GRE Verbal : Two Nouns in Two-Blank Texts

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #21 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

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

Rocks become smooth because of _____________. Their shape is a(n) _____________ of being knocked and scraped against other rocks, gradually rubbing off the sharp edges.

Possible Answers:

friction . . . apogee

chicanery . . . development

erosion . . . fruition

abrasion . . . product

alacrity . . . outcome

 

Correct answer:

abrasion . . . product

Explanation:

The second sentence is an explanation of the first. For the first blank, we are looking for a word that describes the process of “being knocked and scraped against other rocks, gradually rubbing off the sharp edges.” “Fruition” means an idea that has been made real or the state of bearing fruit. It is not the word we want. “Abrasion . . . product” is the correct answer.

Example Question #21 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

It took all the _____________ she could muster to practice ____________ when she saw the cheesecake with layers of chocolate and drizzled caramel.

Possible Answers:

restraint . . . abstinence

perfidy . . . forbearance

fortitude . . . bedlam

guile . . . moderation

constraint . . . nepotism

Correct answer:

restraint . . . abstinence

Explanation:

“Guile” means cunning. You might reason that perhaps she needed to be cunning to overcome temptation, but know that “guile” has a negative connotation. Keeping to her diet would not qualify as “guile.” “Perfidy” similarly does not fit given the context. “Abstinence” is staying away from an indulgence. “Restraint . . . abstinence” is the correct answer.

Example Question #1531 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

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

It was easy to dismiss the tale as an unrepeated ______________, but it actually was concerned with a matter of ______________.

Possible Answers:

reticence . . . exuberance

anecdote . . . significance

trifle . . . fame

laxity . . . rigor

triviality . . . legality

Correct answer:

anecdote . . . significance

Explanation:

The words "trifle" and "triviality" are likely the most tempting wrong answers, as they both indicate unimportant things. Clearly the first blank pertains to something that is not very important. Note, however, that it is about something that is unrepeated. An anecdote is a little story about something unique and without parallel. At best, it is a lone fact but not necessarily a justification for a complete theory of something that is important. (Hence, we have the expression "anecdotal evidence," informally meaning, really just based on some stories from some particular people.) The matter at hand, however, was actually very important, or so it seems. Hence, it was a matter of "significance" (a word that is clearly related to "significant").

Example Question #21 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

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

Some believe that contemporary youth are marked by a strain of _______________, but in fact, almost every generation has expressed ______________ in the face of the law.

Possible Answers:

lunacy . . . snideness

inanity . . . anarchy

antinomianism . . . defiance

arrogance . . . enjoyment

illegality . . . tyranny

Correct answer:

antinomianism . . . defiance

Explanation:

The word "antinomianism" primarily pertains to a certain doctrine held by some Christians regarding the need to follow moral laws. The word itself can be used in a general sense (though rarely) to describe someone who is "anti-law." If nothing else, this sentence is an exercise in word roots. The "anti-" prefix means against. The remainder of the word is related to words like "autonomy" and "anomaly." An anomaly is not merely something that is strange, it is actually something that goes against the expected laws (e.g. the laws of nature, custom, etc). Likewise, "autonomy" is not just about being free, it actually means able to give oneself a law to follow. Hence, these words build on the Greek root "nomos," meaning law. This is what is being described in the youth.

As for the second blank, it seems that they show contempt in the face of the law. Hence, the word "defiance" is a good option for the second blank.

Example Question #21 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Texts

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

She was a woman of many virtues with but one _____________: a(n) _____________ for cigarettes. 

Possible Answers:

transgression . . . coolness

circumvention . . . evasion

foible . . . enmity

passion . . . obsession

vice . . . affinity

Correct answer:

vice . . . affinity

Explanation:

Notice the sentence shift, indicated by the word “but.” This indicates that the word in the first blank must be the opposite of "virtues." “Affection . . . evasion” and “passion . . . obsession” can be eliminated. Since a liking for cigarettes is commonly looked down upon, we can reasonably assume that “vice . . . affinity” is the correct answer.

Example Question #21 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

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

When it was discovered that the perpetrator of the _________________ also had a(n) __________________, a manhunt began to track him down and bring him to justice.

Possible Answers:

scandal . . . accomplice

peccadillo . . . abettor

atrocity . . . incarceration

malefaction . . . sequester

misdemeanor . . . conspirator

Correct answer:

scandal . . . accomplice

Explanation:

“Peccadillo” and “misdemeanor” are used for minor offenses, so it would be a stretch to say that they warranted a “manhunt.” A “scandal” is a disgraceful event, and an “accomplice” is someone who helps in a wrongdoing. These two form the right response.

Example Question #1534 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

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

The scenes of sheer cliffs and staggering drop-offs were so realistic that she actually felt _____________; after the movie, she wondered if she might have _______________.

Possible Answers:

natation . . . agoraphobia

vertigo . . . acrophobia

wooziness . . . cynophobia

nauseated . . . mysophobia

disequilibrium . . . arachnophobia

Correct answer:

vertigo . . . acrophobia

Explanation:

“Cynophobia” is a fear of dogs. “Agoraphobia” is a fear of places where it might be difficult to escape. “Mysophobia” is a fear of dirt or filth. And the common “arachnophobia” is a fear of spiders. “Vertigo” is a reeling sensation, as if one is about to fall. “Acrophobia” is a fear of heights. These last two form the correct answer.

Example Question #1531 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

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

Ever since her rich uncle had been incarcerated, she preferred ____________ over seeking a(n) _____________ of possessions.

Possible Answers:

extravagance . . . exuberance

abstemiousness . . . dearth

frugality . . . nimiety

austerity . . . paucity

superfluity . . . inundation

Correct answer:

frugality . . . nimiety

Explanation:

“Austerity” somewhat works; though, it should be noted that “austere” describes self-denial and simple without pleasure. Also, know that “dearth” and “paucity” refer to scarcity. “Frugality” is the quality of not being wasteful. "Nimiety" refers to having an overabundance. Together, these form the correct answer.

Example Question #29 : Two Nouns In Two Blank Texts

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

Under the __________________ of the United Countries, several countries decided to join the ________________ to fight against a common adversary. 

Possible Answers:

auspices . . . vicissitude

sponsorship . . . calumny

asperity . . . alliance

aegis . . . coalition

bedlam . . . alignment 

Correct answer:

aegis . . . coalition

Explanation:

“Aegis” comes from a very similar Greek word, which was the name of the shield of Zeus. It is often used in the phrase “under the aegis of,” and it basically means a protection or support, as you would expect from being named after a god’s shield. A “coalition” is a group of people who join together for a common cause. “Aegis . . . coalition” is the correct answer.

Example Question #1536 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

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

Given that Gene was convinced of his own _________________, he never talked about his missteps, instead______________ and confusing everyone with his roundabout justifications of his mistakes.

Possible Answers:

shrewdness . . . leaping

perspicacity . . . obfuscating 

sadness . . . talking

lewdness . . . crawling

solemnness . . . shrieking 

Correct answer:

perspicacity . . . obfuscating 

Explanation:

"Perspicacity"  makes sense in this context, as his intelligence would be one reason he chooses not to acknowledge his mistakes. This answer is also close to another, "shrewdness", so the second word becomes crucial to picking the proper answer. "Obfuscating" is the only word that makes sense here, as it matches the description of the confusing talk in the same clause. This also illuminates "perspicacity" as the correct answer, as the verb "leaping" tied to "shrewdness" doesn't make sense.

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