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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. 

Sentence completion questions can involve one or two blanks.  When there are two blanks, do not go back and forth between the blanks and confuse yourself.  Instead, focus on the easy blank, make your prediction, compare your prediction to the answer choices for that blank, and eliminate any choice that does not match.  Use the same process for the other blank.

Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, is not ------- in preventing bone and joint diseases, which can make bones susceptible to injury, but it can help injured bones -------.

Do not be intimidated by a name that you have not seen before.  Choose a blank and start working!

You might think that the second blank is easy, so start there.  This enzyme can help injured bones ____.  What do injured bones need to do?  Heal!  Use this word as your prediction and look down at the second words in your answer choices to see which words match.

(A) corrective . . heal
(B) effective . . recover
(C) detrimental . . multiply
(D) supportive . . degenerate
(E) vital . . persist

(A) matches your prediction exactly. (B) means the same thing.  (C) can be eliminated because multiplying something is not the same thing as healing it. (D) is the opposite of your prediction.   Eliminate it. (E) sounds similar to your prediction, but do you ever think of broken bones as persisting?  No.  You can eliminate this option too.  Only (A) and (B) remain.

Look back up at the original sentence and paraphrase it.  Your paraphrase should sound something like this: The enzyme is not ______ in preventing bone problems, but it can help heal them once they happen.  Make a prediction for this blank.  You might not be able to think of an exact word, but you might be able to come up with a phrase that fits the meaning of the sentence, if not the structure, such as “able to.”  On the other hand, maybe you easily fill the blank with a word like “useful.”  The word "helpful" should easily come to mind using the given paraphrase because it directly contrasts the beginning of the sentence with the end of the sentence.  Compare your prediction to the remaining answer choices.

(A) corrective . . heal
(B) effective . . recover

(A)  does not match your prediction, nor does it make sense.  You can only correct a problem after it happens, not before it happens.  You cannot correctively prevent anything.  (B) matches your prediction.

The correct answer is (B).

In this problem you had one word match a prediction exactly, but that one word was not part of the correct answer choice.  Remember that when you have two blanks, both words must make sense in context.

Words used in this SC:
Enzyme: a protein that can produce chemical change
Susceptible: receptive to, likely to be influenced by something
Detrimental: harmful
Degenerate: to deteriorate or lose good qualities
Vital: necessary


On sat.collegeboard.org, 83% of the responses were correct.

For more help with vocabulary, visit www.myknowsys.com!