ISEE Middle Level Verbal : Sentence Completions: Style, Intensity, and Connotation

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #41 : Sentence Completions: Style, Intensity, And Connotation

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

The old man was not merely sitting on his porch, staring into space; he was carefully __________ the actions of his neighbors, hoping to find clues about who had stolen his lawn gnomes.

Possible Answers:

recalling

judging

observing

generating

disdaining

Correct answer:

observing

Explanation:

The old man was not just sitting on the porch, empty-headed and doing nothing. He was carefully watching things—observing them with care. He was not necessarily judging his neighbors (at least not yet). All we know is that the sentence is contrasting empty staring to the blank that we have to fill. "Observing" best fits for this—as the old man tries to figure out who stole the lawn decorations.

Example Question #42 : Sentence Completions: Style, Intensity, And Connotation

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

Although many people like to buy the fanciest versions of appliances, the __________ models are often sufficient for everyday needs.

Possible Answers:

extravagant

basic

cheap

excessive

worthless

Correct answer:

basic

Explanation:

The key word in this sentence is "sufficient," which helps us understand the contrast being expressed. Although many might want to buy appliances with all the "bells and whistles," it is generally the case that they need one that "works well enough." The best adjective for describing this would be "basic." Words like "cheap" and "worthless" are too negative to match the clue "sufficient."

Example Question #43 : Sentence Completions: Style, Intensity, And Connotation

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

Buying two cars was perhaps understandable, but purchasing one hundred cars seemed to be a(n) __________ expense.

Possible Answers:

egregious

estimable

extravagant

lamentable

questionable

Correct answer:

extravagant

Explanation:

This sentence works by building from a legitimate amount to one that is extremely large and "over the top." The idea is that it is an almost incomprehensible expense to buy and own a hundred cars. Such an expense could be called "extravagant," meaning having no restraint or limits. The word is actually related to the word "vagrant," meaning a wandering person without work. Something "extra-vagrant" wanders around outside of the borders of being acceptable. It is "over the top."

Example Question #44 : Sentence Completions: Style, Intensity, And Connotation

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

Although the detective did not have certain evidence, he did think that his hunch was the most __________ option available for investigation at that time, far better than those offered by his peers.

Possible Answers:

probable

interesting

intriguing

certain

unquestionable

Correct answer:

probable

Explanation:

The detective thinks that his option is the best available. This does not mean that it is the best and only option. It is not completely certain; it is just better than the others. Also, while it might be "interesting," we are not told that. Therefore, the best answer is "probable", which indicates that the option is likely, even if not certain.

Example Question #41 : Sentence Completions: Style, Intensity, And Connotation

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

The boss insisted that every accident have careful __________, requiring all accident reports to be filled with detailed notes.

Possible Answers:

lines

oversight

generalization

documentation

writing

Correct answer:

documentation

Explanation:

The word "document" can be used as a verb to indicate the act of recording information. "Documentation" is the product of such recording. Clearly, the boss wants to have a clear record of any accidents. This means that he would like to see careful documentation of them. While "writing" might be tempting, the sentence is more specifically talking about the kind of writing involved in reporting. Thus, "documentation" is much better than "writing."

Example Question #46 : Sentence Completions: Style, Intensity, And Connotation

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

Although he was quite intelligent, George was not a very __________ student, and his low grades provided evidence of such laziness.

Possible Answers:

amazing

scholarly

intellectual

motivated

bright

Correct answer:

motivated

Explanation:

There are two facts in this sentence that will help you get the correct answer. The first is the fact that George is intelligent. Therefore, it is not the case that his low grades can be blamed on stupidity or something of that sort. The second hint is that he is said to show "laziness." This seems to indicate that he lacks a work ethic for his school work. This means that he likely is not very "motivated" to work. Therefore, of the options provided, this is the best. It is related to words for "motion." Motivation leads someone to do something—it moves him or her to do it.

Example Question #41 : Sentence Completions: Style, Intensity, And Connotation

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

If you wish to __________ your skills at a sport, you must practice for many hours; otherwise, your abilities will be mediocre at best.

Possible Answers:

perfect

improve

force

enlarge

impress

Correct answer:

perfect

Explanation:

The word "mediocre" is often misused as though it means of poor quality. It really means of middle quality, as in not too good. Even if something is not "too good," it is still good. The point is that it doesn't "stick out" as being very, very good. Therefore, if you wish to develop your skills beyond mediocrity, you wish to make them exceptional, very good, or perhaps even perfect. The word "perfect" can be used as a verb meaning to make perfect, fully accomplished, or of highest quality. The most tempting wrong answer is "improve." However, people can improve their skills from being bad to being mediocre. This sentence wants to talk about improving all the way to perfection.

Example Question #41 : Sentence Completions: Style, Intensity, And Connotation

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

Even after __________ warnings, the child once again put his hand on the stove.

Possible Answers:

verbal

repeated

nasty

shouted

written

Correct answer:

repeated

Explanation:

Do not read into a sentence more than is provided by the given words. We are told nothing about how the child was warned about placing his or her hand on the stove. Perhaps the person is warning gently or, perhaps, very loudly and even nastily. What we do know, however, is that the child is placing his or her hand on the stove multiple times. This is hinted at by the words "once again." Therefore, it would seem that the warnings happened many times as well. Among our options this is the only real possibility. Therefore, the best answer is "repeated."

Example Question #173 : Sentence Completions

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

The police arrived at the crime scene to __________ the details of the robbery, gathering all the facts needed for their investigation.

Possible Answers:

enlighten

photograph

write

digitize

examine

Correct answer:

examine

Explanation:

This sentence only discusses the fact of police gathering information in a general sense. It does not tell us whether they gathered it on paper, film, computer, or anything else. We can only tell that they came in order to gather such data. This means that they examined the data, perhaps gathering various kinds of details for their investigation—photographs, written testimony, audio testimony, etc. The most we can say is that they came to "look into" the details, that is, to "examine" them.

Example Question #42 : Sentence Completions: Style, Intensity, And Connotation

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

Some people are not merely unhappy about the misfortunes of life but instead are completely __________ about almost everything that ever happens to them.

Possible Answers:

miserable

malicious

angered

melancholic

saddened

Correct answer:

miserable

Explanation:

This sentence is a case of increasing intensity. The words "not merely . . . but instead" indicate that some people are not just unhappy. They are indeed very unhappy. To be "miserable" is to be extremely unhappy. This is the best choice for expressing a great degree of unhappiness.

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