SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 204: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 204

15. Improvements in refrigeration and transportation in the nineteenth century ------ the ------ of available food for many families in United States.

A. slowed…distribution
B. accelerate… perishability
C. expanded… variety
D. lowered… amount
E. created…dearth

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Expand" means to increase, and "variety" means an assortment of different things. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Improvements in refrigeration and transportation in the nineteenth century expanded the variety of available food for many families in the United States." Improvements naturally involve positive changes, and increasing the types of things that are available to people is obviously a change for the better. This sentence therefore makes sense.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Slow" means to move at a reduced speed, and "distribution" means handing something out. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Improvements in refrigeration and transportation in the nineteenth century slowed the distribution of available food for many families in the United States." Changes in transportation that resulted in "slowing" the handing out of available food could not be reasonably called improvements.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Accelerate" means to speed up, and "perishability" means the tendency to spoil. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Improvements in refrigeration and transportation in the nineteenth century accelerated the perishability of available food for many families in the United States." It is illogical to say that improvements in refrigeration would make food spoil faster.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Lower" means to decrease, and "amount" means number or quantity. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Improvements in refrigeration and transportation in the nineteenth century lowered the amount of available food for many families in the United States." It is illogical to claim that improvements in refrigeration and transportation would decrease the quantity of available food.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Create" means to make, and "dearth" means a severe lack of. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Improvements in refrigeration and transportation in the nineteenth century created the dearth of available food for many families in the United States." One would not expect a severe lack of available food to be a result of improvements in refrigeration and transportation.

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