SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 99: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 99

8. Once his integrity had been -------, the mayoral candidate was quick both to ------- these attacks and to issue counterattacks.

A. debunked . . buttress
B. restored . . recommence
C. revoked . . relinquish
D. impugned . . repudiate
E. vitiated . . avoid

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer D :

Choice (D) is correct. "Impugned" means attacked by words or arguments. "Repudiate" means to reject as untrue or unjust. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Once his integrity had been impugned, the mayoral candidate was quick both to repudiate these attacks and to issue counterattacks." The phrase "these attacks" indicates that the first missing term will have a meaning similar to "attacked." When one's "integrity," or honesty, is attacked, it is reasonable to reject the attacks by claiming them to be unjust or in error.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Debunked" means to expose something as false. "Buttress" means to strengthen or support. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Once his integrity had been debunked, the mayoral candidate was quick both to buttress these attacks and to issue counterattacks." People might indeed try to "debunk" a candidate's integrity, or expose his integrity as false. However, the candidate wouldn't want to strengthen the attacks on himself.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Restored" means renewed or brought back to an original state. "Recommence" means to begin again. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Once his integrity had been restored, the mayoral candidate was quick both to recommence these attacks and to issue counterattacks." If the candidate's integrity had just been "restored," then he probably would not want to begin the attacks all over again.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Revoked" means taken back. "Relinquish" means to give something up. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Once his integrity had been revoked, the mayoral candidate was quick both to relinquish these attacks and to issue counterattacks." "Integrity," or honesty, can't be taken back. Also, a candidate could not "relinquish," or give up, attacks made on him by another person.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Vitiated" means corrupted. "Avoid" means to stay away from something. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "Once his integrity had been vitiated, the mayoral candidate was quick both to avoid these attacks and to issue counterattacks." The candidate might try to stay away from attacks. However, a candidate's "integrity," or honesty, could not be corrupted by attacks, as the sentence implies. Attacks might declare a person to be dishonest, but such attacks cannot make him dishonest.

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