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Source: Revised GRE PDF 2nd Ed. Section 4; #6 (p. 65)


Colleagues describe Padgett as both forthright and reticent

Colleagues describe Padgett as both forthright and reticent, humble and (i) _______ , good-natured and (ii) ______ . And in her behavior as a businesswoman, Padgett herself does little to (iii) ______ these contradictions. She says she is proemployee but is avowedly antiunion. She calls herself procustomer but acknowledges that she runs a store with higher profit margins and prices than almost any other grocer. Blank (i): diffident, eccentric, arrogant Blank (ii): prickly, solicitous, phlegmatic Blank (iii): dispel, fulfill, accentuate

2 Explanations


Viviane Chang

I am a little confused. I know Arrogant is an antonym of Humble. But wouldn't arrogant be too strong? Looking back in the sentence, Forthright and Reticent do not have that strong of a contrast. I often find it difficult to know when to use a broader meaning and when to use precise meaning of the vocabulary when selecting an answer choice on GRE. Could you please explain and offer some suggestion?

Aug 22, 2017 • Comment


Hi Viviane,

Good question! We only need to worry about how "strong" a word or contrast is when we're deciding between two words that have similar meanings, but with different degrees of strength.

In this case, "arrogant" is the only word that contrasts with "humble," so it's the only possible choice.

Second, I would say that the contrast between "forthright/reticent" and "humble/arrogant" are of equal strength. That's one of the problems with relying too much on whether you find a word/contrast too 'strong' it's often fairly subjective, and the GRE tries to avoid subjectivity. Stick to the dictionary definitions of words and you'll usually be safer.

Aug 27, 2017 • Reply


Chris Lele

Sep 22, 2012 • Comment

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