SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

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

The townspeople resented the ------- display of wealth that the mayor's wife made with her fancy clothes and gaudy jewelry.

A.   adept

B.  obsequious

C.   futile

D.   jaded

E.   ostentatious


Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up your answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully.  The townspeople are specifically reacting to a "display of wealth," so they see the mayor's wife as too showy.  The word "gaudy" also means "showy."  Predict the word "showy" and look down at your answer choices.  

A.   Adept is a positive word meaning skillful.  This woman was not skillful in creating an impression because the townspeople resent her.  You are looking for a negative word.  Eliminate this choice.

B.  Connect the word "obsequious" with the word "obedient" in your mind.  Someone who is obsequious is making a show of obedience and humility.  This woman is seeking to elevate herself with fancy clothes and jewelry, which is the opposite of humility.  Eliminate this choice. 

C.  "Futile" is often used to describe some kind of effort that is impossible.  Stick to your prediction instead of trying to fit this word into the sentence.  Even though the woman's actions might be useless or silly, this word does not match your prediction of "showy" and the emphasis on appearance that is in the entire sentence.  Eliminate this choice. 

D.  The word "jaded" refers to an attitude toward life.  You do not know whether this woman affects boredom.  This choice does not match your prediction of "showy."  Eliminate it. 

 E.  This is a word used to mean "flashy" and "showy," and it has a negative connotation that matches the townspeople's view of this woman.  This word matches your prediction.


The correct answer is (E). 

This is a medium level question. 


Words Used in this SC:

Adept: highly skilled

Obsequious: acting like a servant

Futile: useless, hopeless, or ineffective

Jaded: wearied by excess or overindulgence

Ostentatious: showy


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