Sentence Correction: Preposition and Idiom Questions: Overview

Even minor cognitive disabilities such as impulsiveness and inattention can create frustration and cause aggressive behavior in children that, in turn, is likely to lead to the more serious problem of social rejection by their peers.

Well done!

This answer choice makes correct use of the time phrase in turn to close to the action it modifies is likely to lead.

Note that in this construction, the complex noun phrase aggressive behavior in children is singular (x in y subject) and is correctly modified by the relative clause that...is likely to lead, which uses a singular verb (is).

Incorrect.

This answer choice is stylistically flawed. The placement of the time phrase in turn far from the action it describes (leading) makes the sentence awkward and less readable.

Incorrect. By removing the **dependent/defining relative clause** *that...peers*, this answer choice now confuses the **meaning** as it seems to state that the *children* are *likely to lead to the more serious problem etc*, which does not really make sense. In the original, the clause made it clear through the **relative pronoun** *that* that the whole noun phrase *aggressive behavior in children* would lead to a more serious problem but the omission of the word *that* now makes this meaning unclear. In other words, it is now the children and not their behavior that is likely to lead to a more serious problem.

Incorrect.

This answer choice introduces two issues:

First, it is grammatically incorrect because the phrase likely of is non-idiomatic. The correct phrase is likely to.

Second, it is stylistically flawed. The placement of the time phrase in turn far from the action it describes (leading) makes the sentence awkward and less readable.

Incorrect.

This answer choice changes the meaning of the original sentence. In the original sentence, aggressive behavior in children, an X in Y subjectis likely to lead to a bigger problem. However, by changing the relative pronoun to who, which can refer only to humans, the relative clause in this answer choice refers only to children, stating that they, not their behavior, are the ones likely to lead to the problem.

What helps us identify this question as a Relative Clause question is the following Stop Sign:

who, which, that, whose, whom

that, in turn, is likely to lead to the more serious problem of social rejection by their peers

who are likely, in turn, to lead to the more serious problem of social rejection by their peers

that is likely of leading to the more serious problem, in turn, of social rejection by their peers

likely to lead, in turn, to social rejection by their peers, a more serious problem

likely leading to a more serious problem of social rejection by their peers, in turn

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