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Sentence Completions

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

Always make a prediction before you look at the answers. Remember, 4 out of the 5 answers are wrong (so you don't want to waste time looking at wrong answers). Read the sentence carefully and look for clues to help you predict the correct answer. Then choose the answer that matches your prediction.

Ray was ________ gambler who had seldom gone a day without indulging his expensive habit.

This is a nice, straightforward sentence completion. The definition of the word for which you are looking is basically given to you in the sentence. You know that Ray was the type of gambler who "had seldom gone a day without indulging in his expensive habit." In other words, he was a frequent gambler. You could predict that he was a "habitual" gambler. All that you need to do now is to consider the choices and select the one that matches your prediction.

(A) an inveterate
(B) a dubious
(C) an occasional
(D) a novice
(E) an obnoxious

As always, if you don't know a certain word, skip it and look at the remaining words. Try to eliminate as many answers as you can. (A) matches your prediction well. (B) doesn't match your prediction (and doesn't really make sense). (C) is the opposite of your prediction (an occasional gambler wouldn't "seldom" miss a day).  (D) is a great example of why it's so important to predict before you look at the answer choices. You could argue that a "novice" gambler might "seldom" miss a day. If you hadn't made a prediction, it would be easy to talk yourself into that answer. However, based on the information in the sentence, there is no reason to expect that Ray was a "novice."(E) is nothing like your prediction and, again, there is no reason to deduce that "Ray" is an "obnoxious" gambler.

The correct Answer Choice is (A).

Words tested in this SC:
inveterate: having habits fixed by long continuance, habitual
dubious: arousing doubt, questionable, suspicious
occasional: limited to certain occasions, not very often
novice: beginner, one who is not very experienced
obnoxious: very annoying, offensive, contemptable

On sat.collegeboard.org 58% of the responses were correct.

Need to build your SAT vocab? Visit www.myknowsys.com to check out the Knowsys Vocabulary Builder program.