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Sentence Correction: Pronoun Questions - It

That the history of the American Republic is largely the story of a nation's march toward a destiny of liberty and progress can hardly be said that it is uncontested: In A People's History of the United States Howard Zinn tells the story of the United States as a series of violent struggles between oppressed groups and the country's economic and political elites.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect and non-idiomatic. The verb + relative clause be said that ... cannot logically follow anything except a general 'It' subject, otherwise it creates a grammatical redundancy:

Incorrect: The idea can hardly be said that it is uncontested
Correct: It can hardly be said that the idea is uncontested             (It subject)
CorrectThe idea can hardly be said to be uncontested             (standard subject)

However, in this sentence the subject is (the idea) That the history of the American Republic is largely ... liberty and progress

In addition, the pronoun it is also ambiguous. It can either serve as the subject of a clause that has no natural subject (such as "it is raining" or "it is warm") or to refer to a noun. In this sentence it is not clear what it is meant to refer to, leading to a confusing sentence.

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the original grammatical mistake, it creates a new one. Verb+ing (marching) can be used as a noun replacement only when there's no actual noun. Since there is a real noun - march - it should be used.

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the original grammatical mistake, it changes the meaning of the original sentence.

In the original sentence uncontested referred to the concept of American history. However, in this answer choice uncontested refers to the act of saying that concept. Compare the following:

It can hardly be said uncontested that X   (uncontested is an adverb, describing said)

X can hardly be said to be uncontested    (uncontested is an adjective, describing X)

In the first example (similar to this answer choice) it's hard to say X without being contested, whereas in the second (similar to the original sentence) it's hard to say X is uncontested.

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the original grammatical mistake, it is stylistically flawed. The phrase can hardly be said to be an uncontested one is wordy and redundant.

Well done!

This answer choice corrects the original grammatical mistake by rearranging the sentence structure and changing X can be said that it is to X can be said to be.

That the history of the American Republic is largely the story of a nation's march toward a destiny of liberty and progress can hardly be said that it is uncontested
That the history of the American Republic is largely the story of a nation's marching toward a destiny of liberty and progress can hardly be said to be uncontested
It can hardly be said uncontested that the history of the American Republic is largely the story of the nation's march toward a destiny of liberty and progress
It can hardly be said to be uncontested that the history of the American Republic is largely the story of a nation's march toward a destiny of liberty and progress
The history of the American Republic as largely the story of a nation's march toward a destiny of liberty and progress can hardly be said to be an uncontested one