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Sentence Correction: Pronoun Questions - The word/term

The word monster originates from the ancient Latin word monstrum, but it had probably scared thousands of small children even before the existence of Latin.

Excellent!

This answer choice corrects the original mistake by replacing the pronoun it with the noun monsters.

[[snippet]]

Incorrect.

This answer choice repeats the original mistake. The pronoun it refers to The word monster, but it is not the word that had scared children, it is the monster.

[[snippet]]

Note that replacing the word but with the word yet does NOT change the meaning of the original sentence since the two words are synonymous (that is, have the same meaning). If you eliminated this answer choice because you thought that replacing but with yet constitutes a meaning change, you eliminated it for the wrong reason.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is illogical. The pronoun it refers to The word monster, but it is not the word that had scared children, it is the monster.

[[snippet]]

While this answer choice corrects the original mistake, it is stylistically flawed - specifically, redundant - as a result of replacing the single word before with the two-word phrase prior to.

Incorrect.

This answer choice fails to correct the original mistake. It changes the structure of the original sentence, making it a single sentence whose subject is The word monster. Thus, this answer choice states that the word monster had probably scared children, which is logically incorrect. The word monster in itself is not scary. An actual monster is what's scary.

but it had probably scared thousands of small children even before

yet it had probably scared thousands of small children even before

but monsters had probably scared thousands of small children even prior to

but had probably scared thousands of small children even before

but monsters had probably scared thousands of small children even before