SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 71: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 71

11. Although some of the text's language is archaic and virtually indecipherable, most of it is surprisingly -------.

A. intelligible
B. convoluted
C. florid
D. constrained
E. elevated

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

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

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Intelligible" means understandable. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Although some of the text's language is archaic and virtually indecipherable, most of it is surprisingly intelligible." The word "although" indicates that the missing term will contrast with "archaic and virtually indecipherable." It makes sense therefore to say that the text was surprisingly "intelligible," or understandable.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Convoluted" means intricate or complicated. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Although some of the text's language is archaic and virtually indecipherable, most of it is surprisingly convoluted." The word "although" indicates that the missing term will contrast with "archaic and virtually indecipherable." This term does not fit within the context of the sentence because "convoluted" language would probably be "indecipherable," or difficult to understand.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Florid" means flowery or ornate. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Although some of the text's language is archaic and virtually indecipherable, most of it is surprisingly florid." The claim that the text is flowery does not contrast with the fact that it is difficult to understand.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Constrained" means limited. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Although some of the text's language is archaic and virtually indecipherable, most of it is surprisingly constrained." The word "although" indicates a contrast, but the word "constrained" is not the opposite of "archaic" or "indecipherable."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. In this case, "elevated" means formal. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Although some of the text's language is archaic and virtually indecipherable, most of it is surprisingly elevated." A formal language does not directly contrast with a language that is difficult to understand.

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