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Sentence Correction: Relative Clauses - Overview

Among the world's famous volcanic mountains are Mount Vesuvius in Italy, which erupted in 1944, and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, with its three extinct cones.

Incorrect.

This answer choice has a logical flaw caused by placing the relative clause which erupted in 1944 at a distance from the noun it describes Mount Vesuvius. The original sentence could be taken to mean that Italy rather than the volcano erupted in 1944. This answer choice is also ambiguous: the pronoun its can refer either to Tanzania or to Mount Kilimanjaro.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is stylistically flawed because the use of as well as is considered redundant in the GMAT.

Stop Sign: as well as

Although as well as is a stylistic flaw, it is one of the specific redundancies that should always be corrected, so go for answer choices which use and instead:

Incorrect: John likes collecting stamps as well as model trains.
Correct
: John likes collecting stamps and model trains.

In addition, this answer choice is also ambiguous: the pronoun its can refer either to Tanzania or to Mount Kilimanjaro.

Incorrect.

While this answer choice is grammatically correct, because it matches the singular verb is to the singular subject the Italian Mount Vesuvius, it changes the meaning of the original sentence and is also illogical.

By replacing the connector and with the phrase along with, the sentence is now saying that Mount Vesuvius and Mount Kilimanjaro erupted together. Besides changing the meaning this is illogical because the three cones are describes as among the world's most famous volcanic mountains, but  they actually form part of Mount Kilimanjaro; it is Kilimanjaro which should be described as one of those volcanic mountains, NOT the cones. 

Well done!

Although this answer choice is longer than the others and changes the structure of the sentence, it is the only answer choice which corrects the grammatical mistake in the original sentence and remains logical and unambiguous.

The structure of the corrected sentence solves the logical problem in the original sentence, which was caused by placing the relative clause which erupted in 1944 at a distance from the noun it describes Mount Vesuvius, implying that Italy rather than the volcano erupted in 1944. The corrected sentence also solves the ambiguity of the pronoun its in the final part of the original sentence where it can refer either to Tanzania or to Mount Kilimanjaro.

Incorrect.

Although this answer choice is grammatically correct, it is stylistically flawed.

This answer choice does indeed correct the Subject Verb Agreement mistake in the original sentence, by changing the singular verb is to the plural verb are, and also eliminates the ambiguity in the original sentence (caused both by the incorrect location of the relative clause and by the pronoun its).

However, the resulting noun phrase erupting Italian Mount Vesuvius of 1994 does not make sense, as it implies that the volcano is erupting now. It is also illogical because it seems as if Mount Vesuvius belongs to 1994. Also, the phrase three-coned extinct Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is not only wordy and awkward but also expresses that Mount Kilimanjaro is extinct (a mountain cannot be extinct) and not the mountain's cones.

are Mount Vesuvius in Italy, which erupted in 1944, and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, with its three extinct cones
are Mount Vesuvius, which erupted in 1944 in Italy, as well as Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, with its three extinct cones
is the Italian Mount Vesuvius, which erupted in 1944, along with the three extinct cones of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
are Mount Vesuvius in Italy and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania; the former erupted in 1944 whereas the latter has three extinct cones.
are the erupting Italian Mount Vesuvius of 1994 and the three-coned extinct Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania