SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 270: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 270

6. Concrete is ------- of many materials, a composite of rocks, pebbles, sand and cement.

A. a conflagration
B. a distillation
C. a concordance
D. an aberration
E. a amalgamation

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "An amalgamation" means a mixture. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Concrete is an amalgamation of many materials, a composite of rocks, pebbles, sand, and cement." A comma placed in a position like the one after "materials" normally introduces a phrase that helps to define or explain the noun phrase preceding the comma. In this case, the phrase explains that the amalgamation is a composite, or mixture, of distinct materials.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "A conflagration" means a large fire. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Concrete is a conflagration of many materials, a composite of rocks, pebbles, sand, and cement." It does not make sense to say that concrete is a fire.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "A distillation" means a purification by boiling and revaporization. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Concrete is a distillation of many materials, a composite of rocks, pebbles, sand, and cement." The product of a distillation would probably be a liquid, not a solid.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "A concordance" means an alphabetical index of words in a text. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Concrete is a concordance of many materials, a composite of rocks, pebbles, sand, and cement." Concrete and the processes used to make it have nothing to do with book indexes.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "An aberration" means a deviation from the expected course. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Concrete is an aberration of many materials, a composite of rocks, pebbles, sand, and cement." Neither concrete nor the processes of making it can be called deviations from any course of action.

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