English

It is said that as a legal team Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall complemented each other thoroughly: Houston’s sedate manner was ——- Marshall’s ——-.

(A) analagous to . . trepidation
(B) commensurate with . . formality
(C) tempered by . . jocularity
(D) adverse to . . gregariousness
(E) superseded by . . inquisitiveness
  1. Correct Answer: C

    Explanation:

    Skill: Understanding the content, form, and function of sentences

    Explanation for Correct Answer C :

    Choice (C) is correct. “Tempered by” means softened by the addition of something. “Jocularity” refers to a playful, joking manner. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read “It is said that as a legal team Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall complemented each other thoroughly: Houston’s sedate manner was tempered by Marshall’s jocularity.” In this context, the terms “complemented” and “tempered” indicate that the sentence will describe two different traits that balance each other. It makes sense that one person’s playfulness could balance another person’s “sedateness,” or seriousness.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

    Choice (A) is incorrect. “Analogous to” means similar to. “Trepidation” means apprehension or fear. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read “It is said that as a legal team Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall complemented each other thoroughly: Houston’s sedate manner was analogous to Marshall’s trepidation.” These terms fail to explain the “complementary” relationship that existed between the two men, and it is inaccurate to claim that “sedateness,” or seriousness, is similar to fear.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

    Choice (B) is incorrect. “Commensurate with” means equal to. “Formality” means strict adherence to rules. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read “It is said that as a legal team Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall complemented each other thoroughly: Houston’s sedate manner was commensurate with Marshall’s formality.” A “complementary” relationship consists of contrasting qualities that work well together. “Sedateness,” or seriousness, and “formality” cannot be considered complementary traits.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

    Choice (D) is incorrect. “Adverse to” means antagonistic to. “Gregarious” refers to someone who enjoys the company of others. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read “It is said that as a legal team Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall complemented each other thoroughly: Houston’s sedate manner was adverse to Marshall’s gregariousness.” The term “complemented” indicates that the two men had a successful, not an antagonistic, working relationship.

    Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

    Choice (E) is incorrect. “Superseded by” means replaced by. “Inquisitiveness” means curiosity. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read “It is said that as a legal team Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall complemented each other thoroughly: Houston’s sedate manner was superseded by Marshall’s inquisitiveness.” A relationship in which one person replaces another cannot be called “complementary.”

Test ID: 1235
Source: SAT Critical Reading Practice Tests