SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 33: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 33

3. The ------- between the mayor's idealistic speeches and his reprehensible conduct led his constituents to ------- his claim to be a true reformer.

A. tension . . endorse
B. discrepancy . . disparage
C. contradiction . . vindicate
D. resemblance . . mimic
E. parallelism . . undermine

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Skill: Understanding the content, form, and function of sentences

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Discrepancy" means a divergence or disagreement as between facts or claims. "Disparage" means to belittle or to speak negatively about. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The discrepancy between the mayor's idealistic speeches and his reprehensible conduct led his constituents to disparage his claim to be a true reformer." The key to identifying the missing terms in this sentence lies in the contrast between the mayor's positive speeches and his disgraceful behavior. It is not surprising that such a contrast, or "discrepancy," would prompt criticism from the people the mayor represents.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Tension" refers to opposition or hostility between groups or individuals. "Endorse" means to approve or support. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The tension between the mayor's idealistic speeches and his reprehensible conduct led his constituents to endorse his claim to be a true reformer." Constituents who are aware of the "tension" between the mayor's speeches and his conduct are not likely to support the claim that he has reformed his questionable ways.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Contradiction" refers to a state of being contrary or inconsistent. "Vindicate" means to defend or justify. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The contradiction between the mayor's idealistic speeches and his reprehensible conduct led his constituents to vindicate his claim to be a true reformer." It is unlikely that the "contradiction" between the mayor's words and his actions would prompt his constituents to "vindicate," or defend him.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Resemblance" refers to the quality of being similar. "Mimic" means to imitate or ridicule. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The resemblance between the mayor's idealistic speeches and his reprehensible conduct led his constituents to mimic his claim to be a true reformer." On the contrary, the conflicting terms "idealistic" and "reprehensible" indicate that the mayor's statements bear little "resemblance" to his actions.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Parallelism" refers to the relationship between things that are similar or equal. "Undermine" means to weaken. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The parallelism between the mayor's idealistic speeches and his reprehensible conduct led his constituents to undermine his claim to be a true reformer." "Idealistic speech" and "reprehensible conduct" are not at all "parallel," or similar.

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