Preparation Tips and Rules to Solve Spotting Errors Questions: Spotting error is one of the most important and scoring subjects in English section Spotting error is one of the most important and scoring subjects in English section of major Bank exams such as IBPS, SBI, RBI etc as well as SSC recruitment exams. In order to excel in this particular subject, you need to be proficient in English grammar.
In spotting the errors, you are presented with a paragraph/sentence containing certain errors which you need to rectify. Usually, these errors are related to parts of speech, genders, infinitives, participles, the form of tenses, use of articles etc. Hence, you need to be well acquainted with all the rules of grammar to solve spotting errors questions.
Rules to Solve Spotting Errors Questions
Most of the errors in spotting errors questions have common grammatical mistakes. To solve spotting errors questions effectively, you need to be aware of the basic grammar rules.
Errors based on Nouns
A noun is a word used to identify any of a class of people, places or things. Some of the nouns, be it singular or plural, follow certain rules to complete a sentence. These are mentioned below:
1. Some nouns which are singular in form but are used as plural nouns are followed by a plural verb. These include- Cattle, Peasantry, People, Vermin, Police, and Clergy.
- The cattle is grazing near the farm. (Incorrect)
- The cattle are grazing near the farm. (Correct)
2. Some nouns which are used as plural nouns are always followed by a plural verb. These include- Scissors, Stockings, Trousers, Specs, Shorts, Goods, and Employees.
- Where is my stockings? (Incorrect)
- Where are my stockings? (Correct)
3. Some collective nouns are used as both singular and plural depending on the meaning. When these nouns refer to a unit, a singular verb is used; otherwise, plural will be used. These include- Team, Public, Government, Committee, Jury, and Audience.
- The company was founded in the year of 1992 (Correct)
- The company were founded in the year of 1992 (Incorrect)
4. There are some nouns which are always followed by a singular verb. These include- Poetry, Machinery, Ethics, Mathematics, Physics, Classics, Innings, Stationery, News, Abuse, Economics, and Business.
- Ethics are important. (Incorrect)
- Ethics is important. (Correct)
Errors based on Pronouns
A pronoun is a word that takes place of the noun (for example- He, She, They, Someone, Who). Some of the pronouns follow certain rules to complete sentences which are mentioned below:
1. A pronoun should always agree with its antecedent in person, number, and gender. An antecedent is a noun that a pronoun is replacing or referring to.
- All students must do their homework. (Correct)
- Each student must bring their books (Incorrect)
- Each student must bring his books. (Correct)
2. The pronoun ‘one’ should always be followed by one’s.
- One must finish his task in time. (Incorrect)
- One must finish one’s task in time. (Correct)
3. There is always a confusion regarding the usage of pronouns- who and whom. Who and whoever are subjective pronouns whereas whom and whomever are objective. To put it simply, ‘who’ denotes the subject of the verb and ‘whom’ works as an object in the sentence.
- Whom is the project leader? (Incorrect)
- Who is the project leader? (Correct)
- Who are you talking to? (Incorrect)
- Whom are you talking to? (Correct)
Errors based on Adjectives
An adjective is a word naming an attribute of a noun such as sweet, bad etc. Some of the adjectives follow certain rules to complete a sentence which is mentioned below-
Comparative adjectives are used to compare differences between the two. Some of these adjectives such as Superior, Inferior, and Prior etc. are always followed by ‘to’.
- He is superior to me in position. (Correct)
- He is superior than me in position. (Incorrect)
2. Do not use adjectives in place of adverbs.
- She drove quicker than everybody else. (Incorrect)
- She drove quickly than everybody else. (Correct)
Errors based on Adverbs
Adverbs refer to words that modify the meaning of an adjective or verb. Some of the adverbs follow certain rules to complete a sentence which is mentioned below-
Some of the adverbs having the same meanings create confusion in the minds of people; these are mainly- less and fewer. ‘Less’ is used to describe quantity whereas ‘fewer’ is used to denote numbers.
- Less than thirty children each year develop the disease. (Incorrect)
- Fewer than thirty children each year develop the disease. (Correct)
- People want to spend fewer time in traffic. (Incorrect)
- People want to spend less time in traffic. (Correct)
2. Some of the adverbs such as little, a little, the little, are used in different places.
‘Little’ has a negative meaning which means hardly any.
- There is a little hope of his recovery. (Incorrect)
- There is little hope of his recovery. (Correct)
3. ‘A little’ has positive attributes and means some (though not much).
- Little knowledge is a dangerous thing. (Incorrect)
- A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. (Correct)
‘The little’ means ‘not much’, but all that is.
- A little honey in the pot might prove useful. (Incorrect)
- The little honey in the pot might prove useful. (Correct)
Words beginning with the letter ‘h’ such as Honest, Honor, Heir, Hour etc. are silent. Hence, we use ‘an’ article before them instead of ‘a’.
- We are a hour late. (Incorrect)
- We are an hour late. (Correct)
2. Prepositions such as since and for are often mistaken. Since indicates a point of time whereas for indicates the length of time.
- I have been reading this book since 3 hours. (Incorrect)
- I have been reading this book for 3 hours. (Correct)
Preparation Tips: Spotting Errors Questions
Apart from the above-mentioned rules, there are certain things which you should keep in mind. In order to solve spotting errors questions, you need to practice a lot and improve your grammar. We have provided some important tips to help you solve spotting errors questions with ease, have a look:
- Practice previous year papers and mock tests.
- Read good novels and newspapers like The Hindu and The Times of India.
- Go through some standard grammar books.
- Read the sentence carefully and then proceed.
- Understand the meaning or objective of the sentence, what message is conveyed to the reader
- Apply your knowledge and grammar in that. So that, meaning remain intact
- Do not panic in the exam
- Practice and practice
We hope that the above article provide you all essential tips in short. Follow all of them strictly and look out for more such things in grammar.
Question to Practice:
Q1. The famous Dr. Chandra (a) / is only dentist (b) / in our village (c) / No error (d)
- the famous Dr. Chandra
- is only dentist
- in our village
- no error
Q2. This town isn’t very well known (a) / and there isn’t much to see (b) / so a few tourists come here (c) / No error (d)
- this town isn’t very well known
- and there isn’t much to see
- so a few tourists come here
- no error
Q3. He took to (a) / reading Times (b) / for better knowledge (c) / of the facts (d) / No error (e)
- he took to
- reading times
- for better knowledge
- of the facts
- no error
Q4. Suganya opened a almirah (a) / full of books (b) / and took one of them (c) / for reading (d) / No error (e)
- suganya opened a almirah
- full of books
- and took one of them
- for reading
- no error
Q5. The school is (a) / within hundred yards (b) / from my house (c) / No error (d)
- the school is
- within hundred yards
- from my house
- no error
Q6. My friends insisted (a) / that I should see the movie (b) / from beginning to the end (c) / No error (d)
- my friends insisted
- that I should see the movie
- from beginning to the end
- no error
Q7. I go to the bed (a) / at eight (b) / every night (c) / No error (d)
- i go to the bed
- at eight
- every night
- no error
Q8. This candidate lacks (a) / an experience (b) / otherwise he is well qualified (c) / No error (d)
- this candidate lacks
- an experience
- otherwise he is well qualified
- no error
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