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 #61 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

In her youth, she had always thought of him as the __________ of a cartoon villain. But day by day, year after year, he continued to __________, surprising everyone around him.

Possible Answers:

 archetype . . . amend

quintessence . . . regress

apotheosis . . . deteriorate

antipode . . . develop

antithesis . . . meliorate

Correct answer:

 archetype . . . amend

Explanation:

“Meliorate” is the same as “ameliorate,” which means to make better. This word could be possible if its partner weren’t “antithesis,” meaning that he is the opposite of a cartoon villain. An “archetype” is a model example of something, similar to “apotheosis” or “quintessence.” To “amend” is to correct or improve; it can more specifically mean to reform oneself. “Archetype . . . amend” is the best choice.

Example Question #181 : Two Blank Texts

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

Although the peeling, gray paint gave the house a __________________ appearance from the outside, the cheerful decor inside the home created a warm and ____________________ aesthetic. 

Possible Answers:

laconic . . . lovely

gloomy . . . lugubrious

refulgent . . . pugnacious

stygian . . . sanguine

singular . . . jejune

Correct answer:

stygian . . . sanguine

Explanation:

The two blanks represent opposite words. ("Although" is the clue that the sentence changes direction in the middle). "Stygian" (meaning gloomy) and "sanguine" (cheerful) are the only words that match the meanings of the blanks. 

Example Question #63 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

Despite the embarrassing ______________, the manager was able to _____________ the annoyed customer by giving him an extra discount.

Possible Answers:

debacle . . . exacerbate

conundrum . . . remonstrate

emollient . . . soothe

puissance . . . assuage 

imbroglio . . . appease

Correct answer:

imbroglio . . . appease

Explanation:

The clues are "embarrassing" and "by giving him an extra discount." Only "imbroglio" (a difficult or embarrassing situation) and "appease" (to calm) fit the blanks. 

Example Question #61 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

When the background check revealed the ________________ of the job seeker's interview responses, the outraged manager immediately ____________________ the tentative offer she'd made; truthfulness was among the most important traits she looked for in an employee. 

Possible Answers:

character . . . fulminated

honesty . . . regretted

mendacity . . . rescinded 

variability . . . dissected

hostility . . . retracted

Correct answer:

mendacity . . . rescinded 

Explanation:

The contextual clues here come after the semicolon ("truthfulness was among....") and in the word "outraged." The manager's reaction suggests that the background check revealed the lack of truthfulness (mendacity) of the applicant's original responses, so the manager took back ("rescinded") her offer. 

Were you tricked into hostility/retracted? While "retracted" works, hostility is not supported in the given sentence. Be careful not to be swayed in the wrong direction by the word 'outraged' - that refers to the manager, not the applicant. The fact that truthfulness was important to the manager tells us that the background check must have revealed the applicant being dishonest.

Example Question #61 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

The scam artist regularly preyed on the elderly, but he had not anticipated Mrs. Garcia’s shrewd __________ in investment matters. In fact, she knew more about the topic than he, and she would not be __________ into purchasing any of his bogus stocks.

Possible Answers:

insight . . . impeded 

confusion . . . selected 

deference . . . negated

acumen . . . duped

parsimony . . . tricked

Correct answer:

acumen . . . duped

Explanation:

"Acumen" (keen understanding) and "duped" (tricked) best fit the meaning of the sentence.

Example Question #66 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

The Industrial Revolution, with its __________ of new technologies and the resulting factories built to produce them, caused cities to __________ overnight, as workers from around the country flocked to urban areas in droves.

Possible Answers:

stint . . . blunder

proliferation . . . burgeon

development . . . prevaricate

invention . . . shrink

paucity . . . prosper

Correct answer:

proliferation . . . burgeon

Explanation:

The key contextual clue is "flocked to urban areas in droves," suggesting that the cities grew (or "burgeoned"). Don't be tricked by words like "invention," which is calling on your desire to link it with the word "technologies," or "development," which is too vague.

Example Question #67 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

Veronica was able to overlook many of her co-worker’s flaws; however, she could not __________ the siphoning of company funds for personal use. She had already seen the damage caused by __________ in the past, and she would not allow greed to hurt the company now.

Possible Answers:

accept . . . malleability 

forgive . . . contrition 

condone . . . avarice

propose . . . permeability 

contradict . . . anarchy 

Correct answer:

condone . . . avarice

Explanation:

The word "however" indicates a shift in the sentence, but combined with the word "not," we know that the second blank will actually mirror something from the first part ("overlook"). "Condone" means to accept or overlook unacceptable behavior. The second clue is "greed"; we are looking for a synonym to this in the second blank: "avarice."

Example Question #62 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

As a child, David tried to __________ his big brother’s kind and generous nature; now as an adult, he continued to imitate the __________ still demonstrated by his sibling.

Possible Answers:

emulate . . . magnanimity 

effervesce . . . affability

copy . . . malevolence

reject . . . cupidity 

appease . . . digression 

Correct answer:

emulate . . . magnanimity 

Explanation:

The clue for the first blank is "continued to imitate" ("emulate"); the clue for the second blank is "kind and generous nature" ("magnanimity").

Example Question #63 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

That unemployment had risen precipitously in the city could not be _________________; one local business claimed that a single job opening had led to a(n) ___________________ of applications, so many, in fact, that they took down the job posting the same day it went up.

Possible Answers:

denied . . . dearth

rivaled . . . compendium

questioned . . . abeyance

refuted . . . inundation 

bargained . . . plethora

Correct answer:

refuted . . . inundation 

Explanation:

The main contextual clue here is that there were "so many" applications (an "inundation", or flood). That means that the fact that unemployment had risen could not be denied (or "refuted").

Example Question #70 : Nouns And Verbs In Two Blank Texts

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

She started when she felt him __________________ her leg since she thought the __________________ had already been administered.

Possible Answers:

maul . . . antiseptic

manhandle . . . opiate

caress . . . anodyne

grope . . . analgesic

palpate . . . anesthetic

Correct answer:

palpate . . . anesthetic

Explanation:

“Grope” is probably not the word we want as it carries the connotation of touching or handling for sexual pleasure. “Maul” means to injure badly, which doesn’t fit the context. “Palpate” means to examine by handling or pressing with your hands. An “anesthetic” causes a temporary loss of feeling. “Palpate . . . anesthetic” is the correct answer.

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