SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 197: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 197

8. Actors in melodramas often emphasized tense moments by being ------, for example, raising their voices and pretending to swoon.

A. imperious
B. inscrutable
C. convivial
D. histrionic
E. solicitous

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D:

Choice (D) is correct. "Histrionic" means excessively dramatic or emotional. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Actors in melodramas often emphasized tense moments by being histrionic, for example, raising their voices and pretending to swoon." Raising one's voice or pretending to faint are examples of the exaggerated actions known as "histrionics."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A:

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Imperious" means domineering or bossy. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Actors in melodramas often emphasized tense moments by being imperious, for example, raising their voices and pretending to swoon." Although imperious people might raise their voices when giving orders, they would be unlikely to pretend "to swoon," or faint.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B:

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Inscrutable" means difficult to understand. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Actors in melodramas often emphasized tense moments by being inscrutable, for example, raising their voices and pretending to swoon." The exaggerated movements described in this sentence would make a character's emotions easier to understand, not more difficult.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C:

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Convivial" means festive or fun-loving. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Actors in melodramas often emphasized tense moments by being convivial, for example, raising their voices and pretending to swoon." Although people in festive moods might raise their voices in joy or laughter, they do not have a tendency to pretend to swoon.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E:

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Solicitous" means caring about other people's needs. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Actors in melodramas often emphasized tense moments by being solicitous, for example, raising their voices and pretending to swoon." Solicitous people do not typically raise their voices or pretend to swoon; they are much more likely simply to ask people what they would like or need.

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