One of the lesser known MAT strategies involves parts of speech. To use this strategy, you don’t need to know anything more than the basics: noun, verb, adjective, etc.
In our post on the best strategy for figuring out MAT analogies, I discussed relationships and bridges. Here’s a sample MAT analogy (completed):
Throw : Ball : Fill : Bucket
Obviously, the relationship/bridges are as follows:
You Throw a Ball
You Fill a Bucket
However, notice the parts of speech:
Throw (Verb) — Ball (Noun)
Fill (Verb) — Bucket (Noun)
In MAT analogies, relationship pairs coordinate in their parts of speech. This means if you identify one pair as a noun: verb relationship, the other relationship must also be noun : verb.
Using Parts of Speech
Look at the following analogy:
Log : Cut :: (a. suit b. run c. draw d. sew) : File
Looking at this, an easy first relationship is:
Cut a Log
Now some of you might already get the answer just by seeing this bridge. But for others who don’t see it, try using parts of speech. Looking at our first relationship — “cut a log” — we need a verb (cut) and a noun (log).
To mimic the order of the first, I will use “file” as my verb:
File a _____
Looking at the answer choices, only one fits with this verb:
File a Suit
Had I not been using parts of speech, I might not have remembered the multiple meanings of the word “suit.” It can be an article of clothing, but it can also be a legal action that one “files.”
As far as MAT strategies go, this one comes up less often. You won’t always have the option of using it. Some analogies are all nouns or all verbs. But if you notice a mix of nouns and verbs, or any other parts of speech, you can absolutely guarantee that both relationship pairs will have the same mix. That might be just the hint you need.