SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 191: Answer and Explanation

Next steps

Question: 191

2. Ironically, an affluent society that purchases much more food than it actually needs suffers because of that -----, since in conditions of affluence diseases relate to overeating and a poor nutrition seem to -----.

A. lavishness… adapt
B. overabundance…thrive
C. corpulence…vex
D. practicality…awaken
E. commonness…abound

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B:

Choice (B) is correct. "Overabundance" means an amount that is more than what is needed, and "thrive" means to grow or prosper. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Ironically, an affluent society that purchases much more food than it actually needs suffers because of that overabundance, since in conditions of affluence diseases related to overeating and poor nutrition seem to thrive." In this sentence "that overabundance" refers back to the phrase "more food than it actually needs." It makes sense that diseases related to overeating would "thrive," or prosper, in these conditions. The relationship between the two clauses is further signaled by the word "ironically," which means the opposite of what would be expected. It is ironic that an overabundance of food, a condition that would appear to result in good nutrition, actually leads to an increase in diseases related to poor nutrition.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A:

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Lavishness" means excessive spending, and "adapt" means to change to fit new circumstances. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Ironically, an affluent society that purchases much more food than it actually needs suffers because of that lavishness, since in conditions of affluence diseases related to overeating and poor nutrition seem to adapt." Although the first term fits in well with the overall sense of the sentence, the second term does not. Diseases are known to "adapt" or change to fit many different circumstances; it would not be ironic or unexpected for a change to occur in this situation.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C:

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Corpulence" means obesity or excessive weight, and "vex" means to annoy. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Ironically, an affluent society that purchases much more food than it actually needs suffers because of that corpulence, since in conditions of affluence diseases related to overeating and poor nutrition seem to vex." "Corpulence" is a term that refers more properly to people than to social conditions, and diseases are generally more likely to cause major discomfort than minor annoyance.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D:

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Practicality" means usefulness or efficiency, and "awaken" means to wake up or become active. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Ironically, an affluent society that purchases much more food than it actually needs suffers because of that practicality, since in conditions of affluence diseases related to overeating and poor nutrition seem to awaken." Although the second term could fit in well with the overall meaning of the sentence, the first term is inappropriate. Buying more food than is necessary is not "practical" at all; it is wasteful.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E:

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Commonness" means typical behavior, and "abound" means to be present in large numbers. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Ironically, an affluent society that purchases much more food than it actually needs suffers because of that commonness, since in conditions of affluence diseases related to overeating and poor nutrition seem to abound." Although the second term could fit in well with the overall meaning of the sentence, the first term does not. A society that buys more than is necessary is not a typical society; relatively few societies suffer from "overabundance."

Previous       Next