Error Spotting In English Language

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.