Short vocabulary words are oftentimes not given their due. After all, words such as “lugubrious” and “mellifluous” are, well, just so flashy (and frightening!) that we can’t help but be drawn to them. Nevertheless, no matter how tiny a word is it can significantly influence the meaning of a sentence. Here are a few short (or letter-starved) words that you should know for the GRE.
Maybe, you know someone named Pat. Maybe someone just pat your back for a job well done. Well, move over colloquial pats…the only pat you will see on the GRE is an adjective. Explanations that water down complex truths, providing little more than an oversimplification, are pat. For instance, a pat definition of pat is simple. Pat is a little more complex than that.
Gary had expected his best friend to provide some insightful feedback on Gary’s existential woes; however, the friend just provided the pat reply that we all die some day.
This word rhymes with ‘tie’. It means to compete with someone, usually over something in which a reward is involved.
Vying for only two spots left on the varsity basketball team, the players ran up and down the court, furiously chasing each loose ball.
This word sound like ‘hue’, but does not relate to color. To hew is to adhere or conform to. It’s one of those words best illustrated in context. So, I will hew to those very words.
Much like an itinerant chameleon, Martha hews to the etiquette of whichever country she happens to be traveling through, and is therefore able to provide readers of her travelogue a unique glimpse into exotic cultures.
Vascoux, not hewing exclusively to the tenets of modern jazz, imbues his trumpet playing with pathos reminiscent of the music of 19th century Romantic composers.
Let’s say you have just opened a restaurant. You want your friends to tell the world about the amazing dishes of pasta that you are going to whip up. Even if your culinary skills fall somewhat short of Wolfgang Puck, your friends will sing the praises of your kitchen creations. That is they will tout your new restaurant to others. To tout means to publicize/ advertise something by speaking highly of it.