English Questions – Sentence Completion 3

We continue from where we left yesterday. Some easy questions have been provided in the beginning followed by some hard ones. While reading, do collect all the information from the lines in the questions and then try to deduce the answer. As suggested in previous article, one has to read between the lines in order to crack this type of questions.

Direction Q1 to 5 : Each of these questions contains a sentence followed by five choices. Select from among these choices the one which most logically completes the idea contained in the given sentence.

  1. Particularly today, when so many difficult and complex problems face the human species, the development of broad …………………………….
    1.and powerful shoulders is necessary.
    2.plans of action is not possible.
    3.moral values is required.
    4.and powerful thinking is desperately needed.
    5.imagination with implementation is required.
    Answer & Explanation
    Answer – 4
    Explanation :
    Sentence says that humans are facing many problems, and then it talks of developing (see the use of word ‘development’ in the sentence) something. Only option 4 tells what should be developed in order to tackle the complex problems faced. 1 – developing broad shoulders – does not make sense. 2 is totally opposite of what is required. 3 does not provide any kind of solution to complex problems. ’Broad and powerful thinking is needed to solve the problems.’ Hence 4.
  2. In the European Community countries there has been talk of an energy tax to raise funds…………….
    1.by burdening the rich who can afford higher taxes.
    2.to penalise heavy users of energy.
    3.by raising the price of energy-intensive implements.
    4.to search for alternative sources of energy.
    5.for the development of nation.
    Answer & Explanation
    Answer – 4
    Explanation :
    Read the sentence carefully, it talks of energy tax, hence the tax will be levied on using too much of energy. 1 fits in the blank but the use of word ‘burdening’ makes it somewhat morally wrong. Also, the bigger reason that it does not carry the theme of the passage. Compare 1 with 4; 4 perfectly carries our argument forward by citing reason for levying of energy tax. None of the other options provide such a meaningful continuation.

Based on my experience of last year SBI Mains, I would suggest you to grasp as much information from the passage as possible and then try to find the logical continuation. In many cases, you would find that all the options seem appropriate to end the sentence. When that happens read the sentence again, and try to find the intention of the author with which the sentence was written. If you found the right answer for the above question, then its okay, otherwise try reading some challenging material for which you might have to move somewhere else other than newspaper.

Next question in similar to previous one, try to get it right.

  1. Furthermore, to be radical means to be ready and willing to break with the predominant cultural, political and social beliefs and values in order to………………..
    1.investigate the essential realities that they conceal.
    2.investigate the root cause of malaise in a society.
    3.shape a new economic order.
    4.re-construct the system in terms of new realities.
    5.achieve the goals of future generation.
    Answer & Explanation
    Answer – 4
    Explanation :
    Sentence talks of breaking predominant culture. Now think logically, if people break the predominant culture (or the culture which has been continuing for a long time), then they enter into a new era. 1 and 2 are totally wrong and does not fit into our system of thinking. 3 is a good fit but it just talks of new economic order whereas we are thinking of a total change in everything – economic, political, social etc. We should be prepared to ‘break’ something to ‘reconstruct’ it, hence 4.
  2. In the traditions of many religions throughout the world (including Judaeo-Christian beliefs), there has long been a sustained belief that the Universe as we know it today did not exist forever in the past, and that there was a spontaneous act which gave birth to all that has been, all that is, and all that will be. In other words, the Universe itself has not been eternal as our senses might indicate at first glance, …………………..
    1.but has a limited lifespan after its creation.
    2.but our senses give us the right knowledge.
    3.however, on second glance, our religious beliefs are right.
    4.however, it is a ball of intense energy.
    5.however, it could not have been created.
    Answer & Explanation
    Answer – 1
    Explanation :
    The question being asked is about ‘meaningfully complete’. Option 2 (and Option 5) merely restates the last (first) part of the incomplete sentence. For these (2/5) to be the right option, the start of Option 2 and 5 should have been with ‘hence/therefore etc.’ So, Option 2 and 5 are not right options. Option 3 can be neglected on the basis of same logic. Option 4 is irrelevant as nowhere a reference to energy (or something against energy) has been talked about. The incomplete line mentions that ‘the Universe itself has not been eternal’. So the continuing part should address or complete this argument. Hence, Option 1 is the correct answer.
  3. It is a curious historical fact that modern quantum mechanics began with two quite different mathematical formulations: the differential equation of Schroedinger, and the matrix algebra of Heisenberg. The two, apparently dissimilar, approaches were proved to be mathematically equivalent. …………………
    1.The two approaches did not start with the same mathematical formulations.
    2.These two points of view were destined to complement one another and were ultimately synthesized in Dirac’s transformation theory.
    3.A third mathematical formulation given by Feynman combines the matrix algebra of Heisenberg and Integral calculus of Leibniz.
    4.Quantum mechanics evolved in the twentieth century and came very close to particle physics, especially after the CERN experiments in Switzerland.
    5.Earlier, the two formulations were mathematically similar.
    Answer & Explanation
    Answer – 2
    Explanation :
    Option 1 is already mentioned in the passage and hence it is repetition. Option 3 talks about integral calculus which is coming abruptly (not mentioned in the passage). Similarly, Option 4 is also irrelevant as concepts like ‘particle physics’ and ‘CERN experiments’ are not mentioned previously. Option 5 contradicts the first line of the passage. So these are not the right answer. Only Option 2 has reference to the ‘two points of view’, mentioned previously.

I hope that after attempting the questions, you would have got a much clearer view of how to approach such questions. Doesn’t matter whether you have got many wrong or all wrong. We are still in learning phase and by the time Mains approach, we would have practiced a number of questions and would be perfect in cracking these.

Now, after understanding the basics, let us move to another type of sentence completion – the one in which middle sentence is missing. Again, there is no particular way or trick to solving these. Just follow the basics we discussed above. One thing which I would like to highlight though is that in this type of questions you have to pay special attention to the lines before and after the blank and see if the tone of the passage changes. Keeping this important thing in mind, try the questions below.

Direction Q (6-9): Each question is a logical sequence of statements with a missing link, the location of which is shown with brackets.  From the four choices available, you are required to choose the one which best fits the sequence logically.

  1. Many of us live one-eyed lives. We rely largely on the eye of the mind to form our images of reality. It is a mechanical world based on fact and reason. (_______). So today more and more of us are opening the other eye, the eye of the heart, looking for realities to which the mind’s eye is blind. This is a world warmed and transformed by the power of love, a vision of community beyond the mind’s capacity to see. Either eye alone is not enough. We need “wholesight”, a vision of the world in which mind and heart unite.
    1.It had led to unprecedented scientific growth and material well – being.
    2.In the nuclear age, our mind-made world has been found flawed and dangerous, even lethal,
    3.The question is irrelevant, whether or not they can be seen and reasoned.
    4.We have built our lives based on it because it seemed predictable and safe.
    5.With each passing day, the standard of living is increasing.
    Answer & Explanation
    Answer – 2
    Explanation :
    I asked you to pay special attention to the lines before and after the blank. The one after the blank uses ‘So’ and talks of opening ‘other eye’. We can infer that there must be something wrong with the first eye (Ex – the first eye has led us into darkness, so we need to open the other eye). So, the answer must talk in a negative way. What follows the blank shows that what has been happening till now has led to some undesirable things and hence a change is now coming in. Option 2 is the only choice that shows what wrong has happened.

The logic that has been applied to solve the above question may seem like a bit confusing to some of you. The interpretation of questions in such a manner does not come just by practice alone. To find such logic, you just need to improve your reading skill. The ones with good reading skill may treat this solution as a very obvious thing.

Now attempt the questions given below. Take as much time as you want, read the question as many times as you require. Decide your answer and then check out the solution.

  1. The question of what rights animals should enjoy is a vexatious one, hundreds of millions of animals are put to death for human use each year. Contrariwise, it can be argued that slowing down scientific research would retard discovery of antidotes to diseases such as cancer which kill humans and animals alike. (_________). What if super intelligent beings from Alpha Centauri landed on earth and decided to use us for their experiments, arguing that they could save far more of their and our lives by so doing?
    1.It will benefit both in the long run.
    2.Is the argument truly fair to animals?
    3.But the progress of human civilization cannot be made contingent on some hypothetical rights of animals.
    4.There is no question of equating human rights with those of animals.
    5.This makes survival of humans more important than animals.
    Answer & Explanation
    Answer – 2
    Explanation :
    In this case, you must make sure that the option in the blank must be one which provides a smooth transition to the next line. What follows the blank shows that the author is against the argument projected in the beginning of the passage. B is the only choice which would support this.
  2. A deliberation is a form of discussion in which two people begin on different sides of an issue. (_______) Then each decides, in the light of the other argument whether to adopt the other position, to change his or her position somewhat, or to maintain the same position. Both sides realize that to modify one’s position is not to lose; the point is to get closer to the truth of the matter.
    1.Each person argues his or her position most sincerely.
    2.The prerequisite for deliberation to be productive is that persons involved must keep an open mind.
    3.The purpose is to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of both parties.
    4.The trick is to state your viewpoint from a position of strength.
    5.It is one of techniques of arriving at a better answer
    Answer & Explanation
    Answer – 1
    Explanation :
    The passage begins with the situation of two people on two different sides of the issue. Each gets a chance to argue his or her position and after listening to each other they decide whether they wish to change their position or not. The use of ‘then’ after the blank shows that some action has taken place before it, and Option 1is the only choice showing an action.
  3. Mythology shrouds each of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but none has been more mysterious than the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Greek and Roman texts paint vivid pictures of the luxurious Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Amid the hot, arid landscape of ancient Babylon, lush vegetation cascaded like waterfalls down the terraces of the 75-foot-high garden. Exotic plants, herbs and flowers dazzled the eyes, and fragrances wafted through the towering botanical oasis dotted with statues and tall stone columns. (_______) Now, however, an Oxford University researcher says she knows why the Hanging Gardens of Babylon have proven so elusive. It’s because they weren’t in Babylon at all.
    1.The multiple Greek and Roman accounts of the Hanging Gardens, however, were second-hand–written centuries after the wonder’s alleged destruction.
    2.But the reason why no traces of the Hanging Gardens have ever been found in Babylon is because they were never built there in the first place.
    3.They were constructed 300 miles to the north of Babylon in Nineveh, the capital of the rival Assyrian empire.
    4.Archaeologists have never unearthed evidence of the soaring gardens, and scholars have questioned its very existence.
    5.The effort put in was applaudable and the beauty it resulted in was such that it could fascinate the most oblivious of the creatures of this world.
    Answer & Explanation
    Answer – 4
    Explanation :
    The paragraph talks about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Now, the sentence after ‘blank’ mentions that ‘Now, however, an Oxford University researcher says she knows why the Hanging Gardens of Babylon have proven so elusive’ – it can be inferred from this sentence that till now the existence of the Hanging Gardens have been proven to be elusive but such assertion is not mentioned in the passage (the usage of ‘however’ also points that such assertion was there in the previous sentence), that clearly reflects that the ‘blank’ sentence will contain a hint of such statement. Only 4th option has such a hint. Therefore, 4th is the most appropriate option.

Note – Do not lose heart if you got many of the questions wrong. Rather than getting the correct answer, more important thing was to understand the basics of attempting these questions. It is important to get the fundamentals right first, and then with repeated practice, you will become master of these questions. As always, the best weapon for improving English is reading. Read a lot, read as much as you can and read whatever interests you.

Detailed solutions have been provided, but still if you have any query, put it down in the ‘Comments section’. Your suggestions are most welcome. You won’t find any of the tips given above on the internet except on Affairscloud.com.

Keep visiting Affairscloud.com for the best questions along with explanation.

Robin Saini, Team AC