pay attention to them ... it[?] became extinct

cool-jupiter

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello, forum veterans. I came across the following dialogue in my English workbook.

< ---- >

Y: These organizations [=environmental protection groups] stage protests over things such as tropical forests, whaling, endangered species, and so on.

<---->

Y: Yes. In fact, one group tried to protect an endangered species, but the public didn’t pay enough attention to them. As a result, it became extinct.

What gives me a hard time is what these them and it refer to. I'm sure both refer to an endangered animal species, but why did one become them and the other become it? By them, does Y mean that he is thinking of the individual animals of the species? By it, does he mean that he is thinking of the animal species as one kind of animals? So confusing... If you could help me out, I would be most appreciative.


Edited to comply with 4-sentence limit on quotation (Rule 4). Cagey, moderator
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    The word "them" refers to the group and their activities. "It" refers to the endangered species.

    In fact, one group tried to protect an endangered species, but the public didn’t pay enough attention to them [the group and what they were doing]. As a result, it [the species] became extinct.
     

    cool-jupiter

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Cagey - Thank you and sorry for your editing efforts.

    Barque - Thank you very much for your crisp explanation. I have so much to learn.
     
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