GRE Verbal : Parts of Speech in Three-Blank Texts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

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

A gardener must learn to __________ hedges and trees well, for such __________ will become quite ___________ without such paring.

Possible Answers:

prune . . . vegetation . . . overgrown

cut . . . largess . . . horrendous

belittle . . . property . . . testy

plow . . . existents . . . vexing

assay . . . tasks . . . indolent

Correct answer:

prune . . . vegetation . . . overgrown

Explanation:

The word "paring" provides our first and clearest clue. It means to trim the outside of something. This means that the gardener is doing such cutting. "Cut," however, is only partially synonymous. "Pruning" is the process of paring a plant. The second blank refers back to the hedges and trees, which can be called by the general term "vegetation." Finally, the third blank describes what will happen if such vegetation is not cut properly: it will become "overgrown."

Example Question #1 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

The toddler had a strong __________ to broccoli and thus could not be __________ by hiding the __________ vegetable in the much more agreeable mashed potatoes.

Possible Answers:

Polemic . . . Deceived . . . Unadulterated

Attraction . . . Hallowed . . . Venerable

Juxtaposition . . . Hollowed . . . Desirable

Affliction . . . Pondered . . . Appealing

Aversion . . . Duped . . . Revolting

Correct answer:

Aversion . . . Duped . . . Revolting

Explanation:

There are few relevant clues in the sentence to help you solve this problem, apart from the use of the phrase "more agreeable" towards the end. This clue suggests that broccoli must therefore be "less agreeable." Other than that, you have to solve by seeing which of the five answer choices fit best into the blanks together. "Aversion" means dislike for, repelled by;"duped" means tricked; and "revolting" means disgusting. If the toddler strongly dislikes broccoli, he is unlikely to be tricked by the disgusting vegetable being hidden in his mashed potatoes. To provide additional help, "affliction" means disease or problem; "pondered" means thought about; "appealing" means desirable, attractive; a "polemic" is a strong and passionate verbal attack; "deceived" means tricked; "unadulterated" means not altered, not changed; a "juxtaposition" is the comparison of two things; "hollowed" means made a hole through; "hallowed" means holy or sacred; "venerable" means old and respected

Example Question #31 : Text Completion

We were all drawn in by the twin babies' __________, wanting to __________ as many hugs as possible from the little __________ duo.

Possible Answers:

Charisma . . . Oblige . . . Abstemious

Hedonism . . . Contrive . . . Spurious

Probity . . . Inveigh . . . Malleable

Vivacity . . . Garner . . . Dynamic

Eloquence . . . Articulate . . . Devious

Correct answer:

Vivacity . . . Garner . . . Dynamic

Explanation:

Because the subjects of this sentence seem to want to hug the two little babies as much as possible it seems likely that the blanks will relate to this urge. “Vivacity” means attractive, lively and fun; “garner” means collect, gather; “dynamic” means energetic, exciting, enjoyable. To provide further help, “eloquence” is the ability to speak clearly and well; “articulate” means eloquent, able to express ideas clearly; “devious” means sneaky; “charisma” means charming and engaging in a way that inspires affection from others; “oblige” means force, make to do; “abstemious” means not indulging in things that you want to do that are dangerous or harmful; “probity” means honesty, being strongly moral; “inveigh” means denounce; “malleable” means bendable, flexible; “hedonism” is the pursuit of pleasure above everything else; “contrive” means cause a situation to arise using deceptive or false methods; “spurious” means fake.

Example Question #1 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

My neighbor's well-behaved, __________ son displayed his patience and __________ while he sat still amidst the chaos, refusing to wander and __________ about.

Possible Answers:

Irritable . . . Cunning . . . Garrison

Fleeting . . . Apathy . . . Emigrate

Stoic . . . Compliance . . . Ramble

Erudite . . . Gravitas . . . Curtail

Wizened . . . Ignominy . . . Appropriate

Correct answer:

Stoic . . . Compliance . . . Ramble

Explanation:

You are told that the neighbor's son is "well-behaved" and shows "patience." From this information it is reasonable to conclude that the son could be described as "stoic" meaning calm, not emotional, impassive. Further, if the son is demonstrating his patience it makes sense that he is also demonstrating "compliance" or obedience, by not running around and disrupting his parent. Finally, the last blank is clearly related to running around heedlessly, so the correct answer is "ramble." To provide additional help, "irritable" means easily annoyed; "garrison" refers to troops stationed in a fort to protect it; "erudite" means well-educated, scholarly; "gravitas" means dignity; "curtail" means reduce in impact; "fleeting" means not lasting very long; "emigrate" means move to a new country; "apathy" means not caring; "wizened" means ancient, very old; "ignominy" means shame, disgrace; "appropriate" (when used as a verb) means take something not belonging to you and refit it to fit your need

Example Question #1 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

I feel such a strong sense of __________ at the __________ fees charged by my local bank that I am thinking of __________ banking institutions altogether.

Possible Answers:

Zealotry . . . Miniscule . . . Remedying

Indulgence . . . Halcyon . . . Jettisoning

Mendacity . . . Cumbersome . . . Espousing

Credulity . . . Wanton . . . Delineating

Indignation . . . Exorbitant . . . Eschewing

Correct answer:

Indignation . . . Exorbitant . . . Eschewing

Explanation:

From context it is clear that the author of this sentence has strong feelings about banks; it is not clear what the nature of those feelings are, so you have to try to see which three words fit together logically. The correct answer is, therefore, "indignation" (anger at a perceived injustice, umbrage); "exorbiant" (excessively costly); "eschewing" (abstaining from). To provide additional help, “mendacity” means untruthfulness, dishonesty; “cumbersome” means heavy, a burden; “espousing” means declaring; “credulity” means a tendency to believe everything; “wanton” means random; “delineating” means making a list of; “indulgence” means allowing oneself to gratify a desire; “halcyon” means happy, idyllic, a period of time in the past that was carefree; “jettisoning” means getting rid of; “zealotry” is passion, uncompromising and intense belief in some dogma; “miniscule” means tiny; “remedying” means fixing.

Example Question #2 : Nouns, Verbs, And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Three Blank Texts

The __________ work of Isidore of Seville __________ all known topics of his era into a single text. It was named after his __________ methodology, which utilized grammar and history to explain the origins of the words listed in the tome.

Possible Answers:

intriguing . . . linked . . . philological

classic . . . recounted . . . questionable

impressive . . . undergirded . . . research

tenacious . . . investigated . . . habitual

exhaustive . . . collated . . . etymological 

Correct answer:

exhaustive . . . collated . . . etymological 

Explanation:

The final blank of this sentence is probably the best place to start with this question. The methodology described is that of using etymologies, which are the historical origins of a given word. (This was, in fact, the method followed by Isidore of Seville in his aptly named Etymologiae.) For the second blank, notice that the sentence says that the various topics were gathered brought "into a single text." The word that most quickly comes to mind is "gathered." While this is not an option, "collated" is, for it means to collect or gather together. It literally comes from the roots "col-," meaning with or together, and "-late," which here means to bring. (There is an etymology for you, too!) Such a work likely is comprehensive or, as is an option here, "exhaustive."

Example Question #31 : Text Completion

Although the stadium had been filled with a(n) __________ of voices and sounds, it was now stilled to a(n) __________. The people stood with mouths silent and __________ as the lightning struck multiple times on the field.

Possible Answers:

blather . . . whisper . . . teeming

cacophony . . . hush . . . agape

elation . . . murmur . . . horrified

crowd . . . din . . . amazed

mixture . . . mumble . . . kinetic

Correct answer:

cacophony . . . hush . . . agape

Explanation:

This whole sentence indicates that the stadium was filled with sound but then became "silent." It is key to note this word, for the stadium did not merely become quiet. Thus, options like "whisper," "murmur," and "mumble" are not acceptable for our purposes. If the people's mouths were silent, they were either closed or open without making a sound. To be "agape" is to be hanging open, often in amazement. This works well. To be "stilled to a hush" means to be brought to absolute silence. Finally, a "cacophony" is a loud and unpleasant mixture of sounds—a situation which seems to be well described regarding the initial state of the stadium.

Example Question #31 : Text Completion

The aged scholar was well known for his __________, having written __________ articles on many issues of cellular mutation from the most __________ of topics to large-scale, systemic investigations.

 

Possible Answers:

supremacy . . . numbing . . . applicable

influence . . . redundant . . . influential

erudition . . . innumerable . . . minute

brilliance . . . amazing . . . tedious

education . . . countless . . . intriguing

Correct answer:

erudition . . . innumerable . . . minute

Explanation:

The last blank of the sentence may be the simplest to fill in first. The scholar is known for writing on issues that are either large-scale or what seems to be contrasted to this, namely "small-scale." The word "minute" is not the same as the time measurement (i.e. minutes vs. hours). "Minute," in this context, means small. Thus, he wrote on minute, detailed topics as well as large-scale investigations. For such work, he was likely known for his vast learning and erudition. This does not mean he was known for his education or even his brilliance. "Erudition" describes having attained an impressive degree of learning and scholarship. Finally, we can guess that he has written many articles. (This is hinted at by the fact that he wrote "on many issues.") It is quite reasonable to describe these articles as being "innumerable."

Example Question #31 : Three Blank Texts

Often a person who is a mere __________ can appear to have a vast __________ of knowledge when he or she has a merely superficial grasp of __________ topics.

Possible Answers:

perjurer . . . assimilation . . . elementary

novice . . . collection . . . ordinary

greenhorn . . . repertoire . . . recurrent

charlatan . . . scholarship . . . trivial

dilettante . . . accumulation . . . sundry

Correct answer:

dilettante . . . accumulation . . . sundry

Explanation:

The options given for this question contain many tempting, but ultimately less correct, answers. A "novice" is someone who is new to a given field or position, as is a "greenhorn." A "charlatan" is someone who lies in claiming to have a given set of skills or knowledge. One could very easily convince oneself that these sets are correct; however, the best hint for the answer is the "superficial grasp." A "dilettante" is specifically a person who gathers together various forms of knowledge without any interest in going deeply into the details. We might call such a person a "dabbler." He or she would accumulate knowledge on a variety of topics. "Sundry" means of several kinds or, merely, various.

Example Question #32 : Three Blank Texts

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

Although many of its particular scientific facts are dated, the Physics of Aristotle retains a(n) ____________ worth for philosophical reflection. Its treatment of motion and change can help to ____________ any discussion as regards the general topics to be treated regarding the ____________ that we encounter in our everyday lives.

Possible Answers:

astonishing . . . alleviate . . . ontology

staggering . . . fortify . . . metaphysics

technical . . . temper . . . logic

pedagogical . . . elevate . . . philosophy

enduring . . . orient . . . mutability

Correct answer:

enduring . . . orient . . . mutability

Explanation:

Well, this is a somewhat strange sentence! Still, it is very approachable, so long as you pay attention to each clue. Note for the first blank that the sentence basically says that the Physics has a continuing worth, even though some of its facts are out of date. Thus, the worth endures or can be said to have an enduring worth. Now, for the second option, we are looking for something that expresses the idea of "giving a general direction." Whenever we get our "orientation", we get this general idea of the lay of the land. The word "orient" is derived from the Latin for east. Hence, getting your orientation could be understood as "finding East." This helps you to know your overall situation (indeed, all of the directions—North, South, East, and West). Finally, the last sentence really should only refer to something in the sentence.  It doesn't presuppose any philosophical knowledge on your part. Thus, if motion and change are the topics treated in the Physics, then it is safe to say that "mutability" is the best option for the third blank. This word is clearly related to words like "mutation" and "mutable," both of which deal with changes and alterations.

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