The SAT French Subject Test

Part IV

The Practice SAT French Subject Tests and Explanations

Chapter 12

Practice SAT French Subject Test 2: Answers and Explanations


The possible choices are examined for clues that should have indicated the correct answer. To help explain why a choice is right or wrong, resemblances between English and French words are noted, grammatical explanations are given, and an analysis of the comprehension questions is provided. Key words in the English translations of the questions are in boldface, as are the correct answers.

Part A

1  He is … again. We are going to miss the train.

rater le train


2  Don’t forget your umbrella; it’s going to … tonight.



3  There’s nothing left in the refrigerator. I have to …

il n’y a plus rien

go shopping

4  I have a pain in my …. I’m going to make an appointment with the orthopedist.



5  His car keeps breaking down and he is really …

est toujours en panne

fed up

6  At dusk the sky … with a thousand lights.

de mille feux


7  He found the test he … yesterday very hard.



8  Jean is going to buy books at the …



9  She is so allergic to dust that she … repeatedly.



10 He has done everything to reach his …



11 He fainted when he heard …


the news

12 Nobody is answering the door; she is probably not …

personne ne répond


13 The car … dead in front of the child who was running across the street.



14 They have chosen to live … with their three young children.


in the suburbs

15 They are full of energy and are … every morning at 6.

Ils sont pleins d’énergie


16 Not knowing what to do, I asked my lawyer for …

ne sachant que faire


17 For her interview with her future boss tomorrow, she is going to wear …

elle va mettre


18 She has … a lot of money to buy her house.

beaucoup d’argent


19 In order to make this cake, you … a lot of sugar.

pour faire ce gâteau


20 He is exhausted; he has worked …


too much

21 The trains will run less often on …days.

passent moins souvent


22 The mountain climbers are going to … a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro.

alpinistes, ascension

attempt, try

23 Years of use will … the leather ofthese boots.

années d’usage, cuir

break in, wear out, soften

24 If I leave now, I can … traffic jams.

les embouteillages

avoid, miss

Part B

25 Pronouns

   (A) of what/whom—perdre takes a direct object

(B) to whom—perdre takes a direct object and a book is not a person

(C) correct—which, right answer because que is a direct object pronoun

(D) when it is not an interrogative pronoun, lequel can be used only with a preposition, i.e., avec lequel, pour lequel

26 Prepositions

   (A) at

(B) correct—pourhere, means “in order to”

(C) because

(D) after

27 Verbs

(A) correct—the infinitive is required when a verb follows another verb

(B) past participle—grammatically incorrect

(C) imperfect—grammatically incorrect

(D) present participle—grammatically incorrect

28 Prepositions

   (A) Danemark is masculine; de in this case can be used only with a feminine country, i.e., de France, de Belgique

(B) correct—Danemark is masculine

(C) en could only work with a feminine country, i.e., en France, en Suisse

(D) aux is plural—grammatically incorrect

29 Adverbs

   (A) the adverb beaucoup cannot be used before bien

(B) the adverb beaucoup cannot be used before meilleur

(C) makes no sense

(D) correct—mieuxthe comparative form of bienmay be preceded by beaucoup

30 Past Participles

(A) correct—the verb mettre takes avoirso the past participle agrees with the direct object robeplaced before the verb

(B) grammatically incorrect—no past participle agreement

(C) grammatically incorrect—no past participle agreement

(D) grammatically incorrect—infinitive

31 Conjunctions

   (A) although: followed by the subjunctive form of the verb

(B) before: followed by the subjunctive form of the verb

(C) correct—sincepuisqueis followed by the indicative form of the verb

(D) unless: followed by the subjunctive form of the verb

32 Adverbs

   (A) there

(B) correct—where

(C) toward

(D) near

33 Prepositions

   (A) in

(B) during

(C) correct—before

(D) at

34 Subjunctive

   (A) I was: imperfect—wrong tense

(B) I would be: conditional—wrong tense

(C) correct—subjunctive required after bien que

(D) I am: present—wrong tense

35 Pronouns

   (A) makes no sense because quelque is not a pronoun

(B) little—makes no sense

(C) a little—un peu is used with something that is not numbered, i.e., un peu de vin, de lait, de salade … It would therefore be used after a question such as, Est-ce que tu veux du vin, du lait, de la salade …?

(D) correct—“one,” un is used as a pronoun here

36 Pronouns

(A) correct—y replaces à la postewhich is a place

(B) from there—en makes no sense with the verb aller; it can be used with venir: j’en viens

(C) always—makes no sense

(D) tomorrow—makes no sense

37 Conditional

(A) correct—“would win”: present conditional is required after si elle s’entraînait

(B) won: imperfect—wrong tense

(C) will win: future—wrong tense

(D) has won: passé composé—wrong tense

38 Subjunctive

   (A) I went: imperfect—wrong tense

(B) correct—subjunctive of the verb aller required after il faut que

(C) I will go: future—wrong tense

(D) I would go: conditional—wrong tense

Part C

39 Vocabulary

   (A) after—makes no sense

(B) correct—since

(C) for—makes no sense

(D) in—dans is not used before le matin

40 Adjectives

   (A) all—would require the article les

(B) each one—makes no sense

(C) correct—every

(D) some—makes no sense

41 Pronouns

   (A) grammatically wrong—lui is never a direct object

(B) grammatically wrong—la refers to elle, not il

(C) correct—le is masculine and a direct object

(D) grammatically wrong—leur is indirect and plural

42 Pronouns

   (A) from there—en makes no sense here

(B) correct—y refers to les cafés

(C) in—makes no sense

(D) where—makes no sense

43 Past Participles

   (A) grammatically wrong—masculine ending

(B) grammatically wrong—infinitive

(C) grammatically wrong—plural feminine ending

(D) correct—refers to la foulewhich is feminine and singular

44 Prepositions

(A) correct—s’adresser takes à and means parler à

(B) toward—inappropriate

(C) with—makes no sense

(D) for—makes no sense

45 Verbs

   (A) grammatically incorrect—past participle

(B) correct—the infinitive is used after a preposition

(C) grammatically incorrect—plural past participle

(D) grammatically incorrect—imperfect

46 Prepositions

   (A) through—makes no sense

(B) up to here—makes no sense

(C) at the—makes no sense

(D) correct—“to the end”; bout is a masculine noun and therefore needs the article le. Jusqu’à becomes jusqu’au—jusqu’à followed by a feminine noun would be jusqu’à la as in jusqu’à la fin.

47 Vocabulary

   (A) head

(B) correct—back

(C) ear

(D) eyes

48 Vocabulary

   (A) pulling

(B) carrying

(C) correct—shrugging

(D) passing

49 Prepositions

   (A) ------- continuer requires a preposition

(B) for

(C) correct—continuer à

(D) in

50 Relative Pronouns

   (A) ------- in French you may not omit a relative pronoun or aconjunction as you may omit “that” or “which” in English

(B) literally, the which

(C) whose—dont is wrong because adresser takes a direct object: adresser une lettre

(D) correct—direct object relative pronoun

51 Verbs

   (A) subjunctive not needed here

(B) correct—adresser takes avoir and the correct tense is the passé composé in the first person

(C) will have—the future makes no sense here

(D) had—avait, wrong tense, wrong person

52 Present Participles

   (A) wrong verb—need être, not avoir

(B) before—makes no sense

(C) correct—rester takes être; with a causative clause, you need the present participle

(D) was—makes no sense in the context

53 Pronouns

   (A) wrong—a formal letter requires vous

(B) me—this would refer back to the speaker

(C) correct

(D) him—there is no third party in the sentence

54 Prepositions

(A) correct—the French expression is prendre en consideration

(B) with

(C) by

(D) as

55 Pronouns

   (A) wrong: leur is an indirect object pronoun, while emmener takes a direct object

(B) wrong: emmener starts with a vowel

(C) makes no sense because emmener is not a reflexive verb

(D) correct—refers to the narrator; emmener starts with a vowel and the m’ is required

56 Vocabulary

   (A) maybe

(B) yet

(C) once—wrong because imperfect

(D) correct—often

Part D

57 When the autumn rain arrived, the grandmother was

   (A) “edgy”

(B) “sad”

(C) correct: “glad”—accueillait du même soupir soulagé la pluie d’automne—the grandmother “welcomed the autumn rain with the same sighof relief”

(D) “proud”

58 During the summer months, Jacques

   (A) “worked a lot”—familiar words, wrong context

(B) “spent his time reading”—no mention of reading in the text

(C) “never stopped having fun”—on the contrary, the text refers to Jacques’s ennui

(D) correct: “did not know how to entertain himself”—key words piétinements d’ennui

59 When she was a little girl, the grandmother

   (A) “had shorter vacations than Jacques”—she had no vacation at all: Je n’ai jamais eu de vacances, moi.

(B) “used to draw pictures during her free time”—no context for this

(C) correct: “spent all her time working“—elle avait travaillé enfant, et travaillé sans relâche

(D) “never did anything”—wrong: elle avait travaillé sans relâche

60 According to the passage, we understand that

(A) correct: “Jacques continues his studies”—lorsque Jacques entra en troisième

(B) “the grandmother does not want Jacques to keep going to school”—Elle admettait que, pour un bénéfice plus grand, son petit-fils pendant quelques années ne rapporte pas d’argent à la maison.—“She agreed that for a greater benefit, her grandson would not bring home any money for a few years.”

(C) “the grandmother is opposed to Jacques’s having a summer job”—no, since she says Tu vas travailler cet été.

(D) “Jacques is the third in his class”—familiar words—wrong context

61 The grandmother wants Jacques to have a job so that he

   (A) “might have some pocket money”—no context for this

(B) “might be able to pay for his studies”—no context for this

(C) correct: “might contribute to the family expenses”—rapporter un peu d’argent à la maison—“bring home some money”

(D) “might learn a trade:”—no context for this

62 The three-year-old child is crying because

   (A) “he has lost his piece of chocolate”

(B) “he has hurt himself”

(C) correct: “he does not know where his family is“—perdu: lost

(D) “it is dark”

63 The shutters of the store are

   (A) “open”

(B) “up”

(C) correct: baissés—“pulled down”

(D) “torn”

64 The woman “rushes to him” means that she goes toward the child

(A) correct: “running”

(B) “slowly”

(C) “crying”

(D) “unconcerned”

65 She “presses him tightly against her” means that she

   (A) “pushes him away”

(B) correct: “hugs him”

(C) “smiles at him”

(D) “hits him”

66 Who does the woman think of as she carries the child away?

(A) correct: “her own son”—en pensant à l’enfant qu’on n’a pas retrouvé

(B) “the son of one of the refugees”

(C) “the reader’s son”

(D) “the son of a guard”

67 The traffic jams mentioned in the text

   (A) “are used to cork a bottle”—double meaning of the word bouchon, either a cork or a traffic jam

(B) correct: “are traffic jams”—a street is embouteillée when it is jammed with cars

(C) “delay the trains”

(D) “avoid wasting time”

68 According to the text, the combination Train + Car Rental

   (A) “is more expensive”

(B) “is too expensive”

(C) “is not very convenient”

(D) correct: “is a good deal”Tout en réalisant de vraies économies!

69 According to this article, the French

   (A) “go to the movies more and more often”

(B) “seldom go to the movies”

(C) “would rather watch television”

(D) correct: “enjoy watching movies at home more and more”Les Français auraient-ils attrapé le virus du home cinéma? “Have the French caught the home-theater virus?”

70 The equipment linked to the home theater

(A) correct: “have more and more success”2002 devrait être l’année de l’explosion de ce marché en France“2002 should be the booming year of this market in France”

(B) “are not new”

(C) “are not very interesting”

(D) “are not in“—être dans le vent is a French idiom meaning être à la mode

71 Today, audiovisual equipment is

   (A) “more expensive”

(B) correct: “cheaper“—la baisse des prix: lower prices

(C) “exorbitant”—literally “out of price”

(D) “prohibitive”—literally “that cannot be reached”

72 “The general public” represents

   (A) “a few privileged people”

(B) “famous people”

(C) “film enthusiasts”

(D) correct: “most people”

73 “… the manufacturers have more and more affordable products at their disposal” means that they

   (A) “are getting rid of them”

(B) “need them”

(C) correct: “have access to them”—watch out! Disposer de here does not mean “to dispose of” but “to have at one’s disposal.”—i.e.Je dispose de 1000 pour m’acheter un ordinateur means “I have 1000 euros at my disposal to buy a computer.”

(D) “make them”

74 When do you have to prepare the dough for the madeleines?

   (A) “the next day”

(B) correct: “the day before“—la veille: the day before

(C) “two hours ahead of time”

(D) “yesterday”

75 According to the recipe, pastis is an ingredient which is

   (A) “a must”

(B) “sweet”

(C) correct: “optional“—facultatif

(D) “fragrant”

76 “I have already hinted to you that” means “I have already”

   (A) “told you”

(B) “repeated to you”

(C) correct: “suggested to you”

(D) “lied to you”

77 The hunchback has “big plans” because

   (A) “he needs money right away”

(B) correct: “he thinks about his daughter’s future”je dois assurer l’avenir de ma fillette: “I have to secure my little girl’s future”

(C) “he is a philosopher”

(D) “he loves money”

78 From the hunchback’s speech, Ugolin remembers

(A) correct: “only the last words“—De ce discours, Ugolin ne retint que les derniers mots. Ne … que means “only.”

(B) “maybe the first words”

(C) “always the last sentence”

(D) “everything but the end”

79 In lines 18–23, after hearing the hunchback’s plans, Ugolin is

   (A) “amused”

(B) correct: “very worried”

(C) “full of joy”

(D) “reassured”

80 Ugolin is trying to find out whether the hunchback

   (A) “is going to plant a vineyard”

(B) “will save the olive trees and the almond trees”

(C) “is planning to sell thistles”

(D) correct: “knows about the existence of the spring”—il connaissait donc la source: “so he knew about the spring”

81 “In every place” means

   (A) “nowhere”

(B) correct: “everywhere”

(C) “somewhere else”

(D) “somewhere”

82 The convalescent runs the risk of breaking his other leg because the floor is

   (A) “wet”

(B) “uneven”

(C) “full of holes”

(D) correct: “slippery”—les salles sont cirées de telle façon qu’un convalescent, … doit se casser l’autre en tombant—“the rooms are waxed in such a way that a convalescent … must fall and break the other one”

83 The courtyard in between every room is

   (A) “full of sun”

(B) “without any shade”

(C) “sunny”

(D) correct: “without any sun”—mais où le soleil ne vient jamais: “but where the sun never comes”

84 In winter the patients’ meals are

   (A) “piping hot”

(B) “lukewarm”

(C) “at the right temperature”

(D) correct: “very cold”—tout doit parvenir glacé: icy cold

85 Flaubert’s tone in this passage is

(A) correct: “sarcastic”—Flaubert describes what he calls la symétrie factice (“the artificial symmetry”) and la propreté imbécile (“the stupid cleanliness”) of the arsenal

(B) “serious”

(C) “playful”

(D) “tragic”