SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 314: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 314

5. The residents of town lived ----- lives; no one indulged in wild or ----- life

A. Rambunctious… indecent
B. Extravagant… excessive
C. Secluded… scrupulous
D. Circumscribed…. Impulsive
E. Irreverent… animated

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Circumscribed" means restricted or limited, and "impulsive" means spontaneous or hasty. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The residents of the town lived circumscribed lives; no one indulged in wild or impulsive behavior." The semicolon indicates that the first missing term will contrast with "wild," while the word "or" suggests that the second missing term will be compatible with "wild." These terms logically complete the sentence because people who lead "circumscribed," or restricted, lives would not be expected to engage in "wild or impulsive behavior."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Rambunctious" means disorderly or boistrous, and "indecent" means morally offensive. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The residents of the town lived rambunctious lives; no one indulged in wild or indecent behavior." People who are described as "rambunctious," or disorderly, may very well engage in wild behavior.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Extravagant" means wasteful, or excessive, and "excessive" in this context means uncontrolled. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The residents of the town lived extravagant lives; no one indulged in wild or excessive behavior." The missing terms should have contrasting meanings, but "extravagant" and "excessive" are nearly synonymous. It is contradictory to claim that "extravagant" people do not demonstrate "excessive behavior."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Secluded" means isolated, and "scrupulous" means conscientiously honest. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The residents of the town lived secluded lives; no one indulged in wild or scrupulous behavior." The first missing term should mean the opposite of "wild," and the second missing term should complement the meaning of "wild," but neither "secluded" nor "scrupulous" fits within the context of the sentence.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Irreverent" means disrespectful or lacking seriousness, and "animated" means lively. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The residents of the town lived irreverent lives; no one indulged in wild or animated behavior." "Irreverence" does not necessarily prevent people from being "wild or animated."

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