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 #72 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

After years of being the object of public _____________, the criminal was ______________, proving to all the innocence that he had claimed regarding the vile crimes with which he had been charged.

Possible Answers:

scrutiny . . . excused

execration . . . exonerated

defamation . . . released

intrigue . . . litigated

detraction . . . manumitted

Correct answer:

execration . . . exonerated

Explanation:

The key thing to note is that the criminal in question was proven to be innocent. Therefore, he wasn't even merely excused. Instead, he was exculpated or exonerated of the crime. The word "exonerate" is taken from the prefix "ex-", meaning out of and a base taken from the Latin onus, meaning weight or burden. When a person is "exonerated," he or she has the burden of guilt removed from him or her. This word is also found in the English "onerous," meaning difficult. This man seems to have been very hated, for the crimes in question were vile. "Execration" is the act of hating in a profound manner. We can surmise that the man was hated in this manner, at least until he was exonerated.

Example Question #151 : Two Blank Texts

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

The company’s president _____________ all evidence of his ___________, but the illegal actions were eventually discovered by the investigators.

Possible Answers:

foisted . . . detraction

collated . . . trading

corroborated . . . diligence 

expunged . . . malfeasance

enervated . . . intentions

Correct answer:

expunged . . . malfeasance

Explanation:

In its most straightforward sense, the sentence is saying that the president removed all evidence of his illegal actions. To "expunge" something is to clean it out completely (or to erase all that is in it). Thus, to "expunge" evidence is to get rid of it all. "Malfeasance" is bad activity, generally done by someone who is a public figure. The "mal-" portion of the word comes from Latin roots meaning bad and is found in "malice" and "maladjusted."

Example Question #81 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

The small town was shocked when all of the flags on the street were ______________ by vandals who spit on them and covered them with numerous obscene _____________ that insulted the national government.

Possible Answers:

harmed . . . articulations

unfastened . . . utterances

desecrated . . . epithets

modulated . . . aphorisms

detained . . . descriptions

Correct answer:

desecrated . . . epithets

Explanation:

The general tone of this sentence indicates that the vandals were performing an insulting action by spitting on the flags. Apparently, they covered it with some sorts of obscene expressions. Although a word like "expression" could be a correct option, the word "epithet" is excellent, for it means an abusive term. (Note, however, that in some scenarios it can also merely indicate any old term that is uniquely appropriate for a given thing or person.) Since these words are so nasty, it is arguable that the vandals actions were a desecration of the flag. To "desecrate" something is to treat it with disrespect. It comes from the Latin roots "de-" meaning away from or down from and "-secrate" meaning holy. To desecrate something is to treat it in a way that "takes away its holiness," so to speak.

Example Question #83 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

Nobody could discover a direct ____________ between the two events, although many scientists continued to ____________ in the hopes of discovering some kind of relationship.

Possible Answers:

correspondence . . . labor

collocation . . . publish

communication . . . debate

dissemination . . . synthesize

indoctrination . . . analyze

Correct answer:

correspondence . . . labor

Explanation:

The general idea of the sentence is that nobody can find a direct relationship between the two events. That is, they could not ascertain how the correspond to each other. When two things correspond, they have a very close connection. You can think of them "responding to each other." For the second blank, all we can really say is that the scientists continued to work in hopes of discovering this relationship. Thus, the word "labor" is an excellent option for the second blank.

Example Question #84 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

The corporate overlords of today _______________ their employees because of their _______________, much in the same way feudal lords stepped on medieval serfs.

Possible Answers:

placate . . . want

belittle . . . aspersions

abase . . . destitution

venerate . . . privation

dishonor . . . guile

Correct answer:

abase . . . destitution

Explanation:

“Abase” means to hurt the pride of or degrade. “Destitution” means to be in utter poverty. "Placate," which means to stop from being angry, in conjunction with “want” seems to be a reasonable solution until we consider the part about how feudal lords “stepped on” medieval serfs. This leaves “abase . . . destitution” as the only correct answer.

Example Question #85 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

In a big relief to the government, the council has demanded that the plan be kept in ______________ until such time wherein the Planning Act is ________________ to grant space to the local governments to participate in the process.

Possible Answers:

dormancy . . . touted

equanimity . . . mended

ignominy . . . ameliorated

abeyance . . . amended

recess . . . denigrated

Correct answer:

abeyance . . . amended

Explanation:

“Equanimity” might seem like a word that would fit well with government planning, but it doesn’t work in this case since it refers to being balanced emotionally in times of stress. “Abeyance” means a temporary cease or halt to something. “Amended” means to alter by formal procedure. “Abeyance . . . amended” is the only correct answer.

Example Question #86 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

The majority of the population ________________ violence; it was only one vindictive dictator and his ________________ who had cried out for bloodshed throughout the years.

Possible Answers:

abominated . . . acolytes

abhorred . . . neophytes

relished . . . devotees

adored . . . disciples

despised . . . tyros

Correct answer:

abominated . . . acolytes

Explanation:

If the answer choice with “neophytes” looks tempting, remember that “neo-” means new. A “neophyte” is a beginner, new to a particular activity, which is the same definition for a “tyro.” An “acolyte,” on the other hand, is a follower. “Abominate” means to regard with loathing. “Abominated . . . acolytes” is the correct response.

Example Question #1591 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

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

The water used for ______________ runs into wells underneath the floor and is ______________ from there without issue.

Possible Answers:

cleansing . . . exacerbated

asperity . . . circulated

ablution . . . dispersed

purification . . . bolstered

expurgation . . . scattered 

Correct answer:

ablution . . . dispersed

Explanation:

“Expurgation” means to purge or cleanse moral offensiveness, so it doesn’t really apply here. From the answer choices, there is only one combination that fits. “Ablution” is a washing of oneself for hygienic or religious purposes. “Disperse” means to scatter. “Ablution . . . dispersed” is the correct answer.

Example Question #151 : Two Blank Texts

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

When homeless animals are afflicted, the general public ___________ to provide aid; however, this was not the case when a small community banded together to save a dog with a sizable ______________ on its neck.

Possible Answers:

demur . . . abscess

bustle . . . tumor

object . . . canard

vacillate . . . hebetude

hasten . . .injury

Correct answer:

demur . . . abscess

Explanation:

Since there is a sentence shift after the word “however,” we can assume that the general public normally don’t help afflicted animals who are homeless. “Demur” means to object or show reluctance. An “abscess” is an area of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue. Together, these form the correct answer.

Example Question #89 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

The former bank teller _____________ with a ______________ of cash, leaving some scratching their heads as to why the story made national headlines.

Possible Answers:

decamped . . . prodigious

absconded . . . modicum

bolted . . . astronomic

venerated . . . pittance

jettisoned . . . dab

Correct answer:

absconded . . . modicum

Explanation:

If tempted to pick “jettisoned,” know that its definition is cast aside or throw away. The key to selecting a word for the second blank is to read the entire sentence. If the former bank teller had left with an “astronomic” or “prodigious” amount of money, it would make sense that the story would be on national news. Since the act left people “scratching their heads,” the only correct answer must be “absconded . . . modicum.”

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