Which one of the following best states the main idea of the passage?

David on June 3, 2020


Hi ! I was thrown off by the word "major" in reference to changes in the answer. It seems like the passage discusses these changes as minor (1-2%). Could you please expand a little on why major is acceptable?

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Victoria on June 3, 2020

Hi @DavidW,

Happy to help! There's definitely a lot going on in this passage.

The word 'major' is used in a relative sense here.

We know that the movement of water across the cell membrane allows for the buffering of minor fluctuations in the concentration of solutes (lines 26 to 31).

In lines 31 to 36, the passage highlights that - despite this buffering function - "the concentration...may at times become elevated or reduced by more than the allowed tolerances of one or two percent." When this occurs, then the complementary physiological and behavioural responses will kick in to return the levels to normal.

While the change is minor in that it is only a 1-2% difference, this constitutes a major change in this situation. Any change beyond this 1-2% is so major that it requires these complementary responses to kick in to return the situation to normal wherein only minor fluctuations are allowed.

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any further questions.