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Source: Revised GRE PDF 2nd Ed. Section 3; #8 (p. 53)


If one could don magic spectacles—with lenses

If one could don magic spectacles—with lenses that make the murky depths of the ocean become transparent—and look back several centuries to an age before widespread abuse of the oceans began, even the most (i) _______ observer would quickly discover that fish were formerly much more abundant. Likewise, many now-depleted species of marine mammals would appear (ii) _______ . But without such special glasses, the differences between past and present oceans are indeed hard to (iii) ________. Blank (i): casual, prescient, clearheaded Blank (ii): threatened, plentiful, unfamiliar Blank (iii): ignore, discern, dismiss

2 Explanations


Prachiti Parkar

Isn't would appear for the future?

Sep 5, 2019 • Comment

David Recine

Actually, "would appear" is used in conditional statements, that describe something that has not actually happened, but *would* happen *if* certain conditions are met. This refers neither to a future event nor a past event, but instead describes an event that is not possible under current conditions, but is possible *if* things are different.

A few additional examples: If I had a million dollars, I would buy a large house. If cats had wings, they would fly. If the earth were flat, ships would fall off the edge of the earth when they got far enough out to sea.

I hope this helps! :D

Sep 13, 2019 • Reply


Chris Lele

Sep 21, 2012 • Comment

Hari D

Hi Chris, Could you help me with second blank. Why is it not "threatened" and why is it "Plentiful". Isnt the point here is that person with spectacles now knows the truth of the oceans (which can be inferred from "age before widespread abuse of the oceans")

Jan 23, 2017 • Reply

Sam Kinsman

Hi Hari,

You're right that the person with the spectacles can see how the oceans have really changed. However, the second sentence is not really focusing on that. The second sentence says:

"Likewise, many now-depleted species of marine mammals would appear (ii) _______ ."

So we're looking for a word that describes what these marine mammals were like several centuries ago. Now (in the present), they are depleted. But several centuries ago they were ______.

The word "threatened" could work here - but it doesn't fit in the passage's context. The end of the first sentence says: ".... fish were formerly much more abundant." So there used to be more fish than there are now. The second sentence starts with the word "likewise," which means that we need the second sentence to be similar to the first one (in terms of ideas).

If we use "threatened," the second sentence contradicts the previous idea (that there used to be more fish). So "threatened" does not work.

If we use "plentiful," however, the second sentence supports the previous idea: there used to be both more fish and more marine mammals in the past than there are now. This works well with the word "likewise," so "plentiful" is the right answer.

Jan 23, 2017 • Reply

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