SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 317: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 317

8. Efforts are finally being made to ------ the traffic congestion that plagues the downtown area.

A. engage
B. alleviate
C. transport
D. regenerate
E. trivialize

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Alleviate" means to relieve or lessen. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Efforts are finally being made to alleviate the traffic congestion that plagues the downtown area." A situation that "plagues," or afflicts, an area needs to be relieved or lessened. Thus, it is logical that efforts to "alleviate," or relieve, the situation would be made.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Engage" means to capture the attention of. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Efforts are finally being made to engage the traffic congestion that plagues the downtown area." Situations are not normally things that can be "engaged"; the term is usually used with people or devices. Thus, it does not make sense to use the word "engage" to apply to traffic congestion.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Transport" means to carry away or convey. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Efforts are finally being made to transport the traffic congestion that plagues the downtown area." "Traffic" is a term that refers to different methods of transportation, but traffic congestion itself cannot be "transported."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Regenerate" means to reproduce. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Efforts are finally being made to regenerate the traffic congestion that plagues the downtown area." If traffic congestion was so bad that it was said to be plaguing the downtown area, no one would want to reproduce it.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Trivialize" means to treat as unimportant. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Efforts are finally being made to trivialize the traffic congestion that plagues the downtown area." If the traffic congestion were so serious that it was referred to as plaguing the downtown area, it is unclear why people would want to "trivialize" it.

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