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Sentence Correction: Preposition and Idiom Questions - Overview

In Rembrandt's The Night Watch, in the second plane of the pictorial composition, to the left of but behind the two military leaders of the company, stands a little girl, illuminated by a bright shaft of light, and suspended from her dress is a dead chicken.

Well done!

The original sentence is grammatically correct, and correctly employs two parallelism structures.

The first part of the underlined section to the left of but behind the two military leaders of the company contains a prepositional phrase built of the two parallel items to the left of but behind (A but B). These describe the position or location of the little girl within the pictorial composition.

The second part of the underlined section stands a little girl, illuminated by a bright shaft of light and suspended from her dress is a dead chicken contains two parallel clauses connected by and. The subject of the first clause is a little girl and the matching verb is stands. The  subject of the second clause is a dead chicken and the matching verb is is suspended. The phrase illuminated by a bright shaft of light is a modifier, which is correctly placed directly after the noun it modifies: a little girl.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. The modifier standing to their left should describe the noun little girl, but is incorrectly placed at a distance from it. The corrected sentence is confusing because it appears as though standing refers to a shaft of light, which is illogical.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect and illogical.

In the corrected sentence the singular verb stands does not agree with the plural subject a brightly illuminated little girl and a dead chicken.

The corrected sentence is also illogical because the act of standing is associated with the chicken, which, alas, it cannot very well do, being dead and suspended from the girl's dress.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is stylistically incorrect. The place description left to is non-idiomatic. The correct idiom is left of or to the left of.  The words left to could be correct if used as a V3 form of the verb to leave, but this is not what they mean here.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect because it creates a parallelism mistake.

The corrected sentence begins with a list of prepositional phrases In Rembrandt's,...in the second plane..., but the third item in the list, following and is a verb: illuminated.

to the left of but behind the two military leaders of the company, stands a little girl, illuminated by a bright shaft of light, and suspended from her dress is a dead chicken 

behind the two military leaders of the company, but standing to their left, a bright shaft of light illuminates a little girl, and suspended from her dress is a dead chicken

behind the two military leaders of the company but to their left, stands a brightly illuminated little girl and a dead chicken, suspended from her dress 

behind and left to the company's two military leaders, a bright shaft of light illuminates a standing little girl, and her dress has a dead chicken suspended from it

to the left of the company's two military leaders but behind them, and illuminated by a bright shaft of light, stands a little girl with a dead chicken suspended from her dress