SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 74: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 74

14. The playwright provides us, the audience, with the ------- feeling of -------; we revel in the power to perceive connections that the characters cannot perceive.

A. delightful . . diligence
B. exhilarating . . omniscience
C. despondent . . sensitivity
D. restful . . sarcasm
E. frentic . . despair

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

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

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Exhilarating" means refreshing and stimulating. "Omniscience" means the state of having universal or complete knowledge. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The playwright provides us, the audience, with the exhilarating feeling of omniscience; we revel in the power to perceive connections that the characters cannot perceive." The missing terms describe the audience's feelings and its powers of perception as characterized by the second part of the sentence. A feeling of "omniscience" could certainly be characterized as exhilarating. And "omniscience" aptly describes the power to perceive connections that the characters cannot perceive.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Delightful" means highly pleasing. "Diligence" means painstaking effort. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The playwright provides us, the audience, with the delightful feeling of diligence; we revel in the power to perceive connections that the characters cannot perceive." The missing terms describe the audience's feelings and its powers of perception as characterized by the second part of the sentence. The word "delightful" is not usually used to describe a feeling of diligence. Furthermore, "diligence" does not properly explain the audience's ability to perceive connections the characters cannot.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Despondent" means despairing. "Sensitivity" means a heightened awareness of the needs and emotions of others. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The playwright provides us, the audience, with the despondent feeling of sensitivity; we revel in the power to perceive connections that the characters cannot perceive." The missing terms describe the audience's feelings and its powers of perception as characterized by the second part of the sentence. A feeling of "sensitivity" would not be characterized as "despondent," or despairing.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Restful" means quiet or comfortable. "Sarcasm" is satirical or ironic language. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The playwright provides us, the audience, with the restful feeling of sarcasm; we revel in the power to perceive connections that the characters cannot perceive." The missing terms describe the audience's feelings and its powers of perception as characterized by the second part of the sentence. "Sarcasm" is not a restful feeling. Nor is "sarcasm" the ability to perceive connections that characters cannot.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Frenetic" means frenzied. "Despair" means an utter loss of hope. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "The playwright provides us, the audience, with the frenetic feeling of despair; we revel in the power to perceive connections that the characters cannot perceive." The missing terms describe the audience's feelings and its powers of perception as characterized by the second part of the sentence. An audience experiencing "despair" would not be "reveling in," or celebrating, its powers of perception.

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