SAT Critical Reading : Verbs and Adjectives or Adverbs in Two-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

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Example Question #301 : Two Blank Sentences

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

Eric loved his apartment, but the __________ crying of the baby in the apartment below him made it difficult to __________ on his studies, so he spent a lot of his time at the library.

Possible Answers:

piercing . . . confound

obsequious . . . deliberate

persistent . . . concentrate

chagrinned . . . distract

unencumbered . . . deplore

Correct answer:

persistent . . . concentrate

Explanation:

The sentence's context clue that the baby's crying disturbs Eric enough to send him to the library gives a strong hint that the word for the first blank should involve high frequency or volume. "Persistent" and "hysterical" could each be correct, as "persistent" would indicate that the crying is constant and "piercing" would indicate that it is loud. In the latter portion of the sentence, the fact that Eric goes to the library tells us that his studying is not going well, and in this context, saying that he cannot "concentrate," or focus one's attention on something makes the most sense. So, the correct answer is "persistent . . . concentrate."

Example Question #302 : Two Blank Sentences

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

The __________ behavior of the student caused the teacher to __________ him and send a note home describing the interruptions caused by the student during class time.

Possible Answers:

unpardonable . . . excuse

reprehensible . . . commend

inexcusable . . . reprimand

intolerable . . . forgive

acceptable . . . compliment

Correct answer:

inexcusable . . . reprimand

Explanation:

That the teacher sent a note home "describing the interruptions caused by the student during class time" suggests that the student's behavior was bad and unjustified, and therefore "inexcusable." The teacher presumably "reprimanded" (scolded) him for his behavior and then sent the note home to his parents. So, the correct answer is "inexcusable . . . reprimand."

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