GRE® Verbal Practice | Sentence Equivalence Q2

GRE Sample Questions | Words that describe music, quality of sound and popularity

This is a curious sentence equivalence question that discusses words related to music, quality of sound and words associated with popularity. Use the options and try to figure out answer on your own. If required use the detailed explanation provided below to understand the method used to answer this question.

Question 2: The ___________ tone and appealing image of American Rock and Roll and blues musicians became popular with British youth in the late 1950s.

  1. dulcet
  2. cacophony
  3. dissonant
  4. bohemian
  5. hoarse
  6. glamorous

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Explanatory Answer

Meanings for the words given in this question are provided in the table. Before going through the detailed explanation, check whether you are able to arrive at the answer after knowing meanings for the words.

S No. Word Meaning
1 Dulcet Pleasant to hear. Melodious
2 Cacophony A jarring or unpleasant sound
3 Dissonant Harsh or jarring in tone or sound
4 Bohemian Living without any respect or regard for conventional rules or norms
5 Hoarse Weak in intensity
6 Glamorous Attractive or charming

This sentence asks you to make a judgment on the quality of music which makes it popular among audiences. We know from the second half of the sentence that the musicians became popular with youth. The blank should contain a word which makes these musicians popular.

At this point, you can pause and ask yourself what kind of music would make musicians popular. Is it music that sounds good or bad? Music that sounds good, of course. That immediately rules out the words hoarse, cacophony and dissonant – all of which are words that describe bad noise. We are left with dulcet, bohemian and glamorous, all of which are “positive” words.

The author talks about the image of the musicians as well as the tone of their music. The sentence clearly emphasizes the tone AS WELL AS the image of the musicians. But what does the blank describe? Does the blank describe both the tone AND the image? No, because the word in the blank describes the tone whereas the word “appealing” describes the image. So the blank has to be filled with a word that can describe a sound. Can a tone be dulcet or bohemian? Yes. Can a sound be glamorous? Not likely.

Choices A & D are the correct answers.

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