Now, you may read the answer choices, but only to find which one matches your Fill-In. What you want for your fill-in is complete predictability and redundancy. There should be no surprises in the blank — after all, this is a standardized test, and there is only one right answer. Avoid interesting stories.
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Yes and no. Are you familiar with this less common usage? All well and good, but how do you to this? We begin with the core elements that every sentence contains: the subject and the verb.
Separating the subjecting and the verb from other elements which I will generically call descriptors is part 1 of my TC and SE analysis. Part 2 is matching each descriptor to what it describes. No answer choices! What do you notice first in both examples?
Look at the commas in both examples. Both 1 and 2 have a single comma that breaks the sentence into two large chunks. Example 2 also has a set of closely spaced commas near the end. The single comma in both examples creates a division between the main sentence and a descriptor element. The closely spaced commas at the end of 2 create a list of parallel nouns. In both examples, the sentence is before the comma, which means the following half is descriptor.
The blanks are verbs, and the targets are the subject of each sentence. Now onto the stuff following each comma — this must be our clue, this will tell us what the attempts were and what the particles are. Apparently the attempts were somehow critically but not commercially successful, and the particles are somehow not long-lasting.
So what have we learned? While breaking the sentence down, make sure to actually identify the subject and verb, and recognize that large elements separated from the main sentence are immense clues that can help us determine the intended meaning of the sentence. As a final note, if this feels easy and natural to you, great! Sentence first, other stuff later.
Honestly, this may be too simple of an example of a word that looks like a verb not acting as a verb, but you need to be aware that debate does exist in some TC and SE examples.
Manhattan Prep: Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence
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Sentence Equivalence Questions
Manhattan GRE: Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence