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Sentence Correction: Pronoun Questions - This

In order to build a new hotel in the center of town, the mayor has decided to hire bulldozers to demolish the decrepit but well-loved Regency Hotel, but even before the debris was cleared, City Hall had received many complaints from furious residents about this.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is stylistically flawed. The pronoun this is ambiguous because it may refer to a singular noun which preceded it - for instance, debris - or a situation, such as the demolition of the hotel.

It is true that stylistic mistakes are not always corrected. However, since there is an answer choice that does address the issue of ambiguity, it is preferable to this one.

[[snippet]]

Excellent!

This answer choice solves the original stylistic flaw of ambiguity, created by the pronoun this. It does so by adding the word decision, which is crucial for the understanding of the sentence.

Incorrect.

Although this answer choice corrects the original Pronoun ambiguity mistake, it is still stylistically flawed. Replacing the single word about with the four-word phrase whose main concern was creates redundancy.

It is true that stylistic mistakes are not always corrected. However, since there is an answer choice that address both redundancy and ambiguity, it is preferable to this one.

Incorrect.

This answer choice repeats the original mistake. The pronoun this is ambiguous because it may refer to a singular noun which preceded it - for instance, debris - or a situation, such as the demolition of the hotel.

[[snippet]]

In addition, this answer choice is grammatically incorrect. The singular subject debris does not agree with the plural verb were.

Incorrect.

Although this answer choice corrects the original ambiguity mistake by omitting the words about this, in doing so it also changes the meaning of the original sentence.

All the information that appears in the original sentence must appear in the correct answer choice as well (although it may appear in a different structure, wording, etc.)

was cleared, City Hall had received many complaints from furious residents about this
was cleared, City Hall had received many complaints from furious residents about this decision
was cleared, City Hall had received many complaints from furious residents whose main concern was this decision
were cleared, City Hall had received many complaints from furious residents about this
was cleared, City Hall had received many complaints from furious residents