The following question has a sentence with two blanks. Given below it are four pairs of words. Choose the pair that best completes the sentence.

A new “pig family” postal stamp (depicting three cheerful piglets) has ________ debate about whether China may _________  its family planning policy next year as couples delay parenthood and the world’s most populous nation greys.

  1. incited, alter
  2. stoked, exacerbate
  3. stirred, loosen
  4. kindled, augment

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Verbal Question of the Day: 48

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  1. Rahul Batra

    Confused between 1 & 3 – So i would leave…
    Alter or Loosen which one fits better & why?

    1. Hi Rahul, take a look at the answer’s explanation below. Your decision to leave the question due to not being sure of the answer is a prudent one.

  2. Most appropriate option is 3 which fills the idea that the three pigs may Indicate loosening of family planning policy with its aging population and delayed parenthood.

  3. 3
    I think loosen fits better than alter in the second blank. Assuming that China has strict child policy, it will not alter it altogether but will try to loosen it first.

  4. The answer is 3.
    The confusion was mainly around options 1 and 3. ‘Delay’ is used when something is postponed, hindered or caused to happen more slowly than normal. It usually depicts a problem. When couples are delaying parenthood and the world’s most populous nation is ageing, as a consequence of the family planning policy, it means that the policy is not encouraging people to have children. It is a restrictive factor. To ‘loosen’ the family planning policy is most indicative of the solution being brought on the table, especially with the sentence mentioning that the stamp depicts not just a family, but a family with three children.

    Incite- encourage or stir up
    Stoke- encourage or incite (a strong emotion or tendency).
    Exacerbate- make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.
    Kindle- set (something) on fire; arouse
    Augment- make (something) greater by adding to it; increase.

    Nidhi, Priyanka, Amitayu, Shubhra, Richa Malhotra and Richa Pasricha.- Well done! 🙂

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