SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 170: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 170

15. Sadly, the author never ------- the rewards of literary success during her lifetime; public recognition and appreciation of her talent were completely -------.

A. predicted . . conclusive
B. reaped . . posthumous
C. acknowledged . . fulsome
D. appreciated . . gratuitous
E. pursued . . discredited

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "To reap" means to obtain. "Posthumous" means following or occurring after death. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Sadly, the author never reaped the rewards of literary success during her lifetime; public recognition and appreciation of her talent were completely posthumous." The semicolon indicates that the idea presented in the second part of the sentence will provide evidence in support of the idea presented in the first part of the sentence. If public recognition and appreciation of the author's talent were completely "posthumous," or following her death, it makes sense to say that the author never "reaped," or obtained, the rewards of literary success during her lifetime.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "To predict" means to foresee something. "Conclusive" means related to an outcome or conclusion. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Sadly, the author never predicted the rewards of literary success during her lifetime; public recognition and appreciation of her talent were completely conclusive." Although it is plausible to suggest that the author never "predicted," or foresaw, that she would achieve literary success in her lifetime, it does not make sense to say that the recognition and appreciation she received were "conclusive," or related to a conclusion.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "To acknowledge" means to take notice of something. "Affected" means a quality of behavior that is not natural to oneself. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Sadly, the author never acknowledged the rewards of literary success during her lifetime; public recognition and appreciation of her talent were completely affected." The semicolon indicates that the idea presented in the second part of the sentence will provide evidence in support of the idea presented in the first part of the sentence. It is reasonable to suggest that the author never "acknowledged," or took notice of, the rewards of literacy success, but this idea is not logically connected to the idea that the recognition she received was unnatural to those who recognized her talent.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "To appreciate" means to recognize with gratitude. "Gratuitous" means unearned or unwarranted. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Sadly, the author never appreciated the rewards of literary success during her lifetime; public recognition and appreciation of her talent were completely gratuitous." The semicolon indicates that the idea presented in the second part of the sentence will provide evidence in support of the idea presented in the first part of the sentence. It is reasonable to suggest that the author never "appreciated," or recognized with gratitude, the rewards of literary success and that the recognition and appreciation she received were "gratuitous," or unearned, but there is no logical connection between these ideas.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "To pursue" means to seek. "Discredited" means not accepted as true or accurate. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Sadly, the author never pursued the rewards of literary success during her lifetime; public recognition and appreciation of her talent were completely discredited." The semicolon indicates that the idea presented in the second part of the sentence will provide evidence in support of the idea presented in the first part of the sentence. Although it is plausible to suggest that the author never "pursued," or sought, the rewards of literary success, this idea is not logically connected to the idea that the public recognition and appreciation she received was "discredited." Additionally, it is illogical to suggest that recognition and appreciation of an author's talent would not be accepted as true. These two passages discuss the same scholarly book, Strangers from a Different Shore by Asian American historian Ronald Takaki. The first passage is a critique of the book written by another Asian American historian, Li Ling-chi Wang; the second is a defense of the book by its author.

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