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Intro to Triple Blank Sentences

Chris Lele
Lesson by Chris Lele
Magoosh Expert
Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What makes "sullenly" a better answer choice than "docilely"?

A. For the second blank, I think we can agree that the word "silently" is a pretty good guess for making up our own word. From the second to the third sentence, the character goes from not speaking at all, to speaking nonstop. Knowing this, we can go back to the first blank. We know the characters change a lot (speaking—>not speaking), so they would be rarely _____ ? Stable fits nicely here.

For the second blank, we are looking for a word that means something similar to "silently." This character who is "silent" is retreating off to the corner of the room, and does not want to talk to anyone. "Docilely" indeed is a tempting answer choice, however its connotation stops it from being the perfect answer. "Docile" means that you yield to supervision, or that you go along with things easily. However, in this sentence, the character is NOT going along with things, but rather he is retreating from everyone else and not taking part in the dialogue. "Sullenly" means that you like to be alone, that you're a solitary person, or that you're sulky. This fits perfectly in the blank.


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Okay, welcome to the first module on three-blank text completions. Yes, we're finally here on these large, long text completions. So let's have a quick introduction to what's going on here. You'll notice, of course, three blanks. For each of those blanks, we will have three answer choices. In order to receive full credit, you'll have to answer each blank correctly.

If you do the math, that ends up actually being 1 out of 27 chance of guessing correctly. So don't, don't bet on basically guessing correctly. So I'm gonna teach you, in this module, the basics so you can go through these three-blank text completions and not have to guess, but get them correct. So what you'll see here is that this three-blank text completion has three sentences.

That, however, is not always the case, these are some variable beasts here. We have a one-blank or one sentence three-blank text completion, as you'll see, a two sentence three-blank text completion, a three sentence, and even a four sentence three-blank text completion. So a whole lot of variety going on. But strategies are pretty much the same.

We wanna read entire sentence, get ourselves through here. And once we do that, we wanna break down that sentence, make sense of it, what's going on? So let's start that, Dostoevsky. And if you don't know how to say his name, D. D's characters are rarely, blank.

Now, what do you notice? Well, that very first blank, it could be any of these three words. So there's no way we could know without reading on. So continue reading, we get, in one chapter a given character may hardly take part in the dialogue. This character's really not talking, often retreating, blank, to a corner of the room.

Okay, so they're maybe retreating silently, cuz they're not saying much. So just, as I've done another text completions, I'm putting in my own words as I read through. Few chapters later, that same character will be prone to bouts of, blank, during which time he or she will speak in a ceaseless manner. Aha, so they go from not speaking at all up here, retreating silently, to speaking in a ceaseless manner, meaning they keep talking and talking.

So his characters, aha, they are rarely what? So now we can go back to this first blank. And this is really an issue of reading deep. What I mean by that is not just reading the entire sentence, but knowing that sometimes clue to the first blank will come way down at the bottom. So you really have to read deep to figure out what that first blank is.

Or sometimes even the second blank, it won't be right around the second blank here maybe, but it could be at the very end. So always read deep, try to, again, create overall meaning, which we've done. And so we can come up with the word for the first blank, that his characters are rarely predictable or are rarely the same. And we look at these words, we see friendly, that is not what's going on here.

Stable, well, if something is the same, it's predictable, it's stable. And there's our answer. Forthright means honest, that doesn't quite work in the context. And now we can go to the second blank. And we see, well, prematurely means early or done beforehand, doesn't mean silently. Docilely means you just go along with the program.

But here they're kind of retreating off to the corners of room, they don't wanna talk to anyone. And if you're sullen, you're sort of downcast and moody, and you don't feel like talking to anyone. So there's definitely a good answer. And then finally, we go to the third blank here, and we say, well, we need a word that means speaking in a ceaseless manner.

So through process of elimination, lethargy means tiredness. That definitely doesn't work. Dementia, you're crazy, you're demented, you're insane. And here we see hysteria, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're insane. You're speaking constantly as though you really have something to tell somebody, that's not dementia.

And finally, the strange word, but through process of elimination, of course, that is actually the answer. Logorrhea, logo comes, the root from word, rhea means lots of something, an outpouring, so basically an outpouring of words. So again, we went through here, we read the sentence, or the text completion, or the entire thing.

And now we wanna make sure, of course, that when we actually click check, check, check on our answers that they make sense. So it's good to plug them in and read, read through to make sure there is this coherent meaning, okay, so coherent meaning. And let's try it. Dostoevsky's characters are rarely stable.

In one chapter a given character may hardly take part in the dialogue, often retreating sullenly to a corner of the room. Few chapters later, that same character will be prone to bouts of logorrhea, during which time he or she will speak in a ceaseless manner bordering on hysteria. So there we go, we've gotten the answers. And no longer it's 1 in 27, but it's, in this case, one for one.

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Text Completion - Triple Blanks