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 #21 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

The company was being sued for __________ when the producer found that he was being __________ into agreeing to lower fees.

Possible Answers:

knavery . . . disparaged

alacrity . . . swindled

chicanery . . . bamboozled

temerity . . . hoodwinked

misconduct . . . jibed

Correct answer:

chicanery . . . bamboozled

Explanation:

The first keyword is “sued.” Because it is a lawsuit, we know that the first blank must be a word associated with illegal or unethical behavior. The second blank is what was allegedly done to the producer and is strongly linked with the first. “Chicanery” means the use of tricks to deceive someone, and “bamboozle“ means to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. These form the correct answer.

Example Question #71 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

Although Ronald did have a(n) _______________ for drinking warm wine, he ________________ to have a glass of water, allowing his friend to have the only glass of the beverage that was available.

Possible Answers:

predilection . . . opting

distaste . . . elected

option  . . . rebuffed

liquidity . . . returned

penchant . . . rejected 

Correct answer:

predilection . . . opting

Explanation:

In this sentence, it seems that Ronald has a preference for warm wine. A "predilection" is such a preference. The word comes from Latin roots meaning to choose beforehand. It is related to the word “election,” though the roots are slightly distinct. Ronald’s preference for warm wine could be called a “predilection” as well as a “penchant,” but the word “opting” well describes his action of allowing his friend to have the warm wine. In contrast, the word “rejected” really is the opposite of what is needed!

Example Question #1573 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

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

After being told that his book had been rejected by the publisher, Thomas suffered from extreme ___________, unable to __________ any energy on trying to carry forward the project.

Possible Answers:

depression . . . foresee 

anticipation . . . stifle

lethargy . . . expend

mania . . . discover

anger . . . waste

Correct answer:

lethargy . . . expend

Explanation:

Likely, Thomas is depressed and angry at this news. Perhaps, even, he has become a bit manic, but we need to pay close attention to the clues given in the sentence. He is described as lacking energy after receiving the news. It would be difficult to read the final clause in any manner than that. Thus, “expend” is a good option, as it means to spend, usually “to spend completely.” Lacking energy in this manner, we can describe Thomas as being “lethargic.” The actual lack of energy is called “lethargy.”  Since this word best describes the state of someone who lacks energy, it is the best option among those provided here.

Example Question #71 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

After decades of mismanagement of expenses and income, the company was in quite a(n) ______________. Unless there were changes to its practices, it would likely need to _____________ its assets in order to pay off its debts.

Possible Answers:

indecency . . . procure

situation . . . inculcate

incarceration . . . abandon

tizzy . . . purchase

predicament . . . liquidate

Correct answer:

predicament . . . liquidate

Explanation:

The company is in a bad situation. It is not something illegal or even something that indecent. It is just one of those “sticky” situations that we find very difficult to extricate ourselves from. Whenever someone is in a “predicament,” he or she is in a difficult situation, often one that is a bit unpleasant. Clearly, this is the situation for the company here. Now, the company is going to have to raise money to get out of this situation. In non-technical terms, it will need to sell its assets in order to pay off the debts. Whenever we “liquidate” assets, we convert them into cash (usually by sale of some kind) in order to free up their value for other uses. Clearly, the word is related to “liquid” in the physical sense, for liquidated assets are able to “flow” more readily given that they are converted into cash (or a cash equivalent).

Example Question #22 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

Sebastian would not be swayed by the _____________ of his workers, refusing to allow such flattery to _____________ his decision making process.

Possible Answers:

blandishments . . . sway

encouragement . . . dissuade

advocacy . . . weaken

persuasion . . . delegitimize

affection . . . illicit

Correct answer:

blandishments . . . sway

Explanation:

It is easier to find the first blank for this sentence, as it is clearly a synonym to "flattery." "Blandishments" are acts of flattery, often used in an attempt to sway someone's opinion one way or the other. Hence, for the second blank, you are looking for something that means, in general, "sway" or "influence." The former is offered as an option, making it the best choice among those provided.

Example Question #71 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

Wishing to avoid any possible lawsuit, the lawyers counseled that the school should be ___________ with regard to its rules, not allowing mercy for any ___________ for fear of being accused of favoritism.

Possible Answers:

intrinsic . . . revolt

democratic . . . specificity

stringent . . . infraction

aware . . . dispute

deleterious . . . inculcation

Correct answer:

stringent . . . infraction

Explanation:

From the details provided in the sentence, we can tell that the lawyers want the school to be strict and not allow any possible mercy for breaking rules. Whenever something is "stringent," it is precise or strict. It is related not only to the word "strict" but also "restrict" and "astringent." The latter is something that causes flesh (or tissue in general) to become tighter. An "infraction" is a breaking of the rules. It is related to the Latin "frangere," meaning to break. This is clearly the root of our English word "fracture."

Example Question #72 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

The voters could easily ___________ the __________ of the political candidate, who would regularly use half-truths to appear to know more about the topic than he actually did.

Possible Answers:

interpret . . . comments

overturn . . . arrogance

detect . . . sophistry

slander . . . character

despise . . . viciousness

Correct answer:

detect . . . sophistry

Explanation:

Although we could say much about this politician, it is probably best to stay close to the sentence! It is said that he uses half-truths to appear to know more than he actually does know. This kind of false reasoning is called "sophistry." In ancient and medieval logic, there was much discussion of "sophistical reasoning." This is the kind of reasoning that appears to be true when it really is not. The implication is that the voters could "see through" this sophistry, meaning that they could easily detect it when it did happen.

Example Question #21 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

The young man’s anger ______________ all of his good intentions, causing him to fail to fulfill any of his edifying ____________.

Possible Answers:

interrogated . . . litigations

preempted . . . regalia

enflamed . . . inceptions

vitiated . . . aspirations 

retracted . . . reflections

Correct answer:

vitiated . . . aspirations 

Explanation:

The best clue in this sentence is the word "fail." The young man's anger apparently caused him to fail at achieving any of his goals or intentions. "Aspirations" are hopes or dreams. The word comes from the Latin roots for "hope," namely spes. This is a decent synonym for "intentions." Whenever something prevents or destroys the possibility of someone achieving something good, that person has his or her's good intentions "vitiated." This is what the young man's anger did.

Example Question #29 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

The statue was made with a brilliant ____________ that ____________ the viewer into thinking that it was larger than it actually was.

Possible Answers:

ratio . . . intrigued

artifice . . . deceived

coloration . . . reflected

schema . . . simulated

device . . . forced

Correct answer:

artifice . . . deceived

Explanation:

Clearly, the second blank is looking for something like trickedfooled, or deceived. The idea is that the statue was so crafted that it fooled the viewer into thinking that it was larger than it actually was. An "artifice" is a kind of crafting that involves the general intention to deceive. That is, it is not only about making an artifact but, instead, includes this further intention.

Example Question #24 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

Aaron was known for ___________ any topic. This was a trait that greatly annoyed any of his ___________, none of whom could abide his constant stream of objections regarding everything that they ever chose to discuss with him.

Possible Answers:

conversing about . . . colleagues

exploring . . . confidants

discussing . . . friends

examining . . . pedants

caviling at . . . interlocutors

Correct answer:

caviling at . . . interlocutors

Explanation:

It is likely tempting to choose several of the wrong options for the first blank in this sentence. The important thing to note is that Aaron constantly objects about topics that are discussed. Whenever someone "cavils at" a topic, he or she makes constant objections, often ones that are quite minute and unimportant. It comes from roots meaning "mockery," so you can think of such objections as a kind of mocking (by means of annoying and petty little questions).

As regards the people to whom he is talking, "interlocutors" is a fine word. It merely means those among whom one is talking! The "-locutor" portion of the word is from the Latin loquor meaning to speak. It is the base for many words, including "eloquent," "colloquial," and "colloquy."

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