Verbal Ability

A fundamental property of language is that it is slippery and messy and more liquid than solid, a gelatinous mass that changes shape to fit. As Wittgenstein would remind us, "usage has no sharp boundary." Oftentimes, the only way to determine the meaning of a word is to examine how it is used. This insight is often described as the "meaning is use" doctrine. There are differences between the "meaning is use" doctrine and a dictionary-first theory of meaning. "The dictionary's careful fixing of words to definitions, like butterflies pinned under glass, can suggest that this is how language works. The definitions can seem to ensure and fix the meaning of words, just as the gold standard can back a country's currency." What Wittgenstein found in the circulation of ordinary language, however, was a free-floating currency of meaning. The value of each word arises out of the exchange. The lexicographer abstracts a meaning from that exchange, which is then set within the conventions of the dictionary definition.

  1. Dictionary definitions are like 'gold standards' - artificial, theoretical and dogmatic. Actual meaning of words is their free exchange value.
  2. Language is already slippery; given this, accounting for 'meaning in use' will only exasperate the problem. That is why lexicographers 'fix' meanings.
  3. Meaning is dynamic; definitions are static. The 'meaning in use' theory helps us understand that definitions of words are culled from their meaning in exchange and use and not vice versa.
  4. The meaning of words in dictionaries is clear, fixed and less dangerous and ambiguous than the meaning that arises when words are exchanged between people.

Both Socrates and Bacon were very good at asking useful questions. In fact, Socrates is largely credited with corning up with a way of asking questions, 'the Socratic method/ which itself is at the core of the 'scientific method, popularised by Bacon. The Socratic method disproves arguments by finding exceptions to them, and can therefore lead your opponent to a point where they admit something that contradicts their original position. In common with Socrates, Bacon stressed it was as important to disprove a theory as it was to prove one - and real-world observation and experimentation were key to achieving both aims. Bacon also saw science as a collaborative affair, with scientists working together, challenging each other.

  1. Both Socrates and Bacon advocated clever questioning of the opponents to disprove their arguments and theories.
  2. Both Socrates and Bacon advocated challenging arguments and theories by observation and experimentation.
  3. Both Socrates and Bacon advocated confirming arguments and theories by finding exceptions.
  4. Both Socrates and Bacon advocated examining arguments and theories from both sides to prove them.

North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars (Amorpha juglandis) look like easy meals for birds, but they have a trick up their sleeves—they produce whistles that sound like bird alarm calls, scaring potential predators away. At first, scientists suspected birds were simply startled by the loud noise. But a new study suggests a more sophisticated mechanism: the caterpillar's whistle appears to mimic a bird alarm call, sending avian predators scrambling for cover. When pecked by a bird, the caterpillars whistle by compressing their bodies like an accordion and forcing air out through specialized holes in their sides. The whistles are impressively loud - they have been measured at over 80 dB from 5 cm away from the caterpillar - considering they are made by a two-inch long insect.

  1. North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars will whistle periodically to ward off predator birds - they have a specialized vocal tract that helps them whistle.
  2. North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars can whistle very loudly; the loudness of their whistles is shocking as they are very small insects.
  3. North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars, in a case of acoustic deception, produce whistles that mimic bird alarm calls to defend themselves.
  4. North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars, in a case of deception and camouflage, produce whistles that mimic bird alarm calls to defend themselves.

For each of the past three years, temperatures have hit peaks not seen since the birth of meteorology, and probably not for more than 110,000 years. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air is at its highest level in 4 million years. This does not cause storms like Harvey - there have always been storms and hurricanes along the Gulf of Mexico - but it makes them wetter and more powerful. As the seas warm, they evaporate more easily and provide energy to storm fronts. As the air above them warms, it holds more water vapour. For every half a degree Celsius in warming, there is about a 3% increase in atmospheric moisture content. Scientists call this the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. This means the skies fill more quickly and have more to dump. The storm surge was greater because sea levels have risen 20 cm as a result of more than 100 years of human -related global warming which has melted glaciers and thermally expanded the volume of sea water.

  1. The storm Harvey is one of the regular, annual ones from the Gulf of Mexico; global warming and Harvey are unrelated phenomena.
  2. Global warming does not breed storms but makes them more destructive; the Clausius-Clapeyron equation, though it predicts potential increase in atmospheric moisture content, cannot predict the scale of damage storms might wreck.
  3. Global warming melts glaciers, resulting in sea water volume expansion; this enables more water vapour to fill the air above faster. Thus, modern storms contain more destructive energy.
  4. It is naive to think that rising sea levels and the force of tropical storms are unrelated; Harvey was destructive as global warming has armed it with more moisture content, but this may not be true of all storms.

A translator of literary works needs a secure hold upon the two languages involved, supported by a good measure of familiarity with the two cultures. For an Indian translating works in an Indian language into English, finding satisfactory equivalents in a generalized western culture of practices and symbols in the original would be less difficult than gaining fluent control of contemporary English. When a westerner works on texts in Indian languages the interpretation of cultural elements will be the major challenge, rather than control over the grammar and essential vocabulary of the language concerned. It is much easier to remedy lapses in language in a text translated into English, than flaws of content. Since it is easier for an Indian to learn the English language than it is for a Briton or American to comprehend Indian culture, translations of Indian texts is better left to Indians.

  1. While translating, the Indian and the westerner face the same challenges but they have different skill profiles and the former has the advantage.
  2. As preserving cultural meanings is the essence of literary translation Indians' knowledge of the local culture outweighs the initial disadvantage of lower fluency in English.
  3. Indian translators should translate Indian texts into English as their work is less likely to pose cultural problems which are harder to address than the quality of language.
  4. Westerners might be good at gaining reasonable fluency in new languages, but as understanding the culture reflected in literature is crucial, Indians remain better placed.

To me, a "classic" means precisely the opposite of what my predecessors understood: a work is classical by reason of its resistance to contemporaneity and supposed universality, by reason of its capacity to indicate human particularity and difference in that past epoch. The classic is not what tells me about shared humanity - or, more truthfully put, what lets me recognize myself as already present in the past, what nourishes in me the illusion that everything has been like me and has existed only to prepare the way for me. Instead, the classic is what gives access to radically different forms of human consciousness for any given generation of readers, and thereby expands for them the range of possibilities of what it means to be a human being.

  1. A classic is able to focus on the contemporary human condition and a unified experience of human consciousness.
  2. A classical work seeks to resist particularity and temporal difference even as it focuses on a common humanity.
  3. A classic is a work exploring the new., going beyond the universal, the contemporary, and the notion of a unified human consciousness.
  4. A classic is a work that provides access to a universal experience of the human race as opposed to radically different forms of human consciousness.

S1: Harsten’s theory was that plants definitely react to music.
S6: He found that this plant grew faster and 70 percent taller than the other plant.

P: In his experiment, he used two banana plants.
Q: The music was in fact a high-pitched humming sound.
R: He gave both plants the same light, heat and water.
S: But for about an hour a day, one of the plants ‘listened’ to some music.

The proper sequence should be

  1. Q S R P
  2. P Q R S
  3. P R S Q
  4. Q R P S

SI: The sun-dried stalks of rice had caught fire and burst into flames.
S6: Even those who were too feeble to keep up with the first rush were on their feet, eager to join the fire-fighters.

P: Then came most of the older people, and mothers with babies at their backs.
Q: And all the active women and girls followed them to assist them in fighting the fire.
R: All the young men and boys were soon on the spot.
S: Staring-wildly at the blazing rice, the people of the village ran to extinguish the fire.

The proper sequence should be

  1. P S Q R
  2. Q P R S
  3. S R P Q
  4. S R Q P

S1: A common disease of the eye is conjunctivitis or ‘pink eye’, which often occurs in school-children.
S6: Students with this condition should be sent to the doctor.

P: This disease spreads rapidly among school-children.
Q: A white discharge also appears in the corners of the eyes.
R: One or both eyeballs turn quite red and have a feeling of irritation.
S: This discharge forms a crust which can often be seen in the morning after the eyes have been shut all night.

The proper sequence should be

  1. P S Q R
  2. R S Q P
  3. R Q S P
  4. Q S R P

S1: According to the legend it was during a famine in China many thousands of years ago that rice first came into the lives of the Asians.
S6: And the little girl gathered a harvest of rice.

P: The golden sunbeams dropped through the meshes and transformed themselves into golden grains.
Q: A little girl went fishing.
R: But instead of catching fish, she netted the King of Frogs.
S: The King told her to hold out the net to the sunbeams while he sang a magic song.

The proper sequence should be

  1. P S Q R
  2. R P S Q
  3. Q R S P
  4. P Q S R

He did not abide with my decision.

  1. to
  2. by
  3. for
  4. No improvement

He is now looking about a job.

  1. for
  2. after
  3. into
  4. No improvement

By 8.00 in the morning he wrote four letters to his friends.

  1. had written
  2. had been writing
  3. was writing
  4. No improvement

The man disappeared after he was rescuing a boy from drowning.

  1. was rescued
  2. has been rescued
  3. had rescued
  4. No improvement

The teacher, along with her three children, were taken to hospital.

  1. was taken
  2. had taken
  3. had being taken
  4. No improvement

From the last five days it has been raining torrentially.

  1. Since the last
  2. For the last
  3. Since last
  4. No improvement

He took a loan of hundred rupees from me.

  1. debt
  2. demand
  3. advance
  4. No improvement

It is hard these days to cope with the rising prices.

  1. cope by
  2. cope up with
  3. to be coped with
  4. No improvement

Go north-east across the mountains till you will reach an island.

  1. reached
  2. reach
  3. have reached
  4. No improvement

Most of the students have forgotten to bring their certificates; they will be ___ by the Principal for this reason.

  1. reproached
  2. abused
  3. accused
  4. reprimanded

The Governor will ___ the oath of office to the thirty-five new ministers at 9.30 p.m. tomorrow.

  1. confer
  2. present
  3. execute
  4. administer

He is quite ___ ; you can never count on him in matters of secrecy.

  1. unjust
  2. unbearable
  3. inefficient
  4. unreliable

He may not come, but we'll get ready in case he ___ .

  1. may
  2. will
  3. shall
  4. does

Can you pay ___ all these articles?

  1. out
  2. of
  3. for
  4. off

The volcanic ___ was the cause of great devastation.

  1. outburst
  2. eruption
  3. erosion
  4. movement

The salt spray has gradually ___ the bridge.

  1. spoilt
  2. ravaged
  3. demolished
  4. eroded

S1: Politeness is not a quality possessed by only one nation or race.

  • P: One may observe that a man of one nation will remove his hat or fold his hands by way of greetings when he meets someone he knows.
  • Q: A man of another country will not to do so.
  • R: It is a quality to be found among all peoples and nations in every corner of the earth.
  • S: Obviously, each person follows the custom of his particular country.

S6: In any case, we should not mock at others habits.

  1. RPSQ
  2. RPQS
  3. QPRS
  4. PRQS

S1: The path of Venus lies inside the path of the Earth.

  • P: When at its farthest from the Earth, Venus is 160 million away.
  • Q: With such a wide range between its greatest and leat distances it is natural that at sometimes Venus appears much brighter than at others.
  • R: No other body ever comes so near the Earth, with the exception of the Moon and occasional comet or asteroid.
  • S: When Venus is at its nearest to the earth it is only 26 million miles away.

S6: When at its brightest, it is easily seen with the naked eye in broad daylight.

  1. PSQR
  2. SRPQ
  3. QPRS
  4. SQRP

S1: Religion is not a matter of mere dogmatic conformity.

  • P: It is not merely going through the ritual prescribed to us.
  • Q: It is not a question of ceremonial piety.
  • R: Unless that kind of transformation occurs, you are not an authentically religious man.
  • S: It is the remarking of your own self, the transformation of your nature.

S6: A man of that character is free from fear, free from hatred.

  1. PSRQ
  2. SPRQ
  3. QPSR
  4. SPQR

Education is

  • P: of the proper sense of responsibilities
  • Q: the first need
  • R: in a citizen
  • S: for the development
  1. SQPR
  2. QSRP
  3. QSPR
  4. PQRS

They set a strong guard, lest anyone could escape.

  1. would
  2. might
  3. should
  4. No improvement

Whenever I saw him, he has been reading the same novel.

  1. had been reading
  2. read
  3. was reading
  4. No improvement

I did not wait for him because he went out before I arrived.

  1. has gone out
  2. had gone out
  3. had been out
  4. No improvement

Since the beginning of the term, we are spending a lot of time on poetry.

  1. spent
  2. will spend
  3. have spent
  4. No improvement

If I was you, I should have told him the truth.

  1. am you
  2. were you
  3. had been you
  4. No improvement

Ajeet is a bigger scholar than his brother.

  1. better
  2. smaller
  3. superior
  4. No improvement

What the nation needs is people of character.

  1. are the people of character
  2. are people of character
  3. is a people of character
  4. No improvement

She told the children not to stop the work.

  1. not stopping of
  2. not stopping
  3. don't stop
  4. No improvement

The police investigated into the matter.

  1. with the matter
  2. at the matter
  3. the matter
  4. No improvement

'Fewer rainfall means less traffic accidents, according to the experts‘, report on highway safety.

  1. Less rainfall means fewer traffic accidents
  2. Less rainfall means less traffic accidents
  3. fewer rainfall mean fewer traffic accidents
  4. No improvement

We now come to the important question of where this great swarm of galaxies have come from.

  1. have come
  2. has come from
  3. are coming from
  4. No improvement

Each question has a sentence with parts A, B and C. Read each sentence to find out whether there is an error in any part.

  1. My neighbour Deepak
  2. is a person
  3. that will help anyone.
  4. No error

Each question has a sentence with parts A, B and C. Read each sentence to find out whether there is an error in any part.

  1. He goes
  2. to college
  3. by foot everyday.
  4. no error

Each question has a sentence with parts A, B and C. Read each sentence to find out whether there is an error in any part.

  1. Neither the teacher  
  2. or the student
  3. is keen on joining the dance.
  4. No error

Each question has a sentence with parts A, B and C. Read each sentence to find out whether there is an error in any part.

  1. There are a number of people
  2. of every class and nationality
  3. who doubts the truth of his statement.
  4. No error

Each question has a sentence with parts A, B and C. Read each sentence to find out whether there is an error in any part.

  1. Now we have banks
  2. and people deposit there money their,
  3. and draw it out by cheques.
  4. No error

Five sentences related to a topic are given below. Four of them can be put together to form a meaningful and coherent short paragraph. Identify the odd one out. Choose its number as your answer and key it in.

  1. Man , whether civilized or savage, is a child of nature - he is not the master of nature.
  2. He must conforms his actions to certain natural laws if he is to maintain his dominance over his environment.
  3. Civilized man was nearly always able to become master of his environment temporarily.
  4. When he tries to circumvent the laws of nature, he usually destroys the natural environment that sustains him.
  5. And when his environment deteriorates rapidly, his civilization declines.

Five sentences related to a topic are given below. Four of them can be put together to form a meaningful and coherent short paragraph. Identify the odd one out. Choose its number as your answer and key it in.

  1. It is a bonding process with the entire situation where you, your car, and its name make the entire equation.
  2. Good car names are catchy and fit the product, such as the ‘Beetle’ or the ‘Mini’.
  3. Marketing departments of car companies spend a lot of time and money thinking up names for cars.
  4. The car you drive tells the world about your status, how much money you have, and the socioeconomic group you belong to (or want to belong to).
  5. The names should be a reflection of the brand, product, and target group.

The first line (S1) is fixed. Arrange the other four lines P, Q, R and S in a logical sequence.

  • S1: The beginning of the universe had, of course, been discussed for a long time.
  • P: One argument of such a beginning was the feeling that it was necessary to have a first cause to explain the existence of the universe.
  • Q: He pointed out that civilization is progressing, and we remember who performed this deed or developed that technique;
  • R: According to a number of early cosmologies in the Jewish/Christian/Muslim tradition, the universe started at a finite and not very distant time in the past.
  • S: Another argument was put forward by St. Augustine in his book, The City of God.
  1. QRSP
  2. RPSQ
  3. PSQR
  4. SQPR

The first line (S1) is fixed. Arrange the other four lines P, Q, R and S in a logical sequence.

  • S1: I was so eager not to disappoint my parents that I ran errands for anyone.
  • P: On the way a boy on a bicycle crashed into me and my left shoulder hurt so much that my eyes watered.
  • Q: Only then did I cry
  • R: But I still went and bought the maize, took it to my neighbours and then went home.
  • S: One day my neighbours asked me to buy some maize for them from the bazaar.
  1. SPRQ
  2. PQSR
  3. QRPS
  4. RSQP

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