* Questions on error detection will be asked in different ways. Two of those methods are discussed in this article.
Directions (Qs. 1 - 12): The given sentence has been divided up into four different parts A, B, C and D. Select the portion of the sentence which contains an error (spelling, grammatical or contextual). If there is no error, choose option ‘E’(no error) as your answer.
1. If Mother Teresa was (A)/ alive, she would feel sorry for (B)/ the destitute who still (C)/ struggle every day to make both ends meet (D)/ No error (E).
Explanation: ‘If Mother Teresa were’ should be used in place of ‘If Mother Teresa was’, as the sentence was describing a hypothetical scenario (Mother Teresa is not actually alive now). The use of "was" in a hypothetical sentence would not accurately reflect the intended meaning of the sentence. So, the past verb ‘were’ is used in a hypothetical or counterfactual sentence.
2. Although the speech of (A)/ the opposition leader was not (B)/ very clearly, everyone understood (C)/ the underlying meaning of it. (D)/ No error (E).
Explanation: ‘Very clear’ should be used in place of ‘very clearly’. The word ‘clearly’ is an adverb. But, to qualify a noun (here speech), an adjective should be used. So, the word ‘clear’, which is an adjective, is the correct usage here.
3. It was too cold for (A)/ go out last night, (B)/ so we all cancelled our plans and (C)/ stayed in our rooms. (D)/ No error (E).
Explanation: The preposition ‘to’ should be used in place of the preposition ‘for’. "Too" is an adverb that is used to indicate excess or excessiveness, or to indicate that something is more than enough (here, it was too cold). The combination of the words ‘too…to’ are used collectively to convey that something more than necessary has happened. It can also be used to indicate in addition, or to show agreement with a previous statement. For example: "She can play the guitar too."
4. My colleague could (A)/ not scarcely conceal his (B)/ excitement at his (C)/ girlfriend’s birthday party. (D)/ No error (E).
Explanation: ‘not scarcely’ should be replaced with ‘scarcely’. The word ‘scarcely’ itself is a negative word. Therefore, we cannot use ‘not’ before ‘scarcely’ to describe a negative thing.
5. I cannot (A)/ say if she (B)/ has paid the (C)/ college fee or not. (D)/ No error (E).
Explanation: The conjunction ‘whether’ should be used in place of the conjunction ‘if’. The word "if" is used when there is a clear cause-and effect relationship between the condition and its result, while "whether" is used when presenting two or more options and asking for a choice (here there are 2 options.)
6. Every one of the movies (A)/ you suggested (B)/ are absolutely (C)/ worth watching. (D)/ No error (E).
Explanation: ‘Is absolutely’ should come in place of ‘are absolutely’. In the English language, the words every one of/ each of/ each one of/ one of etc. always followed by a plural noun (here ‘movies’), but the verb (here ‘is’) as well as the pronoun (here ‘you’) used in remaining sentence should always singular.
7. Fifty thousand of spectators (A)/ have attended the cricket match (B)/ held in the (C)/ Uppal stadium in Hyderabad. (D)/ No error (E).
Explanation: ‘of’ should be removed from the sentence. ‘Fifty thousand spectators’ is the correct usage. The preposition ‘of’ does not follow a definite numeral adjective (here fifty thousand spectators). But we can use ‘thousands of spectators’ in case of an indefinite numeral adjective.
8. The elderly woman I saw earlier (A)/ is either dumb (B)/ or deaf (C)/ if not both. (D)/ No error (E).
Explanation: In the sentence, ‘if neither’ should be used in place of ‘if not both’. The word ‘both’ never takes ‘not’ in case of choosing an alternate between two things (here, either deaf or dumb). We use ‘neither’ for such cases. So, ‘if neither’ is the correct usage.
9. Chandra sekhar has to (A)/ look after his four children (B)/ but he has nothing (C)/ beside his salary. (D)/ No error (E).
Explanation: The phrase ‘beside his salary’ should be replaced with ‘besides his salary’. The preposition ‘beside’ means ‘next to’ or ‘at the side of’ something. (E.g.: Your bed is beside the closet). ‘Besides’ as a preposition means, ‘in addition to’ or ‘apart from’. (E.g.: He is too tired to go for bout. Besides, he has hurt his right hand).
10. Unless the misunderstandings between the captain (A)/ and the coach will be resolved soon, (B)/ there will be an adverse (C)/ effect on the team spirit. (D)/ No error (E).
Explanation: The phrase ‘and the coach will be resolved soon’ should be replaced with ‘and the coach are resolved soon’. In the English language, when two future events are to be expressed in a single sentence, the first event to be done should be expressed in present tense, and the subsequent event should be expressed in simple future tense.
11. Each of the boys in (A)/ the class has to (B)/ bring their own stationery (C)/ for attending the drawing examination. (D)/ No Error (E).
Explanation: The phrase ‘bring their own stationery’ should be replaced with “bring his” own stationery.
12. Nobody denies (A)/ that my thoughts (B)/ on mythology are (C)/ different than yours.(D)/ No Error (E)
Explanation: The phrase ‘different than yours’ should be replaced with ‘different from yours’. This is because, the phrase "Different from" is used to indicate a comparison between two items that are not alike (here, thoughts of two different persons). The phrase "Different than" is used to indicate a comparison between two items in which one item is being considered as an alternative to the other. E.g.: This car is different than I expected
Directions (Qs. 13 - 17): The given sentence has been divided up into four different parts A, B, C and D. The errors, if any, will be in two parts of the sentence. Select those two portions of the sentence which contains an error (spelling, grammatical or contextual). If there is no error, choose option ‘E’(no error) as your answer.
13. The old man complain to (A)/ the police that his purse had been (B)/ stolen and that was lifted without (C)/ any money in it. (D)/ No error (E).
A) A - C B) A - B C) C - D D) B - D E) No error
Explanation: The errors are present in A and C portions. The sentence is in past tense. So, the phrase ‘The old man complain to’ should be replaced with ‘The old man complained to’. The phrase ‘stolen and that was lifted without’ should be replaced with ‘stolen and that was left without’, because the word ‘lift’ means raise something form a lower position to a higher position or level. ‘Left’ means to go away. So, ‘left’ should be the correct usage here.
14. The district credit unions are also like the (A)/ co-operative financial institutions similarly (B)/ to a bank but unlike banks, the district credit unions (C)/ are own by a group of people. (D)/ No error (E).
A) A - B B) B - D C) B - C D) A - D E) No error
Explanation: The errors are present in B and D portions. Here in the sentence, to qualify a noun (the district credit unions) with another noun (banks), an adjective should be used. The word ‘Similarly’ is an adverb, which is not the correct usage here. So, we use the adjective ‘similar’. The word "owned" can be used as the past participle form of the verb, to form perfect tenses such as the present perfect or past perfect (here, the district credit unions are owned by a group of people in the past itself).
15. No sooner the train reached (A)/ at the station then (B)/ the passengers began (C)/ to occupy their berths. (D)/ No error (E).
A) A - C B) B - D C) A - B D) C - D E) No error
Explanation: The errors are present in A and B portions. ‘No sooner had the train reached at the station than’ is the correct usage. The structure for the sentences starting with ‘No sooner ------- than’ is: “No sooner + did/ had + noun + than”. ‘No sooner did the teacher enter the room than everyone began to wish’ is another example.
16. Your success in examinations (A)/ depend not only on what papers (B)/ you have selected but on how (C)/ you have written them. (D)/ No error (E).
A) A - C B) B - D C) A - D D) B - C E) No error
Explanation: The errors are present in B and C portions. The syntax is incorrect here. The noun ‘your success’ is third person singular. So, “depends” should come in place of ‘depend’. The word ‘but also’ should be used in place of ‘but’, because the Correlative conjunction ‘not only …... but also’ is used to join words, phrases or clauses which have reciprocal or complementary relationship.
17. Any public servant should refrain to (A)/ associate himself/ herself with (B)/ any political party because people (C)/ have faith in their integrity. (D)/ No error (E).
A) A - B B) B - C C) C - D D) A - D E) No error
Explanation: The errors are present in A and B portions. The word ‘refrain from’ should be used in place of ‘refrain to’, because the verb ‘refrain’ means ‘stop oneself’ from doing something. That means the word ‘associate’ should be replaced with ‘associating’.