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Writing: Improving Sentences

Part of the following sentence is underlined; beneath the sentence are five ways of phrasing the underlined material. Select the option that produces the best sentence. If you think the original phrasing produces a better sentence than any of the alternatives, select choice A. 
This is another Improving Sentences question. Remember that for these, a chunk of the sentence is underlined and it is your job to make that chunk of the sentence perfect. You will read the sentence, predict an answer, and compare that to the given answer choices. When you look at the answer choices in a few minutes, also remember not to read Choice A; it's the same as the original sentence, so you've effectively already read it. 
Archaeological evidence shows that Viking ships were lighter, slimmer, and faster than that in England.
What do you think of this sentence? Hopefully the word "that" sounds wrong to you. Here, "that" refers to the word "ships" in order to compare Viking vessels--probably the infamous longships--to the ships used by the English. It should sound wrong because "that" is always singular, whereas "ships" is plural. "Those" would be better:
Archaeological evidence shows that Viking ships were lighter, slimmer, and faster than those in England.


Although the sentence still isn't perfect, on the test, this would be enough of an adaptation to look at the answer choices. The goal there is speed, so you do not need to figure out how to fix every error in the sentence. However, my goal is thoroughness, and I know that the more you read and absorb before the test, the faster you'll be and the better you'll score. 
This is a comparison question as well as a pronoun question, and the ships are not compared correctly here because they are not described in the same way. The "Viking ships" are identified by their owners, while "those in England" are identified by their location. Editing that to read "those used in England" or "those used by the English" would correct the error. 
Archaeological evidence shows that Viking ships were lighter, slimmer, and faster than those used by the English. 
(A) that in England
(B) they had in England
(C) they had been in England
(D) those used by the English
(E) that of the English
 The answer is D.


72% of those who attempted this question at collegeboard.org got it right.

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