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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. 

First, cover your answer choices.  You do not need to look at a lot of wrong words to know what belongs in the blank of any sentence completion question.  Read the sentence carefully, and make a prediction to fill the blank.  Then you can look at the answer choices to find out which answers can be eliminated and which answers match.  Make sure that you look at all of the answer choices so that you can be sure that you have the best answer.

Mr. Warmington considered himself a connoisseur of fine wines, claiming he could ------- variations in taste and quality among any range of vintages he was served.

Even if you do not know every single word in this sentence you can paraphrase it.  Mr. Warmington drinks fine wines, and he can do something to the taste and quality no matter which wine he is given.  This man sounds like an expert who has had many kids of wine.  To someone who never drinks, all wine may taste the same, but to someone familiar with wine, the subtle differences will be apparent.  He will be able to “recognize” the different tastes and different qualities of different wines.  Use the word “recognize” as your prediction.

(A) purvey
(B) discern
(C) efface
(D) mollify
(E) debate

(A) can be eliminated because someone who drinks wine does not produce the taste of the wine.  (B) matches perfectly. (C) and (D) are the opposite of your prediction. (E) does not match your prediction.  While anyone could debate the taste and quality of wine, you are specifically told that this man drinks fine wine.  There would be no need to mention this fact if the blank were to be filled with something that anyone could do.

Words used in this SC:
Connoisseur: a specialist, particularly in matters requiring taste
Purvey: to prepare for, to provide
Discern: to detect or perceive
Efface: to erase
Mollify: to soothe or reduce
Debate: to dispute or argue


On sat.collegeboard.org, 64% of the responses were correct.

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