GRE Verbal : Two Nouns in Two-Blank Texts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

Lila abhorred the __________ of school; she was a __________ who wanted to experience the pleasures of the real world.

Possible Answers:

provocation . . . crepuscular

banality . . . monogamist

malaise . . . lachrymose

disinterest . . . stoic

tedium . . . hedonist

Correct answer:

tedium . . . hedonist

Explanation:

This sentence is contrasting "abhorr[ing] (hating) school’" with "the pleasures of the real world.” In addition, the structure of the sentence indicates that both words should be nouns. "Tedium" refers to boredom while a "hedonist" is a pleasure-seeker. This is the only pair of words that satisfies the context of this sentence.

Example Question #11 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

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

Due to low prices on a __________ of commodities, Black Friday attracts huge crowds every year; unfortunately, due to the inevitable __________ of thousands of people in a single store, several people are trampled every year.

Possible Answers:

paragon . . . catalyst

selection . . . tranquility

menagerie . . . fervor

plethora . . . entropy

scapegoat . . . euphoria

Correct answer:

plethora . . . entropy

Explanation:

A good strategy for some questions is to use the process of elimination to figure out what answer choices could work. You can see what the sentence is going for, paraphrase it, and choose answers accordingly. For the first blank, look at the first half of the sentence: low prices on some type of things bring lots of people on Black Friday, so it would make sense for the word that goes in the first blank to be a synonym for "lots of" which "plethora" (large amount) is, but "paragon" (epitome or most positive example) does not at all.

For the second blank, look at the second half of the sentence. There, people are trampled due to the inevitable something of thousands of people in one store. Something like "disaster" may fit in the blank. Of the answer choices, "catalyst" (spark or stimulus) and "entropy" (chaotic disorder), it is "entropy" that makes the most sense, as the sentence is implying that the disorder of the crowds causes several deaths. This means that the correct answer is "plethora . . . entropy."

Example Question #12 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

In contrast with the stark __________ of the chapel, the cathedral was a florid building with numerous __________ throughout it.

Possible Answers:

nobility . . . arms

impecuniousness . . . rafters

walls . . . plants

simplicity . . . ornaments

brutality . . . desolations

Correct answer:

simplicity . . . ornaments

Explanation:

The contrast here is between a building that is "stark," meaning very brutal (and, by implication, plain), and one that is "florid," meaning very complex. Thus, the first building likely has a stark "simplicity" that is contrasted to the florid "ornateness" of the other building. Such a building has "ornaments" throughout it, meaning that it has many extra embellishments—quite in contrast to something that is stark and simple.

Example Question #13 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

Although he had lived in utter __________ for most of his life, Paul found himself at last able to purchase almost anything he wanted after he rose quickly to great __________.

Possible Answers:

lucre . . . fame

obscurity . . . prestige

anguish . . . placidity

secrecy . . . repute

penury . . . affluence

Correct answer:

penury . . . affluence

Explanation:

This sentence clearly has a contrast, as is indicated by the form "although." The clue in the main clause is that Paul could purchase anything. This seems to indicate that he was initially poor. To be in "penury" is to be in extreme poverty. This is much better than "obscurity" or "secrecy," which might be tempting, given their pairings with "repute" and "prestige." To be "affluent" is to be wealthy; hence, "affluence" is the state of being wealthy.

Example Question #12 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

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

Scott was well known for his __________, though he tried to retain as much _________ as possible with regard to such acts of beneficence.

Possible Answers:

gregariousness . . . pacifism

pusillanimity . . . magnanimity

philanthropy . . . secrecy

wealth . . . benignity

malevolence . . . foolhardiness

Correct answer:

philanthropy . . . secrecy

Explanation:

The best clue for this sentence is "such acts of beneficence." Clearly, this is referring back to the first blank. "Gregariousness" is friendliness, which is not necessarily being beneficent (i.e. very giving, generally with money). Merely being known for wealth does not necessarily imply that one gives it away. Therefore, "philanthropy" is the best option, for it means generosity in charitable causes.  It comes from roots meaning love of humans. "Anthropology" is the study of human beings and their culture. The city of Philadelphia (read as: phil-adelphia) is the "city of brotherly love"; the "phil-" prefix means love. Hence, "phil-anthropy" is the love of human beings. The second choice of "secrecy" pairs well with the context clues in the sentence. Scott was well known for the philanthropy, though he did try to keep it secret.

Example Question #82 : Two Blank Texts

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

The oratory of the speaker gave hope to the people, who saw his elevated ___________ as a proof that human life was more meaningful than physical survival but, instead, justified hope for true ______________.

Possible Answers:

discourse . . . transcendence

probing . . . elation

ramblings . . . reflection

intrigue . . . triumph

musings . . . exultation

Correct answer:

discourse . . . transcendence

Explanation:

The sentence really does not indicate much more than the person in question is speaking and that the speaking is inspiring. Thus, it is unlikely that it is made up of ramblings or mere musings. Thus, "discourse" is a sufficient word, for it does at least indicate any general topic that might be discussed at a given occasion. (It also has a bit of implied gravity or importance.) The second blank indicates that his oratory inspires the hope for things that pass beyond our mortal and physical life. This indicates a kind of "transcendence"—that things go over ("trans+scend") the world of physical reality. The "trans-" prefix means across but also beyond. The second half of the word is found in words like "descend" and "ascend."

Example Question #14 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

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

The investigator was still uncertain about the ___________ of the explosion to the leaking gas in the house. There had been no open flame within the ____________ of the building during the time of the eruption.

Possible Answers:

condemnation . . . bulwarks

propounding . . . repositories

deliberation . . . channels

ascription . . . precincts

denunciation . . . obstructions

Correct answer:

ascription . . . precincts

Explanation:

By filling in the blanks for this sentence, you can rather quickly come to the correct answer. The investigator was uncertain about the "blaming of the explosion", for there were no flames "within the area" of the building. The second blank would fit well with the word "vicinity," though this is not an option. The word "precincts" works well too. It means the area within a particular set of boundaries. Sometimes, this term is used for areas larger than a house, but that is okay for this question, as it can also apply to a building. The word "ascription" is good for the first blank. You likely know the related word "ascribe." When we ascribe one thing to something else, we attribute that first thing to the second.  

Example Question #82 : Two Blank Texts

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

The teacher's ______________ of the student was that he was quite a(n) _____________, though the student thought he was the most intelligent person in the class.

Possible Answers:

execration . . . onus

renunciation . . . pedant

estimation . . . dolt

abdication . . . sloth

vilification . . . jester

Correct answer:

estimation . . . dolt

Explanation:

The sentence is only speaking of the teacher's opinion of the student. We really have no reason to interpret this as a condemnation of the student. Therefore, the word "estimation" is the best among those provided. An "estimation" is a guess, but it is also the opinion that is arrived at by means of such guessing. For the second blank, you are looking for an antonym to "intelligent." Only "dolt" expresses the idea of being unintelligent and, hence, is the correct answer for the second blank.

Example Question #82 : Two Blank Texts

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

Matthew felt great ____________ for the music of Mozart, whose works he believed to be annoying and unimpressive ______________.

Possible Answers:

spaciousness . . . harmonizations

vexation . . . soundings

irritation . . . melodies

contempt . . . ditties

invective . . . cacophony

Correct answer:

contempt . . . ditties

Explanation:

Probably the easier of the two blanks is the second one. Since Matthew apparently finds Mozart's music to be unimpressive, we should look for a noun that expresses this general idea of being unimpressive or unimportant. The word "ditty" is generally used to describe songs that are mere "playing around" and not really serious music. This works well to express someone's idea of finding something to be unimpressive! Now, Matthew's feeling is not likely irritation. Instead, contempt is a much better word, for it indicates looking down at something or holding it in disdain.

Example Question #1273 : Text Completion

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

Where there was once fortitude and responsibility in parenthood, these virtues have been replaced by _____________ and ______________.

Possible Answers:

submission . . . calumny

resignation . . . diatribe

bedlam . . . surrender

capitulation . . . abdication

guile . . . abandonment

Correct answer:

capitulation . . . abdication

Explanation:

The sentence is straightforward. We are looking for two words that directly contrast with “fortitude” and “responsibility.” While some of the answers seem close, one answer combination fits best. “Capitulation . . . abdication” is the correct choice.

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