SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 212: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 212

8. Maggie is a procrastinator, inclined to ------ and to ------ discussions.

A. meddle… scoff at
B. temporize… prolong
C. misbehave… disrupt
D. sneer… terminate
E. withdraw… intrude in

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Temporize" means to act evasively to gain time or to postpone a decision. "Prolong" means to lengthen in duration. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Maggie is a procrastinator, naturally inclined to temporize and to prolong discussions." The part of the sentence after the comma describes what a procrastinator, a person who puts off doing something, might do. It makes sense to label a person who tries to gain time by prolonging conversations a procrastinator.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Meddle" means to intrude into other people's affairs. "Scoff" means to mock or show disrespect. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Maggie is a procrastinator, naturally inclined to meddle and to scoff at discussions." A person who puts things off is not necessarily likely either to meddle or to scoff.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Misbehave" means to behave badly, and "disrupt" in this context means to interrupt. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Maggie is a procrastinator, naturally inclined to misbehave and to disrupt discussions." A person who misbehaves might disrupt discussions, but such behavior doesn't confirm that a person is a procrastinator.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Sneer" means to assume a scornful facial expression. "Terminate" means to bring to an end. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Maggie is a procrastinator, naturally inclined to sneer and to terminate discussions." One who sneers, or looks scornful, isn't necessarily a procrastinator. Furthermore, a person who halts discussions is one who acts rather than stalls for time, as a procrastinator does.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Withdraw" in this context means to become detached from social involvement. "Intrude" means to enter rudely or inappropriately. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Maggie is a procrastinator, naturally inclined to withdraw and to intrude in discussions." This sentence is illogical on several levels. Someone who is inclined to withdraw from social situations is not likely to rudely interrupt discussions. In addition, a person's willingness or unwillingness to participate in discussions with others is not relevent to the act of procrastination.

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