SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 178: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 178

6. The director complained that the sitcom's theme song was downright -------, having no more pep and vigor than a -------.

A. tedious . . jingle
B. inchoate . . lullaby
C. lugubrious . . dirge
D. facetious . . ballad
E. sprightly . . eulogy

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Lugubrious" means mournful, and a "dirge" is a song of grief. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The director complained that the sitcom's theme song was downright lugubrious, having no more pep and vigor than a dirge." In this sentence, the information following the comma supports the claim preceding the comma. The director's complaint that the song was "lugubrious" is perfectly supported by calling it a "dirge."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Tedious" means boring. "Jingle" is a piece of light singsong verse or rhyme. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The director complained that the sitcom's theme song was downright tedious, having no more pep and vigor than a jingle." A "jingle" is a light or catchy song, thus it makes no sense to complain that a song has no more pep than a jingle.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Inchoate" means in an initial or early stage. "Lullaby" is a soothing song with which to lull a child to sleep. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The director complained that the sitcom's theme song was downright inchoate, having no more pep and vigor than a lullaby." It does not make complete sense to complain that a song lacks "pep and vigor" because it is in its early stages of development.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Facetious" means joking or humorous. "Ballad" means a song of a romantic or sentimental nature. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The director complained that the sitcom's theme song was downright facetious, having no more pep and vigor than a ballad." A facetious song would most likely be witty or joking, and would not likely be lacking pep. Furthermore, many ballads could be described as vigorous.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Sprightly" means full of spirit and vitality. "Eulogy" is a speech praising someone who has died. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The director complained that the sitcom's theme song was downright sprightly, having no more pep and vigor than a eulogy." A sprightly, or lively, song would certainly have more pep than a eulogy, or funeral speech.

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