ISEE Upper Level Verbal : Synonyms: Prefixes from Latin

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #41 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

CONVIVIAL

Possible Answers:

Intoxicated

Sociable

Roaring

Skipping

Audible

Correct answer:

Sociable

Explanation:

The word “convivial” literally means “living with.” It is derived from the prefix “con-”, meaning “with” and the base “-vivial,” which is related to a cluster of words signifying life or living such as “vivacious,” “survive,” and “revive.” When someone is “convivial,” he or she is friendly or sociable. It is this latter sense that is found among the possible answers.

Example Question #82 : Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

PROGRESSIVE

Possible Answers:

Exorbitant

Futuristic

Destined

Developing

Libertine

Correct answer:

Developing

Explanation:

The word “progressive” is related to words like “regress” and “digression.” It is comprised of two roots, both of which are likely familiar. The prefix “pro-” here means “forward.” The “-gress” comes from the Latin word for “to step.” The words “grade” and “gradual” both come from this same base, as do the aforementioned words. The word “progress” means “a step forward” in the sense of advancing some activity or cause. The word “progressive” has many uses, though they all are related to this sense of “advancing.” A “progressive” idea is often one that looks to advance or make better the world. It often comes with the additional sense of being “enlightened” (sometimes implying, unfairly, that those who hesitate to make such changes are not as high-minded). Among the options provided, “developing” most closely fits the sense of “advancing.”

Example Question #42 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

ATHEIST

Possible Answers:

Immoralist

Secularist

Scientist

Nonbeliever

Heretic

Correct answer:

Nonbeliever

Explanation:

The word “atheist” means “one who does not believe in the existence of any god. The “a-” prefix here is privative, making the word to mean the opposite of the base “theist.”

The base itself means “one believing in God.” It is found in other words like “theology” (the study of God or gods) and “pantheism” (the belief that the world and God are identical). Likewise, the “th” becomes “d” in some contexts like “deity” and “deism.” Among the options given, the best is “nonbeliever.” Do not be tricked by the other options that are at most accidentally related to the word “atheist.”

Example Question #81 : Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

ANTECEDENT

Possible Answers:

Predicate

Intention

Maneuver

Appreciation

Precursor

Correct answer:

Precursor

Explanation:

"Antecedent" is a noun that means "a thing or event that existed before or logically precedes another," so we need to pick out another answer choice that means something like "forerunner." "Predicate" may look like a potentially correct answer because both it and "antecedent" have meanings specific to grammar. ("Antecedent" can also mean "a word, phrase, clause, or sentence to which another word (especially following a relative pronoun) refers.") However, "predicate" does not mean the same thing as "antecedent," so it cannot be the correct answer. "Precursor," a noun which means "a person or thing that comes before another of the same kind; a forerunner," is the answer choice that is closest in meaning to "antecedent," so "precursor" is the correct answer.

Example Question #42 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

EULOGY

Possible Answers:

Discussion

Funeral

Kindness

Oration

Panegyric

Correct answer:

Panegyric

Explanation:

Often, one speaks of a “eulogy” being delivered at a funeral, but such speeches are not necessarily limited to those occasions. The word is comprise of the prefix “eu-” and “-logy.” The former means “good.” It is found in the word “euphony,” meaning “good sounding.” The “-logy” portion of “eulogy” means “words” as found in the English word “logic.” For these reasons, “eulogy” generally means a speech given in praise of someone. A panegyric is likewise such a positive speech.

Example Question #82 : Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

INTERMISSION

Possible Answers:

Interval

Accomplishment

Task

Expedition

Conspiracy

Correct answer:

Interval

Explanation:

The “-mission” portion of “intermission” is related to Latin root words for “to send.” The word “transmit” literally means “to send across (from one area to another).” The prefix “inter-” means “between.” “Interscholastic” sports are sports between two schools. An intermission is a period of time that is placed “between” two things, for instance, between two acts in a play. The word “interval,” though somewhat more vague than this sense, is the best option among those given.

Example Question #81 : Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

REFUGE

Possible Answers:

Exile

Shelter

Rescued

Fleeing

Prisoner

Correct answer:

Shelter

Explanation:

The word “refuge” is derived from the prefix “re-”, here implying the sense of “back” and the base “-fuge.” The “-fuge” base is related to English words like “fugitive” and “refugee.” It is derived from the Latin for “to flee.” “Refuge” thus means “to flee back(ward).” A place that is a refuge is one to which someone flees for protection. For example, one could say, “The child fled to its mother’s arms as a refuge from its fear.” Of course, the word could be used to refer to a building, location, or anything else of that sort.

Example Question #41 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

OBLATION

Possible Answers:

Offering

Behind

Feeding

Recalled

Delayed

Correct answer:

Offering

Explanation:

Surprisingly, the word “oblation” is related to the word “translate.” When someone translates expressions from one language to another, he or she “carries them across” from one language to the other. The “-late” portion of “translate” contains this literal notion of “carrying.” The “ob-” prefix in “oblation” means “to” or “toward.” Literally considered, the word “oblation” means “carried toward.” Its direct English meaning is “an offering,” generally implying that this offering is religious in nature. It is an “offering” in the sense of “carrying” the item to the deity in question. Actually, the word “offering” is from the exact same irregular Latin roots as “oblation.”

Example Question #44 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

CONNOTATION

Possible Answers:

Amplification

Implication

Marginal

Sidebar

Insignificance

Correct answer:

Implication

Explanation:

The word “connotation” comes from Latin roots literally meaning, “To note with.” “Con-” is a prefix meaning “with” and is found in various forms in words like “connect” and “conjugal” as well as “community” and many others. When an expression or word “connotes” something it implies something beyond its literal meaning. For instance, one could say, “The word ‘enlightened’ often is used to connote the sense of being beyond superstitions and perhaps even non-religious.”

Example Question #43 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

EXCURSUS

Possible Answers:

Independent

Digression

Cheer

Tedium

Inspire

Correct answer:

Digression

Explanation:

The word “excursus” is related to “excursion,” though let us be careful to note the meanings of its parts. The “ex-” is the same as that found in “exit,” meaning “out of.” The “-cursus” portion comes from the Latin for “to run,” which is found in “currency” and “current” (a “running” flow of something). Thus, an excursion is a “going out into some adventure,” and an “excursus” is a more general “running out” in the sense of running outside the bounds of some discussion. The word “cursus” once applied to the course of studies in a subject. For instance, in the early modern period, one could find sets of text called Cursus Philosophicus or Cursus Theologicus, meaning (roughly) “A philosophy course” or “a theology course.” An “excursus” is a like an “aside” into a topic in more detail than is needed for the main “cursus.” The word “digression” means roughly the same thing.

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