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GMAT Practice Question (One of Hundreds)
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.
Correct Answer: E
Consider the agreement of the subject and verb as well as the use of many versus much.
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).
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- Many is correctly used with a countable quantity; the subject and verb are both plural
Practice Verbal Questions
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