I was told this would probably be the most suitable forum for this question.

I found this analogy here. The correct answer is supposedly D, but I don't understand why. My reasoning went like this: meaning-wise, both punish and berate are members of the "misdeeds" family. Before you get punished, you most likely get berated (scolded). My thought was C. would be the right answer, because both those words are in the same family, meaning-wise (both mean to do an action that takes you up off the floor/ground). It wouldn't have been my favorite answer, if there had been a better one.

Can anyone explain why D. is the right answer?

Punish is to berate as

  • A. leafy is to green
  • B. deep is to ocean
  • C. jump is to leap
  • D. soak is to dampen
  • E. hike is to trek
  • 3
    Welcome Jerry - I think you did a good job of following @J.R.'s advice from the EL&U meta post. Explaining what you think about the exercise makes it easier to write good answers.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 22, 2018 at 20:27

2 Answers 2


You have checked dictionaries (good!) so you know the meanings of berate and punish.

Berating is a "telling off" and is just done with the voice. On the other hand, punishment could be physical (you could be beaten or imprisoned, for example).

So punishment is more intense than berating.

Let’s look at the options

A. leafy is to green (Being green may be an aspect of being leafy)
B. deep is to ocean (deep is a property of the ocean)
C. jump is to leap (A leap is a big jump)
D. soak is to dampen (soaking is a more intense action than dampening)
E. hike is to trek (synonyms or trek is a series of hikes)

Of these, (D) is the only one in which the first word represents a more intense version of the second. In (C) a leap is more intense than a jump and similarly a trek may be longer or more challenging than a hike. (A) and (B) are impossible as they aren't synonyms in which one means a more intense action, they are nouns and adjectives.

  • 5
    "leafy" isn't always green. I think "leafy" and "green" get stuck together in our minds because of "leafy greens". (I still up-voted your answer though - these analogy questions have relationships that are hard to explain sometimes).
    – ColleenV
    Aug 22, 2018 at 20:36
  • I think "leafy" and "green" get stuck together in our minds because nearly every plant with leaves has green leaves. Even plants with non-green leaves - poinsettias and bouganvillea come to mind - have some. Green is needed for photosynthesis.
    – mcalex
    Aug 23, 2018 at 5:02

The correct answer is D, and here is why:

The verb "berate" means to scold, criticize, or rebuke. You seem to be under the impression that both "berate" and "punish" are instances of misdeeds. That is incorrect. If someone misbehaves, they get berated and then/or punished. Punishment is a form of chastisement more severe and harsher than berating. So the relationship between the first term "punish" and the second term "berate" is that the first is more severe, more serious, stronger, or greater in degree than the second.

Choice D shows the same relationship between its two words. "Soak" is of a higher degree than "dampen" in its effect of making something wet. If something is soaked, it basically is steeped in water/liquid.

The other options: in choice A, "leaf" is an instantiation/example of "green"; B contains "deep" which is an attribute of "ocean"; C indicates a reverse relationship of the example, as "jump" is of a lower degree in magnitude than "leap"; E juxtaposes two words similar in meaning.

  • 5
    "Punishment is a form of chastisement more severe and harsher than berating." Clearly, this is along the lines of what the makers of the test were thinking, and is an explanation for why that is given as the "correct" answer, but this is not at all correct. Punishment isn't really chastisement, and it isn't necessarily worse than beratement. Aug 22, 2018 at 22:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .