SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 276: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 276

12. As the charismatic speaker left the podium, she was surrounded by ------- of zealous supporters who -------- our attempts to approach her.

A. An entourage… interfered with
B. A debacle… concurred with
C. A faction… pertained to
D. A dearth… intercepted
E. A coalition… encompassed

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Entourage" refers to a group of people. "Interfere with" means to get in the way of. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "As the charismatic speaker left the podium, she was surrounded by an entourage of zealous supporters who interfered with our attempts to approach her." It is logical to conclude that an "entourage" of fans would encircle the "charismatic," or alluring, speaker. Such a crowd might very well get in the way of someone's efforts to approach her.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. A "debacle" is a disaster or disruption, and "concur" means to agree. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "As the charismatic speaker left the podium, she was surrounded by a debacle of zealous supporters who concurred with our attempts to approach her." The people who surrounded the speaker may have been disruptive, but the term "debacle" itself cannot be used to describe a crowd. Furthermore, it is unclear how the supporters would have "concurred," or agreed, with someone's attempt to approach the speaker.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. A "faction" is a subgroup within an organization, and "pertained to" means related or connected to. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "As the charismatic speaker left the podium, she was surrounded by a faction of zealous supporters who pertained to our attempts to approach her." It makes little sense to claim that the supporters "pertained," or were related, to someone's efforts to approach the speaker.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. A "dearth" is an inadequate supply, and "intercept" means to interrupt someone before arrival. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "As the charismatic speaker left the podium, she was surrounded by a dearth of zealous supporters who intercepted our attempts to approach her." It is somewhat illogical to assert that a "dearth," or lack, of supporters could effectively prevent someone from approaching the speaker. In addition, while it is possible to "intercept" a person, it makes little sense to say that a group of people intercepted someone's "attempts."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. A "coalition" is a temporary union, and "encompass" means to enclose or include. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "As the charismatic speaker left the podium, she was surrounded by a coalition of zealous supporters who encompassed our attempts to approach her." The supporters may have hindered someone's attempt to approach the speaker, but it is illogical to claim that they "encompassed" that attempt.

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