Sentence Equivalence on the GRE Verbal Test — Practice Questions

By Ron Woldoff, Joseph Kraynak

Sentence Equivalence questions on the GRE Verbal test are a little unusual. You’re given a sentence with a word missing, and you have to choose two words out of six answer choices that best fit the sentence and mean the same thing.

You don’t get partial credit for choosing only one of the correct words.

Practice questions

Directions: Each of the following sentences has a blank indicating that a word or phrase is omitted. Choose the two answer choices that best complete the sentence and result in two sentences most alike in meaning.

  1. After 20 days of pouring rain, the crops were devastated — distraught farmers had no other recourse than to shout _____ at the heavens.

    A. exhortations

    B. imprecations

    C. admonitions

    D. blasphemies

    E. execrations

    F. excoriations

  2. While the public expects professional athletes to perform incredible feats, it also expects them to do so without performance-enhancing drugs or other such substances; therefore, athletes who are caught violating the rules often suffer public _____ for doing so.

    A. opprobrium

    B. defamation

    C. slander

    D. disparagement

    E. ignominy

    F. libel

Answers and explanations

  1. B, E

    Imprecations and execrations both mean curses. Exhortations are more for conveying urgent advice. Admonitions or excoriations are more along the lines of scolding than cursing, and blasphemies convey a connotation of irreverence, which makes it a poor match for either of the correct choices.

  2. A, E

    Opprobrium and ignominy convey a sense of contempt. Defamation, slander, disparagement, and libel are more along the lines of insulting someone or soiling someone’s reputation.