SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 243: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 243

9. His peers respected him because ------- both --------; steadfast in his beliefs and tactful in his negotiations.

A. Resourceful… courteous
B. Tenacious… manipulative
C. Determined… demonstrative
D. Resolute… diplomatic
E. Outspoken… indiscriminate

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Resolute" means firm, and "diplomatic" means being tactful or acting in a way that is fitting to the situation. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "His peers respected him because he was both resolute and diplomatic: steadfast in his beliefs and tactful in his negotiations." The colon in this sentence indicates that the second part of the sentence explains or clarifies the ideas presented in the first part. Consequently, the missing terms must describe the man as "steadfast" and "tactful." Inserting these terms into the sentence makes sense: a resolute person is steadfast in beliefs, and a diplomatic person is tactful in negotiations.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Resourceful" means readily capable of acting effectively, and "courteous" means considerate toward others. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "His peers respected him because he was both resourceful and courteous: steadfast in his beliefs and tactful in his negotiations." The colon in this sentence indicates that the second part of the sentence explains or clarifies the ideas presented in the first part. Consequently, the missing terms must describe the man as "steadfast" and "tactful." However, a resourceful person is not always one who is steadfast in beliefs, and a courteous person is polite, but not necessarily tactful in negotiations.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Tenacious" means persistent or stubborn, and "manipulative" means tending to influence shrewdly or deviously. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "His peers respected him because he was both tenacious and manipulative: steadfast in his beliefs and tactful in his negotiations." The colon in this sentence indicates that the second part of the sentence explains or clarifies the ideas presented in the first part. Consequently, the missing terms must describe the man as "steadfast" and "tactful." Although someone who is "steadfast in his beliefs" could be described as tenacious, being manipulative is not typically associated with being tactful in negotiations.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Determined" means having a strong resolve to achieve a goal, and "demonstrative" means freely expressing one's feelings. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "His peers respected him because he was both determined and demonstrative: steadfast in his beliefs and tactful in his negotiations." The colon in this sentence indicates that the second part of the sentence explains or clarifies the ideas presented in the first part. Consequently, the missing terms must describe the man as "steadfast" and "tactful." Although someone who is "steadfast in his beliefs" could be described as determined, a person who is demonstrative would not necessarily be tactful in negotiations, as tact often requires a person to hide his or her true feelings and beliefs.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Outspoken" means tending to say what is on one's mind, and "indiscriminate" in this context means not restrained. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "His peers respected him because he was both outspoken and indiscriminate: steadfast in his beliefs and tactful in his negotiations." The colon in this sentence indicates that the second part of the sentence explains or clarifies the ideas presented in the first part. Consequently, the missing terms must describe the man as "steadfast" and "tactful." A person who is outspoken and indiscriminate would be unlikely to be tactful in negotiations.

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