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Contrast Indicators

 

To contrast two things is to point out how they differ. In this type of sentence completion problem, we look for a word that has the opposite meaning (an antonym) of some key word or phrase in the sentence. Following are some of the most common contrast indicators. Be familiar with them; commit them to memory:

 

BUT YET
DESPITE ALTHOUGH
HOWEVER NEVERTHELESS
WHEREAS IN CONTRAST
WHILE THOUGH
RATHER  

 

 

Example :

Although the warring parties had settled a number of disputes, past experience made them ________ to express optimism that the talks would be a success.

 

rash
ambivalent
scornful
overjoyed
reticent

 

“Although” sets up a contrast between what has occurred—success on some issues—and what can be expected to occur—success for the whole talks. Hence, the parties are reluctant to express optimism. The common word “reluctant” is not offered as an answer-choice, but a synonym—reticent—is.

 

 

Example :

Rather than increasing its security by developing nuclear weapons, a nascent nuclear power is viewed as a ________ by its enemies.

 

benefactor
protector
target
patron
non entity

 

The phrase “rather than” sets up a contrast between what a country hopes to achieve by developing nuclear weapons (increased security) and what it actually achieves (becoming a target). The answer is “target.”





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