SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 102: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 102

11. In frigid regions a layer of permafrost under the soil surface prevents water from sinking deep into the soil, and so the water ------- the land, helping to create bog and ------- conditions.

A. freezes . . tropical
B. parches . . marsh
C. inundates . . desert
D. aerates . . jungle
E. floods . . swamp

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "Floods" means covers with water. A "swamp" is a watersoaked patch of land. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In frigid regions a layer of permafrost under the soil surface prevents water from sinking deep into the soil, and so the water floods the land, helping to create bog and swamp conditions." The first missing term describes what water does when it cannot sink into soil, and the second missing term describes a consequence of that situation. A piece of land "floods" when water cannot sink into it, and this creates watery areas, or "swamps."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Freezes" means turns to ice. "Tropical" refers to a hot region or hot conditions. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In frigid regions a layer of permafrost under the soil surface prevents water from sinking deep into the soil, and so the water freezes the land, helping to create bog and tropical conditions." It is possible that water might turn to ice atop the cold region's permafrost, but this would not cause hot, "tropical" conditions.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Parches" means dries out. A "marsh" is a patch of watery ground. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In frigid regions a layer of permafrost under the soil surface prevents water from sinking deep into the soil, and so the water parches the land, helping to create bog and marsh conditions." A piece of land gets very wet when water cannot sink into it. This land could not be called "parched." Furthermore, dried out land could not be considered a "marsh," which is a patch of watery ground.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Inundates" means covers with water. A "desert" is an extremely dry region. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In frigid regions a layer of permafrost under the soil surface prevents water from sinking deep into the soil, and so the water inundates the land, helping to create bog and desert conditions." A piece of land gets very wet when water cannot sink through it. This is the opposite of "desert conditions."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Aerates" means adds air to. A "jungle" is an overgrown forest. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In frigid regions a layer of permafrost under the soil surface prevents water from sinking deep into the soil, and so the water aerates the land, helping to create bog and jungle conditions." A piece of land gets very wet when water cannot sink through it. Water does not "aerate" land, or expose land to air. Furthermore, an overgrown forest would probably not occur in "frigid," or cold, climates.

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