SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 143: Answer and Explanation

Next steps

Question: 143

4. Deliberately designed to be devoid of elaborate carving or other -------, Biedermeier furniture was known for its -------.

A. customization . . uniqueness
B. spareness . . starkness
C. embellishment . . garnishes
D. ornamentation . . simplicity
E. flamboyance . . flourishes

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Ornamentation" is something that adorns or embellishes. "Simplicity" is a quality of being simple and unadorned. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Deliberately designed to be devoid of elaborate carving or other ornamentation, Biedermeier furniture was known for its simplicity." The phrase "or other" indicates that the first missing term will describe a type of decorative detail that is similar to "elaborate carving." "Ornamentation," or adornments and embellishments, are such decorative details. If Biedermeier furniture was devoid of carving and adornments, it makes sense to say that it was known for its "simplicity," or simple and unadorned quality.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Customization" is an aspect built according to individual specifications. "Uniqueness" is a quality of being the only one. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Deliberately designed to be devoid of elaborate carving or other customization, Biedermeier furniture was known for its uniqueness." "Customization," or an aspect built to individual specifications, usually contributes to an object's "uniqueness." It is somewhat illogical to suggest that a lack of customized details would cause Biedermeier furniture to be described as unique or one of a kind.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Spareness" is a lack of excess or extravagance. "Starkness" is a quality of being bare and lacking ornaments. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Deliberately designed to be devoid of elaborate carving or other spareness, Biedermeier furniture was known for its starkness." Although the term "starkness" makes sense in this context, the term "spareness" does not. The phrase "or other" indicates that the first missing term will describe a type of decorative detail that is similar to "elaborate carving." The term "spareness," or a lack of extravagance, does not describe a type of decorative detail. Additionally, it does not make sense to say that something is devoid of "spareness."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. An "embellishment" is an ornamental detail intended to make something more attractive. "Garnishes" are ornaments or embellishments. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Deliberately designed to be devoid of elaborate carving or other embellishment, Biedermeier furniture was known for its garnishes." If Biedermeier furniture was designed to be devoid of elaborate carving or other "embellishment," it does not make sense to say that it was known for its "garnishes." Furniture that does not have elaborate carving or ornamental details does not have "garnishes," or ornaments and embellishments.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Flamboyance" is a strikingly elaborate or colorful style. "Flourishes" are decorative details. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Deliberately designed to be devoid of elaborate carving or other flamboyance, Biedermeier furniture was known for its flourishes." If Biedermeier furniture was designed to be devoid of elaborate carving or other "flamboyance," or elements of a strikingly elaborate style, it is unlikely that it was known for its "flourishes," or decorative details. Furniture that does not have elaborate carving or a strikingly elaborate style would most likely not have "flourishes."

Previous       Next