SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 213: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 213

9. Just as glass windows offer buildings both light and insulation, certain atmospheric gases ------ incoming sunlight and -------- heat radiated from the ground, preventing warmth from escaping.

A. conduct… release
B. deflect… transmit
C. admit… contain
D. absorb… dispense
E. resist… trap

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Admit" means to let in, and "contain" means to keep in. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Just as glass windows offer buildings both light and insulation, certain atmospheric gases admit incoming sunlight and contain heat radiated from the ground, preventing warmth from escaping." The phrase "Just as" indicates that the sentence draws a parallel between glass windows that provide light and insulation and certain gases that have the same effect. There are gases that, like windows, let sunlight pass through while trapping the heat.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Conduct" means to spread, and "release" means to let go. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Just as glass windows offer buildings both light and insulation, certain atmospheric gases conduct incoming sunlight and release heat radiated from the ground, preventing warmth from escaping." Gases that release heat serve the opposite purpose of windows, which trap heat.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Deflect" means to turn something away, and "transmit" means to send one thing to another. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Just as glass windows offer buildings both light and insulation, certain atmospheric gases deflect incoming sunlight and transmit heat radiated from the ground, preventing warmth from escaping." Atmospheric gases that would turn away sunlight and transmit heat would provide neither light nor insulation.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Absorb" means to take in or use up, and "dispense" means to distribute. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Just as glass windows offer buildings both light and insulation, certain atmospheric gases absorb incoming sunlight and dispense heat radiated from the ground, preventing warmth from escaping." Atmospheric gases that absorb sunlight would not provide light, as windows do. In addition, windows contain heat; they do not distribute it.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Resist" means to fend off or withstand. "Trap" means to catch. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Just as glass windows offer buildings both light and insulation, certain atmospheric gases resist incoming sunlight and trap heat radiated from the ground, preventing warmth from escaping." Though gases that trap heat prevent warmth from escaping, gases that resist incoming sunlight would not increase the amount of light available.

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