SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 256: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 256

7. Orangutans are ------ apes: they typically conduct most of their lives up in the trees of tropical rain forests.

A. indigenous
B. transitory
C. recessive
D. pliant
E. arboreal

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. An "arboreal" creature lives in trees. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Orangutans are arboreal apes: they typically conduct most of their lives in the trees of tropical rain forests." The colon indicates that the information following it will explain the missing term. The second part of the sentence certainly does support the notion that orangutans are tree-dwelling animals.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Indigenous" means native. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Orangutans are indigenous apes: they typically conduct most of their lives in the trees of tropical rain forests." The information following the colon does not reinforce the idea that orangutans are an indigenous species, particularly since the sentence does not mention the place to which the animal is native.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Transitory" means temporary, or staying only a short time. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Orangutans are transitory apes: they typically conduct most of their lives in the trees of tropical rain forests." The sentence explains that orangutans rarely leave the trees, but it does not indicate whether or not they frequently move from one area of a forest to another, which would classify them as "transitory."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Recessive" means withdrawn. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Orangutans are recessive apes: they typically conduct most of their lives in the trees of tropical rain forests." The information following the colon says nothing about the orangutan's disposition.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Pliant" means easily bent or influenced. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Orangutans are pliant apes: they typically conduct most of their lives in the trees of tropical rain forests." An orangutan's "pliancy" may help it to swing from one branch to the next, but this trait is not directly linked to the fact that it spends most of its life in trees.

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