The English language is a subject in which even the people who know the language well end up making mistakes in the grammar section. It is a normal tendency but the error-spotting section is not hard to master. Practicing some guidelines is all that is needed.
Here we give some tips for error spotting in English:
1. Certain nouns being a singular form, represents plurality and therefore, takes a plural verb in a sentence.
Example: police, clergy, people, peasantry, Cattle.
- The People has left (Incorrect)
- The People have left (Correct)
2. Certain nouns take the plural verb because of their plural form.
Example: Clothes, Scissors, trousers, amends, spectacles, thanks.
- The spectacles is missing. (Incorrect)
- The spectacles are missing. (Correct)
3. When a noun denoting weight, number, money, length or measure is following a number, the nouns form does not change as long as another noun or pronoun follows it.
Example: Million, pair, meter, year, dozen.
- This is a 9-meters scale. (Incorrect)
- This is a 9-meter scale. (Correct)
4. When the pronoun ‘one’ is used, it should be maintained throughout the whole sentence.
- One must help his siblings. (Incorrect)
- One must help one’s siblings. (Correct)
5. For living people ‘whose’ is generally used and for things that are non-living ‘which’ is used.
- Which phone is kept on charging? (Incorrect)
- Whose phone is kept on charging? (Correct)
6. ‘Fewer’ is used for denoting number while ‘Less’ is used for denoting quantity.
- No less than thirty dogs were (Incorrect)
- No fewer than thirty dogs were (Correct)
7. Sentences are always opposite to question tags, for example if the question tag is positive then the sentence is negative and vice versa.
- It’s a bit early, is it? (Incorrect)
- It’s a bit early, isn’t it?(Correct)
8. Instead of ‘who’ or ‘which’, the relative pronoun ‘that’ is used after adjectives in the superlative degree.
- These are the best which he could get. (Incorrect)
- These are the best that he could get. (Correct)
9. ‘as’ is used both before and after the adjective to show equality.
- I can write as fast, if not faster than her. (Incorrect)
- I can write as fast as, if not faster than her. (Correct)
10. ‘Though’ is always followed by ‘yet’ in a sentence and not by ‘but’.
- Though he is rich but he is kind. (Incorrect)
- Though he is rich, yet he is kind. (Correct)
11. ‘not’ is never used with ‘unless’ as ‘unless’ expresses a condition which is always used in the negative sense.
- Unless you do not pay the fine, you will not be excused. (Incorrect)
- Unless you pay the fine, you will not be excused. (Correct)
12. ‘while’ implies a time duration of doing something and ‘When’ denotes a general sense.
- When learning how to box, technique is of utmost importance. (Incorrect)
- While learning how to box, technique is of utmost importance. (Correct)
Practice some exercises, after reading & learning these helpful techniques of Error spotting. Keep checking with us at Byju’s for more such helpful articles to give your preparation an edge.