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Sentence Completion

In the following examples, one part of the given sentence has been left blank. The student has to complete the sentence by substituting a phrase.


Directions: In each of the following sentences, a part of the sentence is left unfinished. Beneath each sentence, four different ways of completing the sentence are indicated. Choose the best alternative among the four.


1. ___________ that in this apparent mess, two things not be interfered with.


a)  It is important                       

b)  It is of cardinal importance

c)  It should be urgently understood           

d)  It cannot be emphasised


How to attempt: Read the given sentence. What is it expressing? It seems to be spoken by a person that something has happened, and that some things should not be interfered with, as it would only increase the mess. Place yourself in the situation. It should occur to the student at once that the sentence is of the form: “It is important that we do not do this.”

Looking at the choices, we can see that our choice is correct. The second choice adds the word “cardinal” which does not add anything to the meaning of the sentence. The third choice says that it should be “urgently understood,” but the urgency to understand is not there in the sentence. All it does is to give advice. The last choice is negative; if cannot be emphasized, the sentence does not make sense.


2. The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what ____________.

a)  he makes out of it.                 

b)  he gets for others.

c)  he has overcome through it.

d)  he becomes by it.

How to attempt: In this sentence, the word “but” gives us a hint that the phrase required should be contrary to the idea contained in the first half of the sentence. The sentence is of the form: “The highest reward for something is not this, but something else.” Now we have to see what is this “something else”. So if the reward is not what he gets, then it should be what he gains by it indirectly. This is option d). Note that the other choices either continue with the same idea or mention something irrelevant to his toil.

B. Paragraph Completion by Phrase

In this type of question, a paragraph is given, consisting of 2 or 3 lines. The last line is to be completed by substituting a phrase. This question is somewhat easy as only the last sentence is to be completed. The technique described above can be used.


Sentence completion and paragraph completion questions depend on “completing the idea.” Follow the idea through and frame the answer in your mind: if you were explaining such a thing, how would you complete the sentence? The answer will come to your mind automatically.



Directions: Each of the following questions has a paragraph from which the last sentence has been deleted. From the given options, choose the one that completes the paragraph in the most appropriate way.

 Example 10.3:

The Middle Ages were a significant part of European His­tory, greatly contributing to the modern era in countless ways. In particular, a number of modern institutions have their roots in the Middle Ages. The concept of nation-states with strong central governmental power stems from the consolidation of powers by the kings of the Middle Ages. These kings formed royal courts, appointed sheriffs, formed royal armies, and began to collect taxes, ______________________ .

a.  all concepts central to modern government.

b.  all the signs of great era

c.   heralding a new era

d.  all features of new beginning in the Middle Ages


How to attempt: Read the paragraph, trying to identify the main theme. We can see that the author is saying that the modern era owes much of the practices to the Middle Ages. How should the paragraph be completed? The answer has to do with modern government, the elements of which are described in option a). Note that the second and third choices are similar, while the fourth says of beginnings of the Middle Ages, not of the modern era.

C.  Paragraph Completion by Complete Sentence

In this type of question, a paragraph is given but the last line is deleted. The student is required to complete the paragraph by incorporating an entire sentence from the given choices. This type of question becomes difficult, since we do not know how the author would have ended the paragraph. So the question calls for a more careful reading of the passage. Remember that the choices may confuse, so it is not good to rely on what is given. The elimination strategy may not work here!



Directions: Complete the given paragraph with a sentence from the given options.


Relations between the factory and the dealer are distant and usually strained as the factory tries to force cars on the dealers to smooth out production. Relations between the dealer and the customer are equally strained because dealers continuously adjust prices - make deals - to adjust demand with supply while maximizing profits. This becomes a system marked by a lack of long-term commitment on either side, which maximizes feelings of mistrust. In order to maximize their bargaining positions, everyone holds back information - the dealer about the product and the consumer about his true desires.

a)  As a result, ‘deal making’ becomes rampant, without concern for customer satisfaction.

b)  As a result, inefficiencies creep into the supply chain.

c)  As a result, everyone treats the other as an adversary, rather than as an ally.

d)  As a result, fundamental innovations are becoming scarce in the automobile industry.

e)  As a result, everyone loses in the long run.


How to attempt: Read the paragraph and get the idea. We can infer that it is about the strained relations between a car factory and its dealers. Everyone holds back information and the system is marked by mistrust. Since all choices point toward the result, the question to be asked is: “what happens in such a system?” Since we are talking about different parties, the only choice that meets this criteria is option e) where everyone loses in the long run. None of the other choices serve as the conclusion, even though they are written in the manner of a conclusion.


The student will appreciate that following the idea through the paragraph is very important. The same idea should continue in the last line. So careful reading is important. Care should be taken that one is not confused by the choices as all choices will seem to match the given idea.

Paragraph Completion and Sentence Completion

In sentence completion, a sentence is given, with one part deleted. The student has to fill out the missing phrase that completes it.


Paragraph completion questions consist of a whole paragraph being given with one sentence missing. The student is required to select from the choices, the sentence that has been deleted from the paragraph.


Both these questions can be difficult because none of the choices given are wrong, so the answer can be somewhat subjective. The questions are different from normal “Fill in the blanks” in which one or two words have to be filled in. In these questions, a whole phrase, or a complete sentence must be filled in.


However, if one follows a line of reasoning followed by the author of the sentence or paragraph, one can spot the right answer. This requires a person to read a lot and follow how a writer arranges ideas and language.


Students also have to be careful not to get confused with the choices. Sometimes all the choices, or some of them, may seem to fit in correctly. A lot also depends on your habit of reading. A regular reader will see how writers write and frame their ideas. If you are not a regular reader, simply follow the line of reasoning explained in the examples.


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