SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 66: Answer and Explanation

Next steps

Question: 66

6. The debate over adopting the constitution was by no means a ------- discourse: tempers flared and ------- resounded throughout the meeting hall.

A. peaceful . . accommodations
B. contentious . . insults
C. tense . . opinions
D. decorous . . invectives
E. genteel . . anecdotes

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

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

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Decorous" means civilized, or marked by proper behavior; "invectives" are insults. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The debate over adopting the constitution was by no means a decorous discourse: tempers flared and invectives resounded throughout the meeting hall." The colon introduces an explanation of the first missing term. The phrase "tempers flared" implies that the debate was not "decorous," or polite, and supports the claim that people exchanged insults.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Peaceful" means without conflict; "accommodations" means settlements. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The debate over adopting the constitution was by no means a peaceful discourse: tempers flared and accommodations resounded throughout the meeting hall.' A debate during which "tempers flare" might not be "peaceful," but it is illogical to say that "accommodations" were heard throughout the hall.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Contentious" means argumentative; "insults" are hurtful remarks. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The debate over adopting the constitution was by no means a contentious discourse: tempers flared and insults resounded throughout the meeting hall." A "discourse," or discussion, that leads to flared tempers and insults may indeed be described as "contentious."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Tense" means strained; "opinions" are beliefs. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The debate over adopting the constitution was by no means a tense discourse: tempers flared and opinions resounded throughout the meeting hall." The reference to flared tempers suggests that the discourse was in fact "tense."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Genteel" means polite; "anecdotes" are short narratives or stories. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The debate over adopting the constitution was by no means a genteel discourse: tempers flared and anecdotes resounded throughout the meeting hall." It is unlikely that "anecdotes," or short stories, were traded during the same debate that caused tempers to flare.

Previous       Next