SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 155: Answer and Explanation

Next steps

Question: 155

16. Despite his ------- desire to show off, he remained at heart a very ------- person.

A. uncharacteristic . . demonstrative
B. inexplicable . . hedonistic
C. occasional . . reticent
D. continual . . transparent
E. blatant . . exhibitionistic

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Occasional" means happening only sometimes. "Reticent" means quiet and reserved. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Despite his occasional desire to show off, he remained at heart a very reticent person." The word "Despite" indicates that the missing terms will describe contrasting behaviors. Someone who is "reticent," or quiet and reserved, would not frequently show off but might do so from time to time.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Uncharacteristic" means not typical. "Demonstrative" means displaying feelings openly. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Despite his uncharacteristic desire to show off, he remained at heart a very demonstrative person." The word "Despite" indicates that the missing terms will describe contrasting behaviors. There is no inherent contrast between the terms "uncharacteristic" and "demonstrative," because showing off is not necessarily uncharacteristic behavior for someone who displays his feelings openly.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Inexplicable" means incapable of being explained. "Hedonistic" means concerned primarily with happiness and pleasure. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Despite his inexplicable desire to show off, he remained at heart a very hedonistic person." The word "Despite" indicates that the missing terms will describe contrasting behaviors. Even if the desire to show off is "inexplicable," or incapable of being explained, there is no inherent contrast between having a desire to show off and being "hedonistic." Showing off is not necessarily related to being primarily concerned with happiness and pleasure.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Continual" means going on without interruption. "Transparent" means obvious and free from pretense. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Despite his continual desire to show off, he remained at heart a very transparent person." The word "Despite" indicates that the missing terms will describe contrasting behaviors. There is no inherent contrast between having a "continual" desire to show off and being a "transparent" person, and a person could be obvious in his desire to show off.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Blatant" means completely obvious. "Exhibitionistic" means acting in a way that will attract attention. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Despite his blatant desire to show off, he remained at heart a very exhibitionistic person." The word "Despite" indicates that the missing terms will describe contrasting behaviors. There is no contrast between having a "blatant" desire to show off and being an "exhibitionistic" person. On the contrary, someone who wants to attract attention would probably be likely to show off.

Previous       Next