SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 156: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 156

1. The employer blamed the staff member's lack of productivity on ------- rather than incompetence, claiming that the man knew how to do his job but was too lazy to apply himself.

A. infatuation
B. tension
C. indigence
D. indolence
E. ineptitude

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Indolence" is a tendency to be lazy. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The employer blamed the staff member's lack of productivity on indolence rather than incompetence, claiming that the man knew how to do his job but was too lazy to apply himself." The employer's claim that the staff member was competent but "too lazy to apply himself" indicates that the staff member's lack of productivity was the result of laziness. The term "indolence" precisely describes the laziness that the employer claimed was responsible for the staff member's lack of productivity.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Infatuation" is a foolish or extravagant love or admiration for something. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The employer blamed the staff member's lack of productivity on infatuation rather than incompetence, claiming that the man knew how to do his job but was too lazy to apply himself." The employer's claim that the staff member was competent but "too lazy to apply himself" indicates that the staff member's lack of productivity was the result of laziness. The missing term should describe this laziness. "Infatuation," or a foolish love, does not describe laziness.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Tension" is stress. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The employer blamed the staff member's lack of productivity on tension rather than incompetence, claiming that the man knew how to do his job but was too lazy to apply himself." The employer's claim that the staff member was competent but "too lazy to apply himself" indicates that the staff member's lack of productivity was the result of laziness. The missing term should describe this laziness. "Tension," or stress, does not describe laziness.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Indigence" is extreme poverty. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The employer blamed the staff member's lack of productivity on indigence rather than incompetence, claiming that the man knew how to do his job but was too lazy to apply himself." The employer's claim that the staff member was competent but "too lazy to apply himself" indicates that the staff member's lack of productivity was the result of laziness. The missing term should describe this laziness. "Indigence," or extreme poverty, does not describe laziness.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Ineptitude" is incompetence and a lack of sense. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The employer blamed the staff member's lack of productivity on ineptitude rather than incompetence, claiming that the man knew how to do his job but was too lazy to apply himself." The term "ineptitude" is not logical in this context. "Ineptitude" means incompetence. The employer did not blame the staff member's lack of productivity on incompetence but, rather, claimed that the staff member "knew how to do his job."

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