SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 101: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 101

10. Excessive secrecy tends to ------- excessive curiosity and thus serves to ------- the very impulses against which it guards.

A. inhibit . . protect
B. disguise . . supplant
C. satisfy . . limit
D. compel . . deride
E. invite . . provoke

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "To invite" means to encourage. "To provoke" means to give rise to. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Excessive secrecy tends to invite excessive curiosity and thus serves to provoke the very impulses against which it guards." This sentence makes sense because excessive secrecy encourages excessive curiosity. Secrecy thus gives rise to "the very impulses" that the overly secretive seek to avoid--namely, people's desires to find out what is going on.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "To inhibit" means to prevent. "To protect" means to guard. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Excessive secrecy tends to inhibit excessive curiosity and thus serves to protect the very impulses against which it guards." Excessive secrecy does not prevent excessive curiosity. In fact, it does exactly the opposite.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "To disguise" means to conceal an identity. "To supplant" means to oust and take the place of. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Excessive secrecy tends to disguise excessive curiosity and thus serves to supplant the very impulses against which it guards." Excessive secrecy does not conceal the identity of excessive curiosity. Neither does excessive secrecy oust and take the place of curious interest.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "To satisfy" means to meet expectations. "To limit" means to restrict. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Excessive secrecy tends to satisfy excessive curiosity and thus serves to limit the very impulses against which it guards." Excessive secrecy does not meet the expectations of excessive curiosity, nor does it restrict curious interest.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "To compel" means to force. "To deride" means to mock. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Excessive secrecy tends to compel excessive curiosity and thus serves to deride the very impulses against which it guards." Excessive secrecy may encourage excessive curiosity, but it does not force it.

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