Rules of Solving Error Spotting Questions for SSC Exams 2022

By Ashwini Shivhare|Updated : October 1st, 2022

Rules on Spotting Error in English Grammar for SSC Exams 2022: The English language is a section in which most of the aspirants make blunders in grammar part. It's a natural propensity, but the error-spotting section isn't difficult to learn. All that is required to ace this topic of the English Language syllabus is the learn the Important rules of error spotting and practice questions on them. To successfully answer the mistake spotting questions posed in the different Government examinations, a candidate must develop a strong knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary.

In this article, we are providing important rules on spotting errors for SSC Exams 2022, which will help you ace error-spotting questions without any mistakes. These rules will be really helpful for upcoming SSC Exams in 2022

Rules on Spotting Errors for SSC Exams 2022

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Rule 1:  ‘No sooner’ is followed by ‘than’

Explanation:

The phrase "no sooner" is used to indicate that one event occurs quickly after another. It is frequently used with the past perfect and is typically followed by "than".

Example:

     (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)

Note: The Sentence Form must be past perfect or past indefinite

Rule 2: "More than one" is considered a singular noun and takes a singular verb

Explanation: 

"More than One" indicates a plural sense, but it is treated as a sort of compound of one. Thus it agrees with a singular noun and takes a singular verb.

Example:

(i) More than employees were killed in the accident. (Incorrect)

(ii) More than one employee was killed in the accident. (Correct)

Rule 3: While asking for confirmation,

  • Patten for a Positive statement = Auxiliary + n’t + Subject
  • Pattern for a negative statement = Auxiliary + n’t + Subject

Explanation:

It is common practice in conversation to make a 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)

Rule 4: Use of "The two First" is wrong, the right expression is "the first two"

Explanation:

‘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 the novel are dull. (Incorrect)
(ii) The first two chapters of the novel are dull. (Correct)

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

Explanation:

When you say there is just one person or object engaged in a scenario, you imply there are no others.

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

Rule 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)

Rule 7: Examples of Empathy statements to show care

Explanation:

Empathy statements are used to show that you really care about the person and his/her situation. Care should be taken with some statements like

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

Rule 8: Scarcely should be followed by 'when', not by 'than'.

Explanation

The word "scarcely" is used to emphasize how swiftly one event happened followed another. The verb used to describe the previous event is generally in the past perfect tense.

Example:

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

Rule 9: Use of "Till" and "To".

Explanation:

'Till' is used to indicate time and 'to' is used to indicate the place.

Example:

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

Rule 10: Use of "Off" and "of"

Explanation

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

Example:

(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)

Rule 11: Use of 'Beside' and 'Besides'

Explanation:

  • Beside means by the side of while
  • Besides means in addition to.

Example:

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

Rule 12: Use of 'Between' and 'Among'

Explanation:

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

Example:

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

Rule 13: Use of 'Above', 'Below', 'Over' and 'Under'

Explanation:

  • Above and below merely denote a position
  • Over and under also carry a sense of covering or movement.

Example:

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

Rule 14: Use of 'During' and 'For'

Explanation:

  • 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.

Explanation:

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

Rule 15: Nouns expressing numbers are used as singular with numerical adjectives.

Explanation: 

  • 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

Example:

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

Rule 16: Nouns such as articles of dresses, names of instruments, etc. that are often used as plural and take plural verbs. 

Explanation:

  • Articles of dresses: shorts, jeans, trousers etc
  • Instruments: scales, spectacles, scissors etc. 
  • Other nouns: credentials, contents, riches, refreshments, requirements etc. 

Example:

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

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

Explanation: 

Personal pronouns must be used in agreement with the terms to which they refer (called their antecedents). A pronoun's antecedent must be matched in three ways: number, person, and gender. A pronoun and its antecedent must correspond in number, which means they must both be singular or plural.

Example:

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

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

Explanation: 

  • One is a gender-neutral, indefinite pronoun that is used to indicate "a person."
  • It is a third-person singular pronoun for the sake of verb agreement.
  • One's is a possessive determiner used for 'one'

Example:

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

Note:

  • Do not confuse between "Ones" and "One's"
  • One's is a possessive determiner whereas "ones" is a plural form of 'one' which is used to indicate more than one person/ people.

Rule 19: Use of 'Whose' and 'Which'

Explanation:

‘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)

Rule 20: Use of ‘less’ and ‘fewer’

Explanation:

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

Example:

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

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

Explanation:

  • "One of"  generally takes a singular verb and used to talk about noun or pronoun
  • The noun/pronoun following "one of" is always a plural

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)

Rule 22: Use of ‘not only ‘and ‘but also'

Explanation: 

  • "Not only ......But also" is co-relative conjunction. It is used to link and highlight two words or sentences that are in the same place.
  • It is used for emphasizing the fact that there is something more to add

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)

Rule 23: Correct use of adverb "as" with verbs

Explanation:

The adverb ‘as' is not used with verbs like ‘appointed’, ‘elected’, ‘considered’, ‘called’ but it is used with ‘regard’.

Example:
(i) I regard Ramesh my friend (Incorrect)
(ii) I regard Ramesh as my friend (Correct)

Rule 24: Rules of Noun and Pronoun while using the verb 'to be'.

Explanation: 

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)

Rule 25: Neither is followed by 'nor', and not followed by 'or'

Explanation:

"Neither/Nor" is used in a sentence in a negative sense. When you wish to say that two or more things/cases are not true.

Example:

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

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