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Sentence Completions

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You probably know Richard Harris best as the original Dumbledore, but over his life he acted in almost eighty different movies and won ten different film awards. He also starred in several plays and musicals on Broadway, most notably as King Arthur in Camelot. Any of the these shows would make an excellent example in your essay. 

3/29 Sentence Completions

Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted into the sentence, best fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

First read the sentence for clues and make a prediction, then match your prediction to the answer choices. This is the fastest and most reliable way to answer Sentence Completion questions.

A veteran of both stage and screen, Richard Harris brought a certain level of ------ to his roles, lending ------ to each character he played.

This sentence is more subtle than some; it will require logic to figure out the answers, not just definitions. Since Harris is a "veteran," he is experienced with both stage and screen performing. To get experience, he must be talented. You can conclude that both blanks must be positive. Look at the answer choices to see which choices would be positive in the context of show business.



A) candor . . uncertainty

B) insouciance . . experience

C) whimsy . . depth

D) gravitas . . dignity

E) animosity . . warmth

Eliminate A because uncertainty is the opposite of experience. B includes the word experience, so it's a possibility Leave it open, even if you don't know the word insouciance. Whimsy, a fanciful or illogical idea, is the opposite of depth, so eliminate C. D looks promising, since gravitas looks like grave, and something grave is serious and usually dignified. Eliminate E because animosity or enmity is the opposite of warmth, friendliness, and affection.

B and D remain. On the SAT, you should choose what you know over what you don't. The correct answer is D.


Words tested in this SC
Candor: honesty, sincerity, fairness
Uncertainty: doubt; ambiguity
Insouciance: carelessness, heedlessness, or indifference
Experience: knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed or undergone.
Whimsy: a quaint and fanciful idea; an impulsive, illogical, or capricious character.
Depth: the distance to the bottom or back of something; emotional profundity
Gravitas: serious in bearing or manner; dignity
Dignity: decorum, formality, seriousness


On sat.collegeboard.org, 46% of responses were correct.


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