Words, phrases and sentences are the roots of any language. An error in their use leaves an expression with no meaning. It would be difficult to understand such sentences. Hence, knowing the roots of the language is crucial to understand the written text and their expression perfectly.
Generally in competitive exams these types of questions have sentences divided into four parts marked as (a) (b) (c) and (d), also the fifth option (e), refers to ‘No error’. The candidates are required to find out the part of the sentence containing the error.
The errors may be relating to the usage of- article, preposition, tense of the sentence, verb, noun, pronoun, adverb, adjective, conjunction, subject-verb agreement and so on. Sometimes the error may also include unwanted use of some words.
We must understand and bear in mind that there is no ‘shortcut’ to answering these questions. We must have a good command over rules of grammar and their application. Study the rules well and then practice these questions. The more you practice the more confidence you get. Do practice the exercises again and again to see a significant improvement in your score.
So some let us study the rules to solve ‘Spotting the error’ questions and also practice them in the links provided….
Rule 1: Some adjectives don’t accept a comparative or a superlative degree. These types of adjectives denote absolute position. Here is the list of such adjectives.
Perfect, Unique Ideal, Final, Chief Universal, Extreme, Principal, Possible, Unbroken, Uniform, Complete, Entire, Excellent, Absolute, Eternal, Impossible, Supreme.
- India is the supreme power.
- The principal of the school is retiring this year.
Rule 2: These adjectives are followed by ‘to’ in their comparative degree and not by ‘than’. Inferior, Superior, Prior, Senior, Junior, Prefer, Preferable.
- She prefers to drink tea.
- There are only two posts that are senior to mine.
- I prefer tea to coffee.
Rule 3: When two adjectives qualify the same noun then both the adjectives should be in the same degree. However if both the adjectives are in comparative or superlative degree then than or the should be used only once.
- She is beautiful and intelligent girl.
- Jaya is the most clever and most cunning student of the class.
Rule 4: Ordinals are placed before cardinals.
- Raj came second in the race.
- He has passed the first two rounds of this interview.
Rule 5: The Comparative degrees that ends in ’er’ should be used as ‘more + positive degree’ while comparing the two qualities of one and the same thing or a person.
- This building is taller than any other building.
- Apple is sweeter than pear.
- Mike is taller than any other boys in the class.
Rule 6: ‘These’ and ‘Those’ should not be used with the singular nouns ‘kind’, ‘type’ and ‘sort’.
- He will not do this kind of music.
- We can do this type of design.
Rule 7: ‘All’ and ‘Both’ take ‘the’ after them while ‘whole’ takes it before when these are used as adjectives.
- All the flowers are beautiful.
- Both the girls are clever.
- The whole company can bear witness.
Rule 8: ‘All’ and ‘Both’ take possessive case after them.
- Both my students are clever.
- All my party ended in nothing.
Rule 9: Following will be used immediately before the words they qualify.
(Either, Neither, Only, Both, But also, Even.)
- He came not only to play but also to study there.
- You can neither play nor watch TV.
- They have both a cat and a dog.
Rule 10: ‘As’ is used in the positive degree to denote equality while ‘than’ is used in the comparative degree. Both ‘as’ and ‘than’ are required to be used when a sentence contains adjective in positive and comparative forms.
- He is as strong as, [positive]
- if not stronger than me. [comparative]
- Tom is not as intelligent as Raj. [positive]
- Raj is more intelligent than Tom. [comparative]
- I am as honest as, [positive]
- If not more honest than you. [comparative]
Rule 11: When two adjectives require different prepositions then appropriate prepositions be used with both the adjectives.
- His bike is different from and cheaper than mine.
- I am junior to and older than he.
Rule 12: We should use an adjective after noun when the noun is followed by preposition.
- He is the boy suitable for this role.
- The subject is a matter worthy of note.
Rule 13: If the comparison of weight quantity and number is implied and ‘times’ is used with then we use positive degree but when ‘times’ is not used then comparative is implied in the sentence.
- My mobile is three times as cheap as yours.
- My bag is ninety rupees cheaper than Yours.
Rule 14: Some adjectives are used only predicatively and using them attributively is wrong.
(Here is the list of such adjectives,
Afraid, Asleep, Alike, Aware, Alone, Due Glad, Ill, Ready, Unable, Sorry, Sure, Well, Worth)
- The girl is afraid of dogs.
- He alone can’t do this.
- I found the girl asleep.
Rule 15: If many adjectives are used to qualify a, noun then we observe the following order of the adjectives.
(Size, Shape Age, Colour Nationality- Material)
- I live in a large villa house near a temple.
- Fourteen year old whitish Indian girl is the main attraction.
- A big black sports car has been bought for me.
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