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Intro to Sentence Shifts
OK, this module, we are going to go through sentence shifters. That is, the sentence is going to shift direction. Let’s take a look at the sentence right here. “Though she was 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 a comma; therefore, what comes before the comma, including this blank, is going to 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. OK. 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 the “reverser”. Well, there are other reversers, including though.
There’s 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 reversers. However, these are the most common. So again, we are going to note the function of the comma in 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 a 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 that 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.
OK? Now that we’ve done that, we’ve matched. We’ve got our answer. Let’s try another one. “She was amiable and in public, though.” What do you notice that’s different here?
Well, the “though” doesn’t come at the beginning of the sentence. However, it still serves the same function as a reverser. Reverses the sentence so that the first part is opposite of the second part. So she was amiable and blank, and this functions also as an apposition here.
The idea that amiable and blank, those words are going to 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 melancholy more or less means sad.
So she was the opposite of sad in public. She was happy. So again, what did we do? Well, we noted that we had this reverser word. Therefore, the blank is in a certain relation to the comma.
Now we have our word, and we’re going to match. So happy and downcast. Downcast, you’re sad. Forlorn, 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. Could social work? Yeah, maybe, definitely pretty close. 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. We’re going to go with the word that more or less makes sense here. Makes pretty good sense, I should say.
That’s good because, 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.
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