With the 1985 discovery of an ozone hole over Antarctica, an

With the 1985 discovery of an ozone hole over Antarctica, an international ban on the production of chlorofluorocarbons—implicated in causing the ozone hole—began to appear ____ , especially since chemical companies’ opposition to such a ban had weakened.

  1. imprudent
  2. fortuitous
  3. premature
  4. imminent
  5. unlikely

So, you were trying to be a good test taker and practice for the GRE with PowerPrep online. Buuuut then you had some questions about the verbal section—specifically the second Verbal section of Practice Test 1. Those Text completion questions can be kind of tricky, even if they’re only one blank questions—but never fear, PrepScholar has got your back!

First, this sentence is kind of long, let’s see what happens if we take out some of the extra descriptive information, like introductory phrases and phrases set apart by punctuation:

…an international ban on the production of chlorofluorocarbons…began to appear _______, especially since chemical companies’ opposition to such a ban had weakened.

Ok, now our sentence is a little shorter without so many distractions. The information we took out may have added some context about how bad chloro-whatevers are, but it looks like one KEY part of this sentence is the fact that the blank is followed by a comma and a phrase that comments on the information in the earlier part of the sentence. So, we know that chloro-whatsits are bad, which means a “ban” on them might be logical—but to add to that, companies had stopped fighting against this ban. So we might predict that the ban is more or less inevitable or at least very likely.

Now that we have an idea of what our blank should say, we can start looking at our answers. It’s important that we try to form our own idea of what would fit in the blank before looking at our answers. This way we won’t get caught up trying to test out answers to see if they work. Instead we can match an answer.

imprudent

Im- is a prefix that means “not,” and “prudent” means wise or advisable. Well, all that extra information told us that chloro-blahblahs were bad and the information after our blank said that even chemical companies aren’t really opposed to a ban, so it seems like a ban would be wise. We can eliminate A since it doesn’t fit the context of our sentence.

fortuitous

 

“Fortuitous” is just a fancier way of saying “fortunate” or “lucky,” but there doesn’t seem to be anything “lucky” about a ban on a dangerous chemical. We can eliminate B.

premature

 

Something that is “premature” is before its time or too early. This is where the introductory phrase might actually help us out—all the descriptive information told us that these chloro-whoopsies were “implicated in causing” that hole in the ozone the first part of the sentence talked about. So, if there’s already been damage from these chemicals, it doesn’t seem like a ban is premature at all! In fact, it sounds as though it’s a little late. We can eliminate C.

imminent

 

This answer matches our prediction because “imminent” means inevitable. We should keep D.

unlikely

 

The information after our blank told us that even the companies opposing a ban on chloro-florpadorps were starting to come around, so why would a ban still be “unlikely.” This answer is the opposite of our prediction and what we want in our blank, a common trap on text completion questions. We can eliminate E.

Our only remaining answer is D, so let’s plug it in in order to double-check that it makes sense in our blank.

With the 1985 discovery of an ozone hole over Antarctica, an international ban on the production of chlorofluorocarbons—implicated in causing the ozone hole—began to appear imminent , especially since chemical companies’ opposition to such a ban had weakened.

Yes, now the sentence tells us that in the face of new evidence of how bad chlorofluorocarbons are, even the companies opposed to a ban were starting to change their position, making a ban seem like something that was sure to happen, or imminent. D is correct.

 

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