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Understanding the Sentence

Okay. In this video, we’re gonna be breaking down a long sentence. As you can tell, this sentence or this text completion is nowhere near as simply straightforward as the text completion you saw in the first video. And therefore, it’s far more indicative of what you’re gonna see on the actual GRE. That is you’re gonna be dealing with some pretty long convoluted sentences.

So what must we do? Well, first thing to do is to break down long sentences in your own words. So let’s read the sentence through and then let’s try breaking it down together. As municipal water experts very well know, successive years of greater than average rainfall can lead to a dramatic surge in water usage with the populace blanking the very habits that had one sustained the city through its drought years.

Okay. As I said, there is a lot going on here. But you want to take apart the sentence and focus on the main part. So, experts may very well know, that’s fine. What are they knowing though, that’s the important part. So greater than average rainfall.

Let’s just call that greater rainfall can lead to a surge, that means an increase in water usage. So lots of rain, water usage goes up. Notice how I’m using my own words now, that’s breaking down the sentence. Why, why am I using my own words? Because it makes it easier for us or easier for the person breaking down the sentence to conceptualize what the sentence is about instead of trying to use GRE’s words.

So going back to our sentence here. Again, there’s lots of rain, then water usage increases when more people use water. So we got to that part where the comma is. Now we will read on. With the populace, blanking the very habits that had once sustained the city through its drought years.

So this part says, the people, the populace are doing something to the habits. What? Well, lets read on. Blanking the habits that had once sussain, sustained the city, so to sustain means to keep something going. So the, their habits helped the city through their drought years, so years where there was little rain.

So when there’s little rain, well, what’s, what are people doing in terms of habits? Well, people are not using a lot of water. So do you see how if you break down the second part, you realize that the population, well what are they doing to their habits, to their drought habits? Well, drought habits are or is using little water. Whereas when there’s lots of rainfall, people use lots of water.

So what do they do to these habits? These drought habits? They change them or they drop them. Something to show that they are no longer doing these habits. They are no longer engaging in these habits. And notice here if I look down at A, it’s there waiting to trick me.

But I’m not gonna let it do that. Again, what do we do? Well, we come up with our own word. So, in again, in a long sentence like this, we break down the sentence. We look for these clues scattered throughout. Clues that kind of give us a meaning and then we put in our own word, only then do we go to the answer choices.

If you plug in words, words like engaging in can suddenly make sense. Why? Because you haven’t really broken down the sentence and so you’re likely to misinterpret the sentence, but we know that engaging does not mean to change or changing. Returning to the very habits. Well, wait a second.

If the population is changing their habits during heavy rainfall, changing their drought time habits, they’re definitely not returning to them and there we have C, which is altering. And just like that, we matched and doesn’t always have to be a perfect match. Maybe alter wasn’t your word. Maybe you came up with another word that’s similar to change.

I earlier said, dropping the very habit. But the idea is that it should be a similar word or very similar word and that’s the answer. Mocking doesn’t make sense in the terms that you mock something, you make fun of something. So they’re not making fun of the habits nor they’re relying on their drought time habits.

They, again, are changing them, so that now they are using lots of water. And just like that, we’ve broken down the sentence. Looked at the scattered clues, put together a, a unified meaning. Come up with their own word, matched and there’s our answer.

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