SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 86: Answer and Explanation

Next steps

Question: 86

11. In 1575 Venetians instituted an annual celebration to ------- the end of the ------- that had struck the city.

A. lament . . turmoil
B. commemorate . . plague
C. eulogize . . pestilence
D. hail . . prosperity
E. solemnize . . fame

Correct Answer: B

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer B :

Choice (B) is correct. "Commemorate" means a remembrance, and a "plague" is an epidemic disease. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In 1575 Venetians instituted an annual celebration to commemorate the end of the plague that had struck the city." Since the first missing word refers to the celebration's purpose, and the second to the event whose end was being remembered, choice (B) makes sense: it is logical to rejoice over the memory of the end of a plague.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Lament" means to express sorrow, and "turmoil" means a state of commotion. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In 1575 Venetians instituted an annual celebration to lament the end of the turmoil that had struck the city." It would not make sense for citizens to be sad about the end of a period of commotion or distress.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Eulogize" means to praise, and "pestilence" is another word for plague. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In 1575 Venetians instituted an annual celebration to eulogize the end of the pestilence that had struck the city." Although citizens would certainly be happy that a plague had come to an end, it is unlikely that they would arrange for a yearly celebration merely to "praise" the plague's end.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Hail" means to salute, and "prosperity" means economic well-being. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In 1575 Venetians instituted an annual celebration to hail the end of the prosperity that had struck the city." Venetians would be quite unlikely to salute the end of a period of prosperity.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Solemnize" means to celebrate with dignity and gravity, and "fame" means popular acclaim or renown. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "In 1575 Venetians instituted an annual celebration to solemnize the end of the fame that had struck the city." Although citizens might approach an annual celebration with solemnity and gravity, it does not make sense to say that "fame" had struck the city.

Previous       Next