Verbal Questions

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Verbal Questions

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CAT 2013 aspirants may note that this section is supposedly the most difficult one to prepare for.In fact, unless one has some amount of grounding in grammar, and a sizable vocabulary, this area can turn out to be your biggest CAT hurdle.

Following are Verbal Questions with solutions : 

Verbal Questions

Question 1
The genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda, apart from being mis-described in the most sinister and ________ manner as “ethnic cleansing”, were also blamed, in further hand-washing rhetoric, on something dark and interior to ___________ and perpetrators alike.

(1) innovative; communicator (4) exigent; exploiters
(2) enchanting; leaders (5) tragic; sufferers
(3) disingenuous; victims

The statement condemns the way the genocides have been described and states the description to be sinister. The word for the first blank has to be synonymous to sinister.
“disingenuous” – “insincere”, “deceitful”, “hypocritical” fits contextually with the word “manner” which follows the blank. In the second blank, a contrasting word to “perpetrators” is required. “Victims” is a better fit compared to the words in all the other options.

Question 2
Exhaustion of natural resources, destruction of individual initiative by governments, control over men’s minds by central __________ of education and propaganda are some of the major evils which appear to be on the increase as a result of the impact of science upon minds suited by _________ to an earlier kind of world.
(1) tenets; fixation (4) organs; tradition
(2) aspects; inhibitions (5) departments; repulsion
(3) institutions; inhibitions

The first blank can have “institutions”, “departments”, “organs” or “tenets”. “Aspects”, compared to other options can be eliminated. The second blank has the key to the answer. The phrase “suited by” can be best followed by “fixated”, to make the sense complete- minds which were suited by “fixation” or a preoccupation with one subject, issue, an obsession “to an earlier kind of world”. Also, “fixation” flows perfectly with the idea of “an earlier kind of world”. Hence, the correct answer is option 1.

Question 3
(1) After the long hike our knees were beginning to buckle.
(2) The horse suddenly broke into a buckle.
(3) The accused did not buckle under police interrogation.
(4) Sometimes, an earthquake can make a bridge buckle.
(5) People should learn to buckle up as soon as they get into the car.

“Beginning to buckle” in option 1 indicates that their knees were ready to collapse or that they were extremely tired. “Buckle” is inappropriately used in option 2. The horse can break into a trot or a gallop. It may buck or it may even break into somebody’s garden, but not “into a buckle”. Option 3 uses “buckle” in the sense of “collapse” or “surrender”. In option 4, “buckle” again refers to “bend” or “collapse”, even “break”. “To buckle up”, in option 5, means “to fasten one's belt, seat belt, or buckles”. Hence, the correct answer is option 2

Question 4
(1) You will find the paper in the file under C.
(2) I need to file an insurance claim.
(3) The cadets were marching in a single file.
(4) File your nails before you apply nail polish.
(5) When the parade was on, a soldier broke the file.

“File” can be defined as “a folder, cabinet, or other container in which papers, letters, etc., are arranged in convenient order for storage or reference.”
Another definition is “a collection of papers, records, etc., arranged in convenient order”.
Option 1 uses the word in this sense. In option 2, “to file” means “to apply”. The usage is correct. In option 3, “file” refers to “a line of persons or things arranged one behind another”. Marching in a single file is similar to marching in a single column. A “file” can even be a tool with ridges to smoothen or even out rough surfaces. Option 4 uses this meaning. There is no phrase or idiom “broke the file” as mentioned in option 5. A soldier can break “rank” but not a “file”. Hence, the correct answer is option 5.

Question 5
Most people at their first consultation take a furtive look at the surgeon’s hands in the hope of reassurance. Prospective patients look for delicacy, sensitivity, steadiness, perhaps unblemished pallor. On this basis, Henry Perowne loses a number of cases each year. Generally, he knows it’s about to happen before the patient does: the downward glance repeated, the prepared questions beginning to falter, the overemphatic thanks during the retreat to the door.
(1) Other people do not communicate due to their poor observation.
(2) Other patients don’t like what they see but are ignorant of their right to go elsewhere.
(3) But Perowne himself is not concerned.
(4) But others will take their place, he thought.
(5) These hands are steady enough, but they are large.

The main sentence of the paragraph that decides the ending is “On this basis, Henry Perowne loses a number of cases each year.”
Option 1 moves away from the core of the paragraph – losing patients.
Option 5 does not complete the paragraph and leaves one wanting for more data to explain the importance of hands being large.
Option 4 loses out on the sentence structure and style. There is no logical continuity to the paragraph.
Option 3 provides a logical finish to the paragraph by showing that inspite of the losing patients, Perowne is not concerned.
Option 2 brings in a disconnect to the idea from the paragraph. It states that other patients‟ observations are also negative and those who stay with Perowne do so out of ignorance of available alternatives. This is not in continuation of the main idea expressed in the paragraph. Hence, the correct answer is option 3.

Question 6
Mattancherry is Indian Jewry’s most famous settlement. Its pretty streets of pastel coloured houses, connected by first-floor passages and home to the last twelve saree-and-sarong-wearing, white-skinned Indian Jews are visited by thousands of tourists each year. Its synagogue, built in 1568, with a floor of blue-and-white Chinese tiles, a carpet given by Haile Selassie and the frosty Yaheh selling tickets at the door, stands as an image of religious tolerance.
(1) Mattancherry represents, therefore, the perfect picture of peaceful co-existence.
(2) India’s Jews have almost never suffered discrimination, except for European colonizers and each other.
(3) Jews in India were always tolerant.
(4) Religious tolerance has always been only a façade and nothing more.
(5) The pretty pastel streets are, thus, very popular with the tourists.

The paragraph starts with a location (as a backdrop) and moves on to describe things associated with the location. While various things are described about the location, we are looking for a sentence that completes the ideas stated in the paragraph. The paragraph juxtaposes various disparate ideas and cultures together: note the saree and sarong, the Indian Jews, and the image of religious tolerance. Option 2 is a disconnect from the main idea of the paragraph – it talks about religious discrimination which is not an idea found in the paragraph. Option 1 is about Matancherry, which the whole paragraph is about. It brings together the ideas in the paragraph to a logical, cohesive whole. Option 5, with “thus” for pretty pastel streets is disconnected. No reason is provided in the paragraph for pastel streets being popular. It is the majority community which has to show tolerance towards a minority group, not the other way round. The paragraph clearly states “home to the last twelve....” indicating the Indian Jews to be very few in numbers. Option 3 can be eliminated. Option 4 is contrary to the data provided in the passage. Hence, the correct answer is option 1.

Question 7
The ancient Egyptians believed __________________so that when these objects were magically reanimated through the correct rituals, they would be able to functions effectively.
1. that it was essential that things they portrayed must have every relevant feature shown as clearly as possible
2. it was essential for things they portray to have had every relevant feature shown as clearly as possible,
3. it was essential that the things they portrayed had every relevant feature shown as clearly as possible.
4. that when they portrayed things, it should have every relevant feature shown as clearly as possible

Option (2) is incorrect due to the usage of the simple present tense in ‘they portray’. Option (4) is incorrect due to the usage if the singular ‘it’ for the plural ‘things’. Option (1) is wrong because of the unnecessary usage of ‘must have’ after using ‘essential’.

Question 8
A. He felt justified in bypassing Congress altogether on a variety of moves.
B. At times he was fighting the entire Congress.
C. Bush felt he had a mission to restore power to the presidency.
D. Bush was not fighting just the democrats.
E. Representatives democracy is a messy business, and a CEO of the white House does not like a legislature of second guessers and time wasters.

CDBA is a mandatory sequence. “Bush was not fighting just the democrats” in statement D, relates directly with “At times he was fighting…” in statement B.

Question 9
A. But this does not mean that death was the Egyptians’ only preoccupation.
B. Even papyri come mainly from pyramid temples.
C. Most of our traditional sources of information about the Old Kingdom are monuments of the rich like pyramids and tombs.
D. Houses in which ordinary Egyptian lived have not been preserved, and when most people died they were buried in simple graves.
E. We know infinitely more about the wealthy people of Egypt than we do about the ordinary people, as most monuments were made for the rich.

Both statements C and B (papyri is the plural for Egyptian papers and documents) are talking about sources of information. That is why CB is a mandatory pair.

Question 10
“Between the year 1946 and the year 1955, I did not file any income tax returns.” With that ____(A)____ statement, Ramesh embarked on an account of his encounter with the income tax department. “ I originally owned Rs. 20,000 in unpaid taxes. With ____(B)____ and ____(C)____, the 20,000 became 60,000. The Income tax Department then went into action, and I learned first hand just how much power the Tax Department wields. Royalties and trust funds can be ____(D)____ ; automobiles may be ____(E)____ , and auctioned off. Nothing belongs to the ____(F)____ until the case is settled.”
D. 1. closed 2. detached 3. attached 4. impounded
E. 1. smashed 2. seized 3. dismantled 4. frozen
F. 1. purchaser 2. victim 3. investor 4. offender

D. (3)
To impound means to seize property (usually by force of power). Attached here refers to attaching property by legal writ.
E. (2)
Automobiles can only be seized before being auctioned off (and not smashed, dismantled or frozen!).
F. (4)
An income tax defaulter is an offender and not a purchaser, victim or investor

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