FIB – Fill in the Blanks Basic level

ck out the most effective word(s) from the given words to fill in the blank to make the sentence meaningfully complete.

1. England’s international development department – has occasionally been ________in the kind of economic growth that strangulates the poor while making the richest even richer. However, with all its flaws, it is still more ____________than most of its western peers – especially US aid agencies, which blatantly funnel large portions of “aid” money to American “consultants”.
a) persuasive, scrupulous
b) complicit, conscientious
c) involved, judicious
d) prudent, fastidious

2. Occasionally, though, in the course of Ron’s daily Internet culling, he stumbles on some news that makes him question his assumptions about the ____________ effects of literature. It saddens him to say it, but sometimes, books bring out the worst in him, and are made into ____________to all kinds of crimes.
a) mitigating, tools
b) elevating, handicaps
c) ameliorative, accessories
d) transcending, aids

3. Some authors have expressed __________ that a few publishing houses refuse to publish women authors whose works are, as they are described, “not bold enough”, that is they are not sensational enough to _________ the market.
a) concern, stimulate
b) disquiet, titillate
c) anxiety, manoeuvre
d) apprehension, excite

4. Some of us can be struck by the absurdity of some of this new era’s manifestations: Big Boss doesn’t need to __________telescreens on us – rather he has to fight off the applicants who want to display their every movement on television. He doesn’t need a secret police to rifle _________through our locked diaries – we post them online for everyone to read.
a) impose, surreptitiously
b) monitor, secretly
c) train, stealthy
d) enforce, slyly

5. Painting is often depicted as something that comes at the _________ of life, as if creation requires locking oneself up in a sensory deprivation tank. The seduction of X is that he created a grand body of work that was all about __________down life’s pleasures and occasionally spitting out the bones.
a) detriment, devouring
b) fruition, chomping
c) demise, gorging
d) expense, gobbling

6. What made Dr Stephen’s revelation so _________ to the religious establishment, and so __________ to its ideological opponents, was that until now he was regarded as an ally of faith.
a) offensive, pertinent
b) jarring, mellifluous
c) concordant, incongruous
d) appealing, objectionable

7. Democracy may have replaced the dictators of old—everywhere except in the Cuba—but Other N. American ________ such as corruption and injustice seem as _________ as ever.
a) vices, entrenched
b) foibles, pervasive
c) problems, dislodged
d) tricks, rooted

Advance level FIB Fill in the Blanks

Directions for questions 9 to 12: Each of the following questions has a sentence with two blanks. Given below each question are five pairs of words. Choose the pair that best completes the sentence.

8. The genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda, apart from being mis-described in the most sinister and ________ manner as ‘ethnic cleansing’, were also blamed, in further hand-washing rhetoric, on something dark and interior to ___________ and perpetrators alike.
(1) innovative; communicator (2) enchanting; leaders
(3) disingenuous; victims (4) exigent; exploiters (5) tragic; sufferers

9. As navigators, calendar makers, and other_________ of the night sky accumulated evidence to the contrary, ancient astronomers were forced to _________ that certain bodies might move in circles about points, which in turn moved in circles about the earth.
(1) scrutinizers; believe (2) observers; agree
(3) scrutinizers; suggest (4) observers; concede (5) students; conclude

10. Every human being, after the first few days of his life, is a product of two factors; on the one hand, there is his ______________endowment; and on the other hand, there is the effect of environment, including ___________.
(1) constitutional; weather (2) congenital; education
(3) personal; climate (4) economic; learning (5) genetic; pedagogy

11. Exhaustion of natural resources, destruction of individual initiative by governments, control over men’s minds by central __________ of education and propaganda are some of the major evils which appear to be on the increase as a result of the impact of science upon minds suited by _________ to an earlier kind of world.
(1) tenets; fixation (2) aspects; inhibitions
(3) institutions; inhibitions (4) organs; tradition
(5) departments; repulsion

Directions for Questions 12 to 19: There are two gaps in each of the following sentences. From the pairs of words given, choose the one that fills the gaps most appropriately. The first word in the pair should fill the first gap.

12. The best punctuation is that of which the reader is least conscious; for when punctuation, or lack of it, ________ itself, it is usually because it ________.
1. obtrudes, offends 2. enjoins, fails
3. conceals, recedes 4. effaces, counts

13. The argument that the need for a looser fiscal policy ________ to demand outweighs the need to ________ budget deficits is persuasive.
1. assess, minimize 2. outstrip, eliminate
3. stimulate, control 4. restrain, conceal

14. The Athenians on the whole were peaceful and prosperous; they had ________ to sit at home and think about the universe and dispute with Socrates, or to travel abroad and ________ the world.
1. leisure, explore 2. time, ignore
3. ability, suffer 4. temerity, understand

15. Their achievement in the field of literature is described as ________; sometimes it is even called ________.
1. magnificent, irresponsible 2. insignificant, influential
3. significant, paltry 4. unimportant, trivial

16. This simplified ________ to the decision-making process is a must read for anyone__________ important real estate, personal, or professional decisions.
1. primer, maximizing 2. tract, enacting
3. introduction, under 4. guide, facing

17. Physicians may soon have ________ to help paralyzed people move their limbs by bypassing the _______ nerves that once controlled their muscles.
1. instruments, detrimental 2. ways, damaged
3. reason, involuntary 4. impediments, complex

18. The Internet is a medium where users have nearly _________ choices and _________constraints about where to go and what to do.
1. unbalanced, nonexistent 2. embarrassing, no
3. unlimited, minimal 4. choking, shocking

19. From the time she had put her hair up, every man she had met had groveled before her and she had acquired a mental attitude toward the other sex which was a blend of_________ and______.
1. admiration, tolerance 2. indifference, contempt
3. impertinence, temperance 4. arrogance, fidelity

1. (b) The clue to this question lies in the phrase – ‘However, with all its flaws’. The first word should highlight something negative in England’s actions. ‘Complicit in the kind of economic growth that strangulates the poor’ fits well. In the second sentence, since it starts with ‘however’ we are looking for something that has a positive connotation. ‘Conscientious’ therefore is appropriate. Another option, which can be considered is (b). ‘Involved’ would fit the first blank but ‘judicious’ is primarily used to imply ‘wise’ or ‘of sound judgement’.
2. (c) The preposition ‘to’ after the second blank is very helpful. Options (a) and (b) can be eliminated as ‘tools to crime’ or ‘handicaps to crime’ would be incorrect. Out of options (d) and (c), ‘transcending’ would be inappropriate for the first blank.
3. (b) The options for the first blank are very close in meaning. Clearly, there is something about the publishers’ attitude that worries authors. This indicates that we need a somewhat negative word for the second blank. If the publishers are not publishing books that do not ‘excite’ or ‘stimulate’ the market it does not explain the authors’ concern. ‘Titillate’ which means ‘to arouse, tease, interest, or excite pleasurably and often superficially’ carries a negative connotation and fits here. You can also take a clue from “not bold enough”.
4. (a) This question essentially boils down to a choice between options (a) and (d). Option (b) can be eliminated, as ‘monitor’ would be idiomatically incorrect in the first blank. Option (c) would also be incorrect, as we need an adverb in the second blank and ‘stealthy’ is an adjective. The first word in both options (a) and (d) can fit the first blank. However, in the second blank, between ‘surreptitiously’ and ‘slyly’, surreptitiously would be more appropriate as it means ‘by clandestine means or secretly’ whereas slyly also carries the additional connotation of ‘cunningly’ which is not indicated in the paragraph.
5. (d) Option (d) is the only one where the words fit the sentences idiomatically.
6. (b) Until now Dr Stephen had been regarded as an ally of faith. So the new revelations from him must have gone against the religious establishment otherwise that first point would not have been mentioned. The second blank clearly needs to contrast with the first because it talks about ideological opponents. ‘Jarring’ and ‘mellifluous’ are the best combination to fit in the blanks.
7. (a) The first blank can be filled with ‘vices’ or ‘problems’. ‘Foibles’ may also seem to be a close option. But ‘foibles’ usually connote a minor flaw or weakness and is therefore inappropriate for the context. The second blank helps us decide. The entire sentence discusses how although dictatorships have been replaced with democracies other issues still remain. ‘Entrenched’ is the word that brings out this contrast best. ‘Pervasive’ is close but it means something which is widespread. It is a better contrast with something that is rare. Thus in the context not as appropriate. ‘Dislodged’ conveys the opposite idea, to what is needed in the blank, as it means ‘removed from place’.
8. (3) The word ‘disingenuous’ means insincere and is suitable in the given context (suggested by the word- ‘sinister’) . The word ‘victims’ brings out the contrast with ‘perpetrators’ most aptly.
9. (4) In the first blank the word ‘scrutinizers’ is inappropriate as the context suggests observation and not analysis, therefore ‘observers’ is the right word. In the second blank ‘concede’ would be more appropriate than ‘agree’ as the sense is that of yielding ground as suggested by the expression ‘forced to…’

10. (2) The best option is 2 (congenital, education) as the word ‘environment’ in the sentence is used figuratively to suggest the overall surroundings/conditions which shape a person. Option 3 seems close but is incorrect as the word ‘climate’ is insufficient to convey this figurative sense of environment.

11. (4) Going by the first blank, option (3) and (4) are close. In the second blank the context requires a word which goes along with the sense of ‘minds’ which are accustomed to the former or the old school of thought and hence the word ‘tradition’ aptly fits in here.

12. 1 The keywords “least conscious” — obviously, you become conscious of proper punctuation only if it obtrudes, i.e. hinders your flow or shows up prominently.
13. 3
14. 1 If one travels abroad it is to explore the world.
15. 4 The second word should be more intense in degree as compared to the first one, indicated by even.
16. 4 Simplified guide…anyone facing decisions.
17. 2 Paralyzed people do not have complex or involuntary nerves, but some of their nerves are damaged.
18. 3 The sentence conveys the idea of the maximum possible choice, which can result only in the presence of minimal constraints.
19. 2 The right choices should be similar in meaning.

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