SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 73: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 73

13. Although Ms. Harvey's disposition was generally -------, she could become enraged when sufficiently -------.

A. vicious . . ignored
B. serene . . provoked
C. energetic . . disappointed
D. meek . . complimented
E. perverse . . betrayed

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

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

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Serene" means calm. "Provoked" means stirred to action. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although Ms. Harvey's disposition was generally serene, she could become enraged when sufficiently provoked." The use of the word "although" at the beginning of the sentence indicates that there must be a contrast between Ms. Harvey's usual disposition and her disposition when she becomes enraged. The second missing term must describe how someone could become enraged. If Ms. Harvey were sufficiently "provoked," she might conceivably become enraged, and this would contrast with a generally "serene," or calm disposition.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Vicious" means dangerously aggressive. "Ignored" means unnoticed or neglected. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although Ms. Harvey's disposition was generally vicious, she could become enraged when sufficiently ignored." The use of the word "although" at the beginning of the sentence indicates that there must be a contrast between Ms. Harvey's usual disposition and her disposition when she becomes enraged. The second missing term must describe how someone could become enraged. Ms. Harvey might conceivably become enraged if she were "ignored," but the first term, "vicious," does not establish the necessary contrast with enraged.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Energetic" means marked by vigor or energy. "Disappointed" means let down. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although Ms. Harvey's disposition was generally energetic, she could become enraged when sufficiently disappointed." The use of the word "although" at the beginning of the sentence indicates that there must be a contrast between Ms. Harvey's usual disposition and her disposition when she becomes enraged. The second missing term must describe how someone could become enraged. Having a usually "energetic" disposition does not contrast with becoming enraged when "disappointed."

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Meek" means submissive. "Complimented" means presented with an expression of esteem or respect. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although Ms. Harvey's disposition was generally meek, she could become enraged when sufficiently complimented." The use of the word "although" at the beginning of the sentence indicates that there must be a contrast between Ms. Harvey's usual disposition and her disposition when she becomes enraged. The second missing term must describe how someone could become enraged. Inserting the terms in choice (D) into the sentence creates an illogical statement. Although having a "meek" disposition does contrast with becoming enraged, it is unlikely that anyone would become enraged when complimented.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Perverse" means corrupt, improper, or incorrect. "Betrayed" means deserted or disclosed in violation of confidence. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Although Ms. Harvey's disposition was generally perverse, she could become enraged when sufficiently betrayed." The use of the word "although" at the beginning of the sentence indicates that there must be a contrast between Ms. Harvey's usual disposition and her disposition when she becomes enraged. The second missing term must describe how someone could become enraged. Although it is likely that a person would become enraged when "betrayed," this would not strongly contrast with a normally "perverse" disposition.

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