If you observe the previous question papers you can conclude that Grammar is tested through the following question types:
* Sentence Completion. (Fill in the blanks)
* Sentence Correction. (Spotting errors)
* Sentence Fillers.
* Sentence Improvement.
All the areas mentioned above deal with only one point that is accuracy in using English. If one knows a few Grammar rules, whatever be the question type, one can solve the questions easily. Those Grammar rules cover: Nouns, Pronouns, Verb and tense, Modifiers (Adjectives and Adverbs), Prepositions, Conjunctions, Articles, Concord (Subject and verb agreement), Parallelism...
Before going any further, lets pay a glance at how a single grammar rule can be asked in above mentioned varieties.
Let's take up sentence completion.
1. We did the job ........... we could; however, it did not turnout to be satisfactory.
A) Better B) as good as C) as better as D) as well as E) worse.
The same question can be asked as a sentence correction, what we call, spotting error.
2. We did the job (A)/as good as (B) /we could, however, it did not (C)/ turn out to be satisfactory (D)/ No error(E).
Let's have a look at the same question as a sentence filler.
3. The job did not turn out to be satisfactory, though we did it ..............
A) as good as we could
B) as well as we could
C) better we could
D) as better as we could
E) worse we could
Let's observe the same question in the remaining variety- sentence improvement. In this question type the sentence, a part of the sentence is underlined and asked whether it needs any improvement. Finally, after the instructions the question looks like this:
4. We did the job as good as we could; however, it did not turnout to be satisfactory.
A) as better as we could
B) as well as we could
C) as worse as we could
D) better we could
E) No improvement
Whatever may be the question type the grammar rule tested in the above questions is the same one. If you know the usage as given below, it is easy to answer the above ones.
Usages: It is an adverb that we use to describe an action. Here, in this sentence, the verb did is described and used as a positive degree. It is very clear if you observe as x as. The proper forms are:
Positive Comparative Superlative
good better best
well better best
ill worse worst
bad worse worst
If you observe comparative and superlative, you can see the same word as comparative for both good and well. Like wise, the same word as superlative for those two words. But, infact 'good' is an adjective and used to describe a noun whereas 'well' is an adverb and used to describe a verb.
In the given question it is an adverb that we need so 'as well as' goes with the sentence as a proper answer.
Finally, if you know the usage of adjective and adverb including their degrees, you candeal with the question without any hesitation.
Therefore, the answers are: 1. D, 2. B, 3. B, 4. B.
In conclusion, we can say that, one should know a few grammar rules that frequently appear on the tests so that one can succeed.
Let's turn to those grammar rules:
As mentioned above, Grammar rules related to nouns, pronouns, verb and tense etc... are tested most frequently. So lets tearup one by one.
Nouns: This 'Nouns' area has been tested on umpteen number of tests. The basic problems in Noun usage are:
A) Noun and its form
B) Noun and number
C) Noun and article
D) Noun and verb agreement
E) Noun and pronoun agreement
How to crack these areas:
If you have a good command of the following words, it will be a cake walk for you.
* A few nouns are always singular
* A few nouns are always plural
* A few nouns look like singular but plural in their usage
* A few nouns look like plural but singular in fact
* Some nouns are used both as singulars and plurals without changing their form (Structure).
A few Nouns which are always singular.
* The below given nouns do not give plural meaning.
* They do not become plurals even by changing their form.
* They do not take plural verbs after them.
* They do not take plural pronouns.
Examples: Scenery, advice, information, machinery, stationery, furniture, rice, gram, repair, poetry, business, luggage, mischief, bread, land, hair, issue.
How do questions appear on these words:
e.g.1: I have sold all my furnitures which have become waste.
Ans: I have sold all my furniture which has become waste.
e.g.2: Her hairs indicate that she has become old.
Ans: Her hair indicates that she has become old.
A few Nouns which are always plural.
* These nouns do not get singular form.
* These do not take singular verb after them.
* These do not take singular pronoun.
Examples: Trousers, scissors, spectacles, ashes, goods, thanks, annals, tidings, shorts, alms, proceeds, remains, riches, tongs, pantaloons, credentials, premises.
e.g.1: Where is my trouser?
Ans: Where are my trousers?
e.g. 2: The proceeds of the magic show is to be given to the fund for the soldiers' welfare.
Ans: The proceeds of the magic show are to be given to the fund for the soldiers' welfare. A few Nouns look like singular but plural in their usage:
Examples: Cattle, gentry, vermin, peasantry, people, artillery, clergy, company, police, poultry, swine.
e.g.1: The latest poultry is ready for sale.
Ans: The latest poultry are ready for sale.
e.g.2: All the gentries are invited to the party.
Ans: All the gentry are invited to the party.
A few Nouns looks like plural but singular in meanings:
Examples: Innings, athletics, economics, mathematics, summons, gallows, gymnastics, wages, news, physics, dynamics, civics, linguistics, tactics, politics, electronics.
e.g. 1. Through the electronic media the news are travelling faster than ever before.
Ans: Through the electronic media the news is travelling faster than ever before.
e.g. 2. The police have been unable to serve a summon on the minister.
Ans: The police have been unable to serve a summons on the minister.
A few Nouns which function both as singu and plurals without changing their form (structure).
Examples: Sheep, Species, deer, aircraft, offspring, space craft, salmon, yoke.
e.g. 1. sheeps live in flocks
Ans: sheep live in flocks
e.g. 2: I saw four deers in the zoo.
Ans: I saw four deer in the zoo. Besides the above mentioned, the following areas have been tested in many an examinations. Let's learn these error prone areas through the question pattern itself.
1. She gave me a cheque for five thousands rupees.
Ans: She gave me a cheque for five thousand rupees.
2. Last month I attended a two-weeks programme on personality development
Ans: Last month I attended a two-week programme on personality development.
Note: Some nouns which indicate a specific amount, length, weight, quantity, measure, or number etc... remain unchanged in form especially when they are preceded by a numeral. (Those nouns include - foot, metre, score, dozen, year, hundred, thousand, million, week, pair, month, KM, Kg etc ...)
3: This was one of the reason why the industry flourished.
Ans: This was one of the reasons why the industry flourished.
4: He got demotion and one of the reasons are his carelessness.
Ans: He got demotion and one of the reasons is his carelessness.
Note: 1) 'One of' always takes a plural noun after it.
2) 'One of + Plural noun' takes only singular verb.
5: The number of orders still to be executed are growing up day by day.
Ans: The number of orders still to be executed is growing up day by day.
6: A number of students is absent from the class today.
Ans: A number of students are absent from the class today.
Note: 'The number of' is considered singular and 'A number of' is treated plural. So the verb needs to be used accordingly.
7: Today, I have got many works to do.
Ans: Today, I have got much work to do (or) Today I have got many tasks to do.
Note: 'WORK' is always in singular as a noun.
8: Two-thirds of the mailing list have been typed.
Ans: Two-thirds of the mailings list has been typed.
9: Two-thirds of our employees lives in the suburbs.
Ans: Two-thirds of our employees live in the suburbs.
Note: After such expressions as-One-half of, two-thirds of, a part of, a majority of, - we use singular verb it the noun is singular and a plural verb if the noun is plural.
10: Rupa and Prabha are my family members.
Ans: Rupa and Prabha are the members of my family.
11: Pranava and Manya are the Parliament Members.
Ans: Pranava and Manya are the members of the Parliament.
Note: 'Member of Something' is the proper expression.
12: Uma is my cousin sister.
Ans: Uma is my cousin.
Note: Cousin is enough in the place of cousin brother or cousin sister.
13: He has four sister-in-laws.
Ans: He has four sisters-in-law
Note: The proper expressions as plurals are: Sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, commanders-inchief, men-servant, step mothers, arm chairs, advocates general, passers by, officers-incharge (i.e. only head words become plurals)