SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 45: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 45

15. Sixteenth-century Spanish rulers saw themselves as champions of -------: trifling with tradition was not permitted in matters of faith or politics.

A. refinement
B. philanthropy
C. orthodoxy
D. licentiousness
E. versatility

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Skill: Determining the meaning of words

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Orthodoxy" means established doctrine. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Sixteenth-century Spanish rulers saw themselves as champions of orthodoxy: trifling with tradition was not permitted in matters of faith or politics." The colon sets up an explanation of the missing term. Rulers who forbid people from "trifling," or toying, with tradition are indeed promoting "orthodoxy," or conventionality.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Refinement" is the state of having cultivated manners or taste. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Sixteenth-century Spanish rulers saw themselves as champions of refinement: trifling with tradition was not permitted in matters of faith or politics." There is no inherent connection between "refined" behavior and strict adherence to tradition.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Philanthropy" is an active effort to promote human welfare. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Sixteenth-century Spanish rulers saw themselves as champions of philanthropy: trifling with tradition was not permitted in matters of faith or politics." Promoting "philanthropic," or charitable, causes has nothing to do with defending tradition.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Licentiousness" refers to a lack of moral restraint. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Sixteenth-century Spanish rulers saw themselves as champions of licentiousness: trifling with tradition was not permitted in matters of faith or politics." The fact that Spanish rulers were strict supporters of tradition is unrelated to the claim that they advocated immorality.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Versatility" refers to the ability to do many things well. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Sixteenth-century Spanish rulers saw themselves as champions of versatility: trifling with tradition was not permitted in matters of faith or politics." "Versatility" in this context has nothing to do with tradition.

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