SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 153: Answer and Explanation

Next steps

Question: 153

14. After several months of training, the ------- young spaniel was finally ------- enough to be walked safely without a leash.

A. eager . . unruly
B. placid . . defiant
C. clever . . helpful
D. boisterous . . docile
E. vigilant . . convinced

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Boisterous" means rowdy and undisciplined. "Docile" means easily managed. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "After several months of training, the boisterous young spaniel was finally docile enough to be walked safely without a leash." The word "finally" indicates that after several months of training, the spaniel's behavior changed. It is logical to suggest that a "boisterous" dog could become "docile" after several months of training. A dog that is docile, or easily managed, could likely be walked safely without a leash.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Eager" means enthusiastic or impatient. "Unruly" means undisciplined and willful. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "After several months of training, the eager young spaniel was finally unruly enough to be walked safely without a leash." Although a dog can certainly be "eager," it is unlikely that an "unruly" dog could be walked safely without a leash. Furthermore, one would not expect training to cause a dog to be unruly, or undisciplined.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Placid" means calm and undisturbed. "Defiant" means bold and disobedient. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "After several months of training, the placid young spaniel was finally defiant enough to be walked safely without a leash." Although a dog can certainly be "placid," or calm, it is unlikely that a "defiant" dog could be walked safely without a leash. Furthermore, one would not expect training to cause a dog to be defiant, or disobedient.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Clever" means smart and quick-witted. "Helpful" means providing assistance. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "After several months of training, the clever young spaniel was finally helpful enough to be walked safely without a leash." Although the first term fits within the context of the sentence, the second term does not. A dog can certainly be "clever," but it does not make logical sense to say that a dog is providing assistance by walking without a leash.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Vigilant" means watchful and alert. "Convinced" means certain or persuaded. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "After several months of training, the vigilant young spaniel was finally convinced enough to be walked safely without a leash." Although a dog can be "vigilant," it does not make sense in this context to say that the dog was "convinced enough" to be walked without a leash. It is not clear what the dog has been convinced of or why convincing was necessary in order to walk the dog without a leash-or, indeed, that dogs can be "convinced," a term usually applied to humans.

Previous       Next