SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 50: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 50

5. Horror movies have ------- effect, purging our fears of the unknown by giving them artistic expression.

A. an indiscernible
B. an analogous
C. a malleable
D. a transient
E. a cathartic

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Skill: Determining the meaning of words

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "Cathartic" describes something that purges, or gets rid of, emotions. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Horror movies have a cathartic effect, purging our fears of the unknown by giving them artistic expression." The phrase following the comma helps to define the missing term. Movies that help to "purge," or eliminate, fear are indeed "cathartic."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Indiscernible" means unapparent or unobservable. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Horror movies have an indiscernible effect, purging our fears of the unknown by giving them artistic expression." This term creates an illogical statement. The fact that the sentence describes how horror movies influence viewers indicates that the effect of these films is, in fact, "discernible," or apparent.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Analogous" means comparable. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Horror movies have an analogous effect, purging our fears of the unknown by giving them artistic expression." The phrase following the comma helps to define the missing term. The term "analogous" does not fit within the context of the sentence, because there is no mention of what horror films are "analogous," or comparable, to.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Malleable" means easily shaped or influenced. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Horror movies have a malleable effect, purging our fears of the unknown by giving them artistic expression." The sentence does not clarify in any way how the effect of horror movies might be "malleable," or easily shaped.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Transient" means temporary. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Horror movies have a transient effect, purging our fears of the unknown by giving them artistic expression." The explanatory information following the comma does not imply that horror movies have only a "transient," or temporary effect on viewers.

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