SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 293: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 293

14. Francis learned that by ------- his anger and resentment and so avoiding -------, he could overcome opponents more successfully than those who openly defied their adversaries.

A. Expressing…. Hostility
B. Suppressing… conflict
C. Stifling… temperance
D. Disguising… deceit
E. Rousing… wrath

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Suppressing" means putting down by authority or force. "Conflict" means quarreling. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Francis learned that by suppressing his anger and resentment, and so avoiding conflict, he could overcome opponents more successfully than could those who openly defied their adversaries." These terms fit the context of the sentence because the suppression of anger would likely help a person avoid conflict.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Expressing" means showing, and "hostility" means extreme ill will. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Francis learned that by expressing his anger and resentment, and so avoiding hostility, he could overcome opponents more successfully than could those who openly defied their adversaries." An open display of anger is more likely to cause hostility than prevent it.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Stifling" means smothering or repressing. "Temperance" means moderation or restraint. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Francis learned that by stifling his anger and resentment, and so avoiding temperance, he could overcome opponents more successfully than could those who openly defied their adversaries." "Stifling" anger is an example of "temperance," or restraint. Therefore, it would be illogical to claim that doing one of these actions could prevent the other action from occurring.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Disguising" means concealing or changing the appearance of. "Deceit" means an attempt to deceive or to trick. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Francis learned that by disguising his anger and resentment, and so avoiding deceit, he could overcome opponents more successfully than could those who openly defied their adversaries." It can be argued that hiding one's true feelings is a form of deceit.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Rousing" means awakening, and "wrath" means strong vengeful anger. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Francis learned that by rousing his anger and resentment, and so avoiding wrath he could overcome opponents more successfully than could those who openly defied their adversaries." Awakening angry feelings would not avoid intense anger. On the contrary, it would tend to produce it.

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