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Sentence Equivalence Practice Question of the Week #16 Answer

Here’s the explanation for yesterday’s question, thanks for all of your answers!

Instructions: Select exactly two words that best complete the sentence and produce sentences that are alike in meaning.

The chemists pretended it was the philosopher’s stone, the physicians that it was an unmistakable __________.

  1. paragon
  2. cataclysm
  3. panacea
  4. elixir
  5. palaver
  6. triumph

(C) panacea and (D) elixir are the credited responses.

The key words in this sentence are pretended, philosopher’s stone, and unmistakable. The context establishes a tone of exaggerated excitement surrounding the discovery in question.

Only (C) panacea and (D) elixir, both of which mean a cure-all, fit the needs here.
(A) paragon means a model of excellence or perfection; (B) a cataclysm is a sudden, violent charge; (E) palaver means flattery or empty talk.

(F) a triumph it may have been, but a more specific term is needed here.

Edit 9/15/11: we changed the wording on the answer choices of this post (from “nostrum” to “elixir”)  to make the question less ambiguous. Thanks for all of your feedback!

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3 Responses to Sentence Equivalence Practice Question of the Week #16 Answer

  1. Heath April 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    Is there a missing/misspelled word here? It seems like there should be something before “the physicians” or between “physicians that.”

    The chemists pretended it was the philosopher’s stone, the physicians that it was an unmistakable __________.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele April 8, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

      The parallelism is not perfect. But where “that” is being used a relative pronoun, you don’t need it. With the “chemists pretended (that) it” the “that” is optional. In the second case it is not optional–there must be a “that.”

      Hope that clears things up 🙂

  2. Imelda Ratner November 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

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