SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 199: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 199

10. Her dislike of ------ made her regard people who tried to win her approval through praise as -----.

A. autocrats… dictators
B. defiance… toadies
C. tyrants… connoisseurs
D. adulation… superiors
E. flattery… sycophants

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "Flattery" means excessive or insincere praise, and "sycophants" means people who seek favor by flattering those in power. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Her dislike of flattery made her regard people who tried to win her approval through praise as sycophants." This sentence makes sense because "sycophants" are, by definition, people who try to win approval or other favors through "flattery," or insincere praise.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Autocrats" means rulers who do not need to consult with others before making decisions, and "dictators" means rulers with absolute power and authority. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Her dislike of autocrats made her regard people who tried to win her approval through praise as dictators." Neither "autocrats" nor "dictators" try to win the approval of others, so these two similar terms do not make much sense in the sentence.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Defiance" means bold resistance to authority, and "toadies" means people who go out of their way to assist those in power. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Her dislike of defiance made her regard people who tried to win her approval through praise as toadies." "Toadies" is a very negative word, and a leader who disliked "defiance," or resistance, would probably not use it to describe her supporters.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Tyrants" means cruel rulers, and "connoisseurs" means experts. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Her dislike of tyrants made her regard people who tried to win her approval through praise as connoisseurs." "Coinoisseurs" are not people who try to win approval through praise, and a person's dislike for "tyrants" has no bearing on the issue of praise.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Adulation" means excessive admiration, and "superiors" means people of a higher rank. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Her dislike of adulation made her regard people who tried to win her approval through praise as superiors." It would not be logical for a person who dislikes being admired excessively to think of people who praise them as higher in rank. Moreover, a person who is trying to win the approval of another person is rarely that person's "superior."

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