SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

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

There is a ------- of evidence against the suspect, so the prosecutor is unlikely to file criminal charges. 

A.  pejorative

B.   dearth

C.   plight

D.   plethora

E.   delusion


Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up your answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully.  If someone is a suspect, but that person is not going to be charged with a crime, then you can predict that there is a "lack" of evidence.  Look down at your answer choices.

A.  The Latin root "pejor" means worse, so you can tell that this is a very negative word.  You already know that this person is a suspect who is not viewed in a positive manner, but you are looking for a word that means "lack."  Eliminate this choice.

B.  You may have heard that during a famine there is a dearth of food.  This matches your prediction exactly!  The word "dearth" comes from the Old English for "dear" because things that were scarce were very dear and very precious.  Keep this choice and quickly look at the remaining answer choices.

C.  You can remember the word "plight" if you notice that it looks like "flight,"  A plight is a bad situation that you would want to flee if you could.  That does not match your prediction.  Eliminate this choice. 

D.  The Greek root "pleth" means full.   If there was a fullness of evidence, the prosecutor would surely press charges.  This is the opposite of your prediction.  Eliminate it.

E.  Have you heard of the phrase "delusions of grandeur"?  This phrase describes someone who thinks he is more important than he really is.  A delusion is a false belief.  You may be tempted to choose this choice because the suspect doesn't seem to be actually guilty, but this word does not match your original prediction.  Eliminate it. 


The correct answer is (B). 

This is a medium level question. 


Words used in this SC: 

Pejorative: an expression that has negative connotations or is intended to be rude

Dearth: an inadequate supply

Plight: a difficult situation

Plethora: an abundance

Delusion: a false belief


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