Sentence Equivalence Practice for the GRE

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  • 0:00 Sentence Equivalence
  • 1:09 Question One
  • 2:32 Question Two
  • 4:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth has been involved with tutoring since high school and has a B.A. in Classics.

GRE Sentence Equivalence questions can be tricky. In this lesson, you'll get some guided practice with them and then tackle a few on your own in the quiz questions.

Sentence Equivalence

On the GRE Verbal Reasoning section, you'll get a couple different types of vocabulary questions. Most of them sound scary, but when you actually start doing them, they're not really that bad. In this lesson, you'll be practicing with sentence equivalence questions. These are questions where you pick two possibilities for one blank in a sentence. You'll get one sentence with one word left blank and a list of six answer choices. Your job is to pick the two answer choices that create equivalent sentences.

It's important to understand that last part clearly. You're not picking words that are synonyms. You're picking words that make equivalent and coherent sentences. The correct answers may not be exact synonyms; as long as they make equivalent sentences, they're still correct. You might also have a pair of synonyms in the answer choices that doesn't fit the sentence at all. In that case, those words would not be the correct answer even though they're synonyms for each other.

With that clear, in this lesson, you'll be practicing on some sentence equivalence questions to see how they work. First, you'll walk through two of them with explanations, and then you'll try some on your own on the quiz.

Question 1

Ready to start? Here's question 1:

When choosing a tattoo artist, make sure to find a _____shop: the artist should be able to tell you about hygiene precautions and how the equipment is cleaned, and the shop should ask for your ID to make sure you're of legal age.

A. Puerile

B. Reputable

C. Apocryphal

D. Quixotic

E. Conscientious

F. Myopic

Remember, you're looking for words that both fit the sentence and both mean the same thing. Have at it! Pause the video now and press play again when you think you have the answer.

Are you ready to hear the answer? The two correct words for this question are B and E.

In this sentence, clues like 'hygiene precautions' and 'ask for your ID' tell you that the writer is recommending a tattoo shop that cares about basic safety. So you could fill in something like 'safe' or 'careful' in the blank.

The words puerile, apocryphal, quixotic, and myopic don't fit this concept at all. But 'reputable' and 'conscientious' both have to do with safety and carefulness, and if you plug them into the blank, they both produce sentences that are roughly equivalent in meaning. So B and E are the answers.

Question 2

Ready for another try? Here you go:

Grocery stores use a variety of psychological _____to get customers to spend more money; for example, putting brand-name products at eye level and hiding store-brand versions on the lower shelves increases the number of brand-name products purchased, simply because they're more visible.

A. Stratagems

B. Proficiencies

C. Gambits

D. Alleviations

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