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 #1490 : Sentence Completion

Sentence completions: select the word or pair of words that most correctly completes the sentence.

The seasoned attorney couldn't wait for the trial to end, but his __________ young intern was still enchanted by the __________ of the courtroom.

Possible Answers:

neophyte . . . novelty

upstart . . . tedium

venerable . . . infamy

repulsed . . . vitality

Correct answer:

neophyte . . . novelty

Explanation:

The intern in this sentence is juxtaposed against the "seasoned" (or experienced) attorney, so we know that we are looking for words that highlight the lack of the intern's experience and the newness of the courtroom setting. "Neophyte" comes from the Greek language and literally means "new plant," though the English word is usually applied outside of the horticultural realm to mean any beginner or novice. The word "novelty" (do you see a common root with "novice"?) also incorporates a root meaning "new," and means simply the quality of being new, or inNOVative.

Example Question #1491 : Sentence Completion

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

The __________ hike up Angels Landing was a true test of the young scout's __________.

Possible Answers:

serene . . . fortitude

colossal . . . ineptitude

concise . . . tact

perilous . . . mettle

strenuous . . . timidity

Correct answer:

perilous . . . mettle

Explanation:

All of the first words are accurate descriptions of the Angels Landing hike in Zion National Park. We are left with the second-blank words to lead us to the correct answer. Sections of the hike are quite "serene" (peaceful), but this would not test the scout's "fortitude" (courage or bravery). Parts of the hike could reveal a hiker's "timidity," but we wouldn't say that those parts were a test of timidity. "Ineptitude" (lack of skill, incompetence) doesn't make much sense here. "Mettle" is pronounced like the word "metal," and is actually a variant of the word; but whereas "metal" names a physical substance, "mettle" describes a figurative quality that has a metal-like strength. Synonyms include determination, courage, and valor.

Example Question #1492 : Sentence Completion

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

Despite being a talented __________, he was nonetheless extremely nervous when preparing to address such a __________ crowd. 

Possible Answers:

substitute . . . jovial

miser . . . empty 

orator . . . vast 

lecturer . . . gregarious 

specimen . . . apathetic 

Correct answer:

orator . . . vast 

Explanation:

Because the author uses the word “nonetheless,” it can be inferred that the subject of this sentence is some type of person that one would not expect to be nervous when speaking to a crowd. This likely means either “orator” (a talented public speaker) or “lecturer” (someone who gives lessons to a large group). From there it is a matter of determining whether a “vast” or “gregarious” audience would be more likely to make someone nervous. “Vast” means very large and “gregarious” means friendly and sociable, so the correct answer must be “orator . . . vast.” To provide further help, a “miser” is someone who is not very generous with money; “substitute,” when used as a noun, means replacement; “jovial” means happy and jolly; a “specimen” is something meant to serve as a sample of something; and “apathetic” means nonchalant or not caring.

Example Question #1493 : Sentence Completion

The adventurer remained __________ when faced with any of the typical dangers that were associated with exploring uncharted territory; however, he did have a __________ being alone in the dark, so he always carried a flashlight on him, and his exploring party always brought lots of extra batteries, lanterns, and torches.

Possible Answers:

undaunted . . . phobia of

squalid . . . attraction to

afraid . . . habit of

intrepid . . . preference for

terrified . . . aversion to

Correct answer:

undaunted . . . phobia of

Explanation:

We can infer that because the adventurer "never show[ed] the slightest hint of fear" when confronted with dangers that explorers typically faced, we need to pick out an adjective that means something like "brave" to describe the adventurer in the first blank. Either "intrepid" ("fearless; adventurous (often used for rhetorical or humorous effect)") or "undaunted" ("not intimidated or discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment") could be potentially correct. For the second blank, we need to pick out a word that means something like "fear of," because we know that the explorer "always carried a flashlight on him" and his exploring party " lots of extra batteries, lanterns, and torches," which would suggest that he does not like being alone in the dark at all. Either "aversion to" ("having a strong dislike or disinclination towards") or "phobia of" ("having an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something") could be potentially correct. Of the potentially correct answers we've identified, only "undaunted" and "phobia of" appear in a single answer choice, so "undaunted . . . phobia of" is the correct answer.

Example Question #1494 : Sentence Completion

Which of the following pairs of words best completes the sentence below?

Although the __________ of students voted for an ice cream party rather than a pizza party, the decision was not __________.

Possible Answers:

discretion . . . cumulative

classroom . . . popular

remainder . . . necessary

majority . . . unanimous

youngest . . . immediate

Correct answer:

majority . . . unanimous

Explanation:

"Majority" and "unanimous" is the most likely match. Most of the students voted for the ice cream party, but the decision was not unanimous (meaning 100-percent agreed-upon).

Although "remainder" makes sense in the sentence, "necessary" does not.

Although "classroom" makes sense, "popular" does not. If a classroom full of students voted on the ice cream party, it is unlikely that the decision would not be popular.

The words "youngest" and "immediate," while making sense in the sentence on their own, do not relate in the context of this sentence.

Example Question #1495 : Sentence Completion

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

Some people act without thinking, rushing into things __________ with little __________.

Possible Answers:

pedantically . . . brazenness

reluctantly . . . forethought

amazingly . . . philosophy

hastily . . . reflection

barbarously . . . negotiation

Correct answer:

hastily . . . reflection

Explanation:

The relative clause beginning with the participle "rushing into things" describes way that these people act. The first blank requires an adverb (as is obvious from the answer choices). To describe someone who acts without thinking, we could say that such a person acts quickly. A "hasty" action is one that is quick, generally implying that it does not give due time to necessary considerations. The second blank should indicate that such a person acts with little thought. While "forethought" is correct here, the correlated "reluctantly" is not adequate for the first blank. The best option includes both "hastily" and "reflection." To act without "reflecting" is to act without thinking about one's previous actions much.

Example Question #1496 : Sentence Completion

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

The __________ of her speech at the undergraduate conference indicated that she used __________ wording and that she thought about the important points that were necessary to touch upon.

Possible Answers:

pointedness . . . complicated

length . . . repetitive

brevity . . . concise

economy . . . redundant

wordiness . . . rambling

Correct answer:

brevity . . . concise

Explanation:

The clue in this sentence is noting that the presenter seemed to touch upon key points.  Thus, her speech probably had brevity or briefness and had concise wording.

Example Question #1497 : Sentence Completion

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

My prim and proper grandmother was __________ at my father's acting like a __________ at the family reunion.

Possible Answers:

delighted . . . imbecile

enchanted . . . boor

appalled . . . nobleman

elated . . . jester

aghast . . . buffoon

Correct answer:

aghast . . . buffoon

Explanation:

This sentence's two blanks could be completed in two ways: either grandma is thrilled with her son's (or son-in-law's) gentlemanly demeanor, or she is horrified by his improper behavior. The only pair of words that matches a behavior with a logical response from grandma is "aghast" (horrified—related to the word "ghost") and "buffoon" (a clown or fool).

Example Question #1498 : Sentence Completion

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

The two kindergarten classrooms could not have been more different in character; while one was a case of wild and uncontrolled __________, the other was wholly __________

Possible Answers:

chaos . . . malignant

foraging . . . saving

speculation . . . docile

insanity . . . turbulence

bedlam . . . tranquil

Correct answer:

bedlam . . . tranquil

Explanation:

Two things help to answer this question. First, note the fact that the sentence is giving a contrast. Secondly, the things being contrasted are kindergarten classrooms. The latter point eliminates "foraging . . . saving" and "speculation . . . docile," which really do not make sense in the context of kindergarten classes. The nature of the contrast is implied by the use of "wild and uncontrolled" to describe the state of the first classroom. The general implication is that the room is chaotic; however, it makes no sense to say that the other room is malignant—which is neither a contrasting term nor appropriate in meaning. Thus, the answers "bedlam" and "tranquil" are the best. "Bedlam" describes a place that is in total chaos. The word originally was used to name hospitals for mentally ill people. The word "tranquil" means "peaceful and undisturbed"—quite a contrast from "bedlam."

Example Question #21 : Nouns And Adjectives Or Adverbs In Two Blank Sentences

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

It is often difficult to be the child of an __________ parent, for such fame can often bring attention even to the family members, who would prefer to avoid constant __________ by the public.

Possible Answers:

ebullient . . . thoughtfulness

underrated . . . berating

illustrious . . . scrutiny

understated . . . fandom

incontinent . . . greetings

Correct answer:

illustrious . . . scrutiny

Explanation:

From the context of the sentence as a whole, the parent in question would be a famous one. Such fame brings attention even to the family, who would prefer to avoid such constant attention. The word "illustrious" means well-known and admired, and is often used to imply some kind of fame. It is related to the word "illustration"; just as illustrious people are well known, illustrations help to make something else known by presenting a picture of it. "Scrutiny" means careful observation. To "scrutinize" something (or someone) is to give it careful review, attention, and evaluation.

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