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In the Great Lakes, the blooms of phytoplankton are escalating rapidly

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In the Great Lakes, the blooms of phytoplankton are escalating rapidly  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 10 Mar 2019, 03:28
2
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A
B
C
D
E

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  5% (low)

Question Stats:

85% (01:05) correct 15% (01:40) wrong based on 39 sessions

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In the Great Lakes, the blooms of phytoplankton are escalating rapidly because of the negligence of the authorities; therefore the waterbodies would soon be such dangerous levels of toxins that supplying potable water to surrounding states will be impossible.

A. the waterbodies would soon be

B. soon there may be

C. it will soon have

D. they may soon be having

E. the waterbodies will soon have

Originally posted by kookies on 09 Mar 2019, 20:45.
Last edited by kookies on 10 Mar 2019, 03:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In the Great Lakes, the blooms of phytoplankton are escalating rapidly  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2019, 21:57
kookies wrote:
In the Great Lakes, the blooms of phytoplankton are escalating rapidly because of the negligence of the authorities; therefore the waterbodies would soon be such dangerous levels of toxins that supplying potable water to surrounding states will be impossible.

A. the waterbodies would soon be
Bodies of water cannot themselves BE levels of toxins
Verb should be WILL per Type 1 conditional (see analysis below)

B. soon there may be [in what?]
Even if may were correct (it is not), "there may be" high levels of toxins . . . where? in what?
Verb should be WILL

C. it will soon have
-- verb WILL is correct
-- the antecedent can be only phytoplankton
The pronoun is not ambiguous. The pronoun is not as good an answer as the noun in E. See analysis below.

D. they may soon be having
-- The verb should be WILL SOON HAVE
-- they could be "blooms," but the verb is wrong and (E)'s noun is better

E. the waterbodies will soon have
Correct.

This sentence contains a prediction.
When we see causation and prediction, we should look for conditional verb structures.

It is a conditional, even though the sentence does not use IF or THEN.

The structure of the sentence commits us to Type 1, in which verbs in the
main (result clause, the THEN clause) should be in simple future tense

That is,
because the phrase "will be impossible" is in the non-underlined portion (simple future)
of the main or result clause; and
because "are escalating" is in the non-underlined portion (simple present) of the IF or conditional clause
we are committed to what is called a Type 1 conditional.

If
-- the situation is real;
-- the time is the present or the future;
-- we are referring to a possible condition and its probable result; and
-- we are committed to a WILL (simple future tense) in the result clause,
THEN
We use verbs appropriate for a Type 1 conditional:
simple present for the IF (conditional) clause, as is evident in this case with "blooms are escalating" AND
simple future for every appropriate verb in the THEN (main, result) clause

If this thing happens, then that thing will happen.

Split #1: we need simple future tense, WILL _____

Eliminate answers A (would), B (may) , and D (may)

Split #2: the pronoun it vs. waterbodies

Answer (C) has one possible antecedent: phytoplankton
Compare to (E), waterbodies (usually written bodies of water in formal English)

Logically, I would gamble on E.
The phytoplankton appear to be the source of the toxin.
Can something be and "soon have" dangerous levels of a toxin?
Sure. The phytoplankton (singular) could be low-level toxic and become high-level toxic.
Although the object of a preposition is not usually the antecedent of a pronoun,
a prepositional object can be the antecedent of a pronoun.

But waterbodies, as in (E), are the better logical choice.
A body of water that will soon have highly dangerous levels of toxins
connects better with the fact that supplying potable water will soon be impossible.

Eliminate C

Answer E
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Re: In the Great Lakes, the blooms of phytoplankton are escalating rapidly   [#permalink] 09 Mar 2019, 21:57
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In the Great Lakes, the blooms of phytoplankton are escalating rapidly

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