SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 188: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 188

16. At the family reunion Hiroko found her cousin charming and gentle, the ------- of his formerly rude and overbearing self.

A. remnant
B. antithesis
C. consequence
D. extremity
E. mainstay

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Antithesis" means exact opposite. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "At the family reunion Hiroko found her cousin charming and gentle, the antithesis of his formerly rude and overbearing self." The sentence indicates that Hiroko's cousin has changed dramatically. He was once "rude and overbearing," and is now "charming and gentle." "Antithesis" connotes this dramatic change perfectly.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Remnant" means a remainder. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "At the family reunion Hiroko found her cousin charming and gentle, the remainder of his formerly rude and overbearing self." It makes no sense to say that "charming and gentle" qualitites would be the "remnant," or remainder, of a "formerly rude and overbearing self."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Consequence" means the relation of a result to its cause. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "At the family reunion Hiroko found her cousin "charming and gentle," the consequence of his formerly rude and overbearing self." It is illogical to claim that charming and gentle behavior could be a consequence of "rude and overbearing" behavior. This sentence suggests that Hiroko's cousin's behavior is different from what it once was, not that it is the result of what it once was.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Extremity" means the farthest point. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "At the family reunion Hiroko found her cousin charming and gentle, the extremity of his formerly rude and overbearing self." Hiroko's cousin's new behavior is not an extreme expression of her cousin's former self, it is completely different.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Mainstay" means a chief support or foundational influence or characteristic. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "At the family reunion Hiroko found her cousin charming and gentle, the mainstay of his formerly rude and overbearing self." Hiroko's cousin was exhibiting characteristics that seemed new, not foundational, to how his cousin previously knew him.

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