SAT Critical Reading : Verbs in One-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Critical Reading

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store varsity tutors amazon store varsity tutors ibooks store

Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Ashley would watch other people’s hands and eyes to help her to __________ what they actually thought about the ideas that she expressed to them.

Possible Answers:

espy

notice

infer

manipulate

influence

Correct answer:

infer

Explanation:

The sentence implies that Ashley is reading the outward signs of people’s behavior in order to reach some conclusion about their inner disposition. When someone “infers” something, he or she uses indirect evidence to come to a conclusion. Similar to how the word “transfer” literally means “to carry across,” the word “infer” means “to carry into.” (The “-fer-” portion of the word here means “to bring or carry,” from the Latin “ferre.”) An inference “carries” someone into the heart of a matter.

Example Question #1391 : Psat Critical Reading

Andrew had a great deal of knowledge about the best means by which to __________ through the confusing streets of the old town.

Possible Answers:

stroll

drive

stride

peruse

navigate

Correct answer:

navigate

Explanation:

Although the word “navigate” often applies to one traveling on a ship, it can be extended to apply to any case of planning the route that one must take. Given that the sentence speaks of Andrew’s great knowledge of the confusing streets, the best option will be “navigate,” which indicates that he knew how to find is way around the town. The word “navigate” does come from roots for “ship,” found in “navy” and “naval.”

Example Question #451 : One Blank Sentences

During the summer of his senior year, Eric decided to make money __________ cheap watches and t-shirts at carnivals throughout the country.

Possible Answers:

retailing

arranging

peddling

displaying

offering

Correct answer:

peddling

Explanation:

The general implication of the sentence is that Eric is planning to sell these items during the summer. The key qualifying word is “cheap,” which helps to eliminate the tempting answer “retailing.” When someone “peddles” something, he or she not only is said to sell it but likewise is said to be selling something that is cheap, often doing so by traveling from place to place.

Example Question #24 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

That artist is famous for his technique of __________ black and white shapes, and his work focuses on playing up the intense contrast produced by the shapes' side-by-side placement.

Possible Answers:

undulating

juxtaposing

limiting

meandering

separating

Correct answer:

juxtaposing

Explanation:

We can infer that we need to pick out a word that means something like "place side-by-side" and has something to do with creating contrast. "Separating" cannot be the correct answer because the sentence refers to "the shapes' side-by-side placement." However, "juxtaposing" is a verb that means "place or deal with close together for contrasting effect," so it is the correct answer because it best fits the sentence's context.

Example Question #25 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Every morning it took Jerome’s parents fifteen minutes to __________ him from his deep slumber.

Possible Answers:

berate

rouse

force

coax

jostle

Correct answer:

rouse

Explanation:

The best option here is “rouse,” for it has the direct meaning of “waking from sleep.” While the other options might apply to a degree (except perhaps berate, which is too strong), none of them apply quite as directly as does “rouse.”

Example Question #26 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Many quasi-rituals like tea parties and graduation ceremonies have elaborate __________ actions that are as intricately planned as those found in any complex dance.

Possible Answers:

manual

pouring

choreographed

prancing

serving

Correct answer:

choreographed

Explanation:

Since tea parties and graduation ceremonies are said to have planned actions, one could say that they are “choreographed.” When something is choreographed, it is given a planned set of steps that are to be performed or executed. The word comes from the combination of the Greek words for “dance” and “to write,” thus having the sense of “writing down (the steps) of a dance.”

Example Question #1392 : Psat Critical Reading

Although Luca was not naturally __________ to be patient, with time he was able to train himself to be less easily agitated by a number of potential irritants.

Possible Answers:

born

nurtured

disposed

permitted

reflective

Correct answer:

disposed

Explanation:

Since Luca is said to train himself in the virtue of patience, it can be inferred that he was not born with such a disposition; therefore, the best option would be “disposed,” which means “inclined toward something.” When we say that someone has a “cheerful disposition,” he or she is thus said to show an inclination to a cheerful attitude.

Example Question #28 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

The steel beam broke loose and bore down on the neck of the man standing by, __________ the man as though he were struck by the blade of a guillotine.

Possible Answers:

killing

crushing

decapitating

decimating

destroying

Correct answer:

decapitating

Explanation:

The key descriptive clue is found in the expression “as though he were struck by the blade of a guillotine.” A guillotine is the device (often associated in the popular imagination with post-Revolution France) used to cut off the heads of criminals. Therefore, the best answer is “decapitating,” which means “taking off the head.” The “de-” prefix means “down from” or “away from.” The “-capit-” portion comes from the Latin (and Greek) for “head,” which is found in words like “capital” (head city of a nation) and “per capita” (literally meaning “per head” or “as applies, perhaps on average, to each person in a group”).

Example Question #21 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

In the symphony, a single theme was __________ numerous times, emerging as the recognizable primary melody of the overall piece.

Possible Answers:

undertaken

recited

recapitulated

altered

resumed

Correct answer:

recapitulated

Explanation:

The sentence implies that the theme was repeated multiple times. Although one might think that “resume” is acceptable, one cannot say that the theme “stopped” and then was “started again.” Likewise, “recited” really has more to do with repeating memorized words than anything with music. The word “recapitulation” can be used in music to refer to a section in which various themes are repeated. Here, the sentence expresses that the theme was repeated or “recapitulated.” The word literally means bringing the heading (i.e. theme) back. The “heading” portion comes from the Latin for head, which is found in words like “capital” (head city of a nation) and “per capita” (literally meaning “per head” or “as applies, perhaps on average, to each person in a group”).

Example Question #451 : One Blank Sentences

Although the ship had been sailed several times, the public still wished to hold an official ceremony in order to __________ it for official service.

Possible Answers:

promulgate

announce

advertise

acknowledge

christen

Correct answer:

christen

Explanation:

Since the sentence is concerned with a ceremony on behalf of the ship, the verb that is needed will best describe the action of a ceremony that makes something usable for official service. Although we might often think of “christen” in a religious sense, it more generally means to dedicate something (for some end or set of ends) in an official, public, and ceremonial manner.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors