SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

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

After realizing that he had made an ------- assumption, the man apologized for his mistake.

A.      erroneous

B.      ambiguous

C.      irresolute

D.      abstract

E.       enigmatic

Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up your answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully.  Often you can identify a key word that will help you discern what kind of word belongs in the blank.  Do you see a key word in this sentence?  The man made a mistake, so what kind of assumption did he make?  A mistaken assumption.  You can use the word that is already in the sentence to make a quick and accurate prediction.  Look down at your answer choices and find the word that means "mistaken." 

A.  This answer choice has the same Latin root as the word "error."  An "error" and a "mistake" are the same thing, so keep this answer choice and quickly check the other choices.

B.  The word "ambiguous" has the Latin root "ambi" which means "both."  An ambiguous assumption could have more than one meaning, but you already know from the sentence that the man was mistaken.  He is having trouble interpreting some situation, but he would have no trouble interpreting his own assumption.  Eliminate this choice.  

C.   The Latin root "ir" means "not," so this word means "not resolute."  If someone resolves to get something done, that person is determined to accomplish his or her goals.  This sentence has nothing to do with willpower; your prediction was "mistaken."  Eliminate this choice.

D.  For this word think of abstract art.  Although it may be difficult to understand, it is not synonymous with "mistaken."  Eliminate this choice. 

E.  Any Batman fans out there?  Enigma is the name of the Riddler's daughter, which is appropriate because in Latin "aenigma" means "riddle."  In this sentence, the man knows what kind of assumption he has made; that is not confusing him.  Eliminate this choice.


The correct answer is (A).

 This question is a medium level question.


 Words used in this SC:

Erroneous:  false, mistaken, incorrect

Ambiguous:  having several possible meanings

Irresolute:  uncertain, hesitating

Abstract:  theoretical (not concrete) or difficult to understand

Enigmatic:  puzzling or mysterious