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Sentence Equivalence: Practice Question of the Week #7: Answer!

Here’s the answer to yesterday’s practice question:

Through ___________ of style, tone, and diction, a great writer can, in a single work of fiction, take readers in and out of the vernacular of characters as different as an Appalachian college freshman, a visiting professor from Cambridge, and an Italian-American Brooklyn police officer.

  1. instances
  2. modulation
  3. steadiness
  4. use
  5. meditation
  6. nuances

B. modulation and F. nuances are the credited responses.

The key phrases are “through”, “of style, tone, and diction”, “can take readers in and out of the vernacular of characters”, and “as different”. By changing style, tone, and diction, a great writer can reproduce the voices or idiomatic speech and thoughts of characters from a wide range of backgrounds. Look for words that fit this description.

B. modulation can mean a shift in accent, emphasis, or inflection.

F. nuances (subtle distinctions or variations) also fits here (although some of the differences in style and tone might not be as subtle as others).

A. instances (examples or cases) is too vague here and doesn’t resonate with the variety of examples that complete the sentence.

C. steadiness is at odds with the flexibility of style that is being praised here.

D. use, like A. instances, is too bland—every writer uses style, tone, and diction; this sentence is about how a great writer can vary these elements.

E. meditation (contemplation or thinking about something) doesn’t fit grammatically or contextually.

Remember to take note of unfamiliar words and make it a point to learn them so you can be as prepared as possible for questions like these!

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