bigot

praises . . . hedonist

embraces . . . raconteur

embraces . . . hedonist

Correct answer:

abhors . . . bigot

Explanation:

In this sentence, what follows the dependent clause beginning with “Even though” must show that the Greek politician has a self-image that exists in spite of the dependent clause’s assertion. Only when the politician "abhors" (detests) the undocumented African immigrants AND does not believe himself to be a "bigot" (a prejudiced person) is that condition met.

Example Question #11 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

During the Protestant Reformation, __________ sought to __________ the Christian church of idolatry by destroying traditional religious images, including paintings and sculptures.

Possible Answers:

raconteurs . . . pare

dilettantes . . . redress

paragons . . . inculcate

demagogues . . . inveigle

iconoclasts . . . purge

Correct answer:

iconoclasts . . . purge

Explanation:

An "iconoclast" is a person who destroys religious imagery or attacks established beliefs. The word comes from Middle Greek and literally means "image-destroyer" (from "eikono," image, and "klan," to break). To "purge" means to cause a removal, often of a defiling or unwanted substance. Many individuals involved in the Protestant Reformation took issue with the use of religious icons, and in some cases caused their removal or destruction.

Example Question #62 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

The story of Sherlock Holmes is one of the most widely __________ stories in the Western cannon; many modern adaptions exist, often just slightly tweaked __________ of the classic format.

Possible Answers:

inspired . . . versions

replicated . . . editions

celebrated . . . elements

lambasted . . . derivatives

respected . . . edifices

Correct answer:

replicated . . . editions

Explanation:

For this question, let's start with the first blank. Based on the first clause of this sentence, both "respected" (admired) and "replicated" (copied) make sense. It is what comes after the semicolon that can help you answer this question, as it notes that "many adaptations exist" and they are "just slightly tweaked." Therefore, "replicated" is a more exact word to put in this blank, as the sentence explicitly states that many near-copies exist.  

The second blank counts on text logic, as well. The final clause of the sentence is dependent on the idea of "adaptations", to which the word that goes in the second blank needs to refer directly. Looking at the answer choices, the clear choice is "editions" (versions), and not "edifices" (buildings). This makes the correct answer "replicated . . . editions."

Example Question #62 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

Peter John Olivi sought to __________ his heretical teachings by writing in a cryptic manner that hid his real __________.

Possible Answers:

publicize . . . privations

obscure . . . intentions

announce . . . thoughts

deprive . . . doctrines

belittle . . . reflections

Correct answer:

obscure . . . intentions

Explanation:

The word "hid" implies that Peter John Olivi did not want his writings to be known for what they are. Therefore, he sought to hide his real meaning or to conceal it. The verb "to obscure" means just that—to conceal or attempt to hide. It comes from the Latin for "dark." When we use "obscure" as an adjective, it means difficult to understand. Such things are difficult because they are "shaded" from being seen in their full light. Peter looked conceal what he really intended to say. That is, for the second blank, he is hiding his real "intentions."

Example Question #132 : Two Blank Texts

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

It is always tempting to __________ over important figures, hoping to receive some great __________ from them by means of such flattery.

Possible Answers:

stumble . . . favor

mull . . . decision

dote . . . reward

rave . . . deliberation

fawn . . . boon

Correct answer:

fawn . . . boon

Explanation:

The best clue for this sentence is "such flattery." This indicates that the action described in the first blank is a kind of flattering action. This helps to eliminate the somewhat tempting option "dote," which means to be very fond of someone without making any critique of any flaws he or she might have. To "fawn," however, is precisely to show flattery in a very open way. One hopes, by such fawning, to gain favors. A "boon" is a helpful thing. Sometimes, we say something like, "The gift was such a great boon to the poor family." This means that it was a great help for them.

Example Question #1572 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

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

The seemingly inconsequential remark __________ a long, __________ debate over the place of philosophy in the new curriculum.

Possible Answers:

undergirded . . . lengthy

sparked . . . heated

introduced . . . disastrous

greeted . . . dejected

presaged . . . maximal

Correct answer:

sparked . . . heated

Explanation:

The remark in question seemed to be "inconsequential," meaning that it seemed to be unimportant; however, it seems to have started a very long and vigorous debate about the place of philosophy in the curriculum. The language at least implies such a contrast, especially hinting at the intensity of the debate in contrast to the seemingly unimportant remark. To start something like this is to "spark" it, as if one were to set a spark to begin a fire. A strong and opinionated debate is one that is "heated." This word might seem to be amusing in combination with "spark," but it is indeed correct!

Example Question #67 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

After years in __________, a hermit will often find himself quite surprised by the __________ that have occurred in the world to which he returns.

Possible Answers:

pacifism . . . conflicts

recollection . . . perfidies

prayer . . . altercations

reflection . . . fatuities

solitude . . . alterations

Correct answer:

solitude . . . alterations

Explanation:

This question primarily hinges on the word "hermit," which describes a person who lives in solitude. Often there are religious reasons for such actions, but this is not necessarily the case. The main idea of being a "hermit" is the notion of such a solitary existence. Therefore, a number of the wrong answers are incorrect because they offer too much additional information or specification. Hermits might be recollecting, pacifists, or given to reflection; however, their main characteristic is their solitude. Therefore, this is the best first answer. Upon return, they will be surprised to find the alterations that occurred in the world—i.e. how the world has changed.

Example Question #63 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

After very little __________, the group decided on the best plan for inquiring to the authorities about the new edifice that they carefully planned to __________.

Possible Answers:

planning . . . appropriate

projecting . . . enumerate

deliberation . . . erect

awareness . . . placate

reflection . . . elucidate

Correct answer:

deliberation . . . erect

Explanation:

The word "edifice" means "building." When we "edify" someone with our words, we "build them up." Clearly, this building is "new," and the group is planning to build it, so it is not yet built; therefore, it makes sense to say that the group is carefully planning to erect the building. That is, they are looking to build it—one of the meanings of the verb "to erect." Since the group "carefully" planned this work, it is not fair to say that they made their decision hastily without planning. Instead, it is much better say that they made it without much deliberation—that is, without much "back and forth" discussion. This does not mean that it was ill-planned but, instead, merely that there was little arguing or discussion concerning the matter.

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