HSPT Verbal : Analogies: Determining Meaning from Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HSPT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #3 : Analogies

Fill is to permeate as satisfy is to __________.

Possible Answers:

gratify

enjoy

please

satiate

gorge

Correct answer:

satiate

Explanation:

The prefix "per-" comes from the Latin meaning thorough. We see this in words like "perfect" and "pervade." When something permeates something else (e.g. a smell in a room), it completely fills it. Thus, permeate is a kind of "complete filling." To be "satiated" is to be satisfied completely. This is a kind of "complete satisfaction."

Example Question #1 : Analogies

Juxtaposed is to location as instantaneous is to __________.

Possible Answers:

time

response

scheduling

position

answer

Correct answer:

time

Explanation:

The prefix "juxta-" comes from the Latin meaning close. When two things are juxtaposed, they are bordering on each other (like neighboring plots of land). Just as juxtaposition is a close placement with regard to location, so is being "instantaneous" a kind of being close with regard to time.

Example Question #3 : Analogies

Vexed is to calm as after is to __________.

Possible Answers:

posterior

ingenuous

crafty

anterior

distracted

Correct answer:

anterior

Explanation:

When someone is "vexed," he or she is annoyed. This is the opposite of being calm. Therefore, we are looking for a word that is an antonym for "after."  he prefix "ante-" comes from Latin and means before. It is found in words like "antechamber" and "antecede." Something that is "anterior" is before something else. This is the opposite of being "after."

Example Question #1 : Analogies: Prefixes From Latin

Malicious is to benevolent as extraneous is to __________.

Possible Answers:

wasteful

questionable

tedious

relevant

idiotic

Correct answer:

relevant

Explanation:

Someone who is malicious is not benevolent. Being benevolent means being "good-willed"—quite the opposite of someone with a malicious will, a bad will! Therefore, we are looking for something that is the opposite of "extraneous." The prefix "extra-" means outside of. Extraneous details are unimportant and irrelevant—as when someone tells you all about the recent weather when you ask him or her to give you an outline of the a class you missed. Therefore, extraneous details are not relevant.

Example Question #4 : Analogies

Defeat is to vanquish as finish is to __________.

Possible Answers:

perfect

fulfill

accept

submit

conquer

Correct answer:

perfect

Explanation:

To "vanquish" someone is to completely defeat him or her. Therefore, we are looking for a word that intensifies the meaning of "finish," giving the sense of being wholly finished. The prefix "per-" is from a Latin root meaning throughout, though it often means "thoroughly" or "completely." When something is perfected, it is completely made—it is totally finished.

Example Question #4 : Analogies

Impress is to dazzle as decorate is to __________.

Possible Answers:

cover

inculcate

festive

blandish

bedeck

Correct answer:

bedeck

Explanation:

The word "bedeck" generally means decorate. However, the prefix "be-" can also function as an intensifier meaning thoroughly. To "bedeck" something is to decorate it thoroughly. To be "bedecked" is to be covered or decorated very completely. Just as something dazzling is very illuminated, so too is something bedecked "very decorated."

Example Question #5 : Analogies

Sweet is to cloying as good is to __________.

Possible Answers:

acceptable

facetious 

enjoyable

horrible

stellar

Correct answer:

stellar

Explanation:

When something is "cloying," it is excessively sweet. Therefore, our analogy is one of intensification. As something cloying is excessively sweet, so too is something "stellar" very goodexceedingly good. It comes from the Latin word for "star," as though the goodness of the thing in question were "as high as the stars."

Example Question #2 : Analogies

Contrary is to uncooperative as senile is to __________.

Possible Answers:

foolish

expiring

infirm

archaic

deathly

Correct answer:

infirm

Explanation:

The prefix "contra-" or "contr-" generally means against. "Contra dancing" is a kind of dancing in two lines that face each other, and "counterpoint" is a kind of music that has two musical lines that run "against" each other, weaving together melodies and harmonies. When someone is "contrary," he or she acts in a way that is always against other people's opinions. He or she generally is a troublesome personality and is thus someone who is uncooperative. Thus, we are looking for a descriptive word for "senile." While we often use this word to describe people who are losing their memories, the word can describe the more general condition of someone who is becoming aged. Someone who is senile is becoming infirm and weak with age. The word "senator" comes from a similar root, meaning old man.

Example Question #11 : Analogies

Selfish is to egocentric as illustrious is to __________.

Possible Answers:

surprising

aesthetic

talented

eminent

model

Correct answer:

eminent

Explanation:

The word "illustrious" comes from the Latin root meaning clear or bright.  Having a "luster" is to have a glow or a shine, and an "illustration" is something that makes its topic clear by means of a kind of example. Someone who is selfish thinks of himself or herself. This is the meaning of "ego-centric," which literally means "I-centered." We are therefore looking for a synonym of "illustrious." Generally speaking, this word means well-known—as though a bright light is visible. Such a person or thing would also be "eminent."

Example Question #1 : Analogies: Roots

Map is to topography as timeline is to __________.

Possible Answers:

registration

historiography

history

chronology

record

Correct answer:

chronology

Explanation:

The "topography" of an area pertains to the physical character of that area—its hills, valleys, rivers, and so forth. The word comes from Greek roots that generally mean "place" (topos) and "drawing" (graphia). A map records an area's topography. A timeline records the ordering of occurrences. While this could be historical in nature, it could even be a timeline of scientific facts. The best option is therefore "chronology," which indicates an ordered set of events based on when those events occurred. It comes from the Greek for "time," kronos.

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