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# Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th

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Joined: 22 Jun 2017
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2019, 09:00
Hi! The official guide says that in B, apart from the less than 400..., the phrase surviving.... is wrong, but I don't get why. Would you please clarify? Thanks in advance.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th  [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2019, 18:06
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patto wrote:
Hi! The official guide says that in B, apart from the less than 400..., the phrase surviving.... is wrong, but I don't get why. Would you please clarify? Thanks in advance.

(B) Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos, surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, occupy a small fraction of the species’ former range.

The point to be made is that fewer (less) than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive in this area.

However, in (B), the main verb is not "survive" but rather "occupy," and "survive" has become "surviving," and appears in a participial phrase.

A participial phrase separated from the rest of the clause by commas, as is "surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo," modifies the entire clause, explaining something about the events described in the clause.

In this case, the event in question is "Sumatran rhinos ... occupy." So, the participial phrase modifies that action.

The result is a sentence that conveys that less than 400 Sumatran rhinos occupy a small fraction of the species' former range by surviving on the Malay peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

Since it does not really make sense that the rhinos would occupy by surviving, (B) does not make sense.
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Re: Less than 400 Sumatran rhinos survive on the Malay peninsula and on th   [#permalink] 14 Feb 2019, 18:06

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