SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 142: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 142

3. Muriel was so fond of her dog that their brief separation left her not just saddened, but in a state of -------.

A. vagary
B. abhorrence
C. bereavement
D. degeneration
E. elation

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Bereavement" is sadness caused by a meaningful loss. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Muriel was so fond of her dog that their brief separation left her not just saddened, but in a state of bereavement." The structure of the sentence indicates that the missing term will have a meaning similar to "saddened," or a state of sadness. "Bereavement" is sadness caused by a loss-in this case, Muriel's "loss" or "brief separation" from her dog.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Vagary" is erratic or unpredictable behavior. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Muriel was so fond of her dog that their brief separation left her not just saddened, but in a state of vagary." The structure of the sentence indicates that the missing term will have a meaning similar to "saddened," or a state of sadness. Although someone who is sad might behave unpredictably, "vagary" does not refer specifically to sadness caused by a loss.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Abhorrence" is disgust for something or someone. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Muriel was so fond of her dog that their brief separation left her not just saddened, but in a state of abhorrence." The structure of the sentence indicates that the missing term will have a meaning similar to "saddened," or a state of sadness. The term "abhorrence" does not refer specifically to sadness caused by a loss. Additionally, Muriel is fond of her dog, so it is unlikely that a brief separation would cause her to feel disgust for her dog.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Degeneration" is a weakness or decline of condition. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Muriel was so fond of her dog that their brief separation left her not just saddened, but in a state of degeneration." The structure of the sentence indicates that the missing term will have a meaning similar to "saddened," or a state of sadness. Although someone who is sad might feel weak, "degeneration" does not refer specifically to sadness caused by a loss.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Elation" is a state of extreme happiness. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Muriel was so fond of her dog that their brief separation left her not just saddened, but in a state of elation." The structure of the sentence indicates that the missing term will have a meaning similar to "saddened," or a state of sadness. "Elation," or extreme happiness, is the opposite of sadness.

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