ISEE Upper Level Verbal : Two 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 #21 : Two Adjectives Or Adverbs In Two Blank Sentences

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

Wanting to appear __________ in front of her friends, the teenage girl __________ approached the door to the haunted house and hesitantly knocked.

Possible Answers:

courageous . . . reluctantly

brave . . . daringly

skittish . . . audaciously

frightened . . . boldly

Correct answer:

courageous . . . reluctantly

Explanation:

Again, we are looking for antonyms here. The clue word is "hesitantly," which means cautiously or with hesitation. The girl is scared, but she is trying to look brave in front of her friends. "Courageous" (brave) and "reluctantly" (unwillingly) are the only two words that fit.

Example Question #22 : Two Adjectives Or Adverbs In Two Blank Sentences

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

In an effort to sate its __________ appetite, a caterpillar will __________ eat twenty times its body weight every day.

Possible Answers:

voracious . . . ravenously

rapacious . . . delicately

greedy . . . daintily

finicky . . . gluttonously

Correct answer:

voracious . . . ravenously

Explanation:

The clue in this sentence is that a caterpillar eats twenty times its body weight every day. Therefore, we can infer that it is hungry. We need two words that mean hungry and hungrily. "Voracious" and "ravenously" fit the bill. 

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

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

John Wilkes Booth is considered one of the most __________ men in history for his __________ assasination of President Abraham Lincoln.

Possible Answers:

perfidious . . . treacherous

recreant . . . dedicated

devout . . . traitorous

disloyal . . . steadfast

Correct answer:

perfidious . . . treacherous

Explanation:

Our clue is that the sentence is about John Wilkes Booth, one of the most traitorous men in history. We need synonyms for "traitorous." "Perfidious" and "treachrous" both work. The wrong answers are combinations of synonyms and antonyms of "traitorous" that don't work.

Example Question #24 : Two Adjectives Or Adverbs In Two Blank Sentences

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

Mr. Johnson was quite __________ when he returned home to find that the money he had so __________ locked in his safe was nowhere to be found. 

Possible Answers:

enthralled . . . forcefully

disconcerted . . . discreetly

belittled . . . unintentionally

confused . . . reluctantly

Correct answer:

disconcerted . . . discreetly

Explanation:

We know from reading the sentence that Mr. Johnson returned home to find that the money he had placed in his safe was not there. We can infer that for the first blank, we want a word like "surprised" or "angry" or "upset." The word "disconcerted" means unnerved or upset, so this could work. The word "confused" might also work. The other two word choices for the first blank do not work: "enthralled" means fascinated, and "belittled" means criticized or dismissed. Continuing on to the second blank, we know we have to choose between "discreetly" and "reluctantly." We can infer that Mr. Johnson locked the money in the safe intentionally, and that he probably didn't want many people to know (because he didn't want his money to be stolen!). Since "discreetly" means prudently or without drawing attention to oneself, this is the best choice. "Reluctantly" means hesitantly, and is not a good choice.

Example Question #284 : Parts Of Speech In Two Blank Sentences

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

So much of language is not __________, for we often use __________ expressions instead of strictly factual statements.

Possible Answers:

scholarly . . . journalistic

sincere . . . falsified

literal . . . figurative

evaluative . . . scientific

serious . . . jocund

Correct answer:

literal . . . figurative

Explanation:

The key expression is "instead of strictly factual statements." These are contrasted to the second blank and implied as a synonym of the first blank. "Figurative" language is non-literal language. It is like making a "figure" or "picture" in words instead of employing strict meaning. For example, when we say that a storm is "raging," we are using the word "raging" in a non-literal sense, since this strictly applies to human emotions. The word "literal" means involving a word's primary meaning and not any form of extended meaning, such as metaphor. Indeed, "literal" means, "by the letter itself"—sort of like the "letter of the law," as we often say.

Example Question #25 : Two Adjectives Or Adverbs In Two Blank Sentences

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

Although the dentist was quite able to address some __________ diseases, he was far from being __________ regarding all possible maladies of the mouth.

Possible Answers:

exciting . . . reflective

recondite . . . trained

oral . . . competent

invariant . . . available

unusual . . . benign

Correct answer:

oral . . . competent

Explanation:

The hint regarding the first blank is the expression "maladies of the mouth" used in the main clause. A "malady" is a disease, so the adjective being used to describe the diseases in the first clause must pertain to ones found in the mouth. Such diseases are "oral," a word coming from the Latin for "mouth." The second blank is contrasted to the abilities noted in the introductory clause. While the dentist could treat some diseases, he was not competent in treating every kind of oral disease. "Competence" is the ability to do something.

Example Question #26 : Two Adjectives Or Adverbs In Two Blank Sentences

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

Peter was not known for being __________; instead of carefully crafting his questions, he would __________ ask them without much hesitation or care at all.

Possible Answers:

forward . . . never

intelligent . . . gregariously

 

forceful . . . timidly

subtle . . . bluntly

kind . . . plaintively

Correct answer:

subtle . . . bluntly

Explanation:

Since Peter asks questions without much hesitation or care, he likely is very direct. To be "blunt" is to be direct and, often, outspoken. Such a person is like a "blunt" piece of wood—lacking any sharp points or subtlety. He is like a flat, straight board—everything is exposed and direct. Thus, "bluntly" is an excellent choice for the second blank. The first blank is contrasted to this. If someone is blunt, he or she will likely not be known for being "subtle," which is to be delicate and elaborate, often making many distinctions.

Example Question #22 : Two Adjectives Or Adverbs In Two Blank Sentences

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

_________ food soon grew very _________, and the people were forced to consume food that they never would have considered to be edible, much less tasty, before the famine.

Possible Answers:

Disgusting . . . beleaguered

Delectable . . . advantageous

Palatable . . . scarce

Portentous . . . common

Candid . . . rare

Correct answer:

Palatable . . . scarce

Explanation:

Let's start with the second blank. From the context of the sentence, we know that we need to pick out an adjective that means something like not readily available, since the sentence is talking about food in the context of a famine. Either "scarce" (not enough in quantity to meet a given demand) or "rare" could be correct. For the first blank, we need to consider what kind of food is being discussed; we know that it is the people are reduced to eating food that is not tasty and barely edible, so either "palatable" (tasty) or "delectable" (delicious) could be correct, as delicious, tasty food would be very rare during a famine. Of the possible words that we've identified as potentially correct for each blank, only "palatable" and "scarce" appear in the same answer choice, so the correct answer is "palatable . . . scarce."

Example Question #27 : Two Adjectives Or Adverbs In Two Blank Sentences

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

Thinking about it, I was a bit of a nuisance during my teenage years; in __________, I realize that I probably upset many of my teachers with my __________ behavior.

Possible Answers:

retrospect . . . noncompliant 

forewarning . . . nostalgic

fairness . . . humorous 

hindsight . . . magnanimous 

foresight . . . eclectic 

Correct answer:

retrospect . . . noncompliant 

Explanation:

The author of this sentence reveals that he is thinking about his past, which should lead you to one of two answer choices: either “retrospect” or “hindsight.” From there, it is a simple manner of determining whether “magnanimous” or “noncompliant” behavior would be more likely to upset a teacher. “Magnanimous” means generous and “noncompliant” means not compliant, or unruly and disobedient, so we can safely say that the correct answer is “retrospect . . . noncompliant.” To provide further help, “foresight” is knowledge of future events before they occur; “eclectic” means varied; “forewarning” is a warning about something likely to happen soon; “nostalgic” means fondly remembering the past; and “humorous” means funny

Example Question #28 : Two Adjectives Or Adverbs In Two Blank Sentences

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

Sally is shy and reserved and struggles to make friends; however her __________ nature is often offset by the __________ nature of her sister, Margaret, who is loud and affable and helps make friends for the both of them. 

Possible Answers:

intrinsic . . . extraneous 

intrepid . . . explicit 

innocuous . . . extrajudicial 

introspective . . . external

introverted . . . extroverted 

Correct answer:

introverted . . . extroverted 

Explanation:

It is clear that Sally and Margaret have opposite natures. Whereas Sally is "shy" and "struggles to make friends," Margaret is "loud and affable." Sally is an “introvert” and Margaret is an “extrovert.” You will notice that the prefixes "in-" and "ex-" usually mean the opposite of one another, when placed in front of the same root word. To provide further help, “introspective” means internally thoughtful; “external” means on the outside; “intrepid” means adventurous and “explicit” means directly stated or rude; “intrinsic” means innate and “extraneous” means not needed; “innocuous” means harmless and “extrajudicial” means beyond the law.

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