SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 32: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 32

2. Business letters are largely -------, conveying unadorned information in a clear and concise manner.

A. functional
B. patronizing
C. superfluous
D. opaque
E. individualistic

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Skill: Determining the meaning of words

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Functional" means useful and practical. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Business letters are largely functional, conveying unadorned information in a clear and concise manner." The comma sets up an explanation of the missing term. "Functional" works in this context because most business letters do serve a purely practical function, with little "adornment," or embellishment.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Patronizing" means condescending or arrogant. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Business letters are largely patronizing, conveying unadorned information in a clear and concise manner." It is illogical to claim that a majority of letters sent within a professional context are "patronizing," or condescending.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Superfluous" means exceeding what is necessary. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Business letters are largely superfluous, conveying unadorned information in a clear and concise manner." The term "superfluous" implies that business letters contain mostly unnecessary information, but the part of the sentence following the comma suggests the opposite.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Opaque" means obscure. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Business letters are largely opaque, conveying unadorned information in a clear and concise manner." "Opaque" writing is difficult to understand, but the sentence indicates that the writing in business letters is "clear and concise."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Individualistic" means unique or independent. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Business letters are largely individualistic, conveying unadorned information in a clear and concise manner." Nothing in the sentence supports the claim that uniqueness is borne out by "clear and concise" writing.

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