Source: Revised GRE PDF 2nd Ed. Section 4; #7 (p. 65)

4

Historical research makes two somewhat antithetical truths

Historical research makes two somewhat antithetical truths that sounded (i) ______ come to seem profound: knowledge of the past comes entirely from written documents, giving written words great (ii)_______ , and the more material you uncover, the more (iii) ______ your subject becomes. Blank (i): deep, portentous, banal Blank (ii): consequence, antiquity, simultaneity Blank (iii): elusive, contemporary, circumstantial

4 Explanations

1

Siyu Wu

I don't understand why the third blank is elusive. Are there any clues in the sentence that point towards the answer?

Sep 12, 2019 • Comment

Sam Kinsman, Magoosh Tutor

Hi Siyu,

Yes, there is a clue for the third blank! :D

The sentence tells us that the two truths are "antithetical." In other words, the two truths about history are contradictory, or directly opposed.

The first truth is that written words have "great consequence." So written words are very important.

The second truth has to be something that contradicts this. If we choose "elusive," the sentence will say that the more written material you find, the more elusive the truth becomes. This is something that is somewhat opposed to the first truth (that written words are very important). Therefore, this must be the answer we're looking for :)

Best,
Sam

Sep 16, 2019 • Reply

1

CHANJU YANG

I still don't get the second blank. I guess among the answer choices still consequence makes the most sense, but it does not well align with the idea of antithesis. Would you explain the evidence for the second blank?

Nov 30, 2017 • Comment

Adam

Hi Chanju,

The part of the sentence before the colon indicates that there are two antithetical truths.

The part after the colon gives these two antithetical truths:

1. Written words are of great consequence
2. The more written words you have, the more elusive the subject becomes (this contrasts with 1)

So, the phrase "knowledge of the past comes entirely from written documents, giving written words great consequence" does not, by itself, have to contain the antithesis. The antithesis is between this phrase and the next phrase.

Dec 4, 2017 • Reply

1

anik alam

can you explain 2nd blank? since historical research make antithetical truths , so how knowledge of past give consequence?

Oct 29, 2017 • Comment

Adam

Hi Anik,

First, the first part of the sentence doesn't say that "historical research make antithetical truths." It says that Historical research makes two somewhat antithetical truths that sounded (i) ______ come to seem profound.

In other words, historical research makes these antithetical truths seem profound, whereas before they sounded _______.

This shift (from ____ to profound) indicates that the first blank should be "banal" (opposite of profound).

Then we get an example of how historical research makes these truths seem profound:

knowledge of the past comes entirely from written documents, giving written words great (ii)_______

Well, if this is an example of how historical research makes something become profound, we must need a word like "profound" in the blank. Thus "consequence" fits. Written words are given consequence; this shows how historical research makes a truth profound.

Nov 9, 2017 • Reply

5

Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Sep 22, 2012 • Comment

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