SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 166: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 166

11. As if intended to squelch rumors of cutbacks, the company's annual celebration was as ------- as ever.

A. sparing
B. tawdry
C. belated
D. lavish
E. sated

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Lavish" means extravagant and elaborate. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "As if intended to squelch rumors of cutbacks, the company's annual celebration was as lavish as ever." The word "squelch" indicates that the missing term will describe a celebration that might suppress rumors of cutbacks, or reductions in spending. A "lavish," or extravagant, celebration could certainly suppress such rumors.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Sparing" means restrained, modest, or thrifty. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "As if intended to squelch rumors of cutbacks, the company's annual celebration was as sparing as ever." The word "squelch" indicates that the missing term will describe a celebration that might suppress rumors of cutbacks, or reductions in spending. A "sparing," or thrifty, celebration would more likely encourage rumors of cutbacks than squelch them.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Tawdry" means cheap. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "As if intended to squelch rumors of cutbacks, the company's annual celebration was as tawdry as ever." A "tawdry," or cheap, celebration would most likely strengthen rumors of cutbacks rather than squelch, or suppress, them.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Belated" means delayed or late. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "As if intended to squelch rumors of cutbacks, the company's annual celebration was as belated as ever." The word "squelch" indicates that the missing term will describe a celebration that might suppress rumors of cutbacks, or reductions in spending. Although a celebration could be "belated," it is not logical to suggest that a late celebration might suppress such rumors.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Sated" means satisfied almost to the point of excess. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "As if intended to squelch rumors of cutbacks, the company's annual celebration was as sated as ever." While a person can be described as "sated," it does not make logical sense to describe a celebration as "sated," or satisfied.

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