SAT Critical Reading : Conjunctions and Sentence Logic 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 #37 : Sentence Completion Questions

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

In truth, the task was not __________, although the young man certainly acted as though it were the greatest burden he had ever undertaken.

Possible Answers:

abhorrent

remarkable

outstanding

onerous

deplorable

Correct answer:

onerous

Explanation:

The key here is to pay heed to the description “burden” in the subordinate clause. The word we are searching for will best match that notion. While a burdensome task might be "remarkable" or "outstanding" (or even perhaps the other more negative choices), it most definitely is “onerous,” which means excessively burdensome. (This is further supported by the adjective “greatest” describing the perceived burden.)

The word “onerous” is derived from the Latin "onus," which means burden or load. Our English is derived from a form of the word that has the base “oner-.”

Example Question #38 : Sentence Completion Questions

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

Although Jeremiah was unable to stand up due to his injury, he hoped one day not only to be able to stand but also to be __________ without any aiding devices.

Possible Answers:

cured

ambulatory

strengthened

recovered

ameliorated

Correct answer:

ambulatory

Explanation:

The necessary word describes a strengthening of the activity of standing. (The key to this interpretation is the phrase “but also”); therefore, the best fit is “ambulatory,” which means able to walk.

It is derived from the Latin "ambulare," to walk, which has derivatives not only in words like "ambulate" but likewise in the more familiar “ambulance,” which is indirectly derived from the Latin via a French expression for a type of moving (in a broad sense, "ambulating") field hospital.

Example Question #9 : Conjunctions And Sentence Logic In One Blank Sentences

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

Tired of the influence of those whom he thought lacked merit to partake in the government, Frederick believed that the only acceptable option for governmental structure was one that had a significantly __________ element to it.

Possible Answers:

pushy

vivacious

predatory

arrogant

aristocratic

Correct answer:

aristocratic

Explanation:

Frederick’s frustration with the unmerited members of government and society imply that he wishes for the country to be ruled by those who have talent and ability. While we generally think of “aristocracy” as being rule by titled nobility. While this is often the usage, more generally, the term means rule by the noble in the more fundamental sense of “noble” (i.e. as being truly excellent). The “aristo-” portion of the word is derived from the Greek for “best.”

Example Question #1 : Conjunctions And Sentence Logic In One Blank Sentences

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

The coach was a polarizing figure, as some saw his speeches as powerful motivational tools, while others saw them as nasty ___________.

Possible Answers:

pontifications

testimonies

harangues

stemwinders

expositions

Correct answer:

harangues

Explanation:

All of the answer choices are a type of speech, but the contrast in the sentence with "motivational tools" and the adjective "nasty" leads to an answer choice with a negative tone. "Harangues," which indicates loud, aggressive attacks, fits the rest of the sentence best in context.

Example Question #42 : Sentence Completion Questions

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

Peter was known for his __________, a trait that greatly annoyed his friends who valued taciturnity over all other character traits.

Possible Answers:

buoyancy

placidity

cheerful

prolixity

stolidity

Correct answer:

prolixity

Explanation:

Here, Peter’s character is contrasted with the taciturnity appreciated by his friends. When one is taciturn, he or she uses words sparingly. Therefore, the best contrasting word would be “prolixity,” a word meaning that one speaks too many words. It is derived from the prefix “pro-” for “forward or outward” and “-lixity” from the same root from which we get “liquid.” Therefore someone who is prolix is one whose words can be said to “pour forth” like too much water.

Example Question #2 : Conjunctions And Sentence Logic In One Blank Sentences

It can be rather tasteless to act __________ when one really should be humble and understated in his or her demeanor.

Possible Answers:

ostentatiously

decadently

haughtily

imperiously

arrogantly

Correct answer:

ostentatiously

Explanation:

If someone is the opposite of being understated, he or she would draw too much attention to himself or herself. When one is “ostentatious,” he or she displays things in a gaudy manner, particularly in order to draw attention to himself or herself and be noticed.

Example Question #44 : Sentence Completion Questions

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

In comparison with the inability of theoretical mathematicians to influence industry, the work being done in astrophysics has been especially __________ in bringing forth many practical, technological advances.

Possible Answers:

lauded

appreciated

focused

efficacious

overbearing

Correct answer:

efficacious

Explanation:

The implication here is that the work of astrophysicists has been more capable and effective in bringing forth practical advances (in comparison with theoretical mathematicians). When one can bring forth results in an effective manner, such a person (or institution) is unsurprisingly called “efficacious.” This word has many relatives, as might be surmised, such as “efficient,” “effect,” and “efficacy.”

Example Question #3 : Conjunctions And Sentence Logic In One Blank Sentences

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

It is not true that all wealthy people __________ all of their money; although some never give a penny to others, there are others who donate a large portion of their income and assets to charitable causes.

Possible Answers:

steal

hoard

extract

pilfer

invest

Correct answer:

hoard

Explanation:

This sentence works by way of contrast, as you can tell from the word "although" in the second clause. The description in that introductory clause is implied with regard to the wealthy people mentioned in the first clause. If someone does not give even a penny of money, he or she gathers all of his money for him- or herself. While perhaps the money is invested, the general sense of the sentence is merely to point out such acts of gathering and keeping money. To "hoard" things is to do just that. The word can also be used to describe the things that have been gathered together and amassed in this fashion.

Example Question #46 : Sentence Completion Questions

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

A(n) ___________ aspect of a healthy psyche is the ability to cope with changes; without this skill, a person is almost guaranteed to have significant psychological problems in the course of life.

Possible Answers:

exalted

healthy

jejune

essential

accidental

Correct answer:

essential

Explanation:

The second clause furnishes the clues that we need. It implies that without the ability to cope with changes, a healthy psyche is likely impossible. This means that you must have this skill—it is not optional. Such things are "essential." In much older philosophical language, "essential" things were contrasted with "accidental" ones. The latter were not "accidents" in the sense that we generally use that word; they were things that just happened to come along with something. For instance, it is essential to a person that he or she be able to think (or at least potentially be able to do so). It is wholly accidental if he or she has black or blond hair. In this sentence, it is said that it is a necessary and essential aspect of psychological health to have the ability to cope with changes.

Example Question #47 : Sentence Completion Questions

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

The family huddled in the basement, relieved that the storm had finally passed, but they did not realize that it had been a mere __________ to the extremely severe weather that was soon to assault them.

Possible Answers:

experience

contrast

meteorology

prelude

trickle

Correct answer:

prelude

Explanation:

The best clue for this sentence is the expression "that was soon to assault them." This implies that there is going to be an even stronger storm soon. The option "trickle" might seem like a good way to characterize the weaker first storm, but that really does not fit the sentence—neither in style nor really in grammar. A "prelude," however, is something that introduces another thing, generally being less important than that later thing. For instance, a "prelude" before a musical show lets the audience here some of the music but does not really give them the whole show at once. That comes later. The word literally means to play before. In the sentence, the first storm is said to be a mere prelude to the one that is soon to come.

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