SAT Reading: Sentence Completions

Sentence Completions

Select the words that best fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

Although my friend did not find the movie overly sentimental, I was shocked by how ------- it was; it actually brought tears to my eyes even though I never cry when watching movies. 

A. meticulous
B. prosaic
C. cursory
D. treacly
E. consecrated

Knowsys Method

Always start by covering up the answer choices so that they do not distract you.  Read the sentence carefully, then predict what you think the answer should be.  Since the writer found the movie "overly sentimental," let's use that for our prediction as we go through the choices.

A. The word "meticulous" means extremely careful and precise.  People are often said to pay meticulous attention to small details.  This choice does not match our prediction, so eliminate it and keep moving. 

B.  When you hear "prosaic" you should hear "prose."  This word comes from a time when the distinction between prose and poetry was essentially the difference between boring and workaday and flowery, romantic, and interesting.  Thus, when something is "prosaic" it is dull and straightforward rather than poetic.  This choice does not match our prediction, so eliminate it.

C. You might hear "cursory" and associate it with either cursing or the cursor on the computer monitor.  Cursory actually just means hasty.  Since this does not match our prediction, eliminate this choice.

D. "Treacly" means cloyingly sweet or sentimental and has two synonyms that are even more frequently tested on the SAT:  maudlin and mawkish.  This matches our prediction perfectly, but we should still check the rest of the choices.

E. To "consecrate" something is to make it holy or sacred.  Consecrate actually has the root word "secare" in it, which comes from the Latin sacrare, the source of "sacred."  This has nothing to do with sentimentality, so eliminate it.  

The only word here that you probably have never heard is "treacly," but by process of elimination you should have been able to say "treacly" has to be it because none of the others match the prediction.  

The correct answer is D.

Level:  hard

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