SSAT Middle Level Verbal : Determining Meaning from Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SSAT Middle Level Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #58 : Analogies

Complete this analogy.

Subterranean is to __________ as airborne is to eagle.

Possible Answers:

cow

dinosaur

worm

swim

fly

Correct answer:

worm

Explanation:

An "eagle" is an example of an "airborne" (in the air, flying) creature. So, to solve this analogy you need to determine which of these is a "subterranean" creature. Well, to solve this you obviously need to know what "subterranean" means. There are two relevant roots in the word to consider: First, sub- means below, beneath, under and second, terra- means Earth. So, "subterranean" means below the Earth. Which of these creatures lives "below the Earth?" A "worm."

Example Question #59 : Analogies

Complete this analogy.

Orthodox is to heterodox as dormant is to __________

Possible Answers:

Active 

Devout 

Quiescent

Pious 

Latent 

Correct answer:

Active 

Explanation:

The root "dox" means related to established thought or opinion, and the root "ortho" means straight or correct, so someone who is “orthodox” accepts traditions or the established account of things. On the other hand, the prefix "hetero" means other or different, so someone who is “heterodox” challenges traditions and accepts other accounts of things besides the established one. The two words are opposites of another, so to solve this analogy, you have to figure out the best antonym for “dormant.” “Dormant” means hidden, asleep or inactive, so the best antonym is “active.” To provide further help, “latent” means hidden and “quiescent” means dormant, while “pious” and “devout” both describe someone who is deeply religious.

Example Question #60 : Analogies

Complete this analogy.

Polychromatic is to monochromatic as ___________.

Possible Answers:

forgetful is to misplace

ascending is to descending

actor is to emoting

lungs are to breathing

prince is to king

Correct answer:

ascending is to descending

Explanation:

"Polychromatic" means having many different colors, while the term "monochromatic" means having only one color or shades of white, grey, and black. You can infer these definitions because of the words' prefixes and root: "poly-" means many, "mono-" means one, and the root "chrom" means having to do with color; it is derived from the Greek word chroma, which means "color." So, "polychromatic" and "monochromatic" are antonyms, or opposites, and to solve the analogy, you need to pick out the answer choice which consists of antonyms. "Ascending" means going or rising up, whereas "descending" means going or sinking down, so just as "polychromatic" and "monochromatic" are opposites, so are "ascending" and "descending," making "ascending is to descending" the correct answer.

 

Example Question #61 : Analogies

Complete this analogy.

Phobophobia is to fear as androphobia is to __________.

Possible Answers:

women

men

technology

machines

ghosts

Correct answer:

men

Explanation:

To begin with the suffix -phobia immediately tells you that you are dealing with a fear. So, "anglophobia" is fear of the English. "Phobophobia" is therefore fear of fear itself. To solve this analogy you need to determine what "androphobia" is the fear of. To do this you need to consider the meaning of the Greek prefix andro- which means man. So, "androphobia" is fear of man, fear of men.

Example Question #62 : Analogies

Complete this analogy.

Ornithophobia is to birds as xenophobia is to __________.

Possible Answers:

death

darkness

heights

foreigners

silence

Correct answer:

foreigners

Explanation:

The prefix ornith- means birds, so "ornithophobia" means fear of birds. To solve this analogy you need to determine what "xenophobia" is the fear of. To do this you will need to rely on your knowledge of Greek prefixes. The prefix xen- means foreign, so "xenophobia" is fear of foreigners.

Example Question #63 : Analogies

Complete this analogy.

Bibliophile is to book as cinephile is to __________.

Possible Answers:

movie

lesson

band

computer

song

Correct answer:

movie

Explanation:

To begin with the suffix -phile means lover of. So, an "anglophile" is a lover of English things. A "bibliophile" is a lover of Books. So, to solve this analogy you need to determine what a "cinephile" is a lover of. The correct answer is "movies." The Greek prefix cine-/kine- means related to movement, motion, as in "kinetic" and "cinema."

Example Question #64 : Analogies

Complete this analogy.

Paedophobia is to children as photophobia is to __________.

Possible Answers:

movies

angels

phones

pictures

light

Correct answer:

light

Explanation:

To begin with the suffix -phobia means fear of. Also, the prefix paed- means children, as in "pediatrician" (children's doctor). So, "paedophobia" is fear of children. So, to solve this analogy you need to determine what "photophobia" is the fear of. Well, the prefix photo- means light, so "photophobia" is the fear of light.

Example Question #65 : Analogies

Analogies: Complete this analogy.

Quadrilateral is to four as hexagon is to __________.

Possible Answers:

seven 

nine 

ten 

six 

eight 

Correct answer:

six 

Explanation:

A "quadrilateral" is a shape with four sides; you might be able to infer this because the word contains the root "quad," which means four and appears in other words like "quadratic." So, to solve this analogy, you have to determine how many sides a hexagon has. The correct answer is “six," which you might have inferred because the root "hex" means six.

Example Question #66 : Analogies

Analogies: Complete this analogy.

Piscine is to fish as leonine is to __________.

Possible Answers:

dog 

llama 

cat

bird

lion 

Correct answer:

lion 

Explanation:

"Piscine" is an adjective that means of or relating to fish. The prefix "pisc-" often means that the word will describe characteristics of fish and appears in other words like the name of the constellation "Pisces," which is thought to look like two fish. To solve this analogy, you have to determine which animal is described by the adjective "leonine." The correct answer is “lion."

Example Question #67 : Analogies

Analogies: Complete this analogy.

Deify is to god as vilify is to __________.

Possible Answers:

juvenile

ancestor 

protagonist 

adolescent

villain 

Correct answer:

villain 

Explanation:

“Deify” means consider as or make into a god and “vilify” means make into a villain or condemn. So, "villain" is the correct answer. If you did not immediately know this, it would become necessary to use your knowledge of prefixes to solve the analogy. The prefix ­"dei­-" means related to (a) god(s) or (a) goddess(es) and the prefix ­"vil-" means related to evil doings. None of the other answer choices would make sense in the blank: “juvenile” means youthful and immature; “adolescent” means teenager; “ancestor” is the term used to describe the people who came before us to whom we are related, like our grandparents; and a “protagonist” is a hero.

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