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 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

In secrecy, Peter __________ to __________ the enemy combatant, though he was ultimately unsuccessful in capturing the soldier; therefore, he had to __________ his plans and prepare for a new outing against his foe.

Possible Answers:

planned . . . annihilate . . . reiterate

attempted . . . ambush . . . recalibrate

undertook . . . slaughter . . . complete

scrambled . . . mull . . . formulate

succeeded . . . interrogate . . . banish

Correct answer:

attempted . . . ambush . . . recalibrate

Explanation:

Since Peter was unsuccessful, we cannot say that he succeeded in his initial plans. For this reason, the wrong answer that includes "planned . . . annihilate" is somewhat tempting, for "planned" does not indicate that he succeeded; however, it is most likely that Peter altered his plans after the lack of success. Therefore, the option containing "recalibrate" (meaning readjust) is the best. The first two words—"attempted . . . ambush"—likewise work well.

Example Question #1 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

After __________ the document, the worker took the document to the secretary, hoping that it would be __________ before anyone even __________ that it could be fraudulent.

Possible Answers:

reproducing . . . signed . . . foresaw

copying . . . enunciated . . . generated

forging . . . validated . . . suspected

insulating . . . belittled . . . oversaw

pilfering . . . cashed . . . threatened

Correct answer:

forging . . . validated . . . suspected

Explanation:

Probably the best clue for beginning to unravel this sentence is the word "fraudulent." This indicates that the document is not an honest or true one. Thus, we can guess that the document was likely forged or fabricated. This lends a lot of weight to the option "forging" in contrast to the mere "copying" or "reproducing." Indeed, it does not make much sense to say that it is pilfered—for a stolen document is not necessarily fraudulent. The sentence implies that the worker hopes that people will believe that it is a true document before they even have a chance to notice its fraudulent nature. To "validate" a document is to pronounce it to be true to "proper form." He would want to do this before any suspicion arose regarding it.

Example Question #51 : Parts Of Speech In Three Blank Texts

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

As the pressure __________ in the plane, the hull suddenly began to __________, for the air pressure outside of the aircraft was __________ increasingly damaging forces on its body.

Possible Answers:

diminished . . . implode . . . exerting

billowed . . . crack . . . invading

wavered . . . crinkle . . . extending

leaked . . . beguile . . . buoying

increased . . . explode . . . forcing

Correct answer:

diminished . . . implode . . . exerting

Explanation:

The end of the sentence implies that the air pressure outside of the plane is causing damage on the body of the craft. This means that the pressure is higher outside of the vehicle than inside of it. Something that applies a force to another thing is said to "exert" that force. If such force is being applied inwardly up on the plane, its body is likely collapsing. This is best described among our options by the word "implode," which means "to collapse inward." This could only happen, of course, if the plane had less pressure, not more. Thus, the pressure must be decreasing—or, a good option given here, diminishing.

Example Question #2 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

Although he was unable to __________ the disastrous accident, the bystander was at least able to __________ its effects, bringing comfort to those who managed to __________ the devastation.

Possible Answers:

cajole . . . oversee . . . greet

aver . . . assuage . . . heal

prevent . . . fluctuate . . . ostend

avert . . . mitigate . . . survive 

relegate . . . demarcate . . . generate

Correct answer:

avert . . . mitigate . . . survive 

Explanation:

In two places, the accident is said to be rather terrible. This is indicated by the words "disastrous" and "the devastation." The bystander seems to have been able to help those who were still alive after the accident. Thus, the simplest answer for the last blank is "survived." Given that there were such horrible effects, it does not seem that he was able to completely overcome the disastrous effects; however, the sentence implies that he lessened them. The word "mitigate" means to diminish or to make milder. (The word comes from a Latin base meaning mild.) Finally, the sentence says that he was able to mitigate the disaster's effects; however, it seems that he could not entirely prevent the disaster itself. To "avert" something is to do just that. 

Example Question #2041 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

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

The doctors realized that they had to immediately __________ the growth of the tumor if they were going to __________ any semblance of relief for the patient who had been __________ with pain from the massive cluster of cells. 

Possible Answers:

invert . . . negotiate . . . disheartened

heal . . . ingratiate . . . impaired

oversee . . . reverse . . . tortured

check . . . provide . . . afflicted

mend . . . offer . . . desolated

Correct answer:

check . . . provide . . . afflicted

Explanation:

The first blank of this sentence indicates that the doctors would like to slow the growth of the tumor, perhaps stopping it. The most tempting wrong answer here is "invert," for you might interpret it as "reverse" (as in, making it shrink); however, this is a bit of a stretch, and the sentence hints that they are looking merely to reduce the pain for the time being, which would begin by stopping this growth. The verb "to check" can be used in this way, though we do not often think of this meaning immediately. The option "provide" is quite acceptable and requires very little explanation. Clearly, the patient as been suffering. To be "afflicted" means to experience suffering, which is a good option for the final blank.

Example Question #2 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

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

Well known for his procrastination, the young man __________ making the decision indefinitely. This greatly __________ his wife, who insisted that he needed to __________ the troublesome matter quickly. 

Possible Answers:

debilitated . . . enervated . . . overcome

regarded . . . humbled . . . emphasize

deferred . . . piqued . . . resolve

elapsed . . . beleaguered . . . recognize

considered . . . intrigued . . . cripple

Correct answer:

deferred . . . piqued . . . resolve

Explanation:

The clearest clue in this sentence is the description of the man as being known for procrastinating, meaning that he puts things off to the future. ("Procrastinate" comes from Latin roots meaning on behalf of / for ("pro-") tomorrow ("-cras").) When someone "defers" something, he or she puts it off for a later date. Clearly, the decision to be made is important (for it is related to a troublesome matter). The man's delay is likely annoying to his wife. To be "piqued" can mean either to be interested (e.g. "piqued his curiosity") or to be irritated. The latter is the case for this sentence. Finally, to overcome his wife's annoyance, it makes sense for the man to deal with the issue. Thus, he should "resolve" it, meaning that he should find a solution to the problem. 

Example Question #11 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

In the past, it was normal to __________ elders in a society, for such long-lived people had not only experienced many difficulties but also often had successfully __________ them to continue __________ for many years later, thus serving as exemplars of virtue and success for the broader community.

Possible Answers:

endorse . . . survived . . . operating

care for . . . outlasted . . . persisting

denigrate . . . faced . . . working

venerate . . . overcome . . . flourishing

accept . . . confronted . . . functioning

Correct answer:

venerate . . . overcome . . . flourishing

Explanation:

It is important to note that the elders in question were able to serve as examples of virtue and success. This means that they not only succeeded in overcoming their difficulties but likely managed to do very well in life after that. Hence, the best pair for the second and third blanks are "overcome" and "flourishing." This, of course, indicates that they were well respected. To "venerate" someone is to hold him or her in high esteem. Often related words are used in the context of religion, as when someone "venerates" a statue.

Example Question #51 : Parts Of Speech In Three Blank Texts

The enigmatic question __________ all of the students. As they sat trying to__________ its opaque meaning, they became increasingly frustrated as they failed in every attempt to __________ its meaning.

Possible Answers:

quizzed . . . scrutinize . . . recount

confounded . . . unravel . . . decrypt

tested . . . inquire . . . illustrate

assaulted . . . placate . . . illuminate

forestalled . . . investigate . . . elucidate

Correct answer:

confounded . . . unravel . . . decrypt

Explanation:

The word "enigmatic" describes something that is mysterious or difficult to understand or interpret. The students were unable to decipher its meaning. To "unravel" something can also mean to explain that thing. (This meaning of the word is clearly a metaphorical extension of its more literal meaning.) To "decrypt" is quite akin to "decipher," for both words deal with translating something out of an encoded form. (To "encrypt" a message is to encode it.) Finally, insofar as they could not solve this problem, they were defeated (so to speak) in finding their answer. To "confound" someone can mean to frustrate him or her. It can also mean to defeat that person, preventing him or her from reaching a given objective.

Example Question #81 : Three Blank Texts

It can take years to __________ oneself to a new culture. This is best done by __________ in the day-to-day life of the people as well as by carefully __________ one's own historical and social self-awareness.

Possible Answers:

assimilate . . . engaging . . . investigating

niggle . . . employing . . . litigating

placate . . . working . . . acclimating

feign . . . wending . . . observing

express . . . laboring . . . recounting

Correct answer:

assimilate . . . engaging . . . investigating

Explanation:

The implication in this sentence is that the people being considered are trying to enter into culture that is not their own. Thus, they are trying to become acclimated or accustomed to this new way of life. To become "assimilated" means both to understand something (e.g. to assimilate knowledge in a given subject) as well as to become similar to something else. In this latter sense, we can see how a person would become "assimilated" to the norms of a given foreign culture over time. The second sentence indicates that this is best done by taking part in day-to-day life as well as by investigating the self-awareness of the given culture. While one might think that "working" or "laboring" are particularly good answers, they are too specific. "Engaging" works best, as it means more broadly to take part or participate.

Example Question #12 : Three Verbs In Three Blank Texts

Certain individuals have such weakly developed personalities that they are unable to __________ themselves to certain, firm decisions. Such persons can endlessly __________ between potential options, never settling on one of the choices under consideration. This can ultimately create a situation in which all potential options completely __________.

Possible Answers:

fixate . . . oscillate . . . disappear

consign . . . vacillate . . . evaporate

reflect . . . inquire . . . disintegrate

attach . . . meander . . . precipitate

affix . . . hesitate . . . splinter

Correct answer:

consign . . . vacillate . . . evaporate

Explanation:

The major problem with the people mentioned in this sentence is that they are unable to give a firm and fixed commitment to the tasks they need to undertake. To "consign" oneself to something is to do just that—as opposed to making a less firm declaration of commitment. To "vacillate" means precisely to waver between options in the manner described in the sentence, so it is by far the easiest blank of the three to fill in. Finally, although we use "evaporate" to describe a physical process involving liquids and gasses, the term can also have the extended meaning of to disappear from existence entirely. This latter meaning is what is indicated in this sentence.

 

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