SAT Critical Reading : Verbs in One-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #644 : One Blank Sentences

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

The coin that George threw into the wishing well __________ against the metal sides of the well before splashing into the water.

Possible Answers:

thudded

squawked

neighed

chortled

plinked

Correct answer:

plinked

Explanation:

We can infer that we need to pick out a verb that can describe a coin bouncing off of "the metal sides of the well." "Thudded" might look like a potentially correct answer, but "thud" as a verb means "move, fall, or strike something with a dull, heavy sound," and because a coin would not make "a dull, heavy sound," "thudded" cannot be the correct answer. "Plink," however, is a word that when used as a verb, means "emit a short, sharp, metallic or ringing sound," and because "plink" best describes the noise a coin would make when bouncing off of the metal sides of a well, "plinked" is the correct answer.

Example Question #645 : One Blank Sentences

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

In order to enter the monastery, the man __________ his influential work in order to embrace a much simpler and detached life.

Possible Answers:

overcame

despised

reduced

curtailed

forsook

Correct answer:

forsook

Explanation:

The only thing implied by the sentence is that the man “turned away from” his influential work to the simpler form of life. It cannot be said that he necessarily despised it, and any talk of reduction does not capture the sense of “converting” from one lifestyle to another. The word “forsook” is the past form of “forsake,” meaning “to abandon.” This is the closest option for matching the sense of turning from one life to another.

Example Question #646 : One Blank Sentences

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

One of the perks of the magazine editor's job was that she had all monthly fees related to her subscription __________ and received a free copy each month.

Possible Answers:

decreased

waived

tallied

increased

managed

Correct answer:

waived

Explanation:

We can infer that because the editor "received a free copy" of the magazine "each month," that she paid no fees for her subscription, and that it was free. So, we need to pick out a word that means something like "ignored" or "canceled." While "decreased" may look like a potentially correct answer, "decreased" would imply that the fees' sum went down, but that there was still some remaining balance to be paid. "Waived," a verb that means "to officially say that you will not use or require something that you are allowed to have or that is usually required," is the best answer choice because it implies that the magazine editor paid no fees whatsoever. So, because "waived" best fits the context of the sentence, it is the correct answer.

Example Question #647 : One Blank Sentences

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

The king's advisors all __________ over him, hoping that that they could flatter and compliment their way to a more powerful or lucrative position at court.

Possible Answers:

fawned

trod

begged

presumed

wilted

Correct answer:

fawned

Explanation:

Because we know that the king's advisors constantly praised and flattered him in the interest of gaining "more powerful or lucrative position[s] at court," we need to pick out an adjective for the blank that means something like "flattered." While "begged" may look like a potentially correct answer, the advisors are not overtly begging for better positions, and one does not "beg over" someone—that's not grammatically correct. "Fawned," on the other hand, when used as a verb describing a person's actions, means "gave a servile display of exaggerated flattery or affection, typically in order to gain favor or advantage." Because "fawned" best fits the context of the sentence, it is the correct answer.

Example Question #111 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

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

The young electrician was quite aware of his lack of experience and therefore __________ to the master electrician for exact instructions on how to undertake the complicated project.

Possible Answers:

questioned

rushed

returned

deferred

approached

Correct answer:

deferred

Explanation:

The trap word among the answers is “questioned,” but do not be fooled by it. The young electrician is totally turning to the master for advice. When someone admits his or her own lack of ability and the need to have someone else provide for it, that person is said to “defer” to the other. Someone who is respectful of superiors is often said to have a “deferential” personality. The word “defer” has another meaning, namely, “to put off to a later time,” but that is not appropriate here.

Example Question #112 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

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

Security forces __________ off the plaza in order to prevent any civilians from entering the scene of the gruesome crime.

Possible Answers:

evicted

hurled

cordoned

ran

dashed

Correct answer:

cordoned

Explanation:

The important thing to note in this sentence is that the security forces are trying to prevent civilians from entering the area. They are not expulsing them from the area; therefore, the best option is “cordoned,” which means “to prevent access,” generally by means of guards or some kind of security personnel. The word is related to “cord,” so you can remember it by thinking of a cord being placed around the perimeter of an area to prevent entry.

Example Question #113 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

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

The six people __________ on the project, for all of their talents were necessary to complete all of its aspects.

Possible Answers:

reflected

communicated

collaborated

communed

competed

Correct answer:

collaborated

Explanation:

The sense of this sentence is that it was necessary for all six people to work together on this project (in order to bring all of their talents to bear on its various aspects). When people work together on something, they are said to “collaborate,” which literally means “to work together.” The “col-” prefix is really the “cum-” or “con-” prefix meaning “together” or “with,” as is found in “cumulative” and “congregation;” however, here, it alters to fit with the “l” of “-laborated.” In this regard, think or “collect.” The second part of the word is derived from the Latin for “to work” and is found in English words like “labor” and “laborious.”

Example Question #114 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

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

John was often called on to __________ the academics of the state high schools in order to judge their compliance with the approved standards.

Possible Answers:

evaluate

observe

contemplate

survey

detect

Correct answer:

evaluate

Explanation:

Since John is considering the academics of the school not merely as an observer but as one judging their compliance with standards, it is best to say that he is evaluating the school. The word is derived from the familiar prefix “e-”, meaning “out of,” and the base that is related to the word “value.” An “evaluation,” is a drawing out (in the sense of making explicit and noted) the value of some thing, often against some standard of comparison.

Example Question #115 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

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

In preparation for the camping trip, Lucille was given funds to go to the store to __________ the food for the outing.

Possible Answers:

reconnoiter

process

procure

espy

review

Correct answer:

procure

Explanation:

The only hint that we have in this sentence is that Lucille was given funds to go to the store. The best option will be one that at least implies that she is going to the store to buy the food. The word “procure” fits this need, meaning to get something with discernment or care. This at least implies the purchase of the goods, though you should note that it has the added notion of care. The word comes from the Latin “curare,” meaning “to see to” or “to attend to.” It is thus related to words like “curator.” A “pro-curer” attends to matters on behalf of someone else.

Example Question #116 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

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

After realizing that she had made an error in balancing her checkbook, Ethel decided to __________ the details of every line of every receipt in her purse to see if she had overlooked some detail.

Possible Answers:

inquire

scrutinize

review

scan

overlook

Correct answer:

scrutinize

Explanation:

Since Ethel planned to look at “every line” of “every receipt,” one could fairly say that she planned a thorough investigation of the matter. Although one could somewhat weakly say that she decided to review these details, the best option is “scrutinize,” which indicates that she will look carefully and deeply at each and every detail in question. When something is subjected to scrutiny, it is given very careful review.

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