SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 211: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 211

7. For many of the villagers, marriage was a practical ------, one not necessarily ------ of love but nevertheless grounded largely in economic advantage.

A. arrangement… devoid
B. entertainment… disparaging
C. attitude… consisting
D. bargain… worthy
E. misfortune… trusting

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Arrangement" in this context means an agreement or settlement, and "devoid" means completely lacking. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "For many of the villagers, marriage was a practical arrangement, one not necessarily devoid of love but nevertheless grounded largely in economic advantage." The villagers in this sentence view marriage pragmatically rather than romantically. For them, marriage more closely resembles a business arrangement than a loving union. The word "nevertheless" indicates that marriage does not always lack love but that "economic advantage" is a higher priority.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Entertainment" means a diversion or amusement. "Disparaging" means disrespectful or degrading. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "For many of the villagers, marriage was a practical entertainment, one not necessarily disparaging of love but nevertheless grounded largely in economic advantage." Diversions are more likely to be considered frivolous than "practical." Also, it is illogical to say that "entertainment" can disrespect love.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Attitude" in this context means feeling or state of mind. "Consisting" means made up of. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "For many of the villagers, marriage was a practical attitude, one not necessarily consisting of love but nevertheless grounded largely in economic advantage." The main fault in the logic of this sentence comes from the fact that marriage is an official institution, not a state of mind.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Bargain" means an agreement between parties carrying obligations that each promises to carry out. "Worthy" means deserving. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "For many of the villagers, marriage was a practical bargain, one not necessarily worthy of love but nevertheless grounded largely in economic advantage." The villagers might reasonably consider a marriage based on "economic advantage" as a "bargain." Calling the bargain "worthy of love," however, does not explain the comparison of love and economics that is set up in the structure of the sentence.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Misfortune" in this context means the condition resulting from ill luck. "Trusting" means reliant on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "For many of the villagers, marriage was a practical misfortune, one not necessarily trusting of love but nevertheless grounded largely in economic advantage." This sentence fails to explain how economically advantageous marriage constitutes a "practical," unlucky condition. Furthermore, a misfortune cannot be referred to as "trusting."

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