SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

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

School officials removed chips and candy bars from the vending machines in an effort to ------- students from choosing snacks with little nutritional value. 

A.   precipitate

B.   prolong

C.   deter

D.   repudiate

E.   lure


Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up your answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully.  Use logic to predict a word to fill the blank.  Chips and candy bars have little nutritional value, so you can predict that the officials wanted to "stop" students from choosing these snacks.  Look down at your answer choices.

A.  Does "precipitate" mean "stop"?  No!  Think of the related word "precipice."  To precipitate something is to bring it about or throw it down suddenly.  No one is going to throw students off a cliff for eating candy bars.  Eliminate this choice.

B.  Does "prolong" mean "stop"?  No, it means the opposite.  Eliminate this choice.

C.  Does "deter" mean "stop"?  Well, "de" means away, and the "ter" comes from the same Latin root as "terrible."  This verb is very similar in meaning to the noun "deterrent."  A deterrent is meant to keep someone from doing something, so keep this choice.

D.  Does "repudiate" mean "stop"?  No.  This word is too negative to be the answer choice.  Something that is repudiated is rejected and condemned.  No students will be condemned for eating chips.  Eliminate this choice.

E.  Does "lure" mean "stop"?  No.  Lure might work if there was something better that the school officials were trying to get students to buy, something that would attract the attention of students just as a fishing lure attracts a fish.  However, it does not match your prediction.  Eliminate it.


The correct answer choice is (C).

This is a medium level question.


Words used in this SC: 

Precipitate: to hasten or to throw from a great height

Prolong: to lengthen, extend, or continue

Deter: to discourage or prevent

Repudiate: to reject or to disown

Lure:  to attract or to tempt


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