SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 171: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 171

16. Edmund White is a ------- author: he has written novels, essays, short stories, a travel book, and a biography.

A. demonstrative
B. nebulous
C. meticulous
D. versatile
E. metaphoric

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. Someone who is "versatile" embraces a variety of subjects, fields, or skills. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Edmund White is a versatile author: he has written novels, essays, short stories, a travel book, and a biography." The colon indicates that the information listed in the second part of the sentence will support the claim made in the first part. A writer who dabbles in so many genres can certainly be described as "versatile."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. Someone who is "demonstrative" is given to open expressions of emotion. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Edmund White is a demonstrative author: he has written novels, essays, short stories, a travel book, and a biography." This term does not fit within the context of the sentence, because an emotional author will not necessarily write many different kinds of works.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Nebulous" means vague or indistinct. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Edmund White is a nebulous author: he has written novels, essays, short stories, a travel book, and a biography." A list of the different genres in which an author writes offers no support for a claim that the author is vague.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Meticulous" means extremely careful or precise. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Edmund White is meticulous author: he has written novels, essays, short stories, a travel book, and a biography." While a meticulous author may write a number of different things, there is no inherent connection between these two ideas.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Metaphoric" means relating to metaphors or figures of speech that make an implicit comparison. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Edmund White is metaphoric author: he has written novels, essays, short stories, a travel book, and a biography." The fact that White has written several different types of literature is unrelated to whether or not he writes metaphorically. All of the genres listed could be written perflectly well with or without the use of metaphors.

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