SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 114: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 114

7. Responding to criticism that the script was rambling and -------, the new screenwriter revised the dialogue for greater succinctness and -------.

A. engaging . . simplicity
B. subjective . . ambiguity
C. muddled . . clarity
D. terse . . emptiness
E. difficult . . abstraction

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Muddled" means confused or aimless. "Clarity" means clearness. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Responding to criticism that the script was rambling and muddled, the new screenwriter revised the dialogue for greater succinctness and clarity." The missing terms describe a second negative quality of the script and a corresponding positive quality of the revised version. A muddled script would need to be revised for clarity.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Engaging" means interesting. "Simplicity" means uncomplicated. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Responding to criticism that the script was rambling and engaging, the new screenwriter revised the dialogue for greater succinctness and simplicity." The missing terms describe a second negative quality of the script and a corresponding positive quality of the revised version. A screenplay would not be criticized for being engaging.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Subjective" means dependent on personal taste or views. "Ambiguity" means uncertainty. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Responding to criticism that the script was rambling and subjective, the new screenwriter revised the dialogue for greater succinctness and ambiguity." The missing terms describe a second negative quality of the script and a corresponding positive quality of the revised version. If a screenplay were criticized for being subjective, the screenwriter would probably revise it to make it less ambiguious.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Terse" means brief or succinct. "Emptiness" means, in this context, meaninglessness. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Responding to criticism that the script was rambling and terse, the new screenwriter revised the dialogue for greater succinctness and emptiness." The missing terms describe a second negative quality of the script and a corresponding positive quality of the revised version. A screenplay cannot be both rambling and terse, and one would not revise it to give it greater emptiness.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Difficult" means hard. "Abstraction" means theoretical. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Responding to criticism that the script was rambling and difficult, the new screenwriter revised the dialogue for greater succinctness and abstraction." The missing terms describe a second negative quality of the script and a corresponding positive quality of the revised version. If a screenplay is difficult, then adding more abstraction would only make it more difficult.

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