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 #61 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

PROCRASTINATE

Possible Answers:

Ignore

Loaf

Pain

Mindless

Delay

Correct answer:

Delay

Explanation:

You likely know the word “procrastinate” as an insult or as a panicked word when you have put off your work and find a deadline quickly approaching. The word literally means “to put off until tomorrow.” The prefix “pro-” means “forward or toward,” and the “-cras-” portion of the word comes from the Latin for tomorrow.   Note that this is not the same as the “crass” that means “unrefined or rude.” One can fairly say that “to procrastinate” is “to delay.”

Example Question #61 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

ACQUIRE

Possible Answers:

Pilfer

Obtain

Snatch

Steal

Fudge

Correct answer:

Obtain

Explanation:

The word “acquire” actually comes from the compounding of the prefix “ad-” and the a base related to “question” and “enquiry.” The prefix means “to or toward” and is found in many English words like “advance” and “adapt.” The general sense of the word is “to obtain or buy,” and this meaning is related to the combination of the words’ parts, which would mean, “to seek for something,” implying that one would seek rather strongly for that thing in order to “be at it,” that is, to have or own it.

Example Question #61 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

IMPARTIAL

Possible Answers:

Comprehensive

Superfluous

Poignant

Equitable

Discrete

Correct answer:

Equitable

Explanation:

Because "impartial" means treating all sides equally; fair and just, the best answer choice is "equitable," which means fair and impartial.

Example Question #63 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

SUPERFICIAL

Possible Answers:

Surface

Witless

Annoying

Vapid

Overlook

Correct answer:

Surface

Explanation:

While “superficial” often is used to describe someone who is “not deep” or perhaps “trivial” in his or her interests, the word literally means “being on the upper most face.” The word “surface” is actually closely related to the word. The prefix “super-” means “above,” and “-ficial” comes from relatives of “face or surface.” Therefore, someone who is “superficial” is “on the surface” (that is, not going any deeper than the uppermost layer). The word “superficial” can be used as an adjective that merely means “surface” or “surface-level” as in “superficial wounds,” which would mean “surface wounds” or “surface-level wounds.”

Example Question #61 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

REDUNDANT

Possible Answers:

Illegible

Conflicting

Idiocy

Unneeded

Perplexing

Correct answer:

Unneeded

Explanation:

The word “redundant” comes from the prefix “re-” meaning “again,” and (perhaps strangely at first sight) the word for “wave.” The “-und-” portion is the same as that found in “undulation,” which means “a wave motion.” Something that is “redundant” is something that is “surging up (like a wave) again.” A redundant expression uses multiple words where they are not needed since they both express the same thing. (It is like the same meaning “surges up” twice!) Think of the expression “usually customary.” Customs are actions that are regularly performed by a group, person, etc. There is no need to use the modifier “usually.”

Example Question #62 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

IMPIOUS

Possible Answers:

Pitiful

Meaningful

Respectful

Welcoming

Sacrilegious

Correct answer:

Sacrilegious

Explanation:

"Impious" is an adjective that can mean either "not showing respect or reverence, especially for a god," or "wicked" when describing a person or act. So, "respectful" cannot be the correct answer because "respectful" is an antonym of "impious." "Sacrilegious," however, is an adjective that means "treating a holy place or object in a way that does not show proper respect," and because it is the answer choice closest in meaning to "impious," it is the correct answer.

Example Question #61 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

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

UNWAVERING

Possible Answers:

Restful

Beneficial

Resolute

Standard

Comfortable

Correct answer:

Resolute

Explanation:

When someone “wavers,” he or she moves from side to side, as when something vibrates or wavers in the wind. This term could be applied merely to someone’s walking, but it is often used to describe personal attitudes. If a person, for instance, “Wavers in courage,” he or she is not completely courageous but sometimes loses this disposition, then to regain it, only again to lose it, and so forth. If someone is “unwavering,” that person does not alter in this way and is fixed to some goal. “Unwavering courage” would be bravery in all things, without hesitation or doubt. To be resolute is to be certain and fixed in one’s choices, as when one makes a resolution.

Example Question #62 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

PRESAGE

Possible Answers:

Foreshadow

Wise

Adorable

Prodigious

Precocious

Correct answer:

Foreshadow

Explanation:

When used as a verb, the word “presage” means to be a sign of a future event, often implying that this is a sign of warning. The word comes from the prefix “pre-”, meaning before, and the base “sage,” which does not merely mean wise, but to perceive keenly. Someone who is “sagacious” is wise precisely because that person keenly perceives reality. The word would be used in a sentence like, “In many cultures, the flying of a crow over a barn presaged a poor harvest in the coming year.”

Example Question #63 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

MISNOMER

Possible Answers:

nexus

certitude

grotto

aberration

husbandry

Correct answer:

aberration

Explanation:

"Misnomer" and "aberration" both mean an error or misjudgment. "Certitude" means sureness or certainty. "Nexus" means the center or core. "Husbandry" means farming or agriculture. "Grotto" means a cave or cavern

Example Question #64 : Synonyms: Prefixes From Latin

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

BENEDICTION

Possible Answers:

Guise

Sanctuary

Blessing

Diatribe

Antithesis

Correct answer:

Blessing

Explanation:

The prefix ben- means good, virtuous in Latin. Also the root -dict- means to do with speaking. So a "benediction" is a spoken blessing. To provide further help, a "sanctuary" is a safe place; "antithesis" means opposite; a "guise" is a disguise, something to hide one's identity; a "diatribe" is a verbal or written attack

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