ISEE Lower Level Verbal : Verbs

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ISEE Lower Level Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #81 : Verbs

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

Cuttlefish are known to __________ ink when they feel threatened, spraying it out of their bodies and causing the surrounding water to grow cloudy in order to increase their chance of escaping safely.

Possible Answers:

erase

question

emit

permit

eat

Correct answer:

emit

Explanation:

We know that cuttlefish "spray [ink] out of their bodies" when they are threatened, so we can infer that we need to pick out an answer choice that means something like "release." "Emit" is a verb which means "produce and discharge something, especially gas or radiation" or "send out: eject," and because it best fits the sentence's context, it is the correct answer.

Example Question #81 : Verbs

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

The reason the bread dough became moldy and unusable before the chef could bake it was because the dough was __________ with bacteria while it was being prepared.

Possible Answers:

enhanced

persuaded

nullified

evaded

contaminated

Correct answer:

contaminated

Explanation:

We can infer from the sentence that the bread dough was exposed to bacteria that resulted in it "bec[oming] moldy and unusable," so we need to pick out an answer choice that means something like "exposed to." "Enhanced" cannot be the correct answer because something becomes better when it is "enhanced," and we know that the bacteria made the bread dough not only "moldy" but also "unusable." So, "enhanced" cannot be the correct answer. "Contaminated," however, is a verb that means "made something impure by exposure to or addition of a poisonous or polluting substance." Because "contaminated" is the answer choice that best describes the interaction between the bacteria and the bread dough and best fits the sentence's context, "contaminated" is the correct answer.

Example Question #83 : Verbs

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

One of the art students felt that the requirement for his work to meet certain specific criteria restricted his artistic freedom and __________ his creativity.

Possible Answers:

waddled

inspired

struck

lost

stymied

Correct answer:

stymied

Explanation:

We can infer that because the art student "felt that the requirement for his work to meet certain specific criteria restricted his artistic freedom," he probably also felt that those criteria limited his creativity as well. So, we need to pick out an answer choice that means something like "limited." "Expanded," then, cannot be the correct answer, because "inspired" means "fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative," and if the art student felt that the criteria "restricted his artistic freedom," he's not likely to have thought the criteria to have inspired his creativity. "Stymied," however, is a verb that means "prevented or hindered the progress of," and because "stymied" best describes what the art student likely felt the criteria did to his creativity, "stymied" is the correct answer.

Example Question #81 : Verbs

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

The pest exterminator thought he had __________ all of the cockroaches in the building with his new insecticide, so he was extremely surprised when a few lazily wandered in front of him when he was done spraying.

Possible Answers:

eradicated

kept

quieted

demanded

protected

Correct answer:

eradicated

Explanation:

We can infer that because the sentence is talking about a "pest exterminator" who uses "insecticide" ("a substance used for killing insects"), that we need to pick out a verb that means something like "got rid of" or "killed." "Protected," then, cannot be the correct answer because the exterminator is clearly not trying to protect the cockroaches, but to kill them. "Eradicated," however, is a verb that means "destroy completely; put an end to," and because "eradicated" best describes how the exterminator assumed that he had killed all the cockroaches in the building, "eradicated" is the correct answer.

Example Question #81 : Verbs

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

As the boxer reached middle age, he noticed a dramatic __________ in his abilities and soon decided to retire.

Possible Answers:

dismay

enhancement

decline

growth

improvement

Correct answer:

decline

Explanation:

Based on the aging of the boxer and the fact that he decided to retire, it is reasonable to think that his abilities became worse, which matches the definition of the word “decline.” To provide further help, “improvement” means something that has gotten better; an “enhancement” is something added to make something better; “dismay” is a feeling of sadness and hopelessness; “growth” is the opposite of “decline.”

Example Question #82 : Verbs

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

One of the attractions at the fair was a raffle in which participants attempted to correctly ___________ the number of jelly beans in a gigantic jar; the person whose guess was most accurate received a prize.

Possible Answers:

forget

dream

limit

insist

estimate

Correct answer:

estimate

Explanation:

Because we know that the fairgoers are submitting guesses about how many jelly beans are in the jar, we can infer that we need to pick out a verb that means something like "guess." "Estimate" is a word that when used as a verb means "roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of," and because it best fits the context of the sentence, it is the correct answer.

Example Question #82 : Verbs

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

One percussionist's job was to strike the gong at a specific point during the symphony, and let it __________ so that the sound continued for a long time.

Possible Answers:

resonate

quiet

prolong

mend

flare

Correct answer:

resonate

Explanation:

We can infer from the sentence that the percussionist let the gong continue to make noise at a certain point in the symphony, so we need to pick out an answer choice that is a verb that means something like "make noise." "Quiet," then, cannot be the correct answer, because as a verb, "quiet" means "make or become silent, calm, or still," which does not describe the gong in the sentence as the gong continues to make noise. "Resonate," however, is a verb that means "produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound," or in other words, "to continue to produce a loud, clear, deep sound for a long time." Because "resonate" is the answer choice that best describes the gong's continual noisemaking in the sentence and best fits the context of the sentence, "resonate" is the correct answer.

Example Question #81 : Verbs

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

That slide is the most popular one at the water park because its immense height allows one to __________ downward at very high speeds, eventually splashing into a pool.

Possible Answers:

drawl

plummet

skate

meander

manage

Correct answer:

plummet

Explanation:

We know from the sentence that the slide being discussed is popular because it lets people slide "downward at very high speeds." So, we need to pick out a verb that means something like "slide quickly" or "descend quickly." While "meander" refers to movement, it cannot be the correct answer because it means "wander at random" and does not include a connotation of this wandering being speedy. "Plummet," however, is a verb that can mean "fall or drop straight down at high speed," and because "plummet" best describes the experience of someone who rides on the water park's slide and best fits the sentence's context, "plummet" is the correct answer.

Example Question #89 : Verbs

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

If Sam is coming over for dinner, be sure not to serve anything with mint in it, because he absolutely __________ that herb and won't sit where he can smell it, much less eat anything that has it as an ingredient.

Possible Answers:

adores

manages

performs

loathes

neutralizes

Correct answer:

loathes

Explanation:

We can tell from the sentence that Sam does not like mint at all, so we need to pick out a verb that means something like "intensely dislikes" or "does not like at all." So, "adores" cannot be the correct answer because "adore," when used informally, means " like something or someone very much," so "adore" is an antonym of "intensely dislikes," and cannot be the correct answer. "Loathes," however, is a verb that means "feels intense dislike or disgust for," and because it best describes how Sam feels about mint and best fits the sentence's context, "loathes" is the correct answer.

Example Question #90 : Verbs

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

Sam wasn't very athletic, but he managed to win the 100-yard dash at his school's field day, though he had to sit down afterward, still __________ when most participants had returned to breathing normally.

Possible Answers:

wheezing

participating

tapping

lunging

snoring

Correct answer:

wheezing

Explanation:

We can infer that because "Sam wasn't very athletic," he was probably breathing quite hard after winning the race. So, we need to pick out a verb that refers to noises made while breathing, specifically a noise one might make when one is out of breath. "Snoring" may be a verb that refers to noises made while breathing, but "snoring" specifically means "a snorting or grunting sound in a person's breathing while asleep," so it wouldn't fit the context of the sentence, as no mention is made of Sam being asleep. "Wheezing," however, is a verb that means "breathe with a whistling or rattling sound in the chest, as a result of obstruction in the air passage," and because "wheezing" best describes a noise one might make when one is out of breath, "wheezing" is the correct answer.

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