How to Answer Word Analogy Questions Part 1

One type of question in the Civil Service Examination is Word Analogy. Word Analogy, tests your knowledge to see the relationship between words. In this kind of test, first, you have to know the relationship between two words, and then look for the another pair of word that has the same relationship. In particular, this is called double-word analogy and the first post in the Word Analogy Tutorial Series.

Let us consider the following example.



a. bath: shampoo
b. scissors:cut
c. computer:type
d. eat:spoon 

Personally, I think the most effective strategy in answering questions such as this is to put the words in a sentence. I do this every time I take English examinations and I find it effective. For example, 

A pen is used to write.

As we can see, it seems that all of them are correct because a shampoo is used in bathing, a scissors is used to cut, a computer is used to type, and a spoon is used to eat. However, in looking at relationship like this, order matters. Therefore, in the sentence

“__ are used to ___.”

we must used the first word to fill the first blank and the second word to fill the second blank. Doing this will form the following sentences.

a. A bath is used to shampoo.
b. Scissors are used to cut.
c. A computer is used to type.
d. A eat is used to spoon.

From the sentences above, it seems that a and d are wrong.  

In addition to a and d being a bit absurd, we can also see that PEN is a noun, and WRITE is a verb, so the relationship of the pair of words that we are looking for is NOUN:VERB in exact order. Again, a and d are not fit to this relationship because the second word on both pairs are nouns. So, this is another hint that a and d are not correct. Therefore, we are left with b and c

Looking at b and c, it seems that they are both correct; they fit the sentence above as well as the NOUN: VERB relationship. However, if we look at it closely, b is better. Why?

A scissors is used to cut, and that is only thing that a scissors does. However, a computer is not only used to type but to do a lot of things.

You should note that in this type of question, some relationships may be also correct such as “computer: type,” but we are looking for the best answer. In this question, the best answer is b.

In the next post, we will have more examples.

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