SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 93: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 93

2. Over the years the anthropologist's opinions had -------: he refused to tolerate new ideas and nothing could change his mind.

A. digressed
B. proliferated
C. ossified
D. germinated
E. incubated

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Ossified" means became rigidly set. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Over the years the anthropologist's opinions had ossified: he refused to tolerate new ideas and nothing could change his mind." Since the colon indicates that the phrases on either side of it have the same meaning, the word "ossified" makes sense: by ignoring new ideas, the anthropologist has allowed his opinions to become rigid and unchanging.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Digressed" means strayed from the subject. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Over the years the anthropologists's opinions had digressed: he refused to tolerate new ideas and nothing could change his mind." Since the colon in this sentence indicates that the missing term should mean the same as mentally rigid and inflexible, "digressed" does not make sense here.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Proliferated" means multiplied rapidly. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Over the years the anthropologist's opinions had proliferated: he refused to tolerate new ideas and nothing could change his mind." The colon in this sentence indicates that the missing term should reflect the anthropologist's mental inflexibility, but the term "proliferated" instead suggests that his opinions rapidly multiplied.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Germinated" means sprouted. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Over the years the anthropologist's opinions had germinated: he refused to tolerate new ideas and nothing could change his mind." The term "germinated" does not make sense in this context because the anthropologist was not open to new ideas.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Incubated" means formed or considered slowly. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Over the years the anthropologist's opinions had incubated: he refused to tolerate new ideas and nothing could change his mind." "Germination" does not make sense here because the anthropologist "refused to tolerate new ideas."

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