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While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena

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While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2018, 11:04
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While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena (i)_______ of disaster, they considered others (ii)_______ manifestations of supernatural origin, such as St. Elmo’s Fire, for example, a mysterious electrical spark that appears between the masts of ships toward the end of a storm and appears to (iii)_______ fair weather ahead.




Blank (i) Blank (ii)Blank (iii)
(A) perquisites (D) fortuitous (G) presage
(B) portents (E) ubiquitous(H) thwart
(C) sanctions (F) omniscient(I) propitiate






Can somebody explain me the context of this statement?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by Carcass on 08 Sep 2018, 01:32, edited 1 time in total.
Edited by Carcass
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Re: While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2018, 13:09
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Let's break this one down. The first sentence has two blanks and starts with the word "[w]hile". This tells us that the first part of the statement will be contrasted with the second part of the statement, so we're looking for two words that make the two parts of the sentence into opposites.

For the first blank, 'perquisites' of disaster would mean that certain natural phenomena are required for disatser. This is a possible answer. 'Portents' of disaster would mean that the phenomena signal oncoming disaster. Also a good potentional answer. 'Sanctions' of disaster would mean that the phenomena give permission for disaster, which doesn't make sense, so it's not an answer.

The second blank should give a meaning that is opposite to the meaning of the part of the sentence with the first blank. "They considered others [natural phenomena]" blank "manifestations of supernatural origin". 'Fortuitious' manifestations would mean that it was lucky or a good thing to receive such natural phenomenea. This contrasts very well the previous part, which talks about phenomena being somehow related with disaster. It's a good possible answer. 'Ubiquitous' manifestations would mean that they are very common, which doesn't tell us if they're good or bad. It's not a great choice. 'Omniscient' manifestations would mean that the manifestations (natural phenomena, remember) are all-knowing. Such a personification doesn't make any sense, and we can reject it.

The third part of the sentence talks about a specific phenomena that is regarded as a manifestation of supernatural origin. We know from the previous analysis that this manifestation is likely to be considered a good thing, as it's contrasted against phenomena that are linked somehow with disaster, so we're looking for an answer that means good things when the blank is filled in. 'Presage' fair weather ahead would mean that it indicates or signals that fair weather is coming after the storm. This is a good thing, so it's a very good answer. To 'thwart' fair weather would mean that the good phenomena disrupts the good weather and causes bad weather instead. This doesn't make sense, so we can discard it. To 'propitiate' good weather ahead would mean to earn the favor of good weather. Again, this is a non-sensical personification, so it can be discarded.

So we have perquisites or portents of disaster, fortuitous manifestations, and presage fair weather. With the second and third blanks filled in, 'portents' is clearly the best option to complete the sentence.
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Re: While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2018, 14:23
dreadpiratehurley wrote:
Let's break this one down. The first sentence has two blanks and starts with the word "[w]hile". This tells us that the first part of the statement will be contrasted with the second part of the statement, so we're looking for two words that make the two parts of the sentence into opposites.

For the first blank, 'perquisites' of disaster would mean that certain natural phenomena are required for disatser. This is a possible answer. 'Portents' of disaster would mean that the phenomena signal oncoming disaster. Also a good potentional answer. 'Sanctions' of disaster would mean that the phenomena give permission for disaster, which doesn't make sense, so it's not an answer.

The second blank should give a meaning that is opposite to the meaning of the part of the sentence with the first blank. "They considered others [natural phenomena]" blank "manifestations of supernatural origin". 'Fortuitious' manifestations would mean that it was lucky or a good thing to receive such natural phenomenea. This contrasts very well the previous part, which talks about phenomena being somehow related with disaster. It's a good possible answer. 'Ubiquitous' manifestations would mean that they are very common, which doesn't tell us if they're good or bad. It's not a great choice. 'Omniscient' manifestations would mean that the manifestations (natural phenomena, remember) are all-knowing. Such a personification doesn't make any sense, and we can reject it.

The third part of the sentence talks about a specific phenomena that is regarded as a manifestation of supernatural origin. We know from the previous analysis that this manifestation is likely to be considered a good thing, as it's contrasted against phenomena that are linked somehow with disaster, so we're looking for an answer that means good things when the blank is filled in. 'Presage' fair weather ahead would mean that it indicates or signals that fair weather is coming after the storm. This is a good thing, so it's a very good answer. To 'thwart' fair weather would mean that the good phenomena disrupts the good weather and causes bad weather instead. This doesn't make sense, so we can discard it. To 'propitiate' good weather ahead would mean to earn the favor of good weather. Again, this is a non-sensical personification, so it can be discarded.

So we have perquisites or portents of disaster, fortuitous manifestations, and presage fair weather. With the second and third blanks filled in, 'portents' is clearly the best option to complete the sentence.


Thanks for the informative explanation! I took a long time, yet did not completely understand this. Any way or trick you could suggest, that would benefit me in TC or SE. I suck at RC, literally, any tips on that too?
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Re: While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2018, 00:57
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While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena (i)_______ of disaster, they considered others (ii)_______ manifestations of supernatural origin, such as St. Elmo’s Fire, for example, a mysterious electrical spark that appears between the masts of ships toward the end of a storm and appears to (iii)_______ fair weather ahead.

You could get hinted at the last three words, especially fair, which means good. And it's an example ,so the second blank should be something good ,thus D is correct. And we know others show manifest sth. good, thus the first part means manifest sth. bad(disaster), so the first should repeat manifest (portent). And now we see the whole picture, the author is considering about prediction, whether good or bad, so the third blank should be presage.
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Re: While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2018, 01:33
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Please guys, format the question according to this link https://greprepclub.com/forum/qq-how-to ... -2357.html

It is easy and the question looks better.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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Re: While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2018, 07:12
typhoon48 wrote:
While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena (i)_______ of disaster, they considered others (ii)_______ manifestations of supernatural origin, such as St. Elmo’s Fire, for example, a mysterious electrical spark that appears between the masts of ships toward the end of a storm and appears to (iii)_______ fair weather ahead.

You could get hinted at the last three words, especially fair, which means good. And it's an example ,so the second blank should be something good ,thus D is correct. And we know others show manifest sth. good, thus the first part means manifest sth. bad(disaster), so the first should repeat manifest (portent). And now we see the whole picture, the author is considering about prediction, whether good or bad, so the third blank should be presage.


Couldn't the last three words also lead to blocking or hindering? How can one tell the positivity or negativity of the sentence?
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Re: While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2018, 07:24
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rajlal wrote:
typhoon48 wrote:
While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena (i)_______ of disaster, they considered others (ii)_______ manifestations of supernatural origin, such as St. Elmo’s Fire, for example, a mysterious electrical spark that appears between the masts of ships toward the end of a storm and appears to (iii)_______ fair weather ahead.

You could get hinted at the last three words, especially fair, which means good. And it's an example ,so the second blank should be something good ,thus D is correct. And we know others show manifest sth. good, thus the first part means manifest sth. bad(disaster), so the first should repeat manifest (portent). And now we see the whole picture, the author is considering about prediction, whether good or bad, so the third blank should be presage.


Couldn't the last three words also lead to blocking or hindering? How can one tell the positivity or negativity of the sentence?


Yes, maybe I should reason from "end of a storm", which means the possibility of "thwart" of fair weather could be eliminated.
Re: While ancient navigators considered some natural phenomena   [#permalink] 08 Sep 2018, 07:24
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