Source: Revised GRE PDF 2nd Ed. Section 3; #19 (p. 57)

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The detective’s conviction that there were few inept

2 answer choices for 1 blank The detective’s conviction that there were few inept crimes in her district led her to impute some degree of _______ to every suspect she studied. deceit, acumen, duplicity, shrewdness, evasiveness, equivocation

1 Explanation

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Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Sep 21, 2012 • Comment

Ujjwal Prazapati

Why 'few inept' crimes is taken as there will be more skilled crimes. It could be that there were no crimes apart from few inept crimes in the city.

Sep 22, 2019 • Reply

Adam Lyons, Magoosh Tutor

Hey Ujjwal,
If you read the sentence that way, then what would the answer be? What words would go in the blank? Since no word pairs match that meaning, we can be absolutely positive that that isn't the proper way to read the sentence.
Grammatically, though, your interpretation would also not be correct. Literally, maybe, but not practically. If there were few crimes in general, then the word "inept" would be redundant and unnecessary: we could just say "few crimes."
The meaning here is that "of the total crimes in the district, few were inept." If your reading was intended, it would have to be specified further, like this: "there were few crimes in the district, and those that did occur were inept." As written, though, there is only one logical meaning.

Sep 24, 2019 • Reply

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