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Sentence Equivalence: Practice Question of the Week #36 Answer

Here’s the answer to yesterday’s practice question, thanks for sending in your answers! Special kudos to madhan_2005 for writing up a great explanation in the comments as well 🙂

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

Exposure to sustained noise almost certainly impairs blood pressure regulation in human beings, but to the frustration of many patients, some researchers have obtained results that __________ the relationships.

  1. conflate
  2. diminish
  3. muddy
  4. neutralize
  5. obscure
  6. buttress


(C) muddy and (E) obscure are the credited responses.

The key words in this sentence are almost certainly, but, frustration, and results.

The two words that are alike in meaning here are (C) muddy (confuse or disturb) and (E) obscure (make indistinct or unclear).

These two selections match the frustration sounded by the patients mentioned in context. (B) diminish is a reasonable selection, but obscure and muddy refer to a confusion of the results, not a reduction.


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3 Responses to Sentence Equivalence: Practice Question of the Week #36 Answer

  1. akash June 16, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    why cant it be conflict and muddy

  2. kushal August 10, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    Why can’t neutralize and diminish work here. There both will affect the well establish relationship in a negative way.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele August 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

      Hi Kushal,

      “Neutralize” and “diminish”, when plugged in the sentence, create different meanings. If the relationship between sustained noise exposure and blood pressure is diminished, then that relationship is not as strong as it once was (but it is still there). To neutralize that relationship implies that the relationship no longer exists at all.

      Hope that helps!

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