SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 334: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 334

9. The twigs of this shrub have a signature ------- whose pungency enables people to ------- shrub even in winter when its leaves have fallen.

A. Scent… cultivate
B. Flavor… conceal
C. Appearance… recognize
D. Texture… locate
E. Aroma… identify

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "Aroma" means smell. "Identify" means to find. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The twigs of this shrub have a signature aroma whose pungency enables people to identify the shrub even in winter when its leaves have fallen." The first missing term is something that has the quality of "pungency," which is a sharp or irritating taste or smell. The second missing term identifies what people are able to do because of the pungency. "Aroma" is something that can be described as pungent. A pungent aroma would enable people to identify the shrub by the strong smell of its twigs.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Scent" means smell. "Cultivate" means to grow or encourage. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The twigs of this shrub have a signature scent whose pungency enables people to cultivate the shrub even in winter when its leaves have fallen." The first missing term is something that has the quality of "pungency," which is a sharp or irritating taste or smell. The second missing term identifies what people are able to do because of the pungency. A scent can be pungent. However, a sharp or irritating smell does not help people to cultivate a plant.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Flavor" means taste. "Conceal" means to hide. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The twigs of this shrub have a signature flavor whose pungency enables people to conceal the shrub even in winter when its leaves have fallen." The first missing term is something that has the quality of "pungency," which is a sharp or irritating taste or smell. The second missing term identifies what people are able to do because of the pungency. A twig may indeed have a pungent flavor if one were to taste it. However, a pungent flavor would not enable people to conceal a shrub.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. An "appearance" is a look or style. "Recognize" means to identify. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The twigs of this shrub have a signature appearance whose pungency enables people to recognize the shrub even in winter when its leaves have fallen." The first missing term is something that has the quality of "pungency," which is a sharp or irritating taste or smell. The second missing term identifies what people are able to do because of the pungency. Although a certain "appearance" might enable people to recognize a shrub, an appearance cannot be pungent since it is not a taste or smell.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Texture" is the way something feels to the touch. "Locate" means to find. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The twigs of this shrub have a signature texture whose pungency enables people to locate the shrub even in winter when its leaves have fallen." The first missing term is something that has the quality of "pungency," which is a sharp or irritating taste or smell. The second missing term identifies what people are able to do because of the pungency. A "texture" cannot have a sharp or irritating taste or smell.

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