SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 327: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 327

2. Foamy viruses cause cells in laboratories to swell but produce no much ------- in cells of living organisms.

A. compression
B. disintegration
C. distension
D. deflation
E. dehydration

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Distension" is the state of being swollen or expanded. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "'Foamy' viruses cause cells cultured in laboratories to swell but produce no such distension in cells of living organisms." "Distension" fits the context of the sentence, because the word "such" indicates that the missing term must be a synonym for "swelling," or expansion.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Compression" means pressed together or flattened. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "'Foamy' viruses cause cells cultured in laboratories to swell but produce no such compression in cells of living organisms." The word "such" modifies "swell," indicating that the missing term is synonymous with "swelling." "Compression," however, causes a reduction in size.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Disintegration" means decomposition. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "'Foamy' viruses cause cells cultured in laboratories to swell but produce no such disintegration in cells of living organisms." The term "disintegration" refers to cells that are falling apart, not expanding in size.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Deflation" refers to a reduction in size. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "'Foamy' viruses cause cells cultured in laboratories to swell but produce no such deflation in cells of living organisms." The missing term must parallel the meaning of "swell," but "deflating" cells get smaller, not larger.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Dehydration" refers to the loss of water. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "'Foamy' viruses cause cells cultured in laboratories to swell but produce no such dehydration in cells of living organisms." A cell that "dehydrates," or loses water, is more likely to shrink than "swell."

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