SAT Critical Reading : Nouns in One-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #51 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

The students decided to undertake an __________ in order to explore the unknown tunnels under the school.

Possible Answers:

expedition

explanation

enquiry

entourage

itinerary

Correct answer:

expedition

Explanation:

Since the students are said to be exploring the unknown tunnels and not merely doing research on them, the best option for this sentence is “expedition.” An expedition is a trip organized for a particular goal. It is often used to describe scientific and military outings of this sort, though it has a more general sense as well.

Example Question #181 : Sentence Completion Questions

On a number of occasions, Sebastian found the world spinning around him as he suffered from a bout of __________.

Possible Answers:

vertigo

infirmity

spins

weakness

disease

Correct answer:

vertigo

Explanation:

A “bout” of something is an abrupt incident of some kind of illness or activity. The word “vertigo” is the best option, for it is a condition resulting in a loss of balance and the feeling that the world is spinning. The word “spins” really is just a flippant trap word. Do not be tricked by it. The other options are too general, given that we have the very specific “vertigo.” The word comes from the Latin for “to turn.” A close relative is “vertiginous,” which means “causing vertigo” (such as a high cliff that overwhelms someone looking over its edge). Since it is derived from “to turn,” “vertigo” has many other relatives in English like “convert,” “divert,” “introvert,” and many others.

Example Question #151 : One Blank Sentences

The complex argument had a number of __________ upon which it was based.

Possible Answers:

premises

pressupositions

derivatives

assumptions

conjectures

Correct answer:

premises

Explanation:

The argument is said to be complex, but nothing in the sentence should lead you to think that it is an incorrect argument; therefore, the words “assumptions,” “presuppositions,” and (especially) “conjectures” all convey more than is necessary for completing the sentence. Strictly speaking, the “premises” of an argument are the statements upon which it is based. Since the sentence only implies that there are many such foundational statements, the best option here is “premises.”

Example Question #71 : Parts Of Speech In One Blank Sentences

Although there were a number of variations of the painting, they were all derived from a single __________.

Possible Answers:

artist

archetype

picture

masterpiece

image

Correct answer:

archetype

Explanation:

Each of the multiple paintings are considered “derivative” works, meaning that they are “taken from” some preceding work. In this sentence, it is clear that they are all imitations of a single original. Therefore, the most appropriate word here would be “archetype,” meaning (among other things) such an original exemplar from which other like things are derived. The “arche-” prefix means “ancient” or “original,” and “type” means more generally “figure, model, or example.” We sometimes say things like, “The herring is a type of fish,” meaning, “The herring is an example of a fish.”

Example Question #153 : One Blank Sentences

The old man had lived all of his life as a __________, never settling down but instead following the carnival in order to make a living selling shoes to the clowns.

Possible Answers:

bum

carnie

sluggard

vagrant

leech

Correct answer:

vagrant

Explanation:

Do not be fooled by this sentence into thinking that it calls for “carnie.” The man does not work in the carnival but instead follows it to make a living. When someone does not have a regular job but instead travels about to make his or her living, that person is called a “vagrant.” The word is ultimately derived from the Latin for “to wander.” When something is called “vague,” it is implied that it cannot be understood because it “wanders around the topic” without being explicit and direct.

Example Question #61 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

Otho saw no reason to act within the boundaries of __________, for he found such conventions to be mere social niceties.

Possible Answers:

regulations

laws

culture

edicts

propriety

Correct answer:

propriety

Explanation:

The key thing to note here is that the “rules” that Otho does not obey are described as being “conventions.” Propriety is the characteristic that one has when he or she follows the generally accepted norms of a society. Such generally accepted norms are said to be “conventional” in nature. The word “proper” has a very strong sense in meaning “strictly conforming to something’s form or nature.” This is derived from much older Latin terms in logic and philosophy. Here, “propriety” (which is related to “proper”) is “conformity with the standard of society.”

Example Question #61 : Parts Of Speech In One Blank Sentences

Samantha wanted to make a true __________ on the lives of her students and not merely pass the day without influencing their thought or behavior.

Possible Answers:

uplift

impact

inspiration

education

aggrandizement

Correct answer:

impact

Explanation:

The key expression for this sentence is “without influencing.” In light of the “and not merely,” it is clear that Samantha wishes to have an influence on her students’ lives. Expressed in another manner, she could be said to want to “impact” their lives. By its most direct usage, “impact” means “to strike or hit.” For instance, when a meteor is said to impact the earth. More generally, the word means “to have a strong influence on something else.” This is how the word is being used in the sentence.

Example Question #156 : One Blank Sentences

Although most people deprive their body of food for the sake of losing weight, some religious people perform such __________ in order to overcome their physical passions.

Possible Answers:

tasks

exaltations

mortifications

undertakings

diets

Correct answer:

mortifications

Explanation:

The parallel in this sentence is between the notion of “depriving” and the needed word. When someone deprives himself or herself, he or she is said to deny himself or herself of a given good thing. The word “mortification” does not necessarily have the strong sense of “killing” as might be suspected by the “mort-” portion of the word (meaning death, as found in “mortal,” “immortal,” and “morgue”). “Mortification,” might merely mean the process of eliminating or subduing (in a sense “killing off”) the passions of the body. This meaning is used with particular frequency with regard to religious acts of this type, though one can find them in a number of other walks of life as well.

Example Question #157 : One Blank Sentences

The whipping of the slave led to bleeding __________ on the back of the prisoner.

Possible Answers:

bruises

wounds

lumps

welts

lacerations

Correct answer:

lacerations

Explanation:

For this sentence, the most specific answer is the best one. Many of these options might be acceptable, for even lumps and bruises can also bleed (in addition to being lumps and bruises). The best option is “lacerations,” which are deep cuts in the flesh, which would be wounds almost completely guaranteed to bleed. All the other cases may or may not bleed.

Example Question #62 : Nouns In One Blank Sentences

The image of the apple was starkly visible in the __________ of the painting, standing out from the coffee shop portrayed behind it.

Possible Answers:

foreground

details

background

scenery

stillness

Correct answer:

foreground

Explanation:

The contrast expressed in this sentence is between the apple and the coffee shop, which is apparently behind the apple (as implied by “portrayed behind it [the apple]”). When something sits “in front” of other things so as to be very visible, it is said to be in the “foreground,” literally the “front ground” of the image, view, or painting.

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