Skip to Main Content
This is a free sample lesson. Sign up for Magoosh to get access to over 200 video lessons.

Intro to Sentence Shifts


Okay, in this module we are going to go through sentence shifters. That is, the sentence is gonna shift direction. Let's take a look at the sentence right here. Though she was blank in public, she was known to be quiet and reserved in private. So the first thing you may note here is, the word though. This is what we call a reverser.

Why? Well, here we have a blank. That blank is before comma. Therefore, what comes before the comma, including this blank is gonna be opposite from what comes after the comma. So what comes after the comma?

She was quiet and reserved, therefore the opposite of quiet and reserved has to go here in the first blank. So let's just say, loud and talking a lot, okay, but before we go through here match the answer choices with our own word. Let's make sure that we learn a little bit more about this very pivotal word called reverser.

Well, there are other reversers including though, there is although there's even though, despite yet and but these are all very important to know. They are by no means comprehensive. There are even more reversals. However, these are the most common.

So again, we are going to note the function of the comma the sentence makes the two parts different. That is, the first part is opposite of the second part. The second part is quiet and reserved. Therefore, the opposite loud and talkative has to go into the blank our own word again.

And then we come up with the word that is a synonym for our own word or words in this case so talkative, well, loud and talking a lot. So that works pretty well. Let's circle that one. Cynical does not mean that soft spoken is the opposite of what we're going because it's in private she's soft-spoken.

In public she's the opposite. Arrogant doesn't necessarily mean speaking a lot or loudly, so that's gone. And generous doesn't relate at all. So there you can see, again, the same basic strategies always hold true, but the key is to first identify the sentence. Okay?

Now that we've done that, we've matched, we've got her answer, let's try another one. She was amiable and blank in public, though. What do you notice this different here? Well, the though doesn't come at the beginning of the sentence. However, it still serves the same function as reverser reverses the sentence so that the first part is opposite of the second part.

So she was amiable and blank. And this function is also as a apposition here, the idea that amiable and blank those words are gonna be similar. So if you're not sure what amiable means, that's when this clue can really help you out. In private she would frequently fall into protracted bouts of melancholia.

So maybe that's a little bit confusing, but you do know the word melancholy so you know that, hey, melancholy more or less means sad. So she was the opposite of sad and public, she was happy. So again, what did we do? Well, we noted that we have this reversal word, therefore, the blank is in a certain relation to the comma.

And now we've have our word and we're gonna match so happy and downcast, downcast or sad for Laurin you're very sad. Ostentatious, maybe you don't know it, gregarious means that you are social, you're hanging out with other people. She's amiable which means friendly, and you're contrasting this to hanging out at home and being sad.

So could social work? Yeah maybe. Definitely pretty close and then we have hostile which obviously doesn't work. So we have a word that could very well work, friendly and outgoing, versus sitting at home and being sad, versus this mystery word. And we're gonna go with the word that more or less makes sense here, or makes pretty good sense, I should say.

And that's good, cuz of course, that's the answer. Ostentatious means showing off, so that doesn't really relate here to the opposite of melancholy. So again, identify the sentence and then follow the basic steps and you'll get the answer right.

Read full transcript