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Synonymous Sentences - II
OK, so let’s try this on another question. The idea that words in the blank, the answer choices, must be synonyms. That’s very ,very important. Another important thing, as well, is just because a word works with the blank doesn’t mean that it’s the answer; that is, the answers have to be similar words. So you can come up a perfect word and it can even be amongst the answer choices, but that doesn’t mean it’s the answer.
So let’s read the sentence. And again, it’s business as usual, meaning we want to identify the type of sentence. Look for clue, come up with the other word. There we go, business as usual. But now, what we are really looking for here is this idea of what does it mean to have that, have words that are synonymous?
To have two words that are synonyms and create the same sentence? Does it change anything in terms of the sentence’s overall meaning? OK, let’s read it. “The blitzkrieg of anti-smoking images has clearly had a(n) effect: both the number of total smokers and the rate of lung cancer has fallen in recent years”. So what do we know that’s going on here?
Well, that if I type a sentence, there’s a colon; therefore, the blank is going to be defined by what comes after the colon. It says here, “Well, what effect is it?” Number of total smokers, lung cancer, both have gone down, both have dropped or fallen in recent years. That’s good. That’s positive.
You can say that, “Wow, this has been a major effect. It’s very dramatic”, so we put in dramatic here. It’s our own word, dramatic. We skim to the answers and we see, “Wow, there’s dramatic. There it is so that’s got to be the answer.
Now, let’s look for a synonym for dramatic”. Hold on though. You don’t want to do that necessarily because you may get stymied. Instead, you want to work sequentially through the answer choices, so let’s do that. Salutary. Most test takers do not know what salutary means, and that’s fine.
We’ll put a little question mark there. Next, we go on to lasting. Lasting effect. Well, is it lasting? It sounds good. It’s not our word, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Doesn’t always have to match up exactly with our word as long as it makes sense. But does lasting make sense? It says that the number of smoker’s cancers fall. Lasting means it’s permanent, maybe that things will change.
We don’t know. So lasting doesn’t quite work. Dramatic, of course, works. Good. Doesn’t mean it’s the answer, though. And next, we have ephemeral.
And I’m going to that most of you know what ephemeral means because it is a very high frequency GRE word. You must know ephemeral. It means short-lived, not lasting a long time.
Does that mean it’s the answer? Well, no. This is not a short-lived effect. The numbers of smoker’s rate of cancer has dropped. It’s gone down. There’s nothing in this sentence to say that it’s only going to be for a short time or even a long time, nothing about time in here, so we can get rid of ephemeral.
Transient. Well, transience is a synonym for ephemeral but just because you have a pair of synonyms does not make them right, especially if they’re not the answers in this case. So those are both gone. Then we have beneficial. Beneficial means good, something that promotes something good.
So it’s definitely beneficial that people stop smoking. Cancer has gone down. But, here’s the big but, is beneficial a synonym with the word dramatic? So dramatic is a major effect. Is that the same as a good effect?
No, those are not synonyms. So either the answer is beneficial and salutary, or the answer is dramatic and salutary. How do we know this? Well, we know that the only two possible answers besides salutary can be dramatic and beneficial, but because they’re not synonyms, they both can’t be the answer.
Therefore, a definite answer is salutary, even though it’s the word you do not know. Now, the question comes, “Well, salutary, is it more likely to mean dramatic and major, or is it beneficial and helpful in this case? Well, ‘salud’. When someone says ‘salud’ to you in Latin American languages or Spanish, of course, that means health, and that comes from the Latin for help.
Now, you may not know that, but ask yourself, which one you think probably means salutary? Dramatic or beneficial? I’m guessing you’re going to lean yourself toward beneficial. So beneficial and salutary indeed are synonyms, and dramatic is out.
Salutary and beneficial. Well, salutary means helpful, healthy, promoting a good effect as is beneficial, and there are our two answers, here and here, not dramatic. You you can see now that, “Hey, this is a little bit tricky, but not impossible”. Again, strategy is key.
Only pick two words that are synonyms, even if it’s one word that worked perfectly for you does not mean it’s the answer.
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