Source: Revised GRE PDF 1st Ed. Section 4: Verbal; #7 (p. 62)


Higher energy prices would have many (i) effects

Higher energy prices would have many (i) effects on society as a whole. Besides encouraging consumers to be more (ii) in their use of gasoline, they would encourage the development of renewable alternative energy sources that are not (iii) at current prices. Blank (i): pernicious, counterintuitive, salubrious Blank (ii): aggressive, predictable, sparing Blank (iii): unstable, adaptable, viable

3 Explanations



Why can't I choose G)unstable instead? "...they would encourage the development of renewable alternative energy sources that are not G)unstable at current prices." Since the renewable energy sources' prices are stable(not unstable) currently it makes sence to develop them, doesn't it?

Oct 17, 2019 • Comment

Adam Lyons, Magoosh Tutor

Hey there! First of all, we should avoid double negatives like "not unstable." It's much better to just say "stable." Second, "stable" prices aren't necessarily good, since we don't know if those prices are high or low. We wouldn't want to develop them if the prices are stable and very high. But without that information, "unstable" isn't of much use. We would need to know if those stable prices are high or low.

Oct 26, 2019 • Reply


Kalina Gajda

I thought adaptable would work because you can adapt to the higher energy prices situation by using renewable energy- could you explain why viable works better? Thanks!

Apr 23, 2019 • Comment

Adam Lyons, Magoosh Tutor

Hey Kalina,
The point here is that gasoline is currently much cheaper than renewable energy sources. It is thus not viable, or practical, to use anything other than gasoline. But if the price of gasoline were to increase, then renewable energy sources might be the same price, or even cheaper. They would thus be more attractive, or more viable, options.
"Adaptable" would mean that those renewable alternative energy sources change in order to meet new demands. But they're not changing, they're staying the same - it's the price of gas that is changing. So the renewable energy sources don't adapt, we, humans, would be doing the adapting, changing from gas users to renewable energy users. But the renewable energy itself doesn't change. It just gets used more.

Apr 24, 2019 • Reply


Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Sep 26, 2012 • Comment

lele chang

why the third blank cannot choose adaptable

Sep 5, 2016 • Reply

Cydney Seigerman, Magoosh Tutor

Hi Lele :)

Happy to help. "Adaptable" describes something that's able to be changed or adjusted to fit the situation and this definition doesn't really fit the context of the blank. That's partly because there's nothing that the energy sources would be adaptable to in the sentence. On the other hand, renewable energy sources could become more viable or practicable if energy prices were higher in general, as there would be less incentive to use fossil fuels or other sources that are currently lower in price.

Does that make sense? I hope this helps!

Sep 5, 2016 • Reply

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