A team of Austrian biologists recently announced that they have discovered live specimens of the longest animal ever recorded, and they are up to 50 feet longer than those of the biggest whale shark that previously was recorded.

A – and they are up to 50 feet longer than those of the biggest whale shark that previously was

B – and that they were up to 50 feet longer than the biggest whale shark previously

C – and the specimens are up to 50 feet longer than the biggest whale sharks that previously were

D – specimens that are up to 50 feet longer than those of the biggest whale shark previously

E – specimens up to 50 feet longer than the biggest whale sharks that were previously

Right Answer: D

Error Identification: 

IdentifierFix
Underlined comparison words “longer than”Comparison
Underlined comparison between ambiguous “they” and “those”, referring to specimensComparison

Difficulty Level: Tough

Explanation:

In the sentence, the use of the pronoun ‘they’ is ambiguous, and can have either ‘scientists’ or ‘specimens’ as logical antecedents. This means that the comparison is not clear. To fix the error, the comparison should be clearly between two logically similar and comparable items.

A – Usage of pronoun ‘they’ is ambiguous, causing an unclear comparison. ‘Previously was recorded’ is grammatically incorrect. Hence, eliminated.

B – Usage of pronoun ‘they’ is ambiguous, causing an unclear comparison. Hence, eliminated.

C – Incorrectly compares ‘specimens’ to ‘whale sharks’. ‘Previously were recorded’ is grammatically incorrect.  Hence, eliminated.

D – Correctly compares ‘specimens’ to ‘those’, referring to specimens of whales. This is the correct answer.

E – Incorrectly compares ‘specimens’ to ‘whale sharks’. Hence, eliminated.

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