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Intro to Sentence Equivalence

Chris Lele
Lesson by Chris Lele
Magoosh Expert
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Okay, in this video we are gonna go through a special type of question that's new to the GRE. And this question is called a sentence equivalence question. So let's look at this question. What's going on here? Well, here are some very nice squares as you can see.

And, how many do we have? One, two, three, four, five, six, aha. Six answer choices, and there are squares next to them instead of circles and five answer choices. So you know you're not dealing with the one blank text completion, but you're dealing with a sentence equivalence, and sentence equivalence will always have one blank.

And, more importantly, it will always have two, exactly two, not one, not three, not four, but two answers. And those two answers must be synonyms or, that is, relatively similar words, and of course there's always a debate on what exactly is a synonym. Not every word can be used in place of another word in different context, but that definition aside, we need words that are generally similar.

So if you have one at the source, these two words would be next to each other. So that's what we're going here for in our two answers and sentence equivalence. Besides that, besides that little twist, it's really business as usual, in the sense that we are dealing with a text completion strategy. The idea of, okay, well, we wanna identify a type of sentence and what type of sentence is this.

Let's read it, always reticent amongst strangers, that's a good word, reticent, she would slowly open up around her friends, eventually becoming blank. So there's a shift here, shift in a person's behavior, so amongst strangers she's one way, she's quiet and is taught not talkative, she's reticent. She has slowly open up but eventually become, well, very talkative. So we just need two words that mean talkative.

As you can see that we've come up with their own word, as I said business as usual and then of course. Wanna just match and look, in this case for synonymous words. That's the important part words that are synonyms. So, what word means not saying, which means saying much, which means talkative, withdrawn is the opposite.

Conspiratorial doesn't quite mean talking a lot. I mean, that means you're plotting. Then there's chatty. Chatty is talkative, loquacious, this is a synonym which means talkative and notice I circled both of them ,why? Because there are two answers and those two words are synonyms, sentence equivalence.

Rude, rude does not work. If you think rude works you try to plug it back in there. She didn't say much but with her friends she would. Become rude and you convince yourself of that interpretation. That's fine, but then let, in other words to match it, again, you need synonyms for sentence equivalents, so that's gone.

Taciturn is the opposite. Notice that with withdrawn and taciturn are synonyms. But they're the opposite. So just because something you have two synonyms and sense equivalence doesn't mean those two synonyms are the answers. Of course they both have to make sense in the blank.

So we have loquacious again and chatty.

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Sentence Equivalence