The following is grammar question from an English as a second language exam
My girlfriend was showing me a copy of the exam she took several years ago after finishing high school. We were looking at the questions for fun, and one question was to pick the phrase that completed the sentence correctly.
a. Although in poor health, she continued to carry out her duties.
b. No matter how poor her health, she continued to carry out her duties.
The italicized portions are the choices for how to correctly complete the sentence. Of the four options, two were easily eliminated. The last two are above. I cannot decide which is correct.
I have a suspicion the first is correct. However, the prepositional phrase "in poor health" doesn't seem correct without a noun before it. It seems better to say "Although she was in poor health, she continued to carry out her duties."
If I were to say the second aloud, it feels more natural to add was, saying "No matter how poor her health was, she continued to carry out her duties."
Is it possible both are correct? This question seems pretty difficult for a high school student learning English as a second language.
EDIT: According to this exam's answer key, a is the correct answer.