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31 Golden rules to score well in English Spotting the errors

If IBPS PO Pre exam is any indication then spotting the errors in English is really very important and can help you in getting a good score. Here are 26 golden must know rules which you need to know if you want to score well in English.

1. Some nouns always take a singular verb.

Scenery, advice, information, machinery, stationery, furniture, abuse, fuel, rice, gram, issue, bedding, repair, news, mischief, poetry, business, economics, physics, mathematics, classic, ethics, athletics, innings, gallows.

For example:
(A) The scenery of Kashmir are enchanting. (Incorrect)
(B) The scenery of Kashmir is enchanting. (Correct)

(A) He has given advices. (Incorrect)
(B) He has given advice. (Correct)

(A) The Indian team defeated the English by innings. (Incorrect)
(B) The Indian team defeated the English by an innings. (Correct)

(A) Mathematics are a difficult subject. (Incorrect)
(B) Mathematics is a good / difficult subject. (Correct)

Note if you have to indicate that the number of news, advice, information or furniture is more than one, the examples listed below can be followed:
(A) I have a lot of news to tell you. (Incorrect)
(B) He has sold many pieces of his furniture. (Correct)

1. ‘No sooner’ is always followed by ‘than’

(i) No sooner had I entered the class when the students stood up. (Incorrect)
(ii) No sooner had I entered the class than the students stood up. (Correct)

2. More than one indicates a plural sense and it agrees with a singular noun and takes a singular verb.

For instance:
(i) More than employees were killed in the accident. (Incorrect)
(ii) More than one employee was killed in the accident. (Correct)

3. It is common practice in conversation to make the statement and ask for confirmation; as , ‘it’ is very hot, isn’t it? Two points are to be kept in mind. If the statement is positive, the pattern will be

Auxiliary + n’t + Subject

If the statement is negative, the pattern will be

Auxiliary + subject

Example:
(i) It is raining, is it? (Incorrect)
(ii) It is raining isn’t it? (Correct)

(iii) You are not busy, aren’t you? (Incorrect)
(iv) You are not busy, are you? (Correct)

4. The two first is a meaningless expression for it implies that two things may be first. We should say ‘the first two’.

Example:
(i) The two first chapters of novel are dull. (Incorrect)
(ii) The first two chapters of the novel are dull. (Correct)

5.‘Only’ should be placed immediately before the word it qualifies.

Example:
(i) He only lost his ticket in the stampede. (Incorrect)
(ii) Only he lost his ticket in the stampede. (Correct)

6. An infinitive verb should not be split.

Example:
(i) I request you to kindly help me. (Incorrect)
(ii) I request you kindly to help me. (Correct)

7. Care should be taken in the use of

Example:
(i) The doctor saw the pulse of the patient. (Incorrect)
(ii) The doctor felt the pulse of the patient. (Correct)

8. Scarcely should be followed by when, not by than.

(i) Scarcely had he arrived than he had to leave again. (Incorrect)
(ii) Scarcely had he arrived when he had to leave again. (Correct)

9. Till is used of time and to is used of place.

(i) The office will remain open to six in the evening. (Incorrect)
(ii) The office will remain open till six in the evening. (Correct)

10. The preposition “off” denotes “separation”, “at a distance from” or “far from” whereas the preposition “of” denotes cause, origin, quality, possession.

(i) He put of his coat. (Incorrect)
(ii) He put off his coat. (Separation) (Correct)

(iii) He died off cancer. (Incorrect)
(iv) He died of cancer. (Cause) (Correct)

11. Beside means by the side of while besides means in additions to.

(i) He sat besides the chair. (Incorrect)
(ii) He sat beside the chair. (Correct)

12. Between is used for only two things or persons while among is used for more than two.

(i) You have to choose among tea and coffee. (Incorrect)
(ii) You have to choose between tea and coffee. (Correct)

13. Above and below merely denote position while over and under also carry a sense of covering or movement.

(i) The bird flew above the lake. (Incorrect)
(ii) The bird flew over the lake. (Correct)

14. During is used when we are talking about the time within which something happens. For is used when we are talking about how long something lasts.

(i) There were few incidents of irregularity for the Emergency years. (Incorrect)
(ii) There were few incidents of irregularity during the Emergency years. (Correct)

15. There are some nouns that indicate length, measure, money, weight or number. When they are preceded by a numeral, they remain unchanged in form.

Foot, meter, pair, score, dozen, head, year, hundred, thousand, million

(i) It is a three – years degree course. (Incorrect)
(ii) It is a three – year degree course. (Correct)

16. Some nouns are always used in a plural form and always take a plural verb.

Trousers, scissors, spectacles stockings, shorts measles, goods, alms, premises, tidings, annals, chattels, etc.

Example:

(i) Where is my trouser? (Incorrect)
(ii) Where are my trousers? (Correct)

17. A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in person, number and gender.

Example:

(i) Every man must bring his luggage.
(ii) All students must do their home work.
(iii) Each of the girls must carry her own bag.

18. The pronoun ‘one’ must be followed by ‘one’s’.

Example:

(i) One must finish his task on time. ( Incorrect)
(ii) One must finish one’s task on time ( Correct)

19. ‘Whose’ is used for living persons and ‘which’ for lifeless objects.

Example:

(i) Which photograph is lying here? ( Incorrect)
(ii) Whose photograph is living there? ( Correct)

20. Use of ‘less’ and ‘fewer’

Example:

‘Less’ denotes quantity and ‘fewer’ denotes number.

(i) No less than fifty persons were (Incorrect)
(ii) No fewer than fifty people were (Correct)

21.‘One of’ always takes a plural noun after it.

Example:

(i) It is one of the most important day in my life. (Incorrect)
(ii) It is one of the most important days in my life. (Correct)

22. Use of ‘not only ‘and ‘but also ‘examine the sentences given below.

Example:

(i) He not only comes for swimming but also for coaching the learners. (Incorrect)
(ii) He comes not only for swimming but also for coaching the learners. (correct)

23. Adverb ‘as’ is not used with verbs like ‘appointed’, ‘elected’ , ‘considered’, ‘called’ but it is used with ‘regard’.

Example:

(i) He was elected as President of our society.(Incorrect)
(ii) He was elected President of our society.(Correct)
(iii) I regard Ramesh my friend (Incorrect)
(iv) I regard Ramesh as my friend (Correct)

24. The case of the noun or pronoun preceding or succeeding the verb ‘to be’ should be the same.

Example:

(i) It is him who came to see us. (Incorrect)
(ii) It is he who came to see us. (Correct)
(iii) It is me who caught the thief . (Incorrect)
(iv) It is I who caught the thief. (Correct)

25. Neither is followed by nor, not by

(i) The phone neither went dead or worked properly. (Incorrect)
(ii)The phone neither went dead nor worked properly. Correct)

27. Certain nouns possess a singular form but still represent plurality and thus, take a plural verb when used in a sentence.

For Example: Cattle, peasantry, people, clergy, police.

Thus,

The Police has come (Incorrect)
The Police have come (Correct)

28. Certain nouns always take the plural verb because their form is always plural.
Like: Scissors, trousers, spectacles, thanks, premises.

For Example: ,

The scissors is kept on the table. (Incorrect)
The scissors are kept on the table. (Correct)

29. When a number is followed by a noun denoting measure, length, money, number or weight, the form of the nouns does not change so long as they are followed by another noun or pronoun.

Like: Million, pair, metre, year, dozen, foot, head.

For Example: 

This is a nine-metres cloth. (Incorrect)
This is a nine-metre cloth. (Correct)

30. When a number is followed by a noun denoting measure, length, money, number or weight, but these are not followed by another noun or pronoun, then they take the plural form.

Like: Million, pair, metre, year, dozen, foot, head.

For Example: ,

This sari is nine yard long. (Incorrect)
This sari is nine yards long. (Correct)

31. Certain nouns, especially of the collective category, are used as singular when they specify a unit.
Like: Public, team, committee, government, audience, orchestra, company, jury.

For Example: ,

The public were unanimous in their opinion. (Incorrect)
The public was unanimous in its opinion. (Correct)

 

 

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