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Question:

Which of the following sentences uses the word “smart” with a negative connotation, rather than a positive connotation or simply the word’s denotation?

A Eliot got into trouble when he gave a smart answer to his teacher’s question.
Explaination

This use of “smart” has a negative connotation: a “smart” answer here means a disrespectful or impertinent one. This is evident from the sentence context (“Eliot got into trouble”). 2 choices use the word “smart” with its literal denotation, meaning intelligent or competent. Another uses “smart” with a positive connotation, meaning wise or judicious. The context “he got a good grade” informs this use: Eliot was smart to have studied, meaning he used good judgment when he prepared, evidenced by the positive outcome.