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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:

 

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.

  1. rash
  2. ambivalent
  3. scornful
  4. overjoyed
  5. reticent
Solution

“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.

 

The answer is (E).
 





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