Steps to solve Error Spotting Questions
1. In order to solve questions on spotting errors, the first step you should take is to read the complete sentence carefully. In most of the 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 spellings.
3. If you can still not detect the error or you are still unsure of the correct answer, then you must read each individual 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 Bank exam –
1. Words beginning with ‘h’ like, hon our, honest, heir etc. are considered to be silent. Hence the vowel following it takes ‘an’, instead of ‘a’ for the article. Hence, the correct usage is “an hour”, “an heir”, “an honour” etc.
2. In 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 a 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, 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 which can not be further broken down into smaller elements. For example, “litres of milk” (here the word “milk” cannot be further broken down into smaller units). On the other hand, countable nouns are substances which 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 day” 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. There are certain nouns that refer to length, measure, money or a number. When they are preceded by a numeral, they remain unchanged in form. These nouns are – Foot, metre, 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
‘Beauty’ is a noun which means a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, 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'.
'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.
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