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The following are consists of three questions with the possible choices for each along with my reasoning for each question. I ask of you to provide me assistance in guiding me towards the answer for each question and the understanding for why each answer is correct.

  1. Read this sentence carefully.

      The autocratic leader handed out orders left and right.

What kind of context clue would you use to understand the meaning of autocratic?

A Clue provided by contrast with a signal word

B. Clues from your experience or general information

C. A clue offered by an example

D. Clues from another sentence

Reasoning: The given sentence provides a prominent context clue within the predicate of the sentence ("handed out orders left and right"). The predicate gives an example of the action done by the autocratic leader, leading me to suspect answer C as correct.

  1. You're using a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words. Which of these words is least likely to be an entry word?

A. Expedite

B. Frigate

C. Streamer

D. Soberly

Reasoning: This question puzzles me. Please correct me if I am wrong; I believe "entry word" within this particular question refers to the words which is displayed within the dictionary, after which the pronunciation and definition are given. According to my understanding, I think that each answer choice would all be entry words.

  1. Speak aloud each of the following words. Which word has stress on its first syllable?

A. Fol·low

B. De·test

C. Re·new

D. Ob·tain

Reasoning: A tip which I picked up on syllables is to look for the vowel within the word which is pronounced with the highest pitch. Using this tip, I would hold obtain and follow as possible options for the correct answer. Something which I find conflicting about this question is that nearly all words in English are pronounced differently due to one's place of origin. For example, obtain has two different pronunciations even noted by the dictionary (one with a sound much like ubtain and another pronounced like abtain).

Thanks in advance!

closed as too broad by Jason Bassford, aparente001, Lawrence, JJJ, K J Jul 14 at 15:47

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    James, please post separate questions. Also, consider posting at ELL instead. – aparente001 Jul 5 at 3:30
  • @aparente001 Why would these questions belong on ELL???? They're fine for here. It seems pretty clear that OP is a native English speaker. – Araucaria Jul 5 at 15:28
  • @Araucaria - I guess I was thrown off by the title's "inquires" -- but it must have just been a typo. – aparente001 Jul 6 at 0:34
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I must start with what is usually the first comment in such questions. That is not to ask us to do your homework. You are however giving reasons for your thinking in these problems so you deserve some feedback at least. The test questions are rather subjective and don't lend themselves to precise answers.

In 1. There is no contrast provided so A is unlikely.

Context would be part of the nearby words or sentences. It is not meant to test your experience or general info. So B is unlikely.

Clues from another sentence may be the most useful but the question is about this one only. So D does not seem correct.

C is a good answer but consider that the purpose of the sentence could be to describe that the autocratic ruler was not really autocratic at all. That is, the predicate could be describing something unrelated to the subject.

Example: That autocratic ruler sure could catch mice. You could see how it might be wrong to take the predicate as being a definition of the subject.

Number 2 is interesting. You are correct that in a very large/complete dictionary all words might have an entry. However they avoid this by leaving usages of words beneath entries as a complete definition. These usages are modifications, in this case Soberly, of the basic word Sober. This describes how one did something. One who is no longer sober may attempt to walk soberly so as not to appear impaired.

In Number 3 you are quite correct in that pronunciation began with the origin of the word. Though this may not last long in the states. The word Detour used to be pronounced "de-TOUR" Emphasis on Tour, with the "de" meaning a different tour or path than usual, I believe from the French. Now it is just DEEtour.

Your ideas on which vowels use the highest pitch may be accurate to your subjective experience but has no use here. Pitches could go all over without pointing to an answer. Since you cannot consult a dictionary for the answer (great that you know how to!) all this question can test is your own experience of what pronunciation you have heard and remember. The answer would likely be different in London than Chicago.

Check out the prefixes to each word and notice when they are used in other words. "De" as in deform, detour, devour. Re as in remove, repel, return. Ob as in the verb object. These three sound better or perhaps less strange with the emphasis on the second syllable. Not sure fire but lets you group answers into possible and no-way. Fol does not turn up except perhaps in follicle, and not really. So Follow has the emphasis at the start.

Good luck

  • As always, thank you for your feedback. I have a few comments concerning your remarks. – James3423 Jul 5 at 3:47
  • Thanks for the rapid feedback. You have my email address. – Elliot Jul 5 at 3:48
  • Concerning the first question, you noted answer C as a good shout however you remarked that the predicate could suggest an action which would not tie with what an autocrat would commonly be thought of to do, by definition. Please note the question is specific to its given sentence. The predicate in the given sentence does clearly give a clue to the reader towards what autocratic means. In summary, the question does not ask about any sentence in general. – James3423 Jul 5 at 3:54
  • Moving on to question two, words such as soberly, from the root sober, is not as likely to be a entry as the other words given. The other words, streamer, frigate, and expedite, however do not extend much from basic roots and thus all may be word entries. I come again to the issue I met with this same question before, holding each word as equally being likely to be an entry. – James3423 Jul 5 at 4:00
  • This is a much better answer. I could not think of the word. Thank you for providing it. – Elliot Jul 5 at 4:03

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