SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 266: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 266

2. Like many other groups of people in the United States who have needed laws to ------- equal rights, Americans with disabilities have had to ------- legislation addressing their concerns.

A. Guarantee… lobby for
B. Preclude… enact
C. Ascertain… consolidate
D. Compound… contend with
E. Suppress… ratify

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Guarantee" in this context means to provide strong assurances that something will be the case, and "lobby for" means to influence legislators to support certain measures. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Like many other groups of people in the United States who have needed laws to guarantee equal rights, Americans with disabilities have had to lobby for legislation addressing their concerns." Laws that guarantee equal rights for particular groups of people are usually passed after individuals from those groups have presented their cases to governmental officials who have the power to pass laws.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Preclude" means to prevent something or make it impossible, and "enact" means to pass a law. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Like many other groups of people in the United States who have needed laws to preclude equal rights, Americans with disabilities have had to enact legislation addressing their concerns." People do not need or want laws that make equal rights impossible unless these people seek to restrict the rights of others. In any case, legislators are the ones in a position to "enact" laws. People with disabilities who also have the power to enact laws would be referred to as legislators when performing their governmental function.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Ascertain" means to find out, and "consolidate" means to unite. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Like many other groups of people in the United States who have needed laws to ascertain equal rights, Americans with disabilities have had to consolidate legislation addressing their concerns." Abstract concepts like civil rights are not something that people "ascertain." In addition, it is unclear how people would benefit from consolidating different pieces of legislation.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Compound" in this context means to increase the extent of, and "contend with" means to deal with something difficult or undesirable. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Like many other groups of people in the United States who have needed laws to compound equal rights, Americans with disabilities have had to contend with legislation addressing their concerns." Though "compound" can be used to mean to increase the extent of something, that use of "compound" is normally found in set phrases like "compound an error," where the object of the verb is something undesirable. Also, people desiring a particular piece of legislation do not need to "contend with" legislation that addresses their concerns; they would need, rather, to "contend with" legislation that rejects their concerns.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Suppress" in this context means to curtail or limit, and "ratify" means to validate officially. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Like many other groups of people in the United States who have needed laws to suppress equal rights, Americans with disabilities have had to ratify legislation addressing their concerns." It is hard to imagine why people would seek to limit their own civil rights. Moreover, only legislators have the power to ratify laws; other people can get that power only when they are elected or appointed as legislators.

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