Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

  Instead of praising the ------- employees who worked late every night to ensure that the project was finished on time, the manager criticized them for not having ------- the work sooner.

  (A) assiduous . . complicated

  (B) lethargic . . finalized

  (C) meticulous . . discarded

  (D) diligent . . completed

  (E) neglectful . . overlooked

  The correct answer is D


  Because the employees worked long hours to make sure that the project was finished on time, it makes sense to say that they are “diligent,” or that they show care and consideration in their work and duties. And it is possible that a manager would criticize employees for not having “completed” the project ahead of schedule, even though they did finish the project on time.