Spotting errors is a common test and forms a part of almost all important examinations that have Objective English test on their Syllabi.
It requires an awareness of the basic rules of grammar – parts of speech,genders, infinitives, participles, subject- verb accord, form of tenses, use of articles and certain exceptional usages.

Rules and Examples:

1. Some Nouns Always Take A Singular Verb.

Scenery , advice, information, machinery, stationary, furniture, abuse,fuel, rice, gram, issue , bedding, repair, news, mischief, poetry, business, economics, physics, mathematics, classics, ethics, athletics, innings, gallows.

a) The Scenery of Kashmir are enchanting. (Incorrect)
The Scenery of Kashmir is enchanting. (Correct)
b) He has given advices. (Incorrect)
He has given advice. (Correct)
c) The Indian team defeated the English by innings (Incorrect)
The Indian team defeated the English by an innings (correct)
d) Mathematics are a good subject (Incorrect).
Mathematics is a good subject (correct).

2. Some Nouns Are Singular In Form, But They Are Used As Plural Nounsand Always Take A Plural Verb.

Cattle, gentry, vermin, peasantry, artillery, people, clergy,company,police.

a) The cattle is grazing in the ground. (Incorrect)
The cattle are grazing in the ground. (Correct)
b) The clergy is in the church (Incorrect)
The clergy are in the church (correct)
3. Some Nouns Are Always Used In A Plural Form and Always Take APlural Verb.

Trousers, scissors, spectacles, stockings, shorts, measles,goods, premises, thanks, tidings, annals, chattels etc.
a) Where is my trousers? (Incorrect)

        Where are my trousers? (Correct)
b)  Spectacles is now a costly item (Incorrect)
        Spectacles are now a costly item (Incorrect)
4. 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

a) It is a three years degree course (Incorrect)
It is a three year degree course (correct)

5. Some Nouns Have One Meaning In The Singular And Another In The Plural.
Authority= Command, Authorities = Persons In Power
Good= Wise, Goods= Property
Force= Strength Forces = Army
Content= Satisfaction Contents = Things Contained.
Physic= Medicine Physics = Physical Sciences.
Iron= Metal Irons= Fetter, Chains

a) Air is necessary for human life.
b) It is bad to put on airs.
c) I have been eaten one quarter of the cake.
d) I live in the government quarters.

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6. A Pronoun Must Agree With Its Antecedent In Person, Number And Gender.

a) Every man must bring his luggage
b) All students must do their homework.

c) Each of the girls must carry her own bag.
Each student must bring their books (incorrect)
Each student must bring his books (correct)

7. The Pronoun 'ONE' Must Be Followed By ' ONE'S '.

* One must finish his task in time. (Incorrect)
* One must finish one's task in time. (Incorrect)

8. 'WHO' denotes the SUBJECTSand
'WHOM' is used for the OBJECT.

a) Whom do you think won the award? (Incorrect).
Who do you think won the award? (Correct).
b) Who are you talking to? (Incorrect).
Whom are you talking to? (Incorrect).
9. 'COST' – Amount paid by the SHOPKEEPER.
     'PRICE'- Amount paid bythe CUSTOMER.

a) The cost of production of automobile items has gone up.
b) Sometimes the buyers have to pay higher price for necessary items.


a) Scientists try to find out the cause of a phenomenon.
b) You have a good reason to be pleased with your students.

11. 'MEN' is plural of MAN;
'PEOPLE' is used for PERSONS.

a) There are five men in the room.
b) The people of Bihar are simple.

12. ' House' is a Building to Live In.
      'Home' is one's Native Place.

a) Quarters are houses allotted to us for a definite period.
b) My home town is Hyderabad.

13. 'CUSTOMER' -- a Buyer of Goods.
‘CLIENT' ------One Who Avails Oneself Of A Service.

a) The shopkeepers welcome customers with smiles.
b) The lawyers discusses the cases of his clients.

14. Use of ' LESS ' and ' FEWER‘.
E  'LESS' denotes QUANTITY.
E  ‘FEWER’ denotesNUMBER.

a) No less than fifty persons were killed (Incorrect)
No fewer than fifty person were killed. (Correct).

b) There are no fewer than five litres of water in the jug. (Incorrect)
There are no less than five litres of water in the jug. (Correct)

15. Use of Little, A Little, The Little.

E ‘LITTLE ' means ' HARDLY ANY '.

* There is a little hope of his recovery. (Incorrect)
* There is little hope of his recovery. (Incorrect)

E ‘A LITTLE ' means ' some ‘, THOUGH NOT MUCH.

* Little knowledge is a dangerous thing. (Incorrect).
* A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. (Incorrect).


* A little milk that is in the pot may be used for the patient. (Incorrect)
* The little milk that is in the pot may be used for the patient. (Correct).

16. Use of ' Elder ‘& 'Older'
E ‘OLDER’ refers to Persons as well as Things and is followed by 'THAN '.

* Ram is elder than all other boys of his area. (Incorrect)
* Ram is older than all other boys of his area. (Correct)

E ‘ELDER ' is used for Members of The Family.

* Suresh is my older brother (Incorrect).
* Suresh is my elder brother (correct).

17. Normally ' THAN' is used in the COMPARATIVE DEGREE,
but withwords like superior,inferior, senior, junior, prior, anterior, posterior, prefer--- ' TO'is used.

* Shelly is junior than Wordsworth (Incorrect)
* Shelly is junior to Wordsworth (correct)

* I prefer reading than sleeping (Incorrect)
* I prefer reading to sleeping (correct)
18. When a comparison is made by usinga COMPARATIVEfollowed by ‘THAN’,the word ‘OTHER' must be used to exclude the thing compared from theclassof things with which it is compared from the class of things withwhich itis compared.

* He is stronger than any man (Incorrect)
* He is stronger than any other man. (Correct).

19.'ONE OF' Always Takes A Plural Noun After It.

* It is ONE OF the important day in my life (Incorrect)
* It is ONE OF the important DAYS in my life (correct)

20.' SCARCELY ' and ' HARDLY' are followed by 'WHEN’
andNOTby ‘THAN’.

* I had SCARCELY entered the room than the phone rang (Incorrect)
* I had SCARCELY entered the room when the phone rang (correct)

21. 'SINCE' indicates aPOINT OF TIME.
      'FOR' stands forthe LENGTH OF TIME.

*  He has been reading the book since two hours. (Incorrect).
*  He has been reading the book for two hours. (Correct).

*  It has been raining for Monday last (Incorrect).
*  It has been raining since Monday last (correct).

22.UNTIL expresses TIME. It has a Negative Sense.
and thus 'NOT'Shouldnever be Used With It.

*  Wait here until I do not return. (Incorrect).
*  Wait here until I return. (Incorrect).

23. Use of ' WHEN' and ‘WHILE’: Proper attention must be paid tothese words.

E ‘WHEN' indicates a GENERAL SENSE.
E 'WHILE' implies a TIME during the Process of DOING A WORK.

*  WHEN learning to swim, one of the most important things is to relax.(Incorrect)
*  WHILE learning to swim, one of the most important things is torelax. (Correct)

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Basic English Grammar Rules
Sentence correction questions askyouto recognize and potentially correct at leastone of the following grammar rules. However, these rules are not exhaustive. If you areinterested in learning more about English grammar asa way to prepare for the GMAT exam, there are several resources available on the Web.

Standard English requires elements within a sentence to beconsistent. There are two types of agreement: noun-verb and pronoun.

Noun-verb agreement:
Singular subjects take singular verbs, whereas plural subjects take plural verbs.

Correct: "I walk to the store."
Incorrect: "I walks to the store."

Correct: "Wego to school."
 Incorrect: "Wegoes to school."

Correct: "The number ofresidents has grown."
Incorrect: "The number ofresidents have grown."

Correct: "The masses have spoken."
Incorrect: "The masses has spoken."

Pronoun agreement:    
A pronoun must agree with the noun or pronoun it refers to in person, number, and gender.

Correct: "Whenyou dream, you are usually asleep."
Incorrect: "When onedreams, you are usuallyasleep."

Correct: "When the kids went to sleep, they slept like logs."
Incorrect: "When the kids went to sleep, he slept like a log."
Words shouldbe chosen to reflect correctly and effectively the appropriate part of speech. Thereare several words that are commonly usedincorrectly. When answering sentence correction questions, pay attention to the following conventions.


Among is used to refer to relationships involving more than two objects.
Between is used to refer to relationships involving only two objects.

Correct: "We divided our winnings among the three of us." 
Incorrect: "We divided our winnings between the three of us."

Correct: "She and I divided the cake between us."  
Incorrect; "She and I divided the cake among us."

As can be a preposition meaning "in the capacity of," but more often is a conjunction of manner and is followed by a verb.
Like is generally used as a preposition, and therefore is followed by a noun, an object pronoun, or a verb ending in -ing.


Correct: "I work as a librarian."
Incorrect: "I work like a librarian."

Correct: "Do as I say, not as I do."
Incorrect: "Do like I say, not like I do."

Correct: "It felt like a dream." 
Incorrect: "It felt as a dream."

Correct: "People like you inspire me."
Incorrect: "People as you inspire me."

Correct: "There's nothing like biking on a warm, autumn day."
Incorrect: "There's nothing as biking on a warm autumn day."

Mass and count words:

Mass words are nouns quantified by an amount rather than by a number.
Count nouns can be quantified by a number.

Correct: "We bought a loaf of bread." 
Incorrect: "We bought one bread."

Correct: "He wished me much happiness."
Incorrect: "He wished me many happiness."

Correct: "We passed many buildings."
Incorrect: "We passed much buildings."

Myself should not be used as a substitute for I or me.

Correct: "Mom andI had to goto the store."
Incorrect: "Mom andmyself hadto go to the store."

Correct: "Hegave the present to Dad and me."
Incorrect: "Hegave the present toDadand myself.

Sentence Correction Basic English Grammar Rules

Grammatical Construction
Good grammar requires complete sentences. Be onthelookout for improperly formed constructions.

Parts ofa sentence that are disconnected from the main clause are called fragments.

Correct: "We sawthe doctorand his nurse at the party."
 Incorrect: "We sawthe doctor at the party.And his nurse."

Run-on sentences:
A run-on sentence is two independent clauses that run together without properpunctuation.

Correct: "Jose Canseco is still a feared batter; most pitchers don't want to face him."
Incorrect: "Jose Canseco is still a feared batter most pitchers don't want to face him."

Constructions: Avoidwordy, redundant constructions.

Correct: “We could not come to the meetingbecause of a conflict."
Incorrect: "Thereason we couldnot come to the meeting is because of a conflict."

It is important to avoid nonstandard expressions, although English idioms sometimes do not followconventional grammatical rules. Be careful to use the correct idiom when using the constructionsand parts of speech.

Prepositions: Specific prepositions have specific purposes.


Correct: "She likes to jog in the morning."
Incorrect: “She likes to jog on the morning."

Correct: “They rangedin agefrom 10to 15."
Incorrect: "They rangedin agefrom 10up to 15."

Word combinations such as "not only ... but also"should be followed by an element ofthe same grammatical type.


Correct: "I have called not onlyto thank her but also to tell her about the next meeting."
Incorrect: "I have called not only to thank her but also I told her about the next meeting."
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Forms ofcomparison: Manyforms follow precise constructions.

Fewer refers to a specific number,whereas
less than refers to a continuous quantity.
Between ... and is the correct form to designate achoice.
Farther refers to distance, whereasfurther refers to degree.

Correct: "There were fewer children in my class this year."
Incorrect: "There were less children in myclass this year."

Correct: "There was less devastation than I was told."
Incorrect: "There was fewer devastation thanI was told."

Correct: "We had to choose between chocolate and vanilla."
Incorrect: "We had to choose betweenchocolate or vanilla."

(It is also correct to say, "Wehad to choose chocolate or vanilla.")
Correct: "I ran farther thanJohn, buthe took hisweight training further than I did."
Incorrect: "I ran further thanJohn, but he took hisweight training farther than I did."

Logical Predication
Watch out for phrases that detract from the logical argument.

Modification problems:
Modifiers should be positioned so it is clearwhat word or words they aremeant to modify. If modifiers are not positioned clearly, they can cause illogical references orcomparisons, or distort the meaning of the statement.

Correct: "I put the cakethat I bakedbythe door,"
Incorrect: "I put the cakeby the door that I baked."

Correct: "Readingmymind, she gave me the delicious cookie."
Incorrect: "Readingmymind, thecookie she gaveme was delicious."

Correct: "In the Middle Ages, the worldwas believed to be flat."
Incorrect: "In the Middle Ages,the world was flat."

Constructing a sentence that is parallel in structure dependson making sure that the different elements in the sentence balance each other; this is a little bit like making sure that the two sides ofa mathematical equation are balanced. To make surethat a sentence is grammatically correct, checkto see that phrases, clauses, verbs, and other sentence elements paralleleach other.

Correct: "I tooka bath,wentto sleep, andwoke up refreshed."
Incorrect: "I took a bath, sleeping,and waking up refreshed."

Correct: "The only way to know is to take the plunge."
Incorrect: "The only way to know is takingthe plunge."
Rhetorical Construction
Good sentence structure avoids constructions that are awkward, wordy, redundant, imprecise, orunclear, evenwhen they are free of grammaticalerrors.


Correct: "Before weleft on vacation, wewatered the plants, checked to see that the stove was off,and setthe burglar alarm."
Incorrect: "Before we leftto go on ourvacation, we watered, checked tobe sure that the stove had been turned off, and set it."

Verb Form
In addition to watching for problems ofagreement or parallelism, make sure that verbs are used inthe correct tense. Be alert to whether a verb shouldreflect past, present, or future tense.

Correct: "Iwent to school yesterday." "Igo toschool every weekday." "I will go to school tomorrow."
Each tense also has a perfect form (used with thepast participle—e.g., walked, ran), a progressiveform (used with the present participle—e.g., walking, running), and a perfect progressive form (alsoused withthe present participle—e.g., walking, running).

Sentence Correction Basic English Grammar Rules

Used with has orhave, the present perfect tense describes anaction thatoccurred atan indefinite time in the past or that began in the past and continues into the present.


Correct: "I have travelled all over the world." (At an indefinite time)
Correct: "He has gone to school since hewas five years old." (Continues into the present)

Past perfect:       
This verb form is used withhad toshow the order oftwoevents that tookplace inthe past.

Correct: "By the time I left for school, the cake had beenbaked."
Used with willhave, this verb form describes an event in the future that willprecedeanother event.


Correct: "Bythe end of the day, I will have studied for all my tests."

Usedwith am, is, or are, this verb form describes an ongoing action that ishappening now.

Correct:” I am studyingfor exams." "The student is studyingfor exams." "We are studyingfor exams."

Usedwith was or were, this verb form describes something that was happeningwhen another action occurred.

Correct: "The student was studyingwhen the fire alarm rang." "Theywere studying when the firebroke out."

Futureprogressive: Usedwith willbe or shall be, this verb tense describes an ongoing action that willcontinue into the future.

Correct: "The students will be studying forexams throughout the month of December."

Present perfect progressive: Used with have been or has been, this verb tense describes something that began in the past, continues into the present and maycontinue into the future.

Correct: "The student has been studying hard in the hope of acing the test."
Past perfect progressive:
Used with had been, this verb form describes an action of some duration that was completed before another past action occurred.

Correct: "Before the fire alarm rang, the student had been studying."

Future perfect progressive:
Used with will have been, this verb form describes a future, ongoing action that will occur before a specified time.

Correct: "By the end of next year, the students will have been studying math for five years."

The Official Guide for GMAT" Review 13th Edition
Study Suggestions

There are twobasic ways you canstudy for sentence correction questions:
• Read material that reflects standard usage.
Oneway to gainfamiliarity with the basic conventions ofstandard written English is simply toread. Suitable material will usually be found in good magazines and nonfiction books,editorials in outstanding newspapers, and the collections of essays used bymany college anduniversity writing courses.

• Review basic rules of grammar and practice with writing exercises.
Begin byreviewing the grammarrules laidout in this chapter. Then, if youhave school
Assignments (such as essays and research papers) that have beencarefully evaluated forgrammatical errors, it may be helpful to review the commentsand corrections.
What Is Measured

Sentencecorrection questions test three broad aspects of language proficiency:
• Correct expression
A correctsentence is grammatically and structurallysound. It conforms to all the rules ofstandard written English, including noun-verb agreement, noun-pronoun agreement, pronounconsistency, pronoun case, and verb tense sequence. A correct sentencewill not have dangling,misplaced, or improperlyformed modifiers; unidiomatic or inconsistent expressions; or faultsin parallel construction.

• Effective expression
An effective sentence expresses an idea or relationship clearly and concisely as well asGrammatically. This does not meanthat the choice with the fewest and simplest words isnecessarily the best answer. It means that there are no superfluous words or needlesslyComplicated expressions in the best choice.

• Proper diction
An effective sentence also uses properdiction. (Diction refers to the standard dictionaryMeanings of words and the appropriateness ofwords in context.) In evaluating the diction ofa sentence, youmustbe able to recognize whether the words are well chosen, accurate, andsuitable for the context.

Test-Taking Strategies

1. Read the entire sentence carefully.
Tryto understand the specific idea or relationship that the sentence should express.

2. Evaluate the underlined passage for errors and possible corrections beforereading the answer choices.
This strategy will help you discriminate among the answer choices. Remember, in some casesthe underlined passage is correct.

3. Read each answer choice carefully.
The first answer choice always repeats the underlined portion of the original sentence.Choose this answer if youthink that the sentence is best as originally written, but do so onlyafter examiningall the other choices.

4. Try to determine how to correct what you consider to be wrong with the original
Sentence.Someof the answerchoices maychange things that are not wrong, whereas others maynotchange everything that is wrong.

5. Make sure that you evaluate the sentence and the choices thoroughly.
Pay attention to generalclarity, grammatical and idiomatic usage, economy and precision oflanguage, and appropriateness of diction.

6. Read the whole sentence, substituting the choice that you prefer for the Underlined passage.
A choice maybe wrong because it does not fit grammatically or structurally with the rest ofthe sentence. Rememberthat some sentences will require no correction.When the givensentence requires no correction, choose the first answer.

The Directions
These are the directions that you will see for sentence correction questions when you take the GMAT exam. If you read them carefully and understand them clearly before goingto sit for the test,you will not need to spend too much time reviewing them once you are at the test center and the test is under way.Sentence correction questions present a sentence, part or all of which is underlined. Beneath the sentence, you will find five ways of phrasing the underlined passage.Thefirst answer choice repeats the original underlined passage; the other four are different. Ifyou think the original phrasing is best, choose the first answer; otherwise choose one of the others.This type of question tests your ability to recognize the correctness and effectiveness of expression in standard written English. In choosing your answer, follow the requirements of standard written English; that is, pay attention to grammar, choice of words, and sentence construction. Choose the answer that produces the most effective sentence; this answer should be clear and exact, without Awkwardness, ambiguity, redundancy, or grammatical error.

Thanks to

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