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SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

Select the word that best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

A crowd of birdwatchers gathered to catch a glimpse of ------- bird that had not been spotted in over ten years.  

A. an elusive
B. a lavish
C. a munificent
D. an auspicious
E. a regressive

Always start by covering up your answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully, and then predict what you think the answer should be.  If this bird has not been seen in over ten years, it must be difficult to find.  Pick out the answer that best matches this meaning.  

A.  “Elusive” comes from the Latin “eludere,” which means “escape from, make a fool of, or win from at play.”  Something elusive is difficult to find or understand.  This matches our prediction, but check the other choices to be sure.  

B.  “Lavish” comes from a Latin word meaning “to wash,” but it means “extravagant or luxurious.”  This word does not match our prediction, so eliminate it.  

C.  “Munificent” sounds a little like “magnificent,” but it actually means “generous” or “charitable.”  This choice does not match our prediction, so eliminate it.

D.  Something “auspicious” is a good omen.  The term comes from the Latin “auspicium,” which refers to predicting the future by observing the flight of birds.  Although this term relates to bird watching, it does not match our prediction, so eliminate it.

E.  “Regress” is the opposite of “progress:” it means “to move backward.”  “Regressive” does not match our prediction, so eliminate this choice.  

A is the correct answer.

Words used in this SC:
elusive: 1) hard to grasp or 2) evasive
lavish: extravagant or luxurious
munificent: very generous
auspicious: favorable or promising success
regressive: tending to move backwards

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