Dangerous GRE Vocabulary: Re- Doesn’t Always Mean Again!

Roots are not always your friends. In many cases, they can be downright misleading.For example, take the case of “‘re-“. It does not always mean again when added to the beginning of a word.


This does not mean to miss again. It means to be negligent in one’s duty.


Sounds like rest. It’s actually the opposite, and means restless.

The crowd grew restive as the comedian’s opening jokes fell flat (sorry, Charlie).


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The verb pine means to yearn for. Like remiss, however, the addition of the prefix re- does not signify again. To repine means to complain or fret over something. Note: the verb pine can also mean to waste away.


You’ve probably guessed already that this does not mean to demonstrate again. To remonstrate means to make objections while pleading.

The mothers of the kidnapped victims remonstrated to the rogue government to release their children, claiming that the detention violated human rights.

Time for some Text Completion!

Many had complained that the president was known for boring, even —- speeches. Unsuprisingly, the president droned on in his latest speech as the crowd grew —-, and —- for a leader who would be able to galvanize, not bore, them.

Blank (i)

(A) inspiring

(B) bombastic

(C) soporific 

Blank (ii)

(A) rested

(B) restive

(C) remiss

Blank (iii)

(A) pined

(B) repined

(C) remonstrated

(Answer: C, B, A)

Did you get them all right? If not, don’t fret. Words with misleading roots can be some of the most important GRE vocab words to commit to memory.


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7 Responses to Dangerous GRE Vocabulary: Re- Doesn’t Always Mean Again!

  1. Manisha June 11, 2019 at 8:09 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Regarding the question: in the first line it is written:
    Many had complained that the president was known for boring, even —- speeches.
    now this even seems to be adding negation to boring thing means we want something positive here.
    so something positive here would be overlapping with the (or a leader who would be able to galvanize, not bore, them) word galvanize(to inspire/energize someone) in the last line so should’nt the first blank be something like
    Many had complained that the president was known for boring, even inspiring speeches

    so even the inspiring speeches were told in a boring manner by him.
    didnt understand how soporific fit the blank as there is no mention of people feeling sleepy instead they are agitated

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 16, 2019 at 1:30 pm #

      Hi Manisha!

      This is a great question about a tricky problem.

      The key to the first blank is that there is no shift. In the construction “x, even y”, y should be a more extreme version of x.

      For example:

      He was disappointed, even crestfallen, that the show sold out before he could get tickets.

      So in this particular problem, we have:

      …the president was known for boring, even ____ speeches.

      And a more extreme version of ‘boring’ would be soporific, which means sleep inducing.

      Hope this helps!

  2. noor July 5, 2013 at 9:36 am #


    why do we use pined instead of repined. can you please elaborate?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

      Hi Noor,

      If you are unhappy about something, you will complain or repine about it. If you really want something, you will long for or pine for it.

      Hope that clears things up!

      • Noor July 10, 2013 at 8:57 am #

        Great explanation.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele July 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

          You are welcome :)!

  3. gaurav December 1, 2011 at 12:28 am #


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