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Sentence Correction: Subject Verb Agreement - A Plural Subject Consisting of Singular Nouns that are Connected by 'and'

John thinks Miss Marple, heroine of Agatha Christie's murder mystery novels, to be the definitive English detective whereas Jane thinks Sherlock Holmes and his famous pipe epitomizes the symbol of British deduction.

Excellent!

In addition to correcting the original Subject Verb Agreement mistake in the sentence, by changing the singular verb epitomizes to the plural epitomize, this answer choice also addresses the stylistic issue of redundancy created by the phrase epitomizes the symbol of in the original sentence. Being the symbol of X and epitomizing X is the same thing, so using them both is redundant - the corrected sentence eliminates the redundancy by using only one of these phrases. 

Incorrect.

Although this answer choice corrects the original Subject Verb Agreement mistake, by changing the singular verb epitomizes to the plural epitomize, it repeats the redundancy of the original sentence: epitomize means about the same as the symbol of.

In addition, this answer choice is further stylistically flawed. Replacing the four-word phrase to be the definitive with the seven-word phrase embodies the very essence and spirit of creates another redundancy.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. The plural subject Sherlock Holmes and his famous pipe does not agree with the singular verb epitomizes.

[[snippet]]

Also, this answer is stylistically flawed. The word epitomizes means about the same as the words the symbol of, which creates redundancy.  

Incorrect.

Although this answer choice appears to correct the original mistake by changing the original plural subject (Sherlock Holmes and his famous pipe) to a singular subject (Sherlock Holmes, with his famous pipe), it simultaneously changes the singular verb epitomizes to the plural epitomize, and thus actually repeats the Subject Verb Agreement mistake. Furthermore, the corrected sentence creates a new Subject Verb Agreement mistake: the singular subject Miss Marple does not agree with the plural verb deserve.

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

A complex long subject / long distance between subject and verb

Also, this answer choice repeats the redundancy of the original sentence.  The word epitomizes means about the same as the words the symbol of, which creates redundancy

Incorrect.

Although this answer choice resolves the redundancy of the original sentence (by eliminating one of the redundant pair of words epitomizes the symbol of) it repeats the original Subject Verb Agreement mistake. The plural subject Sherlock Holmes and his famous pipe does not agree with the singular verb is.

[[snippet]]

In addition, this answer choice changes the meaning of the original sentence by replacing the word deduction with the word detection. These words do not mean the same thing. 

to be the definitive English detective whereas Jane thinks Sherlock Holmes and his famous pipe epitomizes the symbol of British deduction
deserve the title of the definitive English detective whereas Jane thinks Sherlock Holmes, with his famous pipe, epitomize the symbol of British deduction
to be the definite English detective, but Jane thinks Sherlock Holmes and his famous pipe is the symbol of British detection
embodies the very essence and spirit of English detectives whereas Jane thinks Sherlock Holmes and his famous pipe epitomize the symbol of British deduction
is the definitive English detective whereas Jane thinks Sherlock Holmes and his famous pipe epitomize British deduction