Sentence Correction
Verbal Ability

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Q.

A ground-breaking report written by a major group of scientists has indicated that much of the previously untraceable pollutants in stream water known to kill fish and harm humans comes from polluted rain water and irresponsible chemical dumping by large corporations.

 A.

much of the previously untraceable pollutants in stream water known to kill fish and harm humans comes from

 B.

much of the previously untraceable pollutants in stream water known to kill fish and harm humans come from

 C.

many of the previously untraceable pollutants in stream water known to kill fish and harm humans comes from

 D.

much of the previously untraceable pollutants in stream water known to kill fish and harming humans come from

 E.

many of the previously untraceable pollutants in stream water known to kill fish and harm humans come from

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Solution:
Option(E) is correct

There are two major issues with the sentence as it was originally written:

(1) This sentence improperly uses much to describe a countable quantity (i.e., pollutants) when many should be used instead. In proper English, much is used for uncountable quantities (e.g., much of the water) while many is used for countable quantities (e.g., many apples, many gifts).

(2) The subject of the sentence (untraceable pollutants, which is plural) does not agree with the verb of the sentence (comes, which is singular).

A. Much is wrongly used to describe a countable quantity when many should be used instead; the subject (pollutants) does not agree with the verb (comes)

B. Much is wrongly used to describe a countable quantity when many should be used instead

C. the subject (pollutants) does not agree with the verb (comes)

D. Much is wrongly used to describe a countable quantity when many should be used instead; the phrase to kill fish and harming humans is not parallel (i.e., to kill is not parallel with harming, which should be harm)

E. Many is correctly used with a countable quantity; the subject and verb are both plural


(1) Comment(s)


Lee
 ()

Why cant much be used? Much may indicate "much of the" as in the portion of... In which case we would measure the portion of pollutants instead of the number of pollutants (which is not explicitly mentioned).