SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

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

Although Anna enjoyed the first book of the series and appreciated its ingenious and original plot, she was disappointed by the  ------- story line of the second book.

A.  prosaic

B.   nostalgic

C.   trenchant

D.   succulent

E.   enthralling


Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up your answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully.  This is a logic question; there is a contrast between an original and ingenious story and a story that is not original or ingenious.  The key word "although" helps you identify the contrast between what Anna enjoys and what she does not.  Predict the word "unoriginal" to contrast the word "original" and look down at your answer choices.

A.  Prose has to do with the written word.  Think of the difference between prose and poetry.  The word "prosaic" comes from a time when poetry was held to lofty standards and was meant to evoke great feeling, but other writing was more practical, ordinary, and boring.  This matches your prediction!  Before you select this answer, quickly check the other choices.

B.   Connect the word "nostalgia" with old-fashioned diners where people go to relive the past.  You do not know whether Anna likes to read about the past, so this cannot be the correct answer.  Eliminate this choice.

C.  The word "trenchant" comes from the Old French word for "sharp."  It took on a more figurative meaning over time until it came to refer to sharp minds that are insightful.  That does not match your prediction of "unoriginal."  Eliminate this choice.

D.  If you can identify a succulent plant, this word will be simple.  Succulents are often found in dry places, so they retain a lot of water and become juicy.  People like to know the juicy details about things, and Anna would certainly not be disappointed by a juicy story.  Eliminate this choice.

E.   The word "thrall" once meant slave or serf.  To "enthrall" someone is to put that person into a state of servitude.  This word has also become figurative rather than literal over time.  If something is really interesting, you might find it enthralling and be unable to tear yourself away from it.  This is the opposite of your prediction, so eliminate this choice.


The correct answer is (A). 

This is a medium level question. 


Words used in this SC: 

Prosaic: dull and unimaginative or having to do with prose

Nostalgic: homesick or wistfully yearning for the past

Trenchant: very perceptive and insightful

Succulent: moist, tasty, juicy, or interesting

Enthralling: charming, spellbinding, fascinating


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