SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 267: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 267

3. The cafe attracts a ------- clientele: a startlingly heterogeneous group of people collects here.

A. motley
B. callous
C. languid
D. mysterious
E. humane

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Motley" means having many different varieties. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The café attracts a motley clientele: a startlingly heterogeneous group of people collects there." The colon at the end of the main clause implies that the information that follows it will be a list or an explanation. In this case, the second clause provides a clear explanation of why the clientele was described as motley—that people attracted to it are heterogeneous, or quite unlike one another.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Callous" means hardened. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The café attracts a callous clientele: a startlingly heterogeneous group of people collects there." A sentence containing a colon typically provides a list or an explanation after the colon. This sentence, however, provides a comment following the colon that in no way explains how or why the clientele should be considered hardened.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Languid" means lacking energy. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The café attracts a languid clientele: a startlingly heterogeneous group of people collects there." The second clause of the sentence does not explain why the writer considers the clientele to be languid; this is inconsistent with the use of a colon.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Mysterious" means difficult to explain. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The café attracts a mysterious clientele: a startlingly heterogeneous group of people collects there." The second clause of the sentence does not explain why the clientele is mysterious, which is inconsistent with the use of a colon. Saying that a group of people is quite varied does not explain why it was described as mysterious.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Humane" means kind or compassionate. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "The café attracts a humane clientele: a startlingly heterogeneous group of people collects there." Saying that the group of people consists of many different kinds does not explain why the clientele was earlier described as humane. The colon ending the first clause, however, implies that an explanation of the statement in the first clause will appear in the second clause.

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