SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 250: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 250

1. Not only was the science of Hildegard Bingen ------ her theology, but her religious visions helped give her scientific works ------- by winning her the support of the medieval church authorities.

A. inseparable from… legitimacy
B. unconcerned with… prestige
C. derived from… profundity
D. related to … accuracy
E. diminished by… detachment

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Inseparable from" means incapable of being separated, and "legitimacy" means conforming to socially accepted standards. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Not only was the science of Hildegard of Bingen inseparable from her theology, but her religious visions helped give her scientific works legitimacy by winning her the support of medieval church authorities." The "Not only. . . but" construction indicates that the second clause of the sentence will be consistent with, and may extend the meaning of, the first clause. It makes sense that the support of the influential medieval church for theologically based scientific works would provide her works with legitimacy.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Unconcerned with" means not related to, and "prestige" means high social respect or regard. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Not only was the science of Hildegard of Bingen unconcerned with her theology, but her religious visions helped give her scientific works prestige by winning her the support of medieval church authorities." If the support of the church won her scientific work high social regard, then it would likely be related to theology.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Derived from" means to come from another place of origin, and "profundity" means depth of meaning. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Not only was the science of Hildegard of Bingen derived from her theology, but her religious visions helped give her scientific works profundity by winning her the support of medieval church authorities." Although her science may have been derived from her theology, it doesn't follow that the church's support would make her work more profound.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Related to" means connected with, and "accuracy" means correctness. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Not only was the science of Hildegard of Bingen related to her theology, but her religious visions helped give her scientific works accuracy by winning her the support of medieval church authorities." Although her science may have been related to her theology, it doesn't follow that the church's support would make her work more accurate.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Diminished by" means lessened by or weakened, and "detachment" means objectivity. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Not only was the science of Hildegard of Bingen diminished by her theology, but her religious visions helped give her scientific works detachment by winning her the support of medieval church authorities." Although her scientific work could have been weakened by her theology, it doesn't make sense to say that her visions or the church's support gave her scientific works objectivity. It is more likely that such support would weaken her work's objectivity.

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