SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

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

Ethan's summer plans included a road trip that would allow him to ------- the United States in a few weeks. 

A.  mar

B.  traverse

C.  disperse

D.  extol

E.  consecrate


Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up your answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully.  Think for a moment about the purpose of a road trip.  A road trip requires someone to travel across a long distance.  Predict the words "travel across" or simply "cross" to fill the blank.  Then look down at your answer choices.

A.  This word is tricky because it does not have to do with the sea, as you might think if you know that the Latin root "mar" means sea.  Instead, it means "to spoil."  Picture someone making a huge black mark on a priceless work of art.  This does not match your prediction.  Eliminate this choice.

B.  Does the word "traverse" mean "to travel across"?  Yes!  Keep this choice and quickly check the remaining choices.

C.  The Latin root "dis" means "apart."  The purpose of a road trip is not to pull apart the places that are visited, but to link them together.  Eliminate this choice.

D.  Connect the word "extol" with the word "exalt" in your mind.  These two words have to do with figuratively lifting someone or something up.  This does not match the prediction that you made, so eliminate this choice.

E.  The word "consecrate" is easily broken into two parts.  In Latin, "con" means "together" and "secr" means "sacred."  This sentence doesn't have anything to do with sacred themes, so eliminate this choice.  


The correct answer is (B). 

This is a medium level question. 


Words used in this SC: 

Mar: to spoil

Traverse: to travel across

Disperse: to scatter or spread out

Extol: to praise highly

Consecrate: to make sacred


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