Seriousness or laughter

gil12345

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,

A sentence completion problem from GRE

At first, I found her gravity rather intimidating; but, as I saw more of her, I found that____was very near the surface.

A seriousness B confidence C laughter D poise E determination

I think A makes more sense. Yet some say C.

What do you say?

Thanks

Gil
 
Last edited:
  • Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo.

    Where's the blank to be filled in?

    Maybe you're expected to choose a word to substitute for "gravity"?
    In that case I'd remind you that "gravis" in Latin means "serious".

    GS :)
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello Gil. What is GRE?

    I think you should have indicated where the blank is. Let's suppose it's between that and was.

    If she looked grave but... then we know that something which is not grave is to follow. The obvious choice is laughter. None of the other choices presents a strong contrast with gravity. I'd say it has to be C.

    Cross-posted with Giorgio. If his take on the question is correct, then I agree with him about the answer.

    Notice, Gil, how important it is to present the question clearly.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    I'm not sure what was wrong earlier, but I can see the blank now. I agree that laughter is the correct answer. The reason is that "but as I saw more of her" suggests that the blank is supposed to be filled with something that contrasts with gravity, and of all the words in your list, laughter is the only one that provides a contrast.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think I'll go with the many who say "C".

    At first I was intimidated because she was very serious but I found that there was laughter just underneath the (grave) surface.
    The laughter was just under the surface, ready to break out.

    The fact that ________ was very near the surface cannot really mean that it was on the surface ,which is how you seem to read it. If seriousness was near the surface (but not actually visible) it wouldn't have been immediately perceived by me and "I" wouldn't have been intimidated by it.
     

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    I'm not sure what was wrong earlier, but I can see the blank now. I agree that laughter is the correct answer. The reason is that "but as I saw more of her" suggests that the blank is supposed to be filled with something that contrasts with gravity, and off all the words in your list, laughter is the only one that provides a contrast.
    Hey, So what about "very near the surface?" Does it mean something untrue? If she is a person full of laughter, how come I found her gravity intimidating? Please.
     

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    I think I'll go with the many who say "C".

    At first I was intimidated because she was very serious but I found that there was laughter just underneath the (grave) surface.
    The laughter was just under the surface, ready to break out.

    The fact that ________ was very near the surface cannot really mean that it was on the surface ,which is how you seem to read it. If seriousness was near the surface (but not actually visible) it wouldn't have been immediately perceived by me and "I" wouldn't have been intimidated by it.

    I appreciate your help. I now get it.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    Hey, So what about "very near the surface?" Does it mean something untrue? If she is a person full of laughter, how come I found her gravity intimidating? Please.
    No, "very near the surface" means it's there, but it's not always easy to see. She is a person who enjoys laughter and humor, but that isn't easy to see when you first meet her. When we say something is on the surface, that means it's easy to see, and it might even be faked. But "near the surface" means it's there but you can't always see it.

    (Cross-posted with gil)
     
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