While many of the dinosaur fossils found recently in northeast China seem to provide evidence of the kinship between dinosaurs and birds, the wealth of enigmatic fossils seem more likely at this stage that they will inflame debates over the origin of birds rather than settle them.
(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)
The sentence presents a contrast using the word ‘while’. It says whereas many recently found dinosaur fossils seem to provide evidence of kinship between dinosaurs and birds, these fossils seem:
- more likely to inflame debates over the origin of birds
- than settle these debates
There are four errors in the given sentence:
- In the main clause, “the wealth of enigmatic fossils” is the subject – ‘the wealth’ is singular – and the verb is “seem”, which is plural. Therefore, there is a subject verb agreement error.
- The structure “X seems more likely that X will do something” is incorrect. Either of the below two structures is correct:
- It seems more likely that X will do something…
- X seems more likely to do something
- Given the context of the sentence, “they” should refer to “the wealth of enigmatic fossils”. So, we have a plural pronoun “they” for the singular antecedent.
- We are making a comparison using “more” in the sentence. “more” should be followed by “than” and never by “rather than”.
(A) Incorrect. For the errors described above.
(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:
- Singular subject “the wealth” and plural verb “seem” – Same error as in the original sentence
- The structure error “X seems more likely that X will do something” – Same error as in the original sentence.
(C) Incorrect. “more” is followed by “rather than” – Same error as in the original sentence.
(D) Correct. All the errors in the original sentences have been corrected without introducing any new errors.
(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:
- This option has the structure error “X seems more likely that X will do something” – same error as in the original sentence.
- The part after ‘than’ – “to settle them” – is not parallel to anything.