GENERAL ENGLISH-SHORT TRICKS FOR SPOTTING ERROR PART TWO

31. ‘A great many’ is always followed by a plural noun and a plural verb.
A great many student has been declared successful. Incorrect
A great many students have been declared successful. Correct

32. If two subjects are joined by ‘either or’, ‘neither nor’, the verb agrees with the subject that is near.
Either Ramesh or I are to do this work. Incorrect
Either Ramesh or I am to do this work. Correct
Neither he nor his friends is reading. Incorrect
Neither he nor his friends are reading correct

33. When two singular nouns joined by ‘and’ point out the same thing or person, the verb will be singular.
Bread and butter make a good breakfast. Incorrect
Bread and butter makes a good breakfast. Correct
The collector and the District Magistrate are on leave. Incorrect
The collector and District Magistrate is on leave. Correct

34. ‘One of’ always takes a plural noun after it.
It is one of the important day in my life. Incorrect
It is one of the important days in my life. Correct

35. Use of ‘not only’ and ‘but also; examine the sentences given below:
He not only comes for swimming but also for coaching the
learners. Incorrect
He comes not only for swimming but also for coaching the
learners. Correct

36. ‘Scarcely’ and ‘hardly’ are followed by ‘when’ and not by ‘than’.
I had scarcely entered the room than the phone rang. Incorrect
I had scarcely entered the room when the phone rang. Correct

37. ‘Though’ is followed by ‘yet’ and not by ‘but’.
Though he is poor but he is honest. Incorrect
Thought he is poor, yet he is honest. Correct

38. ‘No sooner’ is followed by ‘than’.
No sooner had I entered the class when the student stood up. Incorrect
No sooner had I entered the class than the students stood up. Correct

39. ‘Lest’ must be followed by ‘should’.
Read regularly lest you will fail.
Read regularly least you should fail.

40. ‘such’ is followed by ‘as’.
He is such a writer that everybody should read his books. Incorrect
He is such a wrier as everybody should read his books. Correct

41. ‘So’ is followed by ‘that’.
Sarita was popular with her classmate that she always had incorrect
Some people coming to her for advice.
Sarita was so popular with her classmate that she always had correct
Some people coming to her for advice.

42. ‘Unless’ express a condition. It is always used in the negative sense. Thus ‘not’ is never used with ‘unless’.
Unless you do not labour hard, you will not pass. Incorrect
Unless you labour hard, you will not pass. Correct

43. until expresses time. It has a negative sense and thus ‘not’ should never be used with it.
Wait here until I do not return. Incorrect
Wait here until I return. Correct

44. ‘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
Two hours is a length of time and thus ‘for’ is correct.
It has been raining for Monday last. Incorrect
It has been raining since Monday last. Correct

45. ‘as if’ 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.
He behaves as if he was a king. Incorrect
He behaves as if he were a king. Correct
The sense of time and tense is also very important. Certain important rules are listed below.

46. A past tense in the principal clause is followed by a past tense in the subordinate clause.
He saw that the clock has stopped. Incorrect
He saw that the clock had stopped. Correct
There are, however, two exceptions to this rule:
(1) A past tense in the principal clause may be followed by a present
tense in the subordinate clause, when it expresses a universal truth.
The teacher observed that the Earth moved round the sun. Incorrect
The teacher observed that the Earth moves round the sun. Correct
(2) When the subordinate clause is introduced by ‘than’, even if there
is past tense in the principal clause, it may be followed by any tense
required by the sense in the subordinate clause.
He helped him more than he helped his own children. Incorrect
He helped him more than he helps his own children. Correct

47.
if two actions in a sentence are showing happing in the past, one after
the other; the tense of the action happening first should be past
perfect and that of the second should be past indefinite.

The patient died before the doctor arrived. Incorrect
The patient had died before the doctor arrived. Correct

48. 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
If you had worked hard, you would have succeeded in the examination.
Or
Had you worked hard, you would have succeeded in the examination.
If you would had practiced regularly, you would won the match. Incorrect
If you had practiced regularly, you would have won the match. Correct

49. If, in a sentence, two actions are indicated and both are to take place in future, the sequence of tense will be as follows:
The principal clause in present indefinite; and the subordinate clause in future indefinite.
If I go the Delhi, I shall attend the seminar.
‘If I go to Delhi’ is the principal clause and ‘I shall attend the seminar’ is the subordinate clause.
If it will rain, I shall not attend the meeting. Incorrect
If it rains, I shall not attend the meeting. Correct

50. When an action has taken place in two clauses of a sentence, it is used in both the clauses according to the requirement.
My brother has and is still doing excellent work for his
organisation. Incorrect
M y brother has done and is still doing excellent work for his
Organisation. Correct

51.
When there is a sense of continuity, that is, when a thing has taken
place in the past and still continue in the present, the prefect
continues tense form of t he verb should be used.

Indian is independent for the last forty – six years. Incorrect
Indian has been independent for the last forty – six years. Correct
The use of article is also an important matter and one must be careful about it.

52. before a consonant ‘a’ is used.
A boy, a horse, a woman.
But ‘a’ is also used before words like university, useful, unicorn,
union, European, and one, etc., because these words began with a
consonant sound.
Here is an university. Incorrect
Here is a university. Correct
An European lives in my area. Incorrect
A European lives in my area. Correct
It is a one – rupees note. Incorrect
It is a one – rupee note. Correct
52. Similarly, words like ‘hour’, ‘honest’, ‘heir’, etc, take ‘an’ before them as they begin with a vowel sound.
I have been waiting for him for a hour. Incorrect
I have been waiting for him for an hour. Correct

53. Some important points to remember regarding the omission of a/an/the:
1. Before a common noun used in its widest sense, e.g.
Man us mortal.
2. before names of materials.
Bronze is a useful metal.
3. Usually before proper names.
Patina is the capital of Bihar.
4. Before abstract nouns used in general sense.
Beauty fascinates people.
5. before language.
English is a very popular language in the Delhi University.
6. Before ‘school’ ‘college’, ‘church’, ‘bed’, ‘table’, ‘hospital’,
‘market’, and ‘prison’, when these place are visited or used for their
common purpose.
My Christian friends go to church every Sunday.
But ‘the’ is used with these words when we refer to them as a definite
place, building or object rather than to the normal activity that goes
on there.
I met my friend at the church.
7. before names of relations, like ‘father’, ‘mother’, ‘aunt’, ‘uncle’, ‘cook’ and ‘nurse’.
Father is very happy today.
8. before predicative nouns denoting a unique position that is normally held at one time by one person only.
He was elected chairman of the Board.

54. Uses of ‘the’
1. W hen the object is unique.
The earth, the sky, the equator.
2. before superlatives
The best, the finest, the most
3. with proper nouns like ‘seas’, ‘rivers’, ‘group of island’, ‘chains
of mountains’, ‘deserts’, ‘newspaper’, ‘buildings’, ‘religious books’,
‘gulfs’,.
The Arabian sea, The Ganges, The Taj Mahal,
4. before a proper noun, when it is qualified by an adjective.
The immortal Kalidas.
5. before an adjective, when the noun is hidden.
The rich should be kind and helping.
6. before musical instruments.
I know how to play the harmonium.
7. with a class of things.
The crow is a clever bird.
8. ‘The’ should be used before both comparative degrees when they are used in a sentence for proportion.
Higher we go, cooler we feel. Incorrect
The higher we go, the cooler we feel. Correct

55. ‘What to speak of’ is incorrect; the correct expression is ‘not to speak of’.
What to speak of running, he cannot even walk. Incorrect
Not to speak of running, he cannot even walk. Correct

56.
When there is the sense of dislike, hesitation, risk, etc., in a
sentence, we should use a gerund instead of a verb. A gerund is that
form of the verb which ends in ‘ing’ and can be used in the place of a
noun.

I dislike to see a film late in the night.
I dislike to seeing a film late in the night.
Young girls hesitate to talk to strangers.
Young girls hesitate talking to strangers.

`57. ‘Cent per cent’ and ‘word by word’ are wrong. ‘Hundred per cent’ and ‘word for word’ are correct expressions.
You are never cent per cent sure of your success in a incorrect
competitive examinations.
You are never hundred per cent sure of your success in correct
A competitive examination.
I can reproduce this lesson word by word. Incorrect
I can reproduce this lesson word for word. Correct

58.
‘Since’, ‘because’, ‘as’, ‘for’, – all means ‘because’, but there is a
different in their degree. ‘Since’ and ‘because’ are used for stronger
cases and ‘as’ and ‘for’ for weak cases.

I respect him as he is my teacher. Incorrect
I respect him because he is my teacher. Correct

59.
Use of ‘when’ and ‘while’: Proper attention must be paid to these
words. ‘when’ indicates a general sense and ‘while’ implies a time
during the process of doing a work.

When learning to swim, one of the most important things is to relax  incorrect.
While learning to swim, one of the most important things is to relax correct .

60. Sometimes the error lies in the use of words. Proper attention must therefore, be given to appropriateness of words.
Prakash was leading a happy and leisurely life after his retirement
form his service. Incorrect
Prakash was living a happy and leisurely life after his retirement
form his service. Correct
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