PSAT Critical Reading : Adjectives and Adverbs in One-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Captain Cook’s __________ adventure through the Pacific Ocean discovered many new lands for the British Empire.

Possible Answers:

undermined

facile

intrepid

convivial

imperious

Correct answer:

intrepid

Explanation:

The blank is an adjective being used to describe the noun adventure. Facile means easy and does not likely fit with the description of sail through the Pacific Ocean. Imperious means arrogant and could perhaps accurately describe the mindset of a man who sets out to explore the complete unknown, but it is important to remember we are always looking for the best answer. Convivial means pleasant or sociable. Undermined refers to the weakening of something. Intrepid means bold and courageous and fits comfortably with the description of an adventure.

Example Question #1 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Mother Theresa was known for her __________ personality; she gave often and generously to the poor.

Possible Answers:

insolent

arcane 

intrepid 

incoherent 

bountiful 

Correct answer:

bountiful 

Explanation:

From the context of the sentence you know that whatever aspect of Mother Theresa’s personality is being described must relate to generosity and giving to the poor. Of the five answer choices only bountiful means giving generously, and is therefore the correct answer. Intrepid means adventurous; incoherent means impossible to understand; insolent means rude; arcane means mysterious or hard to understand.

Example Question #1 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

The rhetoric of North Korean leaders has long been described as __________ by the American and South Korean governments who fear a return to war.

Possible Answers:

conciliatory

dismissive 

affable

bellicose 

laconic 

Correct answer:

bellicose 

Explanation:

From the context of the sentence you know that the blank word must describe some aggressive quality of North Korean rhetoric that causes the other governments to fear the outbreak of war. This reveals that the correct answer is “bellicose” which means belligerent, aggressive or war-like. Affable means friendly; dismissive means to undermine the importance of something; laconic means terse or brief; conciliatory means appeasing or pacifying.

Example Question #11 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

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

The various engagements she had promised to attend made her weekend plans a particularly __________ puzzle.

Possible Answers:

adroit

straightforward

blithe

knotty

simple

Correct answer:

knotty

Explanation:

The many different engagements indicate that the weekend schedule will be a difficult problem. The correct answer is a synonym of "difficult." Of the answer choices, "knotty," meaning complex, is the only synonym for difficult.

Example Question #1 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

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

King James I was a famously ­­__________ man; he rarely interjected during meetings with his council, preferring to listen and observe.

Possible Answers:

meticulous 

ludicrous 

suspicious

portly 

taciturn 

Correct answer:

taciturn 

Explanation:

The sentence describes how King James I rarely spoke in his council meetings, so you know that the word we're looking for must relate to some quality of silence or using words sparingly. This means that the correct answer is “taciturn,” which means silent or reserved in speech. "Suspicious" means distrustful; "ludicrous" means absurd; "meticulous" describes someone who pays close attention to detail; and "portly" describes someone who is big or fat.

Example Question #16 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

The professor loved diagramming everything on the chalkboard, so after a day of lecturing his hands were usually __________; he kept moisturizing lotion in his office for this reason.

Possible Answers:

desicated

benign

distraught

distal

proximal

Correct answer:

desicated

Explanation:

"Desicated" means dried out. The fact that the professor needs moisturizer and that he has his hands covered in chalk tells us that this is the best choice. The other answer choices do not make sense, as "distal" means distant, "proximal" means close, next to, or nearby, "benign" means harmless, and "distraught" means upset.

Example Question #17 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

Jamie was __________ after finishing the marathon, and his wife had to handle the kids by herself for the rest of the day.

Possible Answers:

splendid

bewildered

enthused

exhausted

disenchanted

Correct answer:

exhausted

Explanation:

The contextual clues in the sentence tell us that Jamie was not able to do much after he finished the race, and because it was a marathon it is reasonable to assume that the reason for this is that he had no energy left. The word "exhausted" means drained of one's physical or mental resources, so "exhausted" is the correct answer because it best fits the sentence's context.

Example Question #11 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

In the poem entitled The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost writes about two different and __________ paths that people can take in their lives.

Possible Answers:

adverse

 

divergent

convergent

nefarious

analogous

Correct answer:

divergent

Explanation:

Something that is divergent is dissimilar or different. The key word to notice in the sentence is "different," which indicates that the two roads people can take are divergent.

Example Question #12 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

In Gulliver's Travels, Gulliver comes upon a land where the people are __________; they are small in size compared to Gulliver, who has an average body size.

Possible Answers:

prodigious

gargantuan

augmented

erroneous

lilliputian

Correct answer:

lilliputian

Explanation:

If something is "lilliputian" in size, it means that it is small. Since the people of the country are smaller than Gulliver, who is average size, this is the best answer.

Example Question #663 : One Blank Sentences

After staying up the entire night before the exam to study, Joe was __________ the next day.

Possible Answers:

invigorated

emaciated

lethargic

jocular

taciturn

Correct answer:

lethargic

Explanation:

Since Joe pulled an all-nighter, he was presumably tired, or lethargic, the next day.

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