The SAT French Subject Test
Drill Answers and Explanations
8 Drill Answers and Explanations
Drill Answers and Explanations
en vouloir à
to be angry at, to have a grudge against
soft, limp, listless
to gather, to pick up
to support, to sustain
to come back, to cross again, to iron
se méfier de
to mistrust, to be suspicious
se débarrasser de
to get rid of
to delay, to slow down
to go somewhere frequently, to see someone on a regular basis
to catch, to trap
content or happy
accord or harmony
crude or raw
1. xxxxx xxxxxxxx légumes xxxx xxxxx … vegetables
quarter or neighborhood
2. xxxx xxxxxxx x tombée xxx xxxx … fallen
3. xx x xxx xxxxx chaises xxxx … xxxx xx xxxxx. chairs
to knock out
to sit down
4. xxx xxxx ne se sent pas bien xxxxx xxx … doesn’t feel well
(A) une fièvre
(B) une armoire
(C) un verger
(D) une annonce
5. xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxx mangé xxx xxx … eaten
to take or carry away
1 It’s cold outside. Are all the … closed?
2 Don’t make any noise; the children are …
3 Are these flowers from your …?
4 This coat lacks … where I can put my wallet.
5 Jeanne woke up … in order to see the sunrise.
lever du soleil
6 The train left the … at noon.
7 For Sunday’s meal, we eat a … with potatoes.
8 The tarts that are sold in this … are delicious.
9 You can wash yourself now. The bathroom is …
salle de bains
10 My … for class is to translate a poem of Rimbaud’s.
11 The noise in a club can be so loud that it hurts one’s …
12 The moon is so … that I cannot imagine that man has gone there.
13 It’s not necessary to take out the garbage; Jean did it …
l’a … fait
14 We are spending Christmas with my grandparents …
15 You’ve already done your homework? That …
surprises me, pleases me
16 Aren’t you … of doing that stupid thing?
17 This fabric is … like the skin of a baby.
peau d’un bébé
18 The fox … the hunters.
escaped, was caught
19 The film starts at exactly 8 o’clock; be …
on time, early
20 There are too many people here; I prefer cafés that are less …
trop de monde
21 There is not enough evidence … this man.
pas assez de preuves
to convict, charge, indict
22 My brother is …; he never wants to help me clean the kitchen.
il ne veut jamais m’aider
23 The vase that I dropped …
24 You can find your grandmother’s wedding dress if you look in …
la robe de mariée de votre grand-mère
25 She got rid of her … clothing.
unwanted, messed up
26 Diane cut her … so she would be more fashionable.
27 To establish the validity of his theory, the scientist conducted …
établir la validité
an experiment, study
DRILL 1: PRONOUN QUESTIONS
1 ------- est arrivé à Paul hier?
What happened to Paul yesterday?
Quel means “which” and is used to modify a noun (Quelle voiture est la vôtre?). We need something that means “what.”
In questions, quoi is used only with a preposition (À quoi sert cet exercice?).
Qu’ is a shortened form of que. Since the “what” of the question is the subject (what happened), it cannot be que.
(D) Qu’est-ce qui is correct. You cannot use qui alone because that would mean “who happened to Paul yesterday?” And you need qui here because it is directly followed by a verb.
2 C’est -------.
It is he.
With c’est or ce sont you use either a noun or a stressed pronoun.
Eux is a stressed pronoun, which is correct, but since it is plural, the correct sentence would be Ce sont eux.
Il is a subject pronoun. No good here.
Lui can be a singular stressed pronoun. This is the correct answer.
Le is a direct object pronoun. Cancel it.
3 C’est grâce à ------- que nous avons pu venir.
It is thanks to them that we could
Because the pronoun is being used with a preposition (but not as an indirect object), we want a stressed pronoun.
Eux is a stressed pronoun, so this is the correct choice.
Les is the direct object pronoun.
Leur is the indirect object pronoun.
Ils is the subject pronoun.
4 La chose la plus difficile est de ------- réveiller le matin.
The most difficult thing is to wake him up in the morning.
The verb in this sentence is réveiller, a verb that takes a direct object. The correct answer must serve as a direct object pronoun.
Lui can be an indirect object pronoun or a stressed pronoun.
Il is the subject pronoun.
Le is the direct object pronoun, so this is the correct answer.
Moi is the stressed pronoun.
5 ------- a sorti la poubelle.
No one took out the garbage.
(A) Il n’
This choice does not work because the sentence lacks the pas that must be used with ne (n’) to make a negative.
(B) Personne n’
This is the correct answer. Personne must be used with ne and does not need the pas.
Like personne, aucun must be used with ne.
Qui can begin the sentence in a question, but not in a statement.
DRILL 2: VERB QUESTIONS
1 Si-------, je préparerais le dîner.
If I had time, I would make dinner.
Since the conditional tense is used in the portion of the sentence following the blank, the verb that precedes it must be in the imperfect. Only choice (C) has a verb in the imperfect.
(A) vous en avez envie—present
(B) on me le demande—present
(C) j’avais le temps—imperfect
(D) tu seras d’accord—future
2 Paul regrette que nous ------- pas réussi.
Paul regrets that we have not succeeded.
What mode is used with verbs like regretter que? The subjunctive. Only choice (C) has the subjunctive.
(C) n’ayons—subjunctive (present)
3 ------- une lettre quand on a sonné à la porte.
I was writing a letter when the doorbell rang.
The use of the passé composé indicates that the sentence takes place in the past, so you can eliminate (A), (B), and (C). The answer is (D). The use of the imperfect indicates that the action of letter writing was ongoing when the doorbell rang.
(C) J’écrive—subjunctive (present)
4 Elle n’a jamais oublié ce que nous ------- au moment de son départ.
She never forgot what we said at the moment of her departure.
Does the expression ce que take the subjunctive? No. Eliminate (B). The use of the passé composé in the first part of the sentence indicates that the sentence takes place in the past and the verb does not need to be in the subjective or conditional mood. Eliminate (A) and (D). The correct answer is (C).
(B) ayons dit—past of the subjunctive
(C) avons dit—passé composé
(D) aurions dit—past of the conditional
5 Est-ce que vous ------- contents si je n’avais pas accepté l’invitation?
Would you have been happy if I had not accepted the invitation?
Since a form of the imperfect is being used with si, the other verb must be in the conditional. Choice (D) is the only verb in the conditional. Since one part of the sentence has the past form of the imperfect (the plus-que-parfait), it makes sense that the conditional verb would also be in a past form.
(D) auriez été—past of the conditional
6 Nous doutons ------- leur rendre visite chez eux.
We doubt that he has time to visit them.
Does the verb douter que take the subjunctive? Yes, so (B), (C), and (D) must be wrong. Choice (A) is the correct answer because the subjunctive is used.
(A) qu’il ait le temps de—subjunctive
(B) qu’il voudrait—conditional
(C) qu’il peut—present
(D) qu’elle avait envie de—imperfect
7 -------, elle est partie pour le long trajet chez elle.
Having said goodbye, she left for the long journey home.
We need a verb form that shows when she said goodbye (the verb is in all the answer choices). We can eliminate (B), since it is the infinitive and the sentence is in the past. To show that she said goodbye either before or as she left, we need either the perfect or the present participle. The only participle here is (C), the perfect participle, “having said goodbye.” This is our answer. The other choices, (A) and (D), cannot be used by themselves in a phrase.
(A) Disait au revoir—imperfect
(B) Dire au revoir—infinitive
(C) Ayant dit au revoir—perfect participle
(D) Avoir dit au revoir—past infinitive
8 Tu pourras regarder la télé une fois que tu ------- ton travail.
You will be allowed to watch TV once you have finished your homework.
Does the conjunction une fois que take the subjunctive? No. Eliminate (D). We need a verb form that shows that your homework must be finished in the future before you may watch TV. Choice (B) is the imperfect so it does not work. Choice (A) is the past form of the conditional, so it does not work either. The correct answer is (C), futur antérieur, future perfect tense.
(A) aurais fini—past conditional
(C) auras fini—future perfect
DRILL 3: PREPOSITION QUESTIONS
1 Marie ------- les résultats de ses examens.
Marie is waiting for the results of her exams.
Penser requires the preposition à or de.
Attendre requires no preposition. This is the correct answer.
Compter requires the preposition sur. Without a preposition, it means “to count” and makes no sense here.
(D) a envie
Avoir envie requires the preposition de.
2 Je ------- de leur écrire.
I am compelled to write them.
(A) suis obligé
This is the correct answer. Être obligé requires the preposition de.
Espérer takes no preposition in French.
Vouloir takes no preposition. It cannot be used with de.
Réfléchir takes the preposition à. It cannot be used with de.
3 Je n’ai jamais eu l’occasion ------- voir ce film.
I have never had the opportunity to see this film.
C The expression avoir l’occasion takes the preposition de. (C) is the correct answer.
4 ------- le concert, elles bavardaient sans cesse.
During the concert, they chattered endlessly.
Pendant means “during.” This is the correct answer.
Dans means “in.” You cannot say dans le concert.
Avec means “with.” You might find a context in which avec works with le concert, but in this context, it does not.
There might be a context in which en concert is acceptable, but en le concert is never correct.
5 Je la vois souvent à -------.
I see her often at the bakery.
The correct expression would be en France.
You can say either à la ville or en ville.
(C) la boulangerie
This is the correct answer. You can say à la boulangerie.
Loin is never used with à.
6 Elle n’a pas réfléchi ------- de refuser l’offre.
She did not think before refusing the offer.
Réfléchir must be used with a preposition.
This is the correct answer.
You cannot say après de. Après is used with the infinitive (e.g., après avoir réfléchi).
You cannot have these two prepositions, à and de, following each other.
1 Odds and Ends
(A) quelque chose is correct
(B) rien must be used with ne—n’a rien
(C) plusieurs must modify something
(D) quelque must modify something
(A) rejeter cannot be followed by a verb
(B) aimer takes the infinitive
(C) être obligé takes de, so it is correct
(D) avoir voulu takes the infinitive
3 Odds and Ends
(B) amie is feminine, but it’s correct because amie begins with a vowel
4 Odds and Ends
(A) avant de partir works with the future tense
(B) tout à l’heure is okay, but not with à
(C) hier does not work with the future
(D) jamais must be used with ne
(A) personne requires ne
(B) subject pronoun
(C) indirect object
(D) stressed pronoun is correct with c’es t
(A) préférer takes the infinitive—correct
(B) rêver takes de and then the infinitive
(C) plaire takes no direct object
(D) insister takes pour and the infinitive
(A) subject or stressed pronoun
(B) stressed pronoun
(C) reflexive, but wrong person
(D) demander quelque chose à quelqu’un—indirect object is correct
(A) indirect object pronoun
(B) subject pronoun
(C) stressed pronoun is correct with avec
(D) direct object pronoun
(B) singular and feminine possessive pronoun—correct
(C) aucun requires ne
(D) possessive adjective
(A) Russie is feminine—correct with en
(B) États-Unis is plural (aux)
(C) New York takes à
(D) Canada is masculine (au)
11 Odds and Ends
(A) savoir que doesn’t take the subjunctive
(B) regretter que takes the subjunctive—correct
(C) oublier que doesn’t take the subjunctive
(D) nothing hypothetical, so no subjunctive
(A) parler takes de—therefore dont is correct
(B) quoi is used with things
(C) parler cannot work with sauf
(D) avant que is a conjunction, not a pronoun
(A) quelle is feminine
(B) qu’est-ce qui is used to refer to things
(C) où means “where”—correct
(D) quoi is used with things
(A) quel must modify something
(B) y refers to place or location
(C) dont cannot be used to begin a question
(D) avoir envie takes de—correct
(A) aller does not take de
(B) espérer takes either the infinitive or que
(C) essayer takes de—correct
(D) pouvoir does not take de
(A) sans doute means “probably”
(B) certain, so no subjunctive
(C) Je crains means “I fear.” This expression takes the subjunctive—correct
(D) no doubt or uncertainty, so no subjunctive
(A) in order to
(C) in spite of—correct
(A) imperfect followed by conditional—correct
(B) present, so following clause can’t be conditional
(C) future cannot follow si
(D) past imperfect would take past conditional
(A) passé composé
(B) passé composé
(C) passé composé
(D) subjunctive is used with superlatives—correct
(B) past imperfect
(D) past conditional follows a clause with si and the past imperfect—correct
(A) subject or stressed pronoun
(B) indirect object—correct
(C) stressed pronoun and masculine
(D) direct object and singular
(A) stressed pronoun with chez—correct
(C) indirect object
(D) subject and masculine
(A) no one—correct
(B) a person
(D) nulle is an adjective
(B) Terminé is not an adverb, but a past participle
(D) In order to
(A) arriver de makes no sense in this context
(B) y indicates place: in this case, the café—correct
(C) le is a direct object pronoun
(D) arriver cannot be reflexive
(A) no agreement or masculine singular
(B) feminine singular
(C) masculine plural
(D) feminine plural: requires agreement because direct object precedes verb—correct
(A) cinéma is masculine
(B) au is correct because cinéma is masculine
(C) entrer par doesn’t make sense in this context and cinéma is masculine
(D) entrer par doesn’t make sense in this context
(A) you cannot use avant and a verb without a preposition
(B) avant à does not exist
(C) the correct expression is avant de
(D) avant que would have to be followed by a clause using the subjunctive
(A) no agreement required—correct
(C) masculine plural
(D) feminine plural
(A) needs a preposition to make sense
(B) à demander makes no sense
(C) de demander makes no sense
(D) pour demander: to ask—correct
(A) en temps does not exist; à temps (on time) would be correct
(B) every hour
(C) on time—correct
(D) from time to time
1 Etienne lacked the energy to
(A) “sleep”: familiar word—wrong context
(B) “undress”: see phrase tout vêtu (fully dressed)
(D)“put on his clothes”
2 According to the passage, why is Etienne tired?
(A) “He ate too much.” familiar words—wrong context
(B) “He did not sleep at all in two days.” Too extreme; he did get some sleep.
(C) “He went to sleep at four in the morning.” familiar words—wrong context
(D) “He has slept only for a few hours in 48 hours”: see En deux jours, il n’avait pas dormi quatre heures.
3 At what time of day did he get up?
(A) “early in the morning”
(C) “early in the evening”: see au crépuscule, avant de … se coucher pour la nuit
4 How does he react at the moment he wakes up?
(A) “He doesn’t remember where he is”: see sans reconnaître le lieu où il se trouvait
(B) “He can’t find his clothes.”
(C) “He feels that he is late.”
(D) “He is hungry.”
5 What did he want to do before eating dinner?
(B) “go for a walk”: see prendre l’air
(C) “wake up”: familiar words—wrong context
6 When did Morissot leave to reach the island?
(A) “after sunset”
(B) “at sunset”
(C) “at sunrise”: see dès l’aurore
(D) “in the afternoon”
7 How did he reach the island?
(A) “by bus and on foot”
(B) “by boat”
(C) “by car and on foot”
(D) “by train and on foot”: see chemin de fer (railway), à pied
8 At what point did he start fishing?
(A) “at almost the moment he arrived”: see àpeine arrivé
(B) “at the moment he started to dream”
(C) “at nightfall”
(D) “when his friend arrived”
9 What is located on Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Street?
(A) “the island”: makes no sense
(B) “the place the two friends would meet”
(C) “Mr. Savage’s shop”: see mercier (dealer in sewing wares)
(D) “the train station”
10 The parents of Guillaume
(A) “advise him never to go to the movies”
(B) “don’t concern themselves with what he does”
(C) “don’t like the movies”
(D) “give their opinion about the films he chooses”: see je leur demande ce qu’ils en pensent
11 To Gilles’s question, Claire replies
(A) “that she never goes to the movies”
(B) “that she goes to the movies if her parents agree”
(C) “that she goes to the movies without telling her parents”: see en cachette (secretly)
(D) “that she goes to the movies often”
12 What reason does Guillaume give for not lying to his parents?
(A) “His parents let him do anything.”: familiar words—wrong context
(B) “His parents let him decide what to do.”: see Je crois que je me sens libre
(C) “It is better not to do it.”
(D) “His parents don’t like the movies.”
13 The author reacts to the change in Boulevard St. Michel and Place Saint-André-des-Arts with
(D) “pleasure”: makes no sense
14 What does one find near Luxembourg?
(A) “small, anonymous restaurants”: familiar words—wrong context
(B) “pleasant cafés”: familiar words—wrong context
(C) “pretentious bookstores”
(D) “American establishments”: McDonald’s
15 According to the passage, “Gibert” is
(A) “a film”
(B) “a café”
(C) “a bookstore”: see cinémas et librairies semblent résister
(D) “a museum”
16 What do young people do instead of going to Boulevard St. Michel?
(A) “They go to Place Saint-André-des-Arts.”
(B) “They are in a rush to see American films.”
(C) “They look for cool bars in another area.”: see autour du Panthéon
(D) “They resist going to bookstores.”
17 The narrator lets it be understood that she
(A) “worked a lot”
(B) “was an invalid”
(C) “had many worries”
(D) “married her father’s friend”: see Un vieil ami de mon père m’a demandé ma main.
18 The brother of the narrator
(A) “lived with her for six years”: familiar words—wrong context
(B) “was younger than she”: cadet
(C) “was a soldier”
(D) “didn’t like her husband”
19 The passage gives us the impression
(A) “that she wanted to defend her actions”: see Qu’auriez-vous fait à ma place?
(B) “that she missed her husband”
(C) “that her brother was cured”
(D) “that she liked good weather”: misunderstanding, as sans un nuage is not literal
20 After six years, what happened?
(A) “The husband of the narrator left.”
(B) “The good weather changed.”: sans un nuage is not literal
(C) “The narrator decided to leave.”
(D) “The narrator found a lover.”: see j’ai rencontré celui que je devais aimer.
21 It is understood that Antoine Lemurier
(A) “is dead”
(B) “missed the train”
(C) “left his work”
(D) “nearly succumbed to an illness”: see avait manqué mourir (almost died)
22 What did the neighbors think of Lemurier’s illness?
(A) “They expected an interesting end to the tragedy.”: see ils vivaient anxieusement dans l’attente d’un dénouement qui fût digne de la pièce
(B) “They were sad.”
(C) “They were angry with Lemurier.”
(D) “They fell ill.”
23 According to the neighbors, what would have been a fitting end to the situation?
(A) “Mr. Lemurier loses his job.”
(B) “Mr. Lemurier completely recovers.”
(C) “Mrs. Lemurier is without shelter.”: see la femme à la rue
(D) “Mrs. Lemurier sells the house.”: close, but the phrase is le mobilier être vendu