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SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

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

Jared is ------- around strangers, but when he is alone with family and friends, he becomes lively and loquacious.

A. disingenuous
B. erudite
C. verbose
D. dispassionate
E. reticent

Knowsys Method

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.  Jared is lively and loquacious (excessively talkative) around his friends and family, but he acts differently around strangers.  Our prediction should be the opposite of lively and loquacious, something like "shy and quiet."  Using that as our prediction, let's look at each of the answer choices.

A. "Disingenuous" means "insincere or calculating."  To help yourself remember the meaning of this word, think that "disingenuous" means "not genuine."  This does not match our prediction, so eliminate this choice.

B.  If you read the Divergent books, you may already recognize the word "erudite," which means "intellectual or learned." In the book series, "Erudite" is the name of a faction of people who believe that intelligence is the most important trait one can have.  This choice does not match our prediction, so eliminate it.

C.  "Verbose," "verb," and "verbal" all come from the Latin word "verbum," which means "word."  "Verbose" means "wordy" and can be used to describe a piece of writing, spoken words, or a person.  This is the opposite of our prediction, so eliminate this choice.

D.  "Dispassionate" means "neutral or not affected by emotions."  Think, "dispassionate = not passionate/not emotional." 

E.  "Reticent" comes from the Latin verb "reticiere," which means "to be silent."  Someone who is "reticent" is quiet and reserved.  This matches our prediction, so E is the correct answer. 

The correct answer is E.

Words used in this SC:

disingenuous: insincere or calculating
erudite: 1) intellectual or 2) learned
verbose: wordy
dispassionate: 1) neutral or 2) not affected by emotions
reticent: quiet and reserved

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