'Fill in the Blanks' topic is one of the important topics that commonly appears in the English section of various examinations conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC). This topic tests a candidate's command over the English language, vocabulary, and grammar skills. The 'Fill in the Blanks' section is designed to evaluate an individual's understanding of context and their proficiency in the English language. It requires candidates to choose the correct word or phrase that best fits the given sentence, considering the context, grammar rules, and intended meaning. This exercise not only assesses the candidates' linguistic skills but also their logical reasoning and comprehension abilities.
The 'Fill in the Blanks' questions in SSC exams are diverse in nature and cover a wide range of topics, including vocabulary, grammar, idiomatic expressions, and phrasal verbs. These questions often demand a deep understanding of English language conventions and an extensive vocabulary. Aspirants are expected to have a strong command over grammar rules, collocations, synonyms, antonyms, and contextual word usage.
Directions (Qs. 1 - 10): Select the most appropriate option to fill in the blank.
1. Despite facing numerous ........, she remained determined to achieve her goals.
A) obstacles B) goals C) subjects D) events
Explanation: In this sentence, the word "obstacles" is missing. In the given context, the word "obstacles" refers to challenges or difficulties that someone encounters or faces while trying to achieve their goals. These obstacles can be physical, mental, or circumstantial barriers that impede progress or success. They may include factors such as lack of resources, competition, time constraints, opposition, or any other hurdles that need to be overcome. Hence the word "obstacles" fits logically and grammatically in the blank, conveying the meaning that despite facing challenges or difficulties, she remained determined to achieve her goals.
2. The professor's lectures were so ........ that even the most attentive students struggled to stay awake.
A) democratic B) monotonous C) interesting D) strict
Explanation: The word "monotonous" is missing here. "Monotonous" is an adjective that describes something as lacking variation, being dull, repetitive, or tedious. In this sentence, it indicates that the professor's lectures were delivered in a monotonous manner, lacking excitement, energy, or engaging elements. As a result, even the most attentive students found it challenging to stay awake because the lectures failed to capture their interest or maintain their attention.
3. The detective skillfully gathered evidence to ........ the suspect's alibi.
A) landmine B) sublime C) undermine D) mine
Explanation: The word "undermine" is missing in this sentence. To undermine something means to weaken, challenge, or subvert its credibility or effectiveness. In this context, the detective is skillfully gathering evidence with the intention of weakening or discrediting the suspect's alibi. The word "alibi " means proof that someone who is thought to have committed a crime could not have done it, especially the fact or statement that they were in another place at the time it happened. The detective believes that the evidence they are collecting will cast doubt on the validity or truthfulness of the alibi provided by the suspect.
4. The company's decision to downsize resulted in the ........ of many employees.
A) increasing B) magnification C) negligence D) redundancy
Explanation: Here, the word "redundancy" is missing. "Redundancy" refers to the state or condition of being no longer needed or useful, often resulting in someone's job being eliminated or their employment being terminated. When a company downsizes, it means that they are reducing their workforce or eliminating certain positions to cut costs or improve efficiency. As a consequence of downsizing, employees may be deemed redundant if their roles or functions are no longer necessary within the organization.
5. The author's use of vivid imagery ........ the reader's imagination and brought the story to life.
A) ignited B) stopped C) ruined D) slapped
Explanation: Here, the missing word is "ignited." In this context, "ignited" means to spark, stimulate, or activate. When the author's vivid imagery is described as "igniting" the reader's imagination, it implies that the imagery had a powerful and transformative impact. It brought about a sudden and intense reaction, similar to a flame being sparked or ignited. These descriptions stimulated the reader's imagination, making the story more immersive and engaging. The word "ignited" conveys the idea that the author's use of imagery had a profound effect on the reader, awakening their senses and making the story come alive in their mind.
6. The politician's speech was filled with empty promises and ........ claims.
A) exact B) baseless C) beneficial D) exclusive
Explanation: In this sentence, the word"baseless" is missing. The term "baseless"
refers to claims or statements that lack a foundation or supporting evidence. In this context, it suggests that the politician's speech contained claims that were without any factual backing or substantive proof. These claims may have been made without valid reasoning or credible sources to support their validity. By describing the claims as "baseless," the sentence implies that the politician's statements lacked credibility, reliability, or any substantial basis
7. The hikers embarked on a treacherous journey, navigating through steep cliffs and ........ terrain.
A) smooth B) diagonal C) rugged D) eased
Explanation: Here, the missing word is "rugged" The word "rugged" is used to describe terrain or landscape that is rough, uneven, and difficult to traverse. It implies that the hikers encountered challenging conditions, such as steep cliffs, rocky surfaces, or harsh and untamed landscapes during their journey. It suggests that the terrain they encountered was not smooth or easily navigable, requiring them to exert extra effort and caution to progress through their journey. In this context, the word "rugged" paints a vivid picture of the unforgiving natural environment, highlighting the physical endurance and determination required to overcome the obstacles along the way.
8. The architect's innovative design won praise for its ........ and aesthetic appeal.
A) ugliness B) messy C) stagnation D) sophistication
Explanation: The word "sophistication" is missing in this sentence. Here, sophistication refers to the quality of being refined, intricate, and displaying a high level of complexity and elegance. In relation to the architect's design, sophistication implies that the design was not only innovative but also showcased a great level of intricacy, attention to detail, and advanced technical skill. It suggests that the design went beyond simple aesthetics and incorporated intricate elements, unique features, or advanced engineering techniques.
9. The company's unethical practices eventually led to its ........ and loss of reputation.
A) demise B) rise C) growth D) temptation
Explanation: In this sentence, the word "demise" is missing. The word "demise" carries a negative connotation, indicating a significant and often irreversible decline in the company's status, operations, and reputation. It implies that the unethical practices had severe consequences, such as financial losses, legal repercussions, or loss of public trust. The company may have faced bankruptcy, closure, or a substantial decline in its market position. In the given context, the word "demise" refers to the downfall, collapse, or ultimate failure of the company due to its unethical practices.
10. The athletes' rigorous training and perseverance ........ them for the upcoming championship.
A) stopped B) prepared C) abandoned D) exited
Explanation: Here, the missing word is "prepared." The word "prepared" indicates that the athletes' rigorous training and perseverance have equipped them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and readiness to face the challenges of the upcoming championship. It implies that they have undergone extensive training, honed their physical and mental abilities, and developed the necessary strategies and techniques to compete effectively.
Some Useful Tips
* Read the entire sentence: Start by reading the entire sentence carefully to understand its context and meaning. Identify the subject, verb, and any other significant elements that can guide you in selecting the appropriate word. Determine the part of speech that is missing in the sentence. Is it a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, or conjunction? This will help you narrow down the options and choose the correct word or phrase.
* Focus on grammar rules: Pay attention to the grammatical structure of the sentence.Look for clues such as subject-verb agreement, tense consistency, and proper word order. This will assist you in selecting the word that fits grammatically and syntactically.
* Lookfor clues: Understand the overall meaning and context of the sentence. Look for clues within the sentence or in the surrounding sentences that indicate the intended word or phrase. Ensure that the selected word or phrase aligns with the overall message conveyed by the sentence.
* Use elimination strategy: If you are unsure about the correct answer, use the process of elimination. Eliminate the options that are clearly incorrect or do not make sense in the given context. This increases your chances of selecting the right answer.
* Pay attention to collocations and idiomatic expressions: Be familiar with common collocations (words that frequently appear together) and idiomatic expressions in English. This knowledge will help you choose the word or phrase that naturally fits the sentence and sounds idiomatic.
* Enhance your vocabulary: Regularly work on improving your vocabulary by reading books, newspapers, and articles. Learn new words and their meanings, synonyms, antonyms, and contextual usage. A strong vocabulary will greatly aid you in selecting the most appropriate word.