ISEE Upper Level Verbal : Nouns and Adjectives or Adverbs in Two-Blank Sentences

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1471 : Sentence Completion

Charlie was __________ to get to work; he knew that today was the day his boss would recognize his __________ by giving him a promotion.

Possible Answers:

slow . . . downfalls

lethargic . . . triumph

longing . . . deficiency

indifferent . . . performance

frantic . . . achievements

Correct answer:

frantic . . . achievements

Explanation:

Look at the second blank first, because it is the easiest to fill in. Charlie's boss is giving him a promotion, so he will be recognized for something positive that he has done. If we look at the answer choices for the second blank, achievements, triumph, and performance could fit. Looking at their matches, we need a word for the first blank that shows he was excited to get to work. The only pair that fits is frantic and achievements.

Example Question #1481 : Sentence Completion

The __________ old man not only kept a __________ that contained a variety of wild animals including tigers, toucans, and boa constrictors, but also let some of the less dangerous creatures wander around his house, leading his neighbors to call him odd.

Possible Answers:

peculiar . . . record

conventional . . . zoo

ordinary . . . collection

demanding . . . fossil

eccentric . . . menagerie

Correct answer:

eccentric . . . menagerie

Explanation:

We can infer that for the second blank, we need to pick out an answer choice that is a noun that describes a collection of captive, live animals. Either "zoo" ("an establishment that maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation, or display to the public") or "menagerie" ("a collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition") could be potentially correct. For the first blank, we know that the old man is called "odd" by his neighbors, so we need to pick out an adjective that means something like "odd" for the first blank. Either "eccentric" ("unconventional and slightly strange" when used to describe a person or their behavior) or "peculiar" ("strange or odd; unusual") could be potentially correct. Of the possible words that we've identified as potentially correct for each blank, only "eccentric" and "menagerie" appear in the same answer choice, so the correct answer is "eccentric . . . menagerie."

Example Question #1482 : Sentence Completion

That hotel offers a(n) __________ breakfast and other free __________.

Possible Answers:

favorite . . . condolences

expensive . . . conveniences

complimentary . . . amenities

courtesy . . . problems

withheld . . . exultations

Correct answer:

complimentary . . . amenities

Explanation:

For the first blank, we need to pick out a word that means something like "free," because the breakfast is being compared with "other free [things]." Either "complimentary" (" given or supplied free of charge") or "courtesy" ("(especially of transport) supplied free of charge to people who are already paying for another service") could be potentially correct. For the second blank, we need to pick out a noun that means something like "perks," and either "amenities" ("desirable or useful features or facilities of a building or place") or "conveniences" ("something (as an appliance, device, or service) conducive to comfort or ease") could be potentially correct. Of the possible words that we've identified as potentially correct for each blank, only "complimentary" and "amenities" appear in the same answer choice, so the correct answer is "complimentary . . . amenities."

Example Question #1483 : Sentence Completion

Sentence Completions: Select the word or phrase that most correctly completes the sentence.

The dictator’s __________ was finally overthrown and replaced with a much less __________ form of government, one that allowed many more freedoms than did the former government.

Possible Answers:

regime . . . authoritarian

rule . . . benign

barbarism . . . questionable

office . . . ancient

cabinet . . . outdated

Correct answer:

regime . . . authoritarian

Explanation:

When considering the first blank, notice that what is "overthrown" must be replaced. If it is replaced with a type of government, then what was overthrown must have been a type of government.  A "regime" is a form of government, often one that is oppressive. The second blank implies that the old regime did not allow freedoms. The new regime is less controlling than the former.  An "authoritarian" regime is one that forces very strict submission to authority, often to the point of removing many freedoms.

Example Question #1484 : Sentence Completion

Sentence Completions: Select the word or phrase that most correctly completes the sentence.

The __________ stood in front of the crowd for an entire hour, delivering a a long, __________ speech that soon lost his audience's attention.

Possible Answers:

demagogue . . . bombastic

orator . . . verbose

actuary . . . productive

auditor . . . ambiguous

Correct answer:

orator . . . verbose

Explanation:

Since we know that the person mentioned in the sentence is standing in front of a crowd delivering a speech, we know that the first blank should contain a noun that means something like "speaker." Two answer choices could possibly work for this: the one beginning with "orator" (a person who delivers a speech), or the one beginning with "demagogue" (a leader appealing to emotions rather than reason). The two other possible words for the first blank do not work: "auditor" means a listener or an accountant, and "actuary" means a registrar, clerk, or insurance person. Based on the two answers we know could work in the first blank, we can now examine the words available to fill in the second blank. We know that the speaker gives a "long speech" that "lost the audience's attention." The best choice is "verbose," which means wordy or talkative. The other choice, "bombastic," means pretentious.

Example Question #1485 : Sentence Completion

Sentence Completions: Select the word or phrase that most correctly completes the sentence.

The __________ decor and cozy __________ of her grandmother's house always made Jane feel better. 

Possible Answers:

feral . . . acumen

reverent . . . conglomeration

florid . . . ambience

pallid . . . conflagration

Correct answer:

florid . . . ambience

Explanation:

By reading the sentence, we can tell that the description of Jane's grandmother's decor and house is positive, since it makes Jane feel better. Focusing on the first blank, we are looking for an adjective like "nice." The word "florid" means flowery or ornate, so this must be the right answer. The other words do not fit: "feral" means wild or savage; "pallid" means lacking color; and "reverent" means respectful. Moving on to the second blank, we are looking for a noun that describes both "environment" and the "feeling" or "mood" of Jane's grandmother's house. The word "ambience" is correct because it means atmosphere and feeling. The other words do not fit: "acumen" is a noun meaning cleverness; a "conflagration" is a fire; and a "conglomeration" is a collection or an accumulation.

Example Question #1486 : Sentence Completion

Sentence Completions: Select the words or phrases that most correctly complete the sentence.

Romanus was an extremely __________ speaker, whose zeal was matched by the beauty and convincing  __________ of expression.

Possible Answers:

ardent . . . eloquence

famous . . . contention

limpid . . . rejection

measured . . . oration

bombastic . . . dictation

Correct answer:

ardent . . . eloquence

Explanation:

The clues for the two blanks are "zeal" and "convincing" respectively. At most, what we can say is that Romanus was a "zealous" or passionate speaker. When someone is "ardent," he or she is passionate. The word actually comes from "burning"—being "ardent" is like being "on fire with passion" for something. "Eloquence" is persuasiveness in speech or expression.

Example Question #1487 : Sentence Completion

Sentence Completions: Select the words or phrases that most correctly complete the sentence.

After the government fell into rebel hands, the calm society soon was engulfed in complete __________; few could believe that the seemingly stable civilization was in fact so very __________.

Possible Answers:

drudgery . . . durable

warfare . . . discrete

tyranny . . . continuous

chaos . . . fragile

brazing . . . questionable

Correct answer:

chaos . . . fragile

Explanation:

The best keys to this sentence are "calm" and "stable." The first independent clause implies that the society has gone from being calm to being not calm. The best description for such a state of affairs would be "chaotic," meaning confused or full of turmoil. The second sentence contrasts the seeming stability of the nation with apparent instability. While there are no answer choices that directly mean "instability," a "fragile" nation would be one that is easily broken down (like fragile glass) and, hence, one that is unstable.

Example Question #1488 : Sentence Completion

Sentence Completions: Select the words or phrases that most correctly complete the sentence.

John was known for having a __________ temperament, ever fearful of breaking even the smallest __________ of the law.

Possible Answers:

legalistic . . . detail

upright . . . litigation

legislative . . . peccadillo

jurist's . . . statute

gracious . . . notification

Correct answer:

legalistic . . . detail

Explanation:

The subordinate clause, "ever fearful" provides the key hint regarding John's temperament. Since he is very fearful of breaking the law, he is likely overly concerned about its details. This latter point is expressed in the words "even the smallest," which indicate that he does not want to break even the smallest aspect or—more appropriate given our answers—detail of the law. Such a person is "legalistic," meaning that he or she is very concerned with all of the legal details, generally in a way that is overly concerned and fearful.

Example Question #1489 : Sentence Completion

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

For the entire morning, Jaime remained __________ the fact that he had put on mismatched socks; he didn't notice until someone pointed out the __________ between his socks' colors at lunchtime.

Possible Answers:

concerned with . . . identicalness

oblivious to . . . disparity

unaware of . . . similarity

intent on . . . harmony

conscious of . . . difference

Correct answer:

oblivious to . . . disparity

Explanation:

For the first blank, we know that Jaime did not know about his mismatched socks because "he didn't notice until someone pointed [them] out . . . at lunchtime." So, we should pick out an adjective that reflects this. Either "oblivious to" or "unaware of" could be correct, as "oblivious" and "unaware" each can mean not aware. For the second blank, we know that Jaime's socks were mismatched, so they were different. We should pick out an answer choice that is a noun that means something like difference. Either "disparity" (a large difference) or "difference" could be correct. Of the possible words that we've identified as potentially correct for each blank, only "oblivious to" and "disparity" appear in the same answer choice, so the correct answer is "oblivious to . . . disparity."

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