SAT Critical Reading : Verbs in One-Blank Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #41 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Instead of merely responding to the needs of others, you should, instead, strive to __________ their desires.

Possible Answers:

anticipate

fulfill

appease

placate

satisfy

Correct answer:

anticipate

Explanation:

By using the word “instead,” this sentence is establishing a contrast between responding to others’ desires and the word that is needed to answer the question. When someone “anticipates” something, he or she considers it before it happens (as opposed to responding to it once it happens). Based on its Latin roots, the word literally means “to take beforehand.” The “anti-” prefix does not mean “against.” Instead, it is a form of “ante-”, meaning “before.” The title, “the Antebellum South,” is used to describe the southern states in the United States before the civil war. (Bellum here means “war.”) The “-cipate” part of the word is related to a number of words like “capture,” “participate,” and “emancipate.”

Example Question #42 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Aaron was chosen to __________ the details of the project to the group so that no aspect would be misunderstood.

Possible Answers:

discuss

outline

explain

articulate

sketch

Correct answer:

articulate

Explanation:

The key phrase in this sentence is “so that no aspect would be misunderstood.” Aaron’s presentation must be comprehensive and understandable, reviewing every detail of the project in a manner that is clear. When someone “articulates” a position, he or she explains it in a clear manner, making all necessary distinctions. The word comes from the Latin for “joint,” so to articulate something is to “cut it at its joints” (that is, at its smallest separable parts).

Example Question #43 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

The complex situation showed no immediate escape path, leaving Douglas with little hope of __________ himself from its unhappy circumstances.

Possible Answers:

encouraging

extricating

motivating

supporting

ameliorating

Correct answer:

extricating

Explanation:

The two key things to note here are “escape path” and “from.” The sense of the sentence is that Douglas has little hope of escaping from the situation. It could be said that he cannot “remove himself” from it. The word “extricate” means “to remove oneself from a difficult situation or (more generally) difficulties.” It is derived from the Latin word for “trick,” so it could be said to mean “to get out of the tricks (of some situation).” It is related to “intricate” and “intriguing.”

Example Question #44 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

The water flow slowly __________ out, finally stopping altogether.

Possible Answers:

petered

dribbled

dripped

fell

splashed

Correct answer:

petered

Explanation:

Note that the flow is not merely dripping but that it is moving ever so slowly toward no longer occurring at all (as is implied by “finally stopping altogether”). When something “peters out” it gradually slows or reduces in intensity to the point of disappearing altogether.

Example Question #61 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

After making the contract, Thomas was ___________ to provide the services that he had promised.

Possible Answers:

chained

planned

trapped

needed

obligated

Correct answer:

obligated

Explanation:

When someone is contracted to do work, that person is required, or obligated, to fulfill that which is promised in the contract. The word “obligated” can also mean “bound” in the sense of being tied to something (metaphorically speaking). This meaning is derived from the Latin root for the word, which is found in “ligament,” which is a piece of connective tissue that binds together joints (and other parts of the body). The word “religion” also has the same root in it, though here it means something like “to be reconnected (to a higher power).”

Example Question #41 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Since Egbert was not very hungry, he merely __________ his food, barely eating more than several crumbs at a time.

Possible Answers:

avoided

nibbled

devoured

munched

tasted

Correct answer:

nibbled

Explanation:

Since Egbert’s eating portions are described, this sentence gives an adequate direct clue regarding how one should describe what he did with regard to his food. When someone “nibbles” at something, he or she merely takes small bites. None of the other words match as closely to the nature of eating merely several crumbs at a time.

Example Question #63 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Corey thought that releasing his dog into the holiday party would __________ its quiet atmosphere, but his plan worked a bit too well and the dog ended up upsetting the pies, which splattered across the floor.

Possible Answers:

enliven

dull

involve

calm down

portray

Correct answer:

enliven

Explanation:

We can infer that Corey wanted to bring energy and excitement to the party, but his dog ended up spilling the pies onto the floor. So, we need to pick out a verb that means something like "bring energy or excitement to." Neither "dull" nor "calm down" can be the correct answer, then, because each of those words is an antonym of "bring energy or excitement to." "Enliven," however, is a verb that means "make (something) more entertaining, interesting, or appealing," and because "enliven" best describes Corey's motivation for releasing his dog into the holiday party, "enliven" is the correct answer.

Example Question #64 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Select the answer choice that best completes the blank in the sentence.

The medicine should __________ the physical pain, but it might take a while for his mental health to recover from the trauma of the accident.

Possible Answers:

aggregate

apprise

alleviate

aver

abscond

Correct answer:

alleviate

Explanation:

The choice that makes the most sense is alleviate: to relieve or make suffering less severe.

Example Question #65 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Select the answer choice that best completes the blank in the sentence.

We tried to __________ the baby in several ways, but she kept crying no matter what we did.

Possible Answers:

burnish

elicit

appease

diffuse

deride

Correct answer:

appease

Explanation:

The choice that makes the most sense is appease: to pacify or soothe; to relieve.

Example Question #41 : Verbs In One Blank Sentences

Select the answer choice that best completes the blank in the sentence.

Would you prefer me to __________ the story or tell a shorter, to the point version?

Possible Answers:

entail

exculpate

encompass

enumerate

embellish

Correct answer:

embellish

Explanation:

The choice that makes the most sense is embellish: to make more attractive by the addition of decorative details or features

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