SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 21: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 21

6. The two travelers may have chosen ------- routes across the continent, but the starting point was the same for each.

A. coinciding
B. direct
C. charted
D. divergent
E. intersecting

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Skill: Understanding the content, form, and function of sentences

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Divergent" means proceeding from one point in different directions. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The two travelers may have chosen divergent routes across the continent, but the starting point was the same for each." The phrase "may have" and the term "but" sets up a contrast between the two clauses of the sentence. The fact that the travelers took distinctly different trips is contrasted with the fact that they left from the same place.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Coinciding" means corresponding. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The two travelers may have chosen coinciding routes across the continent, but the starting point was the same for each." Travelers who follow corresponding routes leave from the same "starting point," so the term "but" becomes illogical in this sentence.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Direct" means straight. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The two travelers may have chosen direct routes across the continent, but the starting point was the same for each." The sentence is illogical because there is no contrast between taking straight routes and leaving from the same place.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Charted" means mapped out. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The two travelers may have chosen charted routes across the continent, but the starting point was the same for each." The fact that the travelers mapped out their trips does not necessarily contrast with the fact that they left from the same point.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Intersecting" means crossing. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The two travelers may have chosen intersecting routes across the continent, but the starting point was the same for each." The term "but" implies that the travelers took different routes despite starting at the same point, but the fact that the travelers' routes crossed indicates that the trips were more similar than they were different.

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