SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 219: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 219

15. Inbreeding can promote the expression of ----- genes, those that make an animal subject to disease or impair reproductive efficiency.

A. ineffable
B. articulated
C. consummate
D. presumptive
E. deleterious

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "Deleterious" means harmful. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Inbreeding can promote the expression of deleterious genes, those that make an animal subject to disease or impair reproductive efficiency." The clause following the comma provides a specific definition for the missing term, which modifies "genes." Genes that weaken an animal's immune and reproductive systems are indeed "deleterious."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Ineffable" means indescribable. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Inbreeding can promote the expression of ineffable genes, those that make an animal subject to disease or impair reproductive efficiency." These genes cannot be called ineffable since they are described in the second clause.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Articulated" in this context means united or joined. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Inbreeding can promote the expression of articulated genes, those that make an animal subject to disease or impair reproductive efficiency." "Articulated" is a neutral adjective used to describe the structure of something. The missing term should instead reflect the destructive nature of the gene described in the second clause.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Consummate" means complete or perfect. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Inbreeding can promote the expression of consummate genes, those that make an animal subject to disease or impair reproductive efficiency." A gene that promotes disease and infertility can hardly be called complete or perfect.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Presumptive" means founded on probability. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Inbreeding can promote the expression of presumptive genes, those that make an animal subject to disease or impair reproductive efficiency." It is illogical to say that the genes are presumptive. Probability has nothing to do with the harmful effects of the genes mentioned in the sentence.

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