GRE Verbal : One-Blank Texts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #304 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

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

When Laura’s sharp retorts did not __________ the strange man’s advances, she gave him a fake number in order to finally get rid of him for good.

Possible Answers:

attenuate

amend

discourage

halt

paliate

Correct answer:

halt

Explanation:

From the sentence, you can deduce that Laura's ultimate goal with her retorts is to get rid of the strange man talking to her, but she doesn't succeed until she changes tactics. Therefore, "amend" (improve) does not fit the context. And while the other for words are meant to lessen and/or stop the advances to various extents—"attenuate" (diminish), "palliate" (soothe), "discourage" (persuade not to do something), and "halt" (stop)—it is only the word with the strongest connotation, "halt," that matches the notion of "getting rid of for good." Thus, "halt" is the correct answer.

Example Question #61 : Text Completion

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

The superstar’s __________ when asked about her relationship with her co-star made the media believe that she was lying about their relationship.

Possible Answers:

articulations

imitations

canards

prevarications

duplicities

Correct answer:

prevarications

Explanation:

The superstar's actions when questioned made the media believe that she lied. Therefore, "duplicities" (lies) doesn't fit, as it's too strong for what amounts to suspicion. "Imitations" (copies) also doesn't work on a definition basis. We're left with "canards" (rumors with no basis), "articulations" (things that are said), and "prevarications" (indirect answers to a question allowing one to avoid telling the truth).  

While "articulations" could work, as her words could be leading the media to believe she is lying, it is not nearly as specific as the other two words. And while "canards" could also work, as her spoken rumors could lead them to believe she's lying, it's not as specific as "prevarications," which is directly related to lines of questioning. Thus, "prevarications" is the correct answer.

Example Question #1 : Style, Intensity, And Connotation In One Blank Texts

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

The world was __________ when Harper Lee announced that she had written a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird; no one had expected the announcement since it had been over fifty years since she had published the original book.

Possible Answers:

bemused

flabbergasted

disbelieving

bewildered

wandering

Correct answer:

flabbergasted

Explanation:

A tried-and-true approach to text completion questions is the process of elimination approach: get rid of answer choices first due to their definitions, then due to their connotations and intensities. On many questions, just the first part of the process will suffice, though on some, like this one, you will have to consider connotations as well.

First, we can get rid of "wandering" (traveling aimlessly) because the word doesn't make much sense in context. Then, we're left with "flabbergasted," "bewildered," "bemused," and "disbelieving," which all express some level of shock and/or confusion, an emotion that makes sense if a book's sequel is announced fifty years after it was published.  

However, it is here that you must pay special attention to context clues. The sentence explicitly states that "no one expected" the sequel, but says nothing about anyone being confused, caught off guard, or the like. There is simply surprise. Thus, the words that imply confusion—"bewildered" and "bemused"—can be thrown out. The sentence also doesn't explicitly state anything about skepticism, which "disbelieving" implies, at the very least. Thus, we are left with "flabbergasted," which is the correct answer.

Example Question #21 : One Blank Texts

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

Many thought that Harry was merely happy about the news when, in fact, he was __________ to hear the report.

Possible Answers:

lax

joyous

elated

surprised

dispirited

Correct answer:

elated

Explanation:

This sentence indicates a kind of intensification. Many people seemed to think that Harry would merely be happy. The word "merely" provides the best indication that we want to describe him has being something more than "merely happy." A great intensifier for "happy" is "elated," which describes someone who is extremely happy.

Example Question #1 : Nouns In One Blank Texts

His __________ for statistics led him to be the natural choice for study partner to help prepare for finals. 

Possible Answers:

nescience

acumen

ineptness

obtuseness

Correct answer:

acumen

Explanation:

Acumen—keen insight; shrewness.

Example Question #1 : Parts Of Speech In One Blank Texts

Although once a prized racehorse, the recent accident will surely cause the young stallion to __________

Possible Answers:

prosper

avail

founder

flourish

Correct answer:

founder

Explanation:

Founder—to sink; to fail utterly.

Example Question #1 : Parts Of Speech In One Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted into the sentence, best completes the sentence.

The construction foreman required his workers to exercise caution around the worksite, as a recent __________ of workplace accidents left him wary of another incident.

Possible Answers:

affirmation

dearth

retaliation

lack

spate

Correct answer:

spate

Explanation:

"Spate" is the correct answer, as it means a group of events occurring one after another in a short amount of time. The construction site is implied to have had enough accidents to justify increased caution.

Example Question #61 : Text Completion

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted into the sentence, best completes the sentence.

The archeologists found arrowheads, coins, and many __________ of broken pottery during their excavation.

Possible Answers:

augurs

talismans

digressions

platitudes

shards

Correct answer:

shards

Explanation:

For this blank, we're looking for a noun that refers to pieces of broken pottery. "Shards," which means pieces of broken pottery, is the best answer.

Example Question #2 : Nouns In One Blank Texts

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted into the sentence, best completes the sentence.

Self confidence is a(n) __________ for success; those who lack it simply will not be successful.

Possible Answers:

requisite

quality

engagement

condition

cadence

Correct answer:

requisite

Explanation:

"Requisite" means that something is necessary and most accurately completes the sentence. The sentence indicates that self confidence is not merely helpful or sufficient for achieving success, but is essential. For that reason, "requisite" is a better answer than "condition" or "quality," the only other answers that could potentially complete the sentence.

Example Question #6 : Nouns In One Blank Texts

Many have thought the period from 400–1400 AD as one of a lone period of barbarism and                   . This view neglects the fact that this time period features two pivotal revivals of learning—the so-called "Carolingian Renaissance" and the "Renaissance of the 12th century."

Possible Answers:

indolence

bloodshed

stultification

depredation

stupor

Correct answer:

stultification

Explanation:

None of the answers to this question are ideal; however, the sense of the second sentence indicates that it is a question of "learning." Perhaps the most tempting words are "stupor" or "indolence." The first, however, deals with a state of being dazed, not necessarily lack of intellectual acumen. The latter indicates laziness. The closest word on the list would be "stultification," which can mean the process of making of one become stupid.

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