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Sentence Correction: Sentence vs. Clause vs. Fragment

Large corporations are often more successful than small companies at retaining employees with high potential and at providing opportunities for professional development.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is illogical and changes the meaning of the original sentence in two ways:

1) The adjectives large and small are changed to the comparatives larger and smaller.

2) The sentence's word order is changed: the corrected sentence attaches the description with high potential to smaller companies, rather than to employees.

As a result the logic of the sentence is violated:

The original sentence compares the degree of success of large corporations with the degree of success of small companies at two activities (retaining employees and providing opportunities for professional development). But the corrected sentence now creates a parallelism between employees and smaller companies with high potential. It therefore compares the success of large corporations (only) at retaining two things: employees and smaller companies with high potential. This, of course, is illogical, as corporations cannot "retain" companies, they can only retain employees.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. By eliminating the conjugated verb are, the corrected sentence becomes a fragment.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect.  The construction A and B (retains and providing) requires that A and B belong to the same part of speech. In this case, A (retains) is a conjugated verb, whereas B (at providing) is a preposition+non-conjugated verb.

In addition, by changing the word order, the corrected sentence attaches the description with high potential to a small company, rather than to employees.

This answer choice is illogical as well as grammatically incorrect. More cannot be complemented by as because more indicates a difference between the two things compared whereas as indicates a similarity or equality between them. The words more/less, or adjective+er, when used in a comparative construction, must be complemented by than.

What helps us identify this question as a Comparative question as well as identify the mistake is the following Stop Sign:

Like, unlike, than, as

Well done!

This answer choice makes corrects use of the Comparative structure by complementing more with than and makes correct use of Parallelism by matching at retaining with at providing.

While this answer choice is stylistically flawed, because the second part of the comparison lacks a conjugated verb, it is the only answer choice that is grammatically correct and does not change the meaning of the original sentence.

Large corporations are often more successful than small companies at retaining employees
Larger corporations are often more successful at retaining employees than smaller companies
Large corporations, often more successful than small companies at retaining employees
A large corporation often more successfully retains employees than does a small company
Large corporations are often more successful as small companies at retaining employees