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I have one question, the correct answer is A, but in B I do not understand why "it" cannot refer to Australia, and how it refers to "there was".
Can somebody explain it?
In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.
(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes
(A) suggests there's a place called antipodes
(B) 'it' in this case has no clear referent. it appears to be pointing at something that existed before australia, but also seems to be pointing to australia
(C) 'it' has no clear referent
(E) 'had been known' is wrong