Sentence Correction: Pronoun Questions - It

As Captain Cook's ship, the HMS Resolution, navigated in a clockwise route around the Island of Hawai'i, coinciding with the time of the Makahiki festival, it reinforced the local worshipers' view of him as a manifestation of the Polynesian God Lono.

Incorrect.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect and stylistically flawed.

First, the pronoun it is incorrectly used to refer to a situation, or else it illogically describes the ship, the island, or the festival as what reinforced the locals view of Captains Cook as Lono's manifestation.

[[snippet]]



Second, the phrase coinciding with the time of the Makahiki festival is ambiguous. It is unclear what this phrase describes (the island? the ship?).

Finally, the **pronoun** _him_ should not refer back to a **possessive noun**; in this case, _Captain Cook's_ serves as an adjective to the **noun** _ship_.

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the original pronoun mistake by replacing him with Cook, it is still illogical. The dangling modifier at the beginning of the sentence modifies what immediately follows it: Captain Cook's ship. However, it is illogical to say that the ship itself coincided with (i.e. happened at the same time as) the festival.

What made you choose this answer choice?

Excellent!

This answer choice corrects the original mistakes by turning the main action of the sentence, navigated, into a noun, navigation. This way the dangling modifier at the beginning correctly refers to the navigation coinciding with the festival, and a pronoun (this, it) is not necessary in the second part of the sentence.

It also corrects the original pronoun mistake by replacing him with Cook.

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the stylistic flaw in the original sentence, and also corrects the original pronoun mistake by replacing him with Cook, it repeats the grammatical mistake:  the pronoun it is incorrectly used to refer to a situation, or else it illogically describes the ship, the island, or the festival as what reinforced the locals view of Captains Cook as Lono's manifestation.

[[snippet]]


In addition, this answer choice incorrectly uses the Past Perfect tense, had...navigated, to refer to an action that took place at a specified time in the past and hence should be in the Past Simple tense.

Incorrect.

While this answer choice corrects the original grammatical mistake and stylistic flaw, it introduces two new stylistic issues:

  • The phrase at a time that coincided with the time of is wordy and repetitive and therefore redundant.
  • Using the passive form (was reinforced) also creates redundancy. Since there is another grammatically correct answer choice that does not use the passive form, it is preferable to this one.

Very well.

As Captain Cook's ship, the HMS Resolution, navigated in a clockwise route around the Island of Hawai'i, coinciding with the time of the Makahiki festival, it reinforced the local worshipers' view of him as a manifestation of the Polynesian God Lono

Coinciding with the time of the Makahiki festival, Captain Cook's ship, the HMS Resolution, navigated in a clockwise route around the Island of Hawai'i; this reinforced the local worshipers' view of him as a manifestation of the Polynesian God Lono

Coinciding with the time of the Makahiki festival, the navigation of Captain Cook's ship, the HMS Resolution, in a clockwise route around the Island of Hawai'i reinforced the local worshipers' view of Cook as a manifestation of the Polynesian God Lono

Captain Cook's ship, the HMS Resolution, had coincidentally navigated in a clockwise route around the Island of Hawai'i during the time of the Makahiki festival; it reinforced the local worshipers' view of Cook as a manifestation of the Polynesian God Lono

As Captain Cook navigated his ship, the HMS Resolution, in a clockwise route around the Island of Hawai'i at a time that coincided with the time of the Makahiki festival, the local worshipers' view of Cook as a manifestation of the Polynesian God Lono was reinforced

I didn't identify Coinciding with the time of the Makahiki festival as a dangling modifier

I didn't know a dangling modifier only describes what immediately follows it

I didn't notice the logical problem between coinciding and ship

I didn't know what coincide means

Other reasons

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