SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 76: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 76

1. Despite ------- on taking rare tamarins from their habitat, the illegal trade in the tiny monkeys remains -------.

A. commendations . . obligatory
B. consultations . . predominant
C. restrictions . . local
D. penalties . . illicit
E. prohibitions . . active

Correct Answer: E

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer E :

Choice (E) is correct. "Prohibition" refers to something banned by legal authorities; "active" in this context means in place or functioning. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Despite prohibitions on taking rare tamarins from their habitat, the illegal trade in the tiny monkeys remains active." Since the word "despite" at the beginning of the sentence indicates that the second missing term will describe an outcome of the first missing term, it makes sense to say that although taking tamarins from their habitat is prohibited, the illegal activity still goes on.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Commendations" means expressions of approval. "Obligatory" means legally or morally binding. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Despite commendations on taking rare tamarins from their habitat, the illegal trade in the tiny monkeys remains obligatory." It is illogical to say that the illegal traders receive the approval of authorities or that the illegal trade is legally binding.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Consultations" means deliberations or discussions. "Predominant" means most common. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Despite consultations on taking rare tamarins from their habitat, the illegal trade in the tiny monkeys remains predominant." Although it is possible to have "consultations" regarding the trade in tamarins, it does not logically follow to say the trade remains common in spite of these discussions.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Restrictions" means limits; "local" means confined to a certain place. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Despite restrictions on taking rare tamarins from their habitat, the illegal trade in the tiny monkeys remains local." It is illogical to say that there are limitations on taking tamarins from their habitat and that the illegal trade remains confined to a particular place.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Penalties" means punishments prescribed by law; "illicit" means unlawful. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Despite penalties on taking rare tamarins from their habitat, the illegal trade in the tiny monkeys remains illicit." It is not logical to say that the illegal trade in tamarins remains unlawful despite the punishments imposed on those who engage in it.

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