ISEE Upper Level Verbal : Nouns in One-Blank Sentences

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #351 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

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

It is not only amazing beauty that draw the attention of many people. Often, the __________ of an obscure, unknown place is just as enticing as that of the most well-known and grand locales.

Possible Answers:

tenacity

triviality

intrigue

prominence

immensity

Correct answer:

intrigue

Explanation:

Luckily, the sentence gives you several clues that are repetitive. The contrast here is between "well-known," "grand locales" and ones that are not so well known. The only really tempting wrong answer should be "triviality," which means unimportance, but that really is too negative. We are talking about something that is enticing about the obscure place. Thus, the best option is "intrigue." This word indicates a quality of being both mysterious and also enticing. When we find something "intriguing," we find it to be interesting.

Example Question #351 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

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

Although the captain thought the team could not do any worse, they actually managed to perform below what he had thought was the __________ of their season.

Possible Answers:

zenith

negligence

collapse

defeat

nadir

Correct answer:

nadir

Explanation:

Since the captain thought the team could not do any worse than they had already done, he believed that they had reached their lowest point. The "nadir" is just that—the point of worst performance for an individual or a group. Do not confuse this with "zenith," which is actually the exact opposite, meaning highest point.

Example Question #521 : Sentence Completion

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

The president lauded the __________ that had been made in the small town. In three short years, it had become significantly safer and more suitable for family life.

Possible Answers:

progress

commercialization

facilitation

litigation

industrialization

Correct answer:

progress

Explanation:

In this sentence, you must not answer with any greater specificity than what is merited by the context clues. We are told only about the changes in safety and family life. Therefore, we cannot be sure if these matters were a result of industrialization or commercialization. (Realistically, these kinds of developments would likely be bad for family life, creating new dangers in the city.) Thus, while we are not sure of the specific kind of progress or development that was made, we do know that it is progress. Thus, the simple word "progress" is actually the best option!

Example Question #354 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

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

Afraid of hurting Oswald’s feelings, Mildred used a(n) __________ to express what she thought of his daughter.

Possible Answers:

judgment

utterance

euphemism

condescension

remark

Correct answer:

euphemism

Explanation:

The key thing to note in this sentence is that Mildred was "afraid of hurting Oswald's feelings." This means that she was unlikely to express her thoughts about his daughter in a harsh manner. A "euphemism" expresses something in an indirect manner in order to attempt to be polite or at least less severe. For example, someone who is fat might be called "big boned." This expression would be a euphemism. Likely, Mildred used such an expression to tell Oswald what she thought.

Example Question #355 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

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

The only __________ from the canyon was a small cave that passed through the mountain. When this became closed, there was no escape possible until the path was cleared.

Possible Answers:

valley

rivulet

egress

walkway

continuum

Correct answer:

egress

Explanation:

If you were to fill in this sentence on your own, you would likely say that "the cave" was the only "exit" from "the canyon." Now, don't be tempted by the options "walkway," "valley," and "rivulet," all of which have something to do with physical features that might be found in a canyon. Instead, the word "egress" is by far the best option. It roughly means, exit or the act of exiting. It comes from Latin roots similar to those found in "progress." Progress indicates movement forward—"pro+gress." An "egress," on the contrary, indicates movement outward: "ex+gress" or "e+gress".

Example Question #352 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

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

Early in the chemistry lab, the professor stressed the importance of thoroughly learning the __________ that would be used in all of the experiments the students would be doing during their studies at the college.

Possible Answers:

calculations

statistics

titrations

methodologies

complexities

Correct answer:

methodologies

Explanation:

Never attempt to be too specific with a sentence completion question. For this question, you do not know exactly what is being stressed beyond the basic kinds of procedures that would be used in experiments. Such procedures are also called "methods" or "methodologies." Hence, this is the best option among those provided. The others are either far too general ("complexities") or too specific ("titrations," "calculations," and "statistics").

Example Question #357 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

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

The soap was placed on a stick near the garden in order to function as a __________, causing the deer to stay away from the crops because of the smell.

Possible Answers:

poison

toxin

reek

stench

deterrent

Correct answer:

deterrent

Explanation:

We really cannot be sure how foul the soap smell was, even though it was being used to keep the deer away from the crops. The point is that the soap was being used to discourage the deer from coming around. (They may just hate the smell of the soap, even if it is very fresh smelling.) When something is a "deterrent," it does just this—it discourages. This option is far better than "stench" or "reek." Likewise, the soap smell is discouraging them from being around, but it is not, however, being said to kill them (as is implied by "poison" and "toxin").

Example Question #358 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

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

The young man was always aware of his social __________, for he knew that coming from a small town he was unlikely to be taken seriously by those who were raised amid greater wealth and culture.

Possible Answers:

imprudence

destitution

status

impoverishment

ignorance

Correct answer:

status

Explanation:

This sentence does NOT tell us that the young man was lacking in social knowledge or in financial resources. What it means to say is that he did not have the same upbringing as the others who were raised amid greater wealth and culture. The sentence implies that this gives him a standing in society that is somewhat beneath those other people. He is keenly aware of this status—hence, the best choice is "status," which actually comes from the same Latin roots as "standing." 

Example Question #359 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

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

Often, adults lament that the youth do not appreciate the hard work of their __________, many of whom strove for generations in order to build firm foundations for the family that were meant to last for generations.

Possible Answers:

progeny

successors

descendants

ancestors

parents

Correct answer:

ancestors

Explanation:

Clearly, the sentence is speaking of those who have "come before" the youth in question. Now, "descendants," "progeny," and "successors" all pertain to generations that come after a given generation. Thus, they would apply to the children and grandchildren of the current youth, not to the generations coming before the youth. Since the sentence speaks of generations of striving, it is better to choose "ancestors" than "parents." Strictly speaking, the word "parents" does not express the idea of many generations of ancestry.

Example Question #360 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

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

The __________ of the country’s debt did not seem to phase its inhabitants who were little worried about the effects of so great an amount of public indebtedness. 

Possible Answers:

magnitude

paucity

quantity

amount

state

Correct answer:

magnitude

Explanation:

Note carefully that the sentence speaks of "so great an amount of public indebtedness." If any of the options describe a large amount, said option will be the best among those offered. For this reason, the options "state," "amount," and "quantity" are far too generic (and do not indicate the large amount of indebtedness). "Paucity" means "scarcity" or "lack"—the exact opposite of what is needed! The best option is "magnitude," which means "great or large amount." It is from the Latin "magnus," meaning large or great. This same root is found in words like "magnify" and "magnificent."

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