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Recently, I had taken a test in which the blank s[ace was about usage of conclude in a sentence.

However, a review of the cases by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) could not say definitively whether the reported cases were linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine ------- the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any risk.

the options were:

  1. , concluding
  2. and concluded
  3. , concluded
  4. and concluded that

I have chosen 1st one but the 2nd and 4th one are correct too.

despite the fact that I don't know how concluding is grammatically working in this context, the meaning makes sense.

I hope that someone would explain that how the 2nd and 4th one are correct too! and Why not the 3rd one?

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The 3rd one is not correct because it makes a run-on sentence without a subject.

I would also question the statement that 2 and 4 are incorrect because they need a comma before the and, otherwise the bit after "and" are run-on sentences. In order to make them clauses in a compound sentence, you need the comma before the "and".

As for the first one, I would actually prefer ", concluding that". It makes for a "better" sentence, but I can't explain why, it's just how it feels to me.

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