SAT Critical Reading : Adjectives and Adverbs in One-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

The paramedics were left ­­______________ when they arrived at the scene to find that no-one had been hurt.

Possible Answers:

intrepid 

incredulous 

ecstatic

amiable

diminshed 

Correct answer:

incredulous 

Explanation:

The structure of the sentence informs us that the paramedics were in some way shocked or surprised to arrive somewhere and find they were not needed. The answer choice that most clearly matches this definition is "incredulous," which means showing disbelief. Amiable and ecstatic are both associated with positive feelings. Amiable is friendly or pleasant and ecstatic is very happy. Diminished means reduced and could possibly fit here, but incredulous is a much better answer. Intrepid means adventurous.

Example Question #1 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

The predatory and rapacious nature of Attila the Hun led many contemporaries to describe him in __________ terms.

Possible Answers:

lupine

munificent

affable

lavish

benevolent 

Correct answer:

lupine

Explanation:

The use of the words predatory and rapacious, which both relate to viciousness and destruction provides the context for the rest of the sentence. As Attila is predatory and rapacious, we know that his contemporaries must not have described as benevolent or affable, as these words mean good intentioned and friendly respectively. Munificent and lavish both relate to having a great deal of money: munificent means generous, and lavish means fancy or expensive. As the sentence makes no reference to Attila’s wealth, we can eliminate these options. This leaves only lupine, which means wolf-like. As wolves have historically be considered both predatory and rapacious this answer choice is the most correct.

Example Question #2 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

America is the most consistently __________ country in the world; more cases are brought before the court system than anywhere else.

Possible Answers:

altruistic

lethargic

indolent

soporific

litigious

Correct answer:

litigious

Explanation:

This is a two-clause sentence, where the clues in the second clause help you solve the blank in the first clause. The second clause pertains to the number of legal cases brought before the courts so you know that the word in the first clause must relate to the legal system. Altruistic means an attitude of giving selflessly and would most likely be used in relation to charity. Indolent and lethargic both mean lazy and could not be applied to something so time consuming as going to court. Soporific refers to the experience of sleepiness or being tedious. Litigious, which means inclined to take legal action is by far the best fit.

Example Question #4 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

During the early Renaissance period many scholars looked back __________ to the height of the Greek and Roman Empires, when Western philosophy had first asserted itself.

Possible Answers:

disdainfully

wistfully 

magnanimously

derisively

philanthropically

Correct answer:

wistfully 

Explanation:

You know from the context of the question that the scholars are looking back into the past. You can also infer from the fact that they are European scholars means they would think positively of the period of time when European philosophy had first flourished. Magnanimously means very kind or generous, and philanthropically refers to showing charitable concern for others. Neither of those words fits comfortably within the sentence. Derisively (show contempt) and disdainfully (show disgust) both refer to the expression of negative opinions; they do not satisfy what we can assume is true of the early Renaissance scholars. Only wistfully which means to be pensive, and yearn for something lost works within this sentence.

Example Question #3 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Captain Cook’s __________ adventure through the Pacific Ocean discovered many new lands for the British Empire.

Possible Answers:

imperious

facile

undermined

convivial

intrepid

Correct answer:

intrepid

Explanation:

The blank is an adjective being used to describe the noun adventure. Facile means easy and does not likely fit with the description of sail through the Pacific Ocean. Imperious means arrogant and could perhaps accurately describe the mindset of a man who sets out to explore the complete unknown, but it is important to remember we are always looking for the best answer. Convivial means pleasant or sociable. Undermined refers to the weakening of something. Intrepid means bold and courageous and fits comfortably with the description of an adventure.

Example Question #4 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Mother Theresa was known for her __________ personality; she gave often and generously to the poor.

Possible Answers:

bountiful 

insolent

intrepid 

incoherent 

arcane 

Correct answer:

bountiful 

Explanation:

From the context of the sentence you know that whatever aspect of Mother Theresa’s personality is being described must relate to generosity and giving to the poor. Of the five answer choices only bountiful means giving generously, and is therefore the correct answer. Intrepid means adventurous; incoherent means impossible to understand; insolent means rude; arcane means mysterious or hard to understand.

Example Question #51 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

The rhetoric of North Korean leaders has long been described as __________ by the American and South Korean governments who fear a return to war.

Possible Answers:

dismissive 

bellicose 

conciliatory

laconic 

affable

Correct answer:

bellicose 

Explanation:

From the context of the sentence you know that the blank word must describe some aggressive quality of North Korean rhetoric that causes the other governments to fear the outbreak of war. This reveals that the correct answer is “bellicose” which means belligerent, aggressive or war-like. Affable means friendly; dismissive means to undermine the importance of something; laconic means terse or brief; conciliatory means appeasing or pacifying.

Example Question #5 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

The various engagements she had promised to attend made her weekend plans a particularly __________ puzzle.

Possible Answers:

blithe

simple

straightforward

adroit

knotty

Correct answer:

knotty

Explanation:

The many different engagements indicate that the weekend schedule will be a difficult problem. The correct answer is a synonym of "difficult." Of the answer choices, "knotty," meaning complex, is the only synonym for difficult.

Example Question #53 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that best completes the following sentence.

King James I was a famously ­­__________ man; he rarely interjected during meetings with his council, preferring to listen and observe.

Possible Answers:

meticulous 

ludicrous 

taciturn 

suspicious

portly 

Correct answer:

taciturn 

Explanation:

The sentence describes how King James I rarely spoke in his council meetings, so you know that the word we're looking for must relate to some quality of silence or using words sparingly. This means that the correct answer is “taciturn,” which means silent or reserved in speech. "Suspicious" means distrustful; "ludicrous" means absurd; "meticulous" describes someone who pays close attention to detail; and "portly" describes someone who is big or fat.

Example Question #54 : Adjectives And Adverbs In One Blank Sentences

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

The professor loved diagramming everything on the chalkboard, so after a day of lecturing his hands were usually __________; he kept moisturizing lotion in his office for this reason.

Possible Answers:

distraught

benign

distal

proximal

desicated

Correct answer:

desicated

Explanation:

"Desicated" means dried out. The fact that the professor needs moisturizer and that he has his hands covered in chalk tells us that this is the best choice. The other answer choices do not make sense, as "distal" means distant, "proximal" means close, next to, or nearby, "benign" means harmless, and "distraught" means upset.

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