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Hi, teachers!

Below is a part of an article I’m reading with a headline “The limits of energy independence” and a subhead “The Trump administration is ill-equipped for a Middle East crisis that looks increasingly likely”!

I have three questions only in the third paragraph but added the previous ones as well in case you need them!

Please read my questions teacher ♥♥♥


The coming decimation of America’s shale-oil firms could eventually lead to renewed dependence on Saudi oil. American production is predicted to fall to 10m barrels a day, around half the country’s pre-pandemic consumption. In the meantime near-universal anti-Saudi feeling in Washington is putting the bilateral relationship under great strain. Last month Republican senators in oil-producing states, who had been almost the Saudis’ last defenders on the Hill, turned furiously against the kingdom. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Dan Sullivan of Alaska introduced legislation to withdraw American troops and missile-defence systems if it did not cut its oil production. Reports this week that a fleet of laden Saudi tankers was en route to oil-glutted America caused fresh fury. Mr Trump suggested he might close the country’s ports to it. The notion of American-Saudi co-operation to reorder the Middle East had rarely looked more fanciful.


Meanwhile a region whose stability America has considered supremely important for seven decades is experiencing two black swans in one swoop. Oil-poor countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain are facing a health-care crisis which their oil-rich neighbours would in normal times send them cash to stave off. Yet the Saudis, in need of an oil price of around $80 a barrel to balance their budge, are focused on fiscal problems at home. A normal American administration might be expected to rally multilateral agencies to make up the shortfall for the poorer Arab states. Mr Trump is instead trying to defund the World Health Organisation.


This (1)represents a threat of instability that Iran will try to exploit. Though badly afflicted by the coronavirus, (2)it shows no sign of reducing its operations in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. Meanwhile Israel could soon start annexing the West Bank. All in all, (3)the chances of a regional blowout, which America will either be drawn into or castigated for neglecting, are rising again.

...


(1)

What does “represent” mean in this sentence, teacher? O.O I consulted a dictionary, but as the word has quite many similar meanings I was not sure which of them was the right one! Can I put “show, reveal, reflect” in place of “represent”?


(2)

Iran operates what? Oil facilities and oil companies? If so, does Iran operate their oil installations outside the country? Since my country does not produce oil, I do not understand what this sentence means T.T


(3)

One of the most difficult things in using English is that I have to make a choice between a countable noun and an uncountable one! If I put “chance” instead of “chances” there, does it make any difference in meaning of the sentence? Could you explain the difference between “chance” and “chances”?


Thank you teachers for reading my post!

I’m looking forward to getting your answer Emotion: smile))))) ♡♡♡

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ANNE202What does “represent” mean in this sentence, teacher?

Sense #2 at https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/represent:

Constitute; amount to.

ANNE202Iran operates what? Oil facilities and oil companies? If so, does Iran operate their oil installations outside the country?

"operations" means "activities"; the nature of these is not specified, but may be implied to be sinister interference.

ANNE202If I put “chance” instead of “chances” there, does it make any difference in meaning of the sentence?

No, but "chances" is slightly more natural in this sentence, I would say.

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ANNE202What does “represent” mean in this sentence, teacher? O.O I consulted a dictionary, but as the word has quite many similar meanings I was not sure which of them was the right one! Can I put “show, reveal, reflect” in place of “represent”?

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/represent tr. vb. "11 : to correspond to in essence : constitute

ANNE202Iran operates what? Oil facilities and oil companies? If so, does Iran operate their oil installations outside the country? Since my country does not produce oil, I do not understand what this sentence means T.T

The writer is being inexplicably delicate about it. Iran's "operations" in the region are terrorism and subterfuge, funding extremists, propagandizing, trying to "wipe Israel off the map", etc., not oil production.

ANNE202One of the most difficult things in using English is that I have to make a choice between a countable noun and an uncountable one! If I put “chance” instead of “chances” there, does it make any difference in meaning of the sentence? Could you explain the difference between “chance” and “chances”?

Neither of those is uncountable. Uncountable "chance" would be "Chance is a big factor in poker."

Use the plural. "The chances of" means "the odds in favor of". You could not say "the chance is rising" in this context. Odds are said to rise or fall, and you can't have one odd.

Oh teacher GPY, it’s been a while ~♡

I remember you having put your comment on my post before!

You and anonymous teacher are saying almost the same things to my questions, which means my understanding of the paragraph was so poor even after searching on the Internet for the answers T.T

Anyhow thank you so much again, because without your help I would leave them misinterpreted! T.T ♥♥♥

Emotion: yes Emotion: yes Emotion: yes

Wow teacher, you teach really well I dare to say.

I was so happy to get your reply but so sad as well,

since I realized once more that there are so many smart teachers and people and I’m lacking in not only English skills but also in background knowledge T.T

Being intelligent and being able to teach well are quite different things, aren’t they?

But I could feel reading your comment that you’ve got both of them, teacher!

♡♡♡

Your every answer to my three questions is so helpful and motivated me!

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and showing me such kindness, teacher! ♥.♥

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