SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 241: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 241

7. As sea urchins become scarcer, divers are ------ to more dangerous depths to retrieve them, ------- the potential for diving injuries.

A. swimming… lessening
B. descending… increasing
C. removing… avoiding
D. returning… seeing
E. climbing… creating

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Descending" means going down, and "increasing" means making greater. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "As sea urchins are becoming scarcer, divers are descending to more dangerous depths to retrieve them, increasing the potential for diving injuries." This sentence makes sense because the deeper a diver goes in the ocean, the greater is the possibility of an injury of some sort.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Swimming" means moving through water, and "lessening" means decreasing. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "As sea urchins are becoming scarcer, divers are swimming to more dangerous depths to retrieve them, lessening the potential for diving injuries." If the depths are dangerous, that means that the potential for injuries is greater there, so it does not make sense to say that the potential for injuries is decreasing.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Removing" means taking something away, and "avoiding" means keeping away from. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "As sea urchins are becoming scarcer, divers are removing to more dangerous depths to retrieve them, avoiding the potential for diving injuries." Except for some rare uses that do not apply here, "remove" is a verb that normally requires an object to form a grammatical sentence. In any case, by going to more dangerous depths, divers are increasing the potential for injuries, not avoiding it.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Returning" means going back to, and "seeing" in this context means noticing. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "As sea urchins are becoming scarcer, divers are returning to more dangerous depths to retrieve them, seeing the potential for diving injuries." It is unclear why divers would be returning to dangerous depths to get sea urchins that are just now becoming scarcer. This assumes that the divers used to descend to such depths and then stopped but gives no reason to believe that assumption is justified.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Climbing" means moving up, and "creating" means making something new. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "As sea urchins are becoming scarcer, divers are climbing to more dangerous depths to retrieve them, creating the potential for diving injuries." Even though dangerous depths would create the potential for injury, when divers go to more dangerous depths, they are going down toward the ocean floor, not climbing up.

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