I have taken a test and it was as follows:

In mid-March, several European countries paused the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca, ------- that some people had developed blood-clotting disorders after receiving the jab.

and the options were:

  1. following reports
  2. following reports said
  3. followed by the reports said
  4. followed saying report

I had chosen the first one and that seems to be correct but I can not figure out Why are the second, third and fourth options are wrong?

1 Answer 1


Briefly, they're wrong because the sentences containing them are garbled gibberish.

2 is wrong because it should be "following reports that said" (or which said -- there will be discussion in the comments as to exactly which is correct).

3 is wrong for two reasons:

  • a) to be grammatically correct, it should be "followed by the reports that (or which) said" (same as 2 above), and:
  • b) it was because of the reports about blood clotting that distribution was paused. In the "followed by the reports (that) said" construction, it means that the reports were published after the distribution was paused, which is not what happened.

4 is wrong because it makes no grammatical sense and I can't manipulate into something which does. I will leave it up to someone else to explain that.

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