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 #664 : One Blank Sentences

The ice sculpture, floating island, and expensive party favors seemed __________ to the bride, who had wanted a small affair.

Possible Answers:

tactful

rancorous

ostentatious

perfidious

reverent

Correct answer:

ostentatious

Explanation:

Since the bride had wanted a small wedding, the flaunting of wealth through the sculpture and party favors would have seemed "ostentatious."

Example Question #14 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

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

The ancient king Asoka was famously __________, and for this reason he was often called upon to mediate in disputes between his subjects.

Possible Answers:

lackadaisical

condescending

equitable 

deplorable 

impoverished 

Correct answer:

equitable 

Explanation:

From the context of the sentence, you know that King Asoka must have possessed some positive trait that caused people to come to him for help in settling disagreements. Of the five possible answer choices, only "equitable"(fair) describes a positive attribute when it comes to mediation. As for the other answer choices, "deplorable" means appalling or terrible; "condescending" means talking down to someone or being arrogant towards someone; "lackadaisical" means careless, apathetic, or lazy; and "impoverished" means very poor.

Example Question #21 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

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

Marie Antoinette was __________ about her appearance; she once refused to meet the English Queen because she was worried that a single hair had gone grey. 

Possible Answers:

cursory

vindictive

fastidious

restrained 

steadfast 

Correct answer:

fastidious

Explanation:

From the context of this sentence, you know firstly that the blank word must describe some attitude taken by Marie Antoinette towards her appearance, and that it must relate to her worries about something small (the “single grey hair”). The word "fastidious" means concerned with making the smallest details perfect, and is the correct answer. As for the other answer choices, "vindictive" means spiteful; "cursory" means done in a quick and superficial way; "restrained" means showing restraint; and "steadfast" means unwavering in resolve and firm of purpose.

Example Question #24 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

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

The young prince was famously __________, often sulking and complaining for days at a time when he did not get his way.

Possible Answers:

miserly 

petulant 

notorious

vindictive

incessant

Correct answer:

petulant 

Explanation:

The way this sentence is constructed tells you that the missing word being used to describe the young Prince must relate to his frequent episodes of sulking and complaining. Of the five answer choices, "petulant," which means sulky or ill-tempered, most closely matches this description. As for the other answer choices, "miserly" means greedy or unwilling to share; "incessant" means constant; "notorious" refers to someone who is famous for the wrong reasons; and "vindictive" means looking for revenge or spiteful.

Example Question #671 : One Blank Sentences

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

John's teacher told him that he needed to cut down on the punctuation; there were __________ commas everywhere in his last essay.

Possible Answers:

dissonant

essential

superfluous

flatulent

exquisite

Correct answer:

superfluous

Explanation:

"Superfluous" means excessive. We know from the first half of the sentence that John uses too much punctuation, so this is the correct choice. "Essential" and "exquisite" are both positive adjectives, so they don't work in this blank. "Flatulent" and "dissonant" simply don't make sense when describing commas.

Example Question #26 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

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

It is often difficult for historians to construct a(n) __________ narrative, as personal bias affects every individual.

Possible Answers:

rhetorical

whimsical

influential

dispassionate

verbose

Correct answer:

dispassionate

Explanation:

The sentence reveals that it is difficult for a historian to construct a certain type of narrative because of the impact of bias; therefore, the word that goes in the blank must refer to the quality of being unbiased. "Dispassionate" means calmly objective or not influenced by personal feelings, so it is the best answer. As for the other answer choices, "whimsical" means quirky; "rhetorical" means relating to strategies of making language effective and persuasive; "verbose" means wordy; and "influential" means having influence or important.

Example Question #22 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

The unlabelled milk proved to be so __________ that I had a stomachache for the rest of the day after cleaning out the refrigerator.

Possible Answers:

unsatisfactory

counterfeit

noxious 

knotty

monstrous

Correct answer:

noxious 

Explanation:

The answer is "noxious" since the subject of the sentence got a stomachache after coming in contact with the "harmful and toxic" milk.

Example Question #673 : One Blank Sentences

The colors were faded, the performers seemed tired, and the music played on a repetitive loop; on the whole, it was a rather __________ performance.

Possible Answers:

feasible 

fastidious

lackluster

lucrative

pretentious

Correct answer:

lackluster

Explanation:

Lackluster is correct because it means dull or lacking in brilliance. We know from the first part of the sentence that the blank should contain a negative adjective, so feasible and lucrative don't work. Pretentious describes something or someone who wants to be regarded as impressive, and fastidious describes a person who is careful and meticulous. Neither describe a falling-apart performance.

Example Question #674 : One Blank Sentences

Harry tried to blend in with the crowd, but he had forgotten about the bright pink bow on his head, which made him look particularly __________.

Possible Answers:

enthused

fanatic

impervious

conciliatory

conspicuous

Correct answer:

conspicuous

Explanation:

Conspicuous is the correct answer because it means to stand out or be more visible. Enthused or fanatic are other adjectives that might fit wearing a bright pink bow, but the conspicuous contrasts well with how he "tried to blend in with the crowd."

Example Question #675 : One Blank Sentences

"Oh, but I liked young Harry," exclaimed Sue's grandmother. "He was so charming and __________!"

Possible Answers:

winsome

valuable

brusque

solid

volatile

Correct answer:

winsome

Explanation:

Winsome is correct because it means attractive or handsome. We know it has to be something that is positive because it is paired with "charming." Brusque and volatile are both negative adjectives and can be eliminated.

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