SAT Critical Reading : Verbs in One-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

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Example Question #764 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

Known for his eloquence, the professor __________ the topic so clearly that everyone understood him.

Possible Answers:

gestured

published

shouted

refuted

articulated

Correct answer:

articulated

Explanation:

Since the professor is "known for his eloquence," which means his skillful way with words, we should expect that he explained or revealed the topic clearly to everyone. The best answer choice is "articulated," which means stated or explained something clearly. "Refuted" indicates that the professor rejected or opposed the topic, which doesn't fit the sentence. "Shouted" indicates volume, not clarity, so that isn't the best fit. While "published," which means put in print, might work, it doesn't really fit the idea that the professor made the topic clear—many published books don't explain things well! "Gestured" means to communicate with bodily motion—close, since it refers to communication, but doesn't fit the idea that communication was clear.

Example Question #765 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

Since the council could not arrive at a decision on the matter, they decided to __________ it until the next meeting.

Possible Answers:

defer

relieve

schedule

disregard

ignore

Correct answer:

defer

Explanation:

Here, it is necessary to choose the best word, not merely one that “seems to fit.” The implication is that the council “put off” the decision until the next meeting. We cannot say that they “scheduled it,” for that implies slightly more than what our blank seems to require. Instead, the word “defer” would be best fit the usage, for it means “to put off.” It is literally derived from Latin roots meaning “to carry away,” roots that can be found likewise in a word like “aquifer,” which is a construction that carries (-fer) water (aqui-).

Example Question #766 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

The mill makes flour by __________ wheat between two large, heavy stones which are turned as horses pull them.

Possible Answers:

dealing

flattening

climbing

pulverizing

whetting

Correct answer:

pulverizing

Explanation:

We know that the mill makes flour by crushing wheat between two large stones, so we need to pick out an answer choice that means something like "crushing." While "flattening" might seem like a potentially correct answer, "pulverizing" is the better choice, as "pulverizing" means "reducing to fine particles" or, more informally, "defeat utterly." Because "pulverizing" best fits the context of the sentence, it is the correct answer.

Example Question #767 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

As the waters slowly __________, exposing the surface recently flooded boardwalk, the community began to assess the overall damage of the storm as the ground finally began to dry.

Possible Answers:

undulated

brightened

sloshed

cleared

receded

Correct answer:

receded

Explanation:

Two things must be noticed in this sentence: the expression “exposing the surface . . .” and “as the ground finally began to dry.” Since the sentence refers to the second point (the drying ground), we can eliminate the options “cleared” and “brightened.” The exposure of the boardwalk was more than mere visual exposure from clearing of water. The word “receded” works best, as it means “to draw back.” The prefix “re-” here means “backward” as in words like “recall” and “rebuild.” The “-cede” means “to go” and is found in words like “precede” and “proceed.”

Example Question #768 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

By adding the strawberries to the liquid gelatin just as it was beginning to __________, Vicky was able to suspend the berries in the resulting solid gelatin.

Possible Answers:

revert

mutate

liquify

coagulate

melt

Correct answer:

coagulate

Explanation:

We can infer that because Vicky adds the strawberries to the liquid gelatin and by doing so is able to suspend them in "the resulting solid gelatin," that we need to pick out a verb that means something like "change from liquid to solid." Neither "melt" nor "liquify" can be the correct answer, then, because each of those terms describes a transition from solid to liquid, and we're looking for a word to describe a transition from liquid to solid. "Coagulate," however, is a verb that is used of a fluid, especially blood, and means "change to a solid or semisolid state," and because "coagulate" best describes the gelatin's transition from liquid to solid, "coagulate" is the correct answer.

Example Question #769 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

Although pro bono work is not ___________ monetarily, it is rewarding insofar as the one rendering the services enjoys the benefit of knowing that he or she has helped a poor client.

Possible Answers:

relished

compensated

enjoyed

spurned

abhorred

Correct answer:

compensated

Explanation:

In this sentence, you are well served by knowing the meaning of “pro bono,” namely for the public good, often implying free as well. Indeed, the term is most often used more loosely in the sense of for free, as when a lawyer takes a case for free on behalf of a poor person who has been grievously wronged. If you did not know this, you could infer that one doing pro bono work was rewarded in some non-monetary manner (as is implied by the main clause of the sentence). Since the sentence is ultimately about “reward” (and hence, to some degree about “repayment”), the best option is “compensated,” which means broadly paid for something, though you should know that it more specifically means paid for some loss or difficulty. Though it has this more limited sense, it is often used in the looser manner noted.

Example Question #770 : Isee Upper Level (Grades 9 12) Verbal Reasoning

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

After deciding that the flock of sparrows did not __________ a threat, the squirrel climbed onto the bird feeder and began to eat the birdseed.

Possible Answers:

hinder

mimic

diminish

constitute

pledge

Correct answer:

constitute

Explanation:

Because the squirrel decided that the sparrows were not a threat, we're looking for a verb that means something like represent. Because "constitute" means amount to, make up, form, or compose it is the best answer.

Example Question #211 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

Celine decided to __________ distraction by unplugging her internet router, turning off her phone's volume, and not going near the television until she finished her project.

Possible Answers:

abdicate

solicit

imply

eschew

saturate

Correct answer:

eschew

Explanation:

Since Celine got her project done by avoiding distractions, we can infer that we're looking for a verb that means something like "avoid." While "abdicate" may sound like a potentially correct answer because it means "give up," it is specifically used for monarchs and means "to renounce the throne," so it wouldn't work in our sentence's context. "Eschew," however, means "deliberately avoid using; abstain from," so it is the correct answer.

Example Question #212 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word that best completes the following sentence.

During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt gave many explanatory speeches to the American public, hoping to __________ fears over the lengthening economic crisis.

Possible Answers:

propagate

exacerbate

allay 

undulate 

harmonize 

Correct answer:

allay 

Explanation:

This question requires a small amount of critical thinking on your part. You likely will conclude that the President would be seeking to remove or help ameliorate the fears of the American people during a depression. This would lead you to the correct answer “allay,” which means to calm or relieve. "Exacerbate" is opposite in meaning and means make something greater or worse; "harmonize" means complement; "propagate" means to spread; and "undulate" means to roll and ripple.

Example Question #261 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Throughout his school career, Joseph __________ all the traits of a good pupil: punctuality, tact, and work ethic.

Possible Answers:

displayed

epitomized

discussed

illustrated

relayed

Correct answer:

epitomized

Explanation:

The implication of these two sentences is that Joseph “gathers together” all the appropriate states of a good student. Something is called “the epitome” when it is the perfect example of a given class of things. When someone or something “shows forth” the perfect example, it is said to “epitomize” such perfection.

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