GRE Verbal : Context Clues in Two-Blank Texts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Conjunctions And Text Logic In Two Blank Texts

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

Jennifer’s ___________ demeanor was quite a contrast to that of her husband, who was very easily __________.

Possible Answers:

obstinate . . . industrious

lethargic . . . inquisitive

shy . . . tremulous

pacific . . . agitated

facetious . . . eloquent

Correct answer:

pacific . . . agitated

Explanation:

Clearly, based on the structure of this sentence, you are looking for a pair of contrasts. Perhaps the only tempting wrong option is "lethargic . . . inquisitive." A "lethargic" person is not very hard-working. He or she is likely lazy and slow moving. This seems to be quite the opposite of someone who is inquisitive, but the two words are not directly antonyms, so this is not the best option. Instead, the best option is "pacific . . . agitated." Whenever someone is "pacific," he or she is peaceful. This comes from the Latin pax, pacis, and is found in English words like pacifier and pacifist. (Even the Pacific Ocean was named after this idea of being peaceful!)

Example Question #32 : Conjunctions And Text Logic In Two Blank Texts

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

Darren's gleeful description of the ______________ details of the scandal was, to Marie, the _______________ of bad taste, especially they were at a family dinner.

Possible Answers:

astringent . . . apotheosis

acerbic . . . derision

mercurial . . . decorum

scurvy . . . anathema

salacious . . . apogee

Correct answer:

salacious . . . apogee

Explanation:

"Salacious" means lurid or bawdy, which Marie might find inappropriate for family dinner. An "apogee" is the highest point, so Darren's story would be the height of bad taste. The closest incorrect answer is "astringent" and "apotheosis," since "apotheosis" means the model example of something, but "astringent" doesn't fit in the first blank.

Example Question #31 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

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

Even though he had years of experience, the new manager's booming, ________________ voice made Malcolm feel like a ____________.

Possible Answers:

stentorian . . . tyro

tenuous . . . dilettante

presumptuous . . . anachronism

laconic . . . neophyte

profligate . . . spendthrift

Correct answer:

stentorian . . . tyro

Explanation:

"Stentorian" is a synonym for "booming" or deep and loud. A "tyro" is a novice. "Neophyte" and "dilettante" are both possibilities for the second blank, but neither "tenuous" nor "laconic" signify a booming voice.

Example Question #32 : Conjunctions And Text Logic In Two Blank Texts

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

Jamal's ________________ attitude often served him well in tough situations, but his parents worried that too much success would lead to ________________.

Possible Answers:

consequential . . . augury

glib . . . derision

obstreperous . . . exegesis

intrepid . . . hubris

insouciant . . .  celerity

Correct answer:

intrepid . . . hubris

Explanation:

"Intrepid" means courageous or adventurous, which would be useful in the face of challenges. "Hubris," though, is a feeling of overconfidence that could come from overcoming some challenges quickly. One could also be "glib" or "insouciant" in tough situations, but neither "celerity" nor "derision" fit for the second blank.

Example Question #32 : Two Blank Texts

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

The man was so filled with ______________ sadness that he _______________ his shirt to demonstrate his grief.

Possible Answers:

unfeigned . . . rent

stoic . . . exonerated

pristine . . . vituperated

torpid . . . supplanted

immutable . . . aggrandized

Correct answer:

unfeigned . . . rent

Explanation:

"Unfeigned" means real and not faked. "Rent" is the past tense of "rend," which means to tear (especially in the context of clothing). "Sadness" could also be related to "stoic," but in that case the grief would not be outwardly demonstrated, because to be "stoic" is to not betray emotion.

Example Question #34 : Conjunctions And Text Logic In Two Blank Texts

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

Using the _______________ cream caused the pain from Sharon's sunburn to _____________.

Possible Answers:

eclectic . . . burgeon

emollient . . . abate

insipid . . . occlude

impecunious . . . demur

dogmatic . . . ameliorate

Correct answer:

emollient . . . abate

Explanation:

If something is "emollient" it is soothing, and emollient is typically used to refer to things that sooth skin. To "abate" is to lessen intensity. "Ameliorate" has a similar meaning to abate, but is used differently. For "ameliorate" to work in this sentence, it would have to be "Using the emollient cream helped to ameliorate the pain from Sharon's sunburn."

Example Question #1221 : Text Completion

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

Maria had a(n) _________________ of __________________; she was always fighting prejudice and discrimination.

Possible Answers:

preference . . . insularity

predilection . . . favoritism

revulsion . . . egalitarianism

abhorrence . . . bigotry

Correct answer:

abhorrence . . . bigotry

Explanation:

Maria is against prejudice and discrimination, so "abhorrence" (a strong dislike) and "bigotry" (intolerance) is the best choice here. "Egalitarianism" is the belief that all people are equal, so it wouldn't make sense for Maria to dislike or to have a "revulsion" of it, while a "predilection" or "preference" would signify that Maria likes favoritism and insularity.

Example Question #32 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

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

Women were ___________________ by their __________________ until the ratification of the 19th Amendment gave them the right to vote.

Possible Answers:

ensnared . . . privileges

buoyed . . . disadvantage

hindered . . . suffrage

hampered . . . disenfranchisement

Correct answer:

hampered . . . disenfranchisement

Explanation:

"Disenfranchisement" signifies that a group lacks the right to vote, which "hampered" or held women back, and is the best answer here. "Suffrage" means the right to vote, which is the opposite of what the sentence refers to in the second blank. "Buoyed" implies that women were supported by their disadvantage while "ensnared" implies that "privileges" would not be beneficial- neither option makes sense.

Example Question #33 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

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

The forest fire was ___________________ by a smoldering cigarette-another reason to abstain from the ___________________ habit.

Possible Answers:

extinguished . . . deleterious

kindled . . . noxious

halted . . . detrimental

ignited . . . salubrious

Correct answer:

kindled . . . noxious

Explanation:

"Kindled" and "noxious" are the best choice here. It doesn't make sense for the fire to be stopped by a smoldering cigarette, so "halted" and "extinguished" can be eliminated. "Salubrious" signifies healthy, and if cigarette smoking was considered a healthy habit, there wouldn't be a reason to "abstain from" (stop) it.

Example Question #31 : Context Clues In Two Blank Texts

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

The __________________ operation required the agent to have an outward __________________ that didn't give away inner worries or anxieties.

Possible Answers:

clandestine . . . agitation

surreptitious . . . volubility

covert . . . placidity

undercover . . . candidness

Correct answer:

covert . . . placidity

Explanation:

"Covert" and "placidity" are the best answer here. "Clandestine," "surreptitious," and "undercover" are all synonyms of "covert," but "agitation," "volubility," and "candidness" would all give away inner worries and anxieties, unlike the calmness and stillness signified by "placidity."

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