SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

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

Although Anders is sweet-tempered and amiable, his brother is so ------- that people often avoid them both.

A.  jocular

B.  petulant

C.  docile

D.  munificent

E.  erudite


Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up your answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully.  You clearly need a negative word to describe this brother.  In this case, it is probably fastest to predict a negative:  this brother is NOT nice and NOT friendly.  Look down at your answer choices.

A.  The Latin root "joc" means "joke."  An amusing person would not cause others to avoid both himself and his family.  Eliminate this choice.

B.  If you do not have a good way to remember the meaning of this word, think to yourself: a petulant person is often petty.  Petty behavior is negative, which matches your prediction.  Keep this choice and quickly check the other choices. 

C.   The Latin root "doc" means "teach," but this word doesn't indicate a teacher, it means "teachable."  Eliminate this choice.

D.  When you see the word "munificent," picture a king in magnificent robes who is showering gold coins on surprised peasants.  That is hardly a negative image, so eliminate this choice.

E.  This word might not be easy to deconstruct at a glance, but think about it for a moment.  In Latin, both "ex" and "e" can mean "out."  In addition, the word "rude" can mean "uncultured" and "untaught" as well as "impolite."  Therefore, someone who is erudite has made it out of ignorance and become an intellectual.  Education doesn't normally repel people, so eliminate this choice.   


The correct answer is B. 

This is a medium level question. 


Words used in this SC: 

 Jocular: joking

Petulant: rude and irritable

Docile: obedient or easily taught and managed

Munificent: very generous

Erudite: intellectual or learned


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