SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 258: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 258

9. The author ------- the last act of her play to appease those critics who -------- the work for its brevity.

A. Eliminated… extolled
B. Condensed… censured
C. Expanded… disparaged
D. Intensified… glorified
E. Rearranged… endorsed

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Expanded" in this context means lengthened, and "disparaged" means belittled or criticized. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The author expanded the last act of her play to appease those critics who disparaged the work for its brevity." The missing terms must describe both the critics' reactions to the play's "brevity," or shortness, and the action the author took to satisfy them. The word "appease," or satisfy, indicates that the critics' reaction was negative. Given these criteria, it makes sense that the author lengthened her play in response to those who criticized it for being too short.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Eliminated" means removed, and "extolled" means praised highly. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The author eliminated the last act of her play to appease those critics who extolled the work for its brevity." If critics already praised her work for being short, the author would not need to "appease" them by making it even shorter.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Condensed" in this context means shortened, and "censured" means condemned. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The author condensed the last act of her play to appease those critics who censured the work for its brevity." An author would not try to win the approval of critics who condemned the "brevity" of her play by shortening it further .

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Intensified" means strengthened, and "glorified" means praised and admired. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The author intensified the last act of her play to appease those critics who glorified the work for its brevity." Although the author may have wanted to intensify the last act of her play, she did not need to do so to win over critics who already raved about her work.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Rearranged" means reordered, and "endorsed" means openly approved of. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The author rearranged the last act of her play to appease those critics who endorsed the work for its brevity." If critics had endorsed, or supported, the author's play for being brief, she would have no reason to change the last act to satisfy them.

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