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Synonymous Sentences - I
In this video, we are going to look at a sentence equivalence question, and we’re going to focus our sentence equivalence questions. We’re going to focus here on the idea of similar sentences, or as ETS calls them, synonymous sentences.
What does that mean? We create synonymous sentences. Well, it means that the two answer choices here are going to be very similar words. We can more or less call them synonyms. However, some people oftentimes argue what it means to be synonyms; that is, words are always a little bit different so they’re not exactly synonyms all the time; that is, there are very few perfect synonyms.
But if words are generally thrown in the same thesaurus category together and even this is a little bit of an ambiguous, nebulous territory here with the sources, since the sources are very liberal about dumping words into the same bunch. But if the words generally mean the same thing, and especially in the sentence here, they are doing the same thing; that is, they are creating a sentence that doesn’t change what’s happening here.
So let’s take a look, and I’m gonna show you how synonyms, or very similar words, work in a sentence. So let’s read it. “The two ancient kingdoms of”, whatever, z and x, don’t need to read them out, “the latter was the more , often treating boys as young as twelve for battle”. Well, what was it?
So, you know, this is business as usual. We want to identify the type of sentence. This is a shifting sentence, a non-shifting sentence, and here we’re simply taking the blank, and we’re defining the blank with what comes after the comma.
So it’s a finding the blank sentence. We want to look for the clues and come up with our own words. Well, the clue is they often trained boys as young as 12 for battle. So what sort of kingdoms were these?
Well, they were all about war, and this one of the two, the ladder, acts even more warlike. So we can come up with our own word. Warlike, warhappy, whatever you want to put there. And we go to the answers then.
Spartan, you may have seen a movie called “300” that had the Spartans in it. They were definitely more like, So you may be tempted to choose this. However, spartan means austere.
Denying yourself luxuries. So Spartans would train in the snow wearing sandals. It was harsh training. That doesn’t mean necessarily that they were warlike. So spartan, again meaning austere, is not a synonym for warlike.
However, it could be the answer, but I doubt it because again we want something that means getting ready for battle. And to be austere or spartan doesn’t quite hit on it, but let’s leave it.
Let’s say that you don’t want to spend too much time just debating one word because ultimately, the answers have to be synonyms. So if we still don’t see a word like austere down here, then spartan can’t be the answer.
Next, we have martial. So you can think of martial arts, such as karate. Martial arts is, well, when you do karate, you are engaging battle. So, the word martial means having to do with war, relating to war. So that could definitely work here.
Again, it’s not a synonym for spartan. Next, we have notorious. That doesn’t work. Then we have formidable. If something is formidable, it’s scary. It feels us with awe and respect. And if sounds like X is definitely more formidable. I mean, they’re training boys as young as 12.
So we could leave that in the batch sure, but again, are we looking for a synonym? Or can we find a synonym for formidable? That’s really what sentence equivalence is about. So let’s say we go through here and there is not a synonym for martial or warlike, but there is a synonym for formidable. Then that would be the answer, even if your own word is warlike.
However, what do we have down here? Aha! We have warlike, which, of course, is a much better word as well. And warlike and martial are the answers, and formidable is out. But again, the key is you need similar words. Even if your word is the perfect word, it’s warlike, it works so perfectly, but then it’s not a synonym or doesn’t have a synonym amongst the answer choices. Then it has to be a different answer.
In this case, maybe it would have been formidable and a synonym for formidable. So again, we identified the type of sentence, came up with our words, looked for the synonyms. Now, let’s actually take the idea of similar sentences and let’s try them on another sentence.
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