Which word fill in the blank properly?

For giving a speech, change the words until they flow ..... and easily.

  1. evenly \ 2. straightly \ 3. flexibly \ 4. emotionally

I know we can say the water flows evenly but I don't know is it safe to say it for words? Is it good (for a speech) that the words flow evenly? What does evenly means in this sentence? What about straightly? what does it mean in this sentence?

  • There needs to be more context. What is the purpose of the speech? To give a balanced view (1), or to sway a crowd (4)? (2) and (3) are definitely out. Nov 10, 2017 at 20:27
  • 1
    @WeatherVane , It is a question of an exam and it has no other explanation. So 1 and 4 can both be true?
    – titansarus
    Nov 10, 2017 at 20:32
  • As I said, but for a typical speech the answer would be (1). Multi-choice exam questions are not always clear cut, they make marking easy but depend on well-asked questions. This is not such: For giving a speech, change the words until they flow emotionally and easily works equally well, if that is purpose of the speech. Nov 10, 2017 at 20:42
  • Umm, isn't "For giving a speech..." grammatically incorrect in itself? Should the answer be "None of the Above"?!
    – ashleedawg
    Nov 12, 2017 at 13:08

1 Answer 1



Given that this is the only information you have tk answer the question, you must assume that you don’t need any outside information to answer it, i.e. everything you need is in the prompt itself.

You should first rule out both “straightly” and “flexibly.” Neither of them work. I don’t think we even use “straightly” as an adverb with “flow.” We say “the river flows straight into the lake,” just as we say “the guards at the gate stood straight.”

Flexibly doesn’t work either. Things that “flow” aren’t flexible, because they don’t bend, break, or retain a solid form.

“Emotionally” could make sense, but when we look at “evenly” we see it is the better option of the two. Remember that the verb is “flow,” and we know it should “flow... easily.” For a speech to flow “easily” means that is delivered in a calm, natural, steady, measured way. “Evenly” most closely means the same thing, since an “even” flow is also calm, steady, and measured. “Emotional,” on the other hand, usually means agitated, dynamic, swelling and receding in turn, and so is the opposite of the meaning intended by “flow... easily.”

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