SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 137: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 137

14. Because he had decided not to ------- himself through the sales of his new product, the inventor anonymously donated all profits to charity.

A. compromise
B. invigorate
C. impoverish
D. aggrandize
E. debilitate

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "To aggrandize" means to make wealthy. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Because he had decided not to aggrandize himself through the sales of his new product, the inventor anonymously donated all profits to charity." Donating profits to charity is a logical result of the inventor's decision not to "aggrandize" himself, or make himself wealthy.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "To compromise" means to expose oneself to suspicion. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Because he had decided not to compromise himself through the sales of his new product, the inventor anonymously donated all profits to charity." Nothing in the sentence indicates that the inventor would be compromised, or exposed to suspicion, if he kept the profits from his new product. There is not necessarily anything suspicious about making a profit from the sale of a product.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "To invigorate" means to energize. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Because he had decided not to invigorate himself through the sales of his new product, the inventor anonymously donated all profits to charity." Although one might find it invigorating to successfully sell a new product, it is illogical to suggest that the inventor's decision to anonymously donate his profits was a result of his decision not to "invigorate," or energize, himself.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "To impoverish" means to make poor. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Because he had decided not to impoverish himself through the sales of his new product, the inventor anonymously donated all profits to charity." It is illogical to suggest that the inventor would donate his profits in order to avoid making himself poor.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "To debilitate" means to weaken. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Because he had decided not to debilitate himself through the sales of his new product, the inventor anonymously donated all profits to charity." There is no reason to believe that keeping profits from the sales of the product would weaken the inventor, so it does not make sense to say that the inventor donated the profits in order to avoid debilitating himself.

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