Spotting the Errors of English How to Solve Spotting the Errors (Rules)

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spotting the errors

Detecting Errors is an important topic in English Section asked in various competitive exams. The candidates who are well-versed with English end up with the silliest of the error in the grammar. Spotting the Error carry 5-6 marks in competitive exams. The candidates can score good marks in this section by practice. Rules of grammar play an important role to solve these types of problems. If you are out of them i.e. you are weak in English, Not need to worry. In this article, I am providing some important rules regarding Spotting the errors and guidelines on how to solve Spotting the Error problems.

Find the Errors in English Sentence

As per the analysis of previous years question papers, English Section contains 5-6 question based on spotting the errors asked in many competitive exams conducted by SSC, IBPS, UPSC, etc. Thus we cannot avoid this topic. You will be able to get good marks as it requires a lot of practice of these types of problems.

How to Solve Spotting the Errors Problems?

The candidates are suggested to read the complete sentence carefully. If you have a good hold on English Grammar, you will be able to detect the error by reading the sentence. Also, check all the spelling in the sentence, sometimes an error can be spotted from the spelling.

For Example:

  • Much water has flown under the bridge. (Incorrect)
  • Much water has flowed under the bridge. (Correct)

If you are still unable to detect the error, then read each part of the sentence carefully and try to detect the error. Here I am providing some Important Rule and Practice Sets. With the help of these rules and practice sets, you will be able to detect errors easily. Thus, by following these rules, you can score good marks in spotting the error types problem.

Spotting the Errors Rules

1 If two actions take place in the future one after the other and the first action depends on the second then, the first action will be in Simple Present Tense and the second action will be in Simple Future Tense.

For Example:

If I will come, I will meet you. (Incorrect)

If I come, I will meet you. (Correct)

Note: Simple Future is never used immediately after the following words Instead Simple Present Tense is used.

If, As Soon As, In Case, Provide, Unless, Until, before, After, When

2. There are certain verbs that are always followed by a reflexive pronoun.

Enjoy, Avail, Introduce, Exert, Absent, Avenge/Revenge, Pride

For Example:

  • They absented from the class yesterday. (Incorrect)
  • They absented themselves from the class yesterday. (Correct)
  • He availed the opportunity. (Incorrect)
  • He availed himself of the opportunity. (Correct)
  • I introduced the manager. (Incorrect)
  • I introduced myself to the manager. (Correct)

3. There are certain phrases which accept Gerund form after them.

  • With a view to
  • Look forward to
  • Accustomed to
  • Addicted to
  • It’s no use
  • It’s no good
  • Prone to
  • It’s much use
  • Averse to
  • Object to
  • Given to
  • Taken to

For Example:

  • I am looking forward to giving her a gift.
  • He is accustomed to watching the movie.
  • He is addicted to smoking.
  • I am averse to watching serials.
  • He is prone to reading novels.

4. In case of had rather, would rather, why, why not, had better Bare Infinitive is used.

For Example:

  • You had better to study. (Incorrect)
  • You had a better study. (Correct)
  • Why not to go there. (Incorrect)
  • Why not go there. (Correct)

5. The form of be ( is, am, are, was were) + used to + gerund

For Example:

  • They are used to drinking.

6. There are certain words which are always used as the plural.

Shorts, Measles, goods, thanks, tiding, annals, chattels, trousers, spectacles, goggles, scissors, pliers, tongs, proceeds, alms, vegetables

For Example:

  • Where is my scissors? (Incorrect)
  • Where are my spectacles? (Correct)

7.There are certain nouns that sound singular but used as a plural.

Cattle, police, gentry (people of high class), infantry, vermin, cavalry, clergy, company, peasantry, artillery

For Example:

  • The cattle are grazing in the field.
  • The Police are coming / have come.
  • This cattle did not graze the field. (Incorrect)
  • These cattle did not graze the field. (Correct)

8. There are certain nouns that look singular and also used as a singular.

Stationary, scenery, poetry, equipment, bread, luggage, baggage, knowledge, jewelry, furniture, information, language, abuse, expenditure, advice, fuel, rice, innings, gallows.

For Example:

The furniture is in the room.

Note: There are two items of furniture.

9. Double (‘s) are not used in a sentence.

For Example:

My father’s friends’s son has cracked this exam. (Incorrect)

10. Some Latin/Greek words

SingularPlural
DatumData
AgendumAgenda
PhenomenonPhenomena
CorrigendumCorrigenda
ErratumErrata
CriterionCriteria
MemorandumMemoranda
CrisisCrises
AnalysisAnalyses
RadiusRadii
AxisAxes
AlumnusAlumni

For Example:

  • The phenomena has been observed by us. (Incorrect)
  • The phenomena have been observed by us. (Correct)

11. Some Noun + preposition + Some Noun, nouns are used in a singular form.

For Example:

  • He begged from doors to doors. (Incorrect)
  • He begged from door to door. (Correct)
  • Rows upon rows were full of books. (Incorrect)
  • Row upon row was full of books. (Correct)

12. Don’t use two comparatives degree in a sentence.

For Example: 

  • This book is more better than that book. (Incorrect)
  • This book is much better than that book. (Correct)

Spotting the Errors Rules Part-2

13. The comparison should be logical.

Type-1

  • Iron is harder than any meatl. (Incorrect)
  • Iron is harder than any other metal. (Correct)

Type-2

  • The climate of Jaipur is better than Luckhnow. (Incorrect)
  • The climate of Jaipur is better than that of Lucknow. (Correct)

Type-3 Comparision in same case.

  • He is better than me.  (Incorrect)
  • He is better than I. (Correct)
  • She is more intelligent than him. (Incorrect)
  • She is more intelligent than he. (Correct)

14. Objective-and-objective

Comparative-and-comparative

Superlative-and-Superlative

For Example:  

  • My friend is better and intelligent than Shyam. (Incorrect)
  • My friend is better and more intelligent than Shyam. (Correct)
  • She is good and more beautiful. (Incorrect)
  • She is good and beautiful. (Correct)
  • He is the best and intelligent boy in the class. (Incorrect)
  • He is the best and most intelligent boy in the class. (Correct)

15. When we compare two qualities of an individual, we follow the following structure:-

[More+positive degree+than+positive degree]

For Example: 

  • Ram is more good than intelligent.

16. As…………As (Positive or negative)

     So………..As (negative sentence)

For Example:

  • He is as good as you. (Correct)
  • He is not good as you. (Correct)
  • He is so good as you. (Incorrect)
  • He is not so good as you. (Correct)

17. there are Cardinal Number(One, two, three…… )  and Ordinal Number (first, second, third…… ) in a sentence, then the cardinal number is followed by ordinal.

For Example:

  • The four first chapter of the book are interesting. (Incorrect)
  • The first four chapter of the book are interesting. (Correct)

18. There are certain absolute adjectives that don’t take more or most before them.

Unique, Perfect, Excellent, Deaf, Blind, Square, Circular, Round, Complete, Extreme

For Example: 

  • This is a unique example in the book. (Correct)
  • This is the most unique example in the book. (Incorrect)

19. When two subjects are joined by ‘and’ if they represent different things, use plural helping verb.

For Example:

  • Ram and Shyam are coming to the Party.

20. If the subjects represent the same thing, the helping verb will be singular.

For Example:

  • Bread and Butter is my favorite breakfast.

21. When two subjects are joined by-

Along with, as well as, in addition to, together with, with, accompanied by, like, unlike, but not

Use helping verb according to the former subject.

For Example:

  • Ram as well as his friends are preparing for Bank PO. (Incorrect)
  • Ram as well as his friends is preparing for Bank PO. (Correct)

22. When two subjects are joined by either—-or, neither—– nor

Use helping verb according to the nearer subject.

For Example:

  • Either Aditya or his friends has submitted their projects. (Incorrect)
  • Either Aditya or his friends have submitted their projects. (Correct)

23. Nothing But always take a singular verb.

For Example:

Nothing but hills is seen.

24. Fixed Distance, Fixed Amount, Fixed Time, Fixed Weight if these are the single unit, In this case, the singular verb will be used.

For Example:

  • 10 kilometer is a long distance.
  • 5 years is a long period.

Spotting the Errors Rules Part-3

25. Fixed Distance, Fixed Amount, Fixed Time, Fixed Weight if these are the separate unit, In this case, Plural verb will be used.

For  Example:

  • 5 years have passed.
  • 10 kilometer have to be traveled by us.

26. If Somebody, Everybody, Anybody, none, nobody, any+of are given in the sentence, use a singular verb.

For Example:

  • Any of the boy are talented. (Incorrect)
  • Any of the boy is talented. (Correct)

27. In the case of the uncountable noun, always use a singular helping verb.

For Example:

  • Most of the salt were kept in the glass. (Incorrect)
  • Most of the salt was kept in the glass. (Incorrect)

28. Some / Any / Enough

Some are used in case of positive sense.

For Example:

  • I have some milk.

29. Any is used in case of negative sense.

For Example:

  • He did not give me any milk.
  • I did not take any book from the box.

30. Enough is used as Adjective and Adverb.

For Example:

  • This room is enough large to accommodate with him 20 people. (Incorrect)
  • This room is large enough to accommodate with him 20 people. (Correct)

Note: “with him” is not used with accommodate.

31. Cases of some degree :

Positive degree + conjunction + Positive Degree

For Example:

  • Ram is tall and more handsome. (Incorrect)
  • Ram is tall and handsome. (Correct)

32. Comparative degree + conjunction + Comparative degree

For Example:

  • Radha is better and wise to Rekha. (Incorrect)
  • Radha is better and wiser than Rekha. (Correct)

33. Superlative degree + conjunction + Superlative degree

For Example:

  • Rakhi is the tallest and beautiful student of the class. (Incorrect)
  • Rakhi is the tallest and most beautiful student of the class. (Correct)
  • Rakhi is the tallest and the most beautiful student in the class. (Incorrect)

34. All+the (Correct) ; the+all (Incorrect)

For Example:

  • He failed to find out the solution of all problems despite his thoroughly study of books. (Incorrect)
  • He failed to find out the solution of all the problems despite his thoroughly study of books. (Correct)
  • Which is worse smoking, gabbling or drinking? (Incorrect)
  • Which is worst smoking, gabbling or drinking? (Correct)

35. Two actions in the past, one depending on the other, should have the sequence as follows:

Past Perfect + Future perfect.

Had + Past participle + would + have + past participle

For Example:

  • If you had worked hard, you would have succeeded in the examination.

OR

  • Had you worked hard, you would have succeeded in the examination.

36. If in a sentence, two actions are indicated and both are to take place in the future, the sequence of tenses will be as follows:

The principal clause in the present indefinite; and the subordinate clause in future indefinite.

For Example:

  • If it will rain, I shall not attend the meeting. (Incorrect)
  • If it rains, I shall not attend the meeting. (Incorrect)

Also, Remember:

  • What to speak of (Incorrect)
  • Not to speak of (Correct)
  • Cent percent (Incorrect)
  • Word by word (Incorrect)

Spotting the Errors Rules Part-4

37. When two qualities of a person or thing are compared ‘more’ or ‘less’ is used before the adjective and the adjective following them takes a positive degree.

For Example:

  • Sonam is better than brave. (Incorrect)
  • Sonam is more good than brave. (Correct)

38. When two or more adjectives are used to show the qualities of the same man/thing, all the adjectives must be in the same degree.

For Example:

  • Sita is more intelligent and wise than Rita. (Incorrect)
  • Sita is more intelligent and wiser than Rita. (Correct)

39. More than one takes a singular verb.

For Example:

  • More than one employees were killed in the accident. (Incorrect)
  • More than one employees was killed in the accident. (Incorrect)

40. The adverb ‘As’ is not used with verbs like

Appointed, elected, considered, called

But it is used with regard.

For Example:

  • He was elected as President of our society. (Incorrect)
  • He was elected President of our society. (Correct)

41. There are a certain verb that accepts ‘as’ as an adverb

Define, Treat, Regard, View, Know, Describe

For Example:

  • He is known as the king of Bollywood.

42. There is a certain verb that doesn’t accept ‘as’ as an adverb

Consider, Appoint, Select, Elect, Think, Call, Make

For Example:

  • MS Dhoni has been appointed as captain of the team. (Incorrect)
  • MS Dhoni has been appointed captain of the team. (Correct)
  • You are called as stupid of the class. (Incorrect)
  • You are called stupid of the class. (Correct)

43. When a singular and plural noun are joined by ‘or’, ‘nor’ the pronoun must be plural.

For Example:

  • Either the engineer or his mechanic failed in his duty. (Incorrect)
  • Either the engineer or his mechanic failed in their duty. (Correct)

44. Each other is used when there are two subjects or objects and one another is used when there are more than two subjects or objects.

For Example:

  • Romeo and Juliet love each other.
  • Those five friends, who are sitting there, love one another.

45. “Few” means not many

“A few” means is positive and means some at least

“The few” means whatever there is

Use:

  • A few men are free from fault. (Incorrect)
  • Few men are free from fault. (Correct) (sense is negative)
  • Few boys will pass in the examination. (Incorrect)
  • A few boys will pass in the examination. (Correct) (sense is positive)
  • I have already read a few books that are on the table. (Incorrect)
  • I have already read the few books that are on the table. (Correct)

(Sense is ‘whatever there is’)

46. Many a is always followed by a singular verb.

For Example:

  • Many a man were drowned in the sea. (Incorrect)
  • Many a man was drowned in the sea. (Correct)

47. ‘one of’ always takes a plural noun after it.

For Example:

  • It is one of the important day of my life. (Incorrect)
  • It is one of the important days of my life. (correct)

48. .Since / For

‘since’ indicates a point of time and ‘for’ stands for the length of time.

  • He has been reading the book since two hours. (Incorrect)
  • He has been reading the book for two hours. (Correct)
  • It has been raining for Monday last. (Incorrect)
  • It has been raining since Monday last. (Correct)

Common Errors in English Rules Part-5

49. ‘As if’ is used to convey the sense of pretension. When ‘as if’ is used in this sense, ’were’ is used in all cases, even with third person singular.

For Example:

  • He behaves as if he was a king. (Incorrect)
  • He behaves as if he were a king. (Correct)

50. If a pronoun comes after a preposition it should be used in the adjective case.

For Example:

  • Between you and I neither of us is correct. (Incorrect)
  • Between you and me neither of us is correct. (Correct)

51. When a pronoun comes after ‘like’ and ‘unlike’ it takes an objective case.

  • A man like I will not do it. (Incorrect)
  • A man like me will not do it. (Correct)

52. ‘More than one’ takes a singular verb.

For Example:

  • More than one employees were killed in the accident. (Incorrect)
  • More than one employee was killed in the accident. (Correct)

53. ‘Who’ denotes the subjects and ‘Whom’ is used for the object.

For Example:

  • Whom do you think won the match? (Incorrect)
  • Whom do you think won the match? (Correct)

54. ‘Whose’ is used for living persons and ‘Which’ for the lifeless object.

For Example:

  • Which photograph is lying there? (Incorrect)
  • Whose photograph is lying there? (Correct)
  • What book is lying there? (Incorrect)
  • Which book is lying there? (Correct)

55. “Until” expresses time. It has a negative sense and thus ‘not’ should be never used with it.

For Example:

  • Wait here until I do not return. (Incorrect)
  • Wait here until I return. (Correct)

56. Always remember that ‘Unless’ expresses a condition. It is always used in a negative sense. Thus ‘not’ is never used with ‘unless’.

For Example:

  • Unless you do not work hard, you will not pass. (Incorrect)
  • Unless you work hard, you will not pass. (Correct)

57. After the verb ‘Doubt’, that’ should not be used. ‘If’ or ‘whether’ should be used in its place.

For Example:

  • I doubt that Ram will come. (Incorrect)
  • I doubt if Ram will come. (Correct)

58. ‘Not to speak of something’ is a standard phrase.

For Example:

  • What to speak of English, he cannot read even Hindi. (Incorrect)
  • What not to speak of English, he cannot read even Hindi. (Correct)

59. When the first clause is in the past, the subordinate clause will also be in the past.

For Example:

  • He put his heart and soul into his country but he get only a few rewards. (Incorrect)
  • He put his heart and soul into his country but he got only a few rewards. (Correct)

60. ‘Insist’ is followed by ‘on’+ gerund.

For Example:

  • As the meeting was about to end he insisted to ask several questions. (Incorrect)
  • As the meeting was about to end he insisted on asking several questions. (Correct)

61. Make + object + verb is a complete construction, we never use Make + Object + to + Verb.

For Example:

  • Make him understand that if he does not work hard he will not be given any promotion. (Incorrect)
  • Make him understand that if he does not work hard he will not be given any promotion. (Correct)

62. ‘Respect’ is always followed by ‘as.

For Example:

  • Democracy requires us to respect each individual as sacred.

Note: when there is a strong reason, use ‘because’ or ‘since’.

For Example:

  • I respect him as he is my father. (Incorrect)
  • I respect him because he is my father. (Correct)

I hope you like this post about Spotting the Errors in English sentence. If you any query you can ask with us through comment section. Thanks!

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