GRE Verbal : Parts of Speech in Three-Blank Texts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #2071 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

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

The man’s behavior at dinner was __________ and utterly lacking in __________. The other guests were surprised to see such a seemingly refined woman with someone so __________.

Possible Answers:

endearing . . . impropriety . . . enchanting 

assiduous . . . probation . . . intransigent

boorish . . . decorum . . . uncouth

laconic . . . scruples . . . resolute

crotchety . . . mores . . . urbane

Correct answer:

boorish . . . decorum . . . uncouth

Explanation:

Based on the second sentence, we know that the man is not refined, as the guests are surprised that a refined woman would be with him. It then becomes clear that his behavior at dinner was probably some negative quality, and that he was lacking some thing or quality that he should have.

Since we know the first blank is some negative quality, "boorish" meaning bad-mannered, and "crotchety," meaning grumpy, both could work. "Endearing," meanign generating affection toward someone or something, "assiduous," meaning diligent, and "laconic," meaning meaning saying very little, do not make sense. This leaves us with "boorish . . . decorum . . . uncouth" or "crotchety . . . mores . . . urbane." Moving to the second blank, it would make perfect sense that the man would be lacking "decorum," meaning propriety. It could also make sense that he might be lacking in "mores," meaning social customs

For the third blank, "uncouth," meaning crass, works perfectly as a counterpoint to "refined." "Urbane," meaning sophisticated, would not. As such, we are left with "boorish . . . decorum . . . uncouth."

Example Question #111 : Three Blank Texts

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

The __________ of the billionaire’s house was matched only by his __________. Many considered him to __________ generosity of spirit, and he was seen as a darling of the charity world.

Possible Answers:

grandeur . . . stinginess . . . revitalize

haughtiness . . . condescension . . . remunerate

lavishness . . . largesse . . . epitomize

veneer . . . clemency . . . flout 

magnanimity . . . ingénue . . . disparage

Correct answer:

lavishness . . . largesse . . . epitomize

Explanation:

Based on the fact that the billionaire is described as "a darling of the charity world," we can ascertain that the general tone of the sentence will probably be positive. 

For the first blank, "lavishness," meaning extravagance, and "grandeur," meaning splendor, both make sense as a description of the billionaire's house. "Veneer," meaning a thin exterior coating or false front, does not make sense at all. "Haughtiness," meaning arrogance, and "magnanimity," meaning generosity, could have some relevance given the sentence's subject matter, but do not make sense as a description of a house. This leaves us with a choice between "lavishness . . . largesse . . . epitomize" and "grandeur . . . stinginess . . . revitalize."

Characterizing the billionaire as having "largesse," meaning generosity in giving money, makes sense given the statement that he is a "darling of the charity world." However, "stinginess," meaning miserliness, clearly contrasts with this claim, and as such, does not work. At this point, we have narrowed down the correct answer by process of elimination; however, just to double check, we can look to the third blank. Here we see that it would make sense that he would "epitomize generosity of spirit," as "epitomize" means exemplify. We now have the correct answer: "lavishness . . . largesse . . . epitomize."

Example Question #111 : Three Blank Texts

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

While many had forgotten the memorial __________ in the town, the care with which Martha __________ and ___________ the statue revealed its true beauty.

Possible Answers:

font . . . improved . . . aspersed. 

hove . . . revamped . . . maligned 

allotment . . . desecrated . . . sullied.

menagerie . . . watched . . . nurtured 

edifice . . . maintained . . . restored 

Correct answer:

edifice . . . maintained . . . restored 

Explanation:

"Edifice" can be defined as a structure, "maintained" as sustained, and "restored" as repaired. All of the other answers do not fit the context of the sentence when used together.

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