Tips and Tricks to solve Spotting Errors Questions: Check Preparation Strategy for Exam

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Tips and Tricks to solve Spotting Errors Questions: Spotting error is an important topic that is usually asked in most banking exams. To solve the questions on this topic, you must have a strong command of grammar rules. This will help you to identify the error quickly. In this article, we will be providing you with steps to spot the error and correct the sentence, common rules, and some examples with detailed solutions.

Steps to solve Error Spotting Questions

Here are some steps to spot the error and correct the sentence. 

1. To solve questions on spotting errors, the first step you should take is to read the complete sentence carefully. In most cases, you will be able to detect the error in the first go itself. While reading the entire sentence, you must carefully check the subject-verb agreement.

2. The next step is to carefully check all spellings. Many times, an error can be spotted in spelling.

3. If you can still not detect the error or you are still unsure of the correct answer, then you must read each part of the sentence and closely examine which part consists of an error.

You must go through the list of common rules so that you can check them while solving questions.

List of Common Errors

Following is the list of common errors that can be seen in “spotting the error” questions in the Bank exam –

1.  Words beginning with ‘h’ like hon our, honest, heir, etc. are considered to be silent. Hence the vowel following takes ‘an, instead of ‘a’ for the article. Hence, the correct usage is “an hour”, “an heir”, “an honor” etc.

2. In the case of using prepositions, you need to keep in mind the following definitions – between (to be used for only two)

3.  Always check for subject-verb agreement – if a subject is singular, then its verb should also be singular. On similar grounds, if a subject is plural, then its verb should also be plural. Furthermore,  if you write in the present tense, both the noun and the verb take plural forms in opposite ways. For instance, the noun adds an “s” to its singular form, on the other hand, the verb removes the “s” from its singular form.

4. Check for errors in the use of conjunctions – remember that a sentence only uses one conjunction at a time. For instance, the use of both “as” and “so” in the same sentence is incorrect.

5. The distinction between “much” and “many” – the word “much” is used before uncountable nouns, while the word “many” is used before countable nouns.

Here, uncountable nouns are substances that can not be further broken down into smaller elements. For example, “liters of milk” (here the word “milk” cannot be further broken down into smaller units). On the other hand, countable nouns are substances that can be broken down into smaller elements. For instance, “two dogs” (here the existence of the word “two” makes the verb countable.

6.‘Than’ should be used after ‘no other’.

7. The distinction between “whose” and “which” – the word “whose” is used to address living entities and the word “which” is used for lifeless objects.  For instance, the sentence, “which book is lying there?” is incorrect and the sentence “whose book is lying there?” is correct.

8. The pronoun “one” as a subject should use “one’s” because it does not indicate a specific gender – male or female.

9. The combination of words “One of” always takes a plural noun after it. For instance, the sentence, “it is one of the saddest days” is incorrect and the sentence, “it is one of the saddest days” is correct.

10. Collective nouns like public, committee, team, audience, government,  etc. can be used both as singular and plural depending on their meaning. When these words refer to a unit, the verb is singular, otherwise, it is plural.

11. Scarcely’ and ‘hardly’ are followed by ‘when’.

12. certain nouns refer to length, measure, money, or a number. When they are preceded by a numeral, they remain unchanged in form. These nouns are – Foot, meter, pair, score, dozen, head, year, hundred, thousand, million, etc.

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

E.g. police, cattle people, etc.

‘Lest’ must be followed by ‘should’ and ‘Such’ must be followed by ‘as’.

14. Some nouns always take the plural verb because their form is always plural.
E.g. Scissors, trousers, spectacles, etc.

15. ‘Though’ is followed by ‘yet’

16. ‘Unless’ is always used in the negative sense. It expresses a condition. ‘Not’ is never used with ‘unless’. 

NOTE: it is also important that you work on your Vocabulary, to maximize your marks in the English Language section.

Shape Up your Vocabulary from Newspaper Wordlist

Examples of Spotting Error

Direction: In the following question, some parts of the sentence may have errors. Find out which part of the sentence has an error and select the appropriate option. If a sentence is free from error, select ‘No error’.
1. The beauty (A)/ princess is (B)/ wearing a (C)/ purple gown. (D)/ No error(E)
Solution: The error lies in the first part of the sentence.
‘Beauty’ is a noun that means a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. ‘Beautiful’ is the adjective of ‘beauty’ which means pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically. So, instead of ‘beauty’, ‘beautiful’ should come as the word, here, qualifies ‘princess’.
2. The burglar (A)/ was taken (B)/ to the near (C)/ police station. (D)/ No error(E)
Solution: The error lies in the third part of the sentence.

In the sentence, the superlative degree of the adjective ‘near’ i.e. nearest should be used.

3. Four quarts of oil were (A)/ required to get the car running (B)/ and it was really difficult to (C)/ get it at that moment. (D)/ No error(E)
Solution: The error lies in part A of the sentence as the verb ‘were’ is incorrect here and must be replaced with the singular verb ‘was’ as with units of measurement or time singular verbs are used. Thus option A is the correct answer.
4. Still, the maker of the Mirai fuel (A)/ cell vehicle (FCV) is sticking to its (B)/ view that the hydrogen fuel cell is the (C)/ ultimate “green car” technology. (D)/ No error(E)
Solution: The error lies in part C. Since ‘cell’ is a singular unit, we can’t use ‘are’ with it. There must be ‘is’ where ‘are’ is to make the sentence grammatically correct. 
5. Israel’s Space Communication has(A)/ signed a deal with Elon Musk’s SpaceX (B)/ to launch two communication satellites into (C)/ the earth’s orbit, after a prior attempt end in disaster. (D)/ No error. (E)


Solution: The incorrect part is Part D. ‘Prior attempt’ indicates a past event. Hence, ‘end’ should be replaced by ‘ended’ in the fourth part. 
6. Catalan media have said Puigdemont could (A)/ dissolve the regional parliament and call elections (B)/ by next Friday and under Catalan law, those elections (C)/ would take place since two months. (D)/ No error. (E)
Solution: Error lies in part D. ‘Within’ which means ‘inside’, must be used in place of ‘since’ which shows a past period. Since the elections are to be held in the future there must be ‘within’. 
7. Individual by individual, an anti-corruption wave is (A)/ growing within Indian civil society, as has been witnessed in (B)/ recent months, people from all sectors of Indian society (D)/ have said ‘enough is enough and are doing something about it. (E)
Solution: The error is in the second part of the statement. ‘Witness’ needs to be replaced with ‘witnessed’ as the statement is in the present perfect tense and thus the correct verb usage is ‘witnessed’.
8. The teacher thought (A)/ the children would (B)/ be happy for (C)/ clearing away their toys. (D)/ No Error (E)
Solution: Here, “clearing up their toys” should be used instead of “clearing away their toys” in the context of the statement.
‘Clearing away’ means to take something away and ‘clearing up’ means to make something brighter.
The children are likely to be happy when their toys seem bright instead of being taken away.
9. An affidavit (A)/was filed by the Cyberlaw of Indian (B)/ government (C)/ after the directory of Court. (D)/ No Error (E)
Solution: ‘Directory’ may refer to (computing), or folder, a file system structure in which to store computer files. Whereas ‘direction’ means the management or guidance of someone or something. Hence ‘direction’ should be used in place of ‘directory’. 
10. This goes beyond a simple patient-doctor (A)/ relationship but I think our friend, philosopher (B)/ and mentor need to pour out (C)/ everything that’s troubling him. (D) / No Error (E)
Solution: The error lies in the third part of the given sentence. If several nouns or adjectives are used for a single subject, we use a singular verb. In the given sentence “friend”, “philosopher” and “mentor” refers to a single person, therefore, the verb must be singular, i.e., “needs”.



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