SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 329: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 329

4. Annoyed by the new employee's excessively -------- manner, the supervisor advised him that such fawning was inappropriate.

A. obsequious
B. mysterious
C. lackadaisical
D. argumentative
E. aggressive

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Obsequious" means excessively respectful or given to extreme flattery. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Annoyed by the new employee's excessively obsequious manner, the supervisor advised him that such fawning was inappropriate." The missing term describes the annoying behavior of the employee, who is accused of fawning, or attempting to gain favor with excessive flattery. "Obsequious behavior" could be characterized as fawning, and it would be both annoying and inappropriate.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Mysterious" means difficult to understand. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Annoyed by the new employee's excessively mysterious manner, the supervisor advised him that such fawning was inappropriate." The missing term describes the annoying behavior of the employee who is accused of fawning, or attempting to gain favor with excessive flattery. "Mysterious behavior" would not necessarily be considered fawning or inappropriate.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Lackadaisical" means idle, lazy, or lacking energy. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Annoyed by the new employee's excessively lackadaisical manner, the supervisor advised him that such fawning was inappropriate." The missing term describes the annoying behavior of the employee, who is accused of fawning, or attempting to gain favor with excessive flattery. Although "lackadaisical behavior" would be annoying and inappropriate, it would not be characterized as fawning. Acting lazy would not be considered excessively trying to gain favor with a supervisor.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Argumentative" means inclined to quarrel. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Annoyed by the new employee's excessively argumentative manner, the supervisor advised him that such fawning was inappropriate." The missing term describes the annoying behavior of the employee, who is accused of fawning, or attempting to gain favor with excessive flattery. A person who attempts to use flattery to gain an advantage would not be "argumentative," or inclined to quarrel, since arguing would cause one to lose favor with a supervisor. The words "argumentative" and "fawning" are not similar in meaning.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Aggressive" means actively hostile. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Annoyed by the new employee's excessively aggressive manner, the supervisor advised him that such fawning was inappropriate." The missing term describes the annoying behavior of the employee, who is accused of fawning, or attempting to gain favor with excessive flattery. "Aggressive behavior" probably would not be considered fawning.

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