Errors of Articles Introduction:
There are three articles used in English Grammar – ‘a’; ‘an’; and ‘the’.
Rules for Articles:
Definite and Indefinite Articles
“The” is a Definite Article.
It is used when both the writer and the reader know about the noun or pronoun being referred to. When using the definite article, the context of the sentence in question will contain information already shared in an earlier part of the sentence.
- For Example, when we read the sentence, “I really enjoyed the movie,” we can infer that the
specific details of the movie have already been mentioned in a previous sentence.
“A” and “AN” are indefinite Articles.
Indefinite articles are used when referring to a non-specific person, place or thing that can be counted. These articles are used when the reader does not know about the specific details of the noun being discussed in the sentence.
- For Example, if a sentence reads – “I would like to watch a movie this afternoon,”
From this For Example, we can infer that the writer is referring to any movie, not a specific movie.
- If the noun in the sentence is non-specific and countable, we use a if the word begins with a consonant, and an if the word begins with a vowel. (discussed later in the chapter)
- Uses of article “the”
Article “the” is also used in following cases:
- When a singular noun is meant to represent a whole category/class
- For Example: The Elephant is a docile animal. (Or we can say Elephants are docile animals.)
- Before superlatives.
- For Example: He is the most sincere student in my class.
- Before the name of a renowned building, river, ocean, sea etc.
- For Example: The Kutub Minar, The Ganges, The Taj Mahal, The Arabian Sea.
- Before the plural names of islands and the mountain ranges (but not peaks or hills), chains of mountains, plural names of countries.
- For Example: The Himalayas, The Alps, The Netherlands, Mount Everest
- Before names consisting of adjective + noun (provided the adjective is not East/West etc.)
- For Example: The Arabian Gulf, The New Forest, The High Street, The Great Himalayas
- Used before the name of a country that contains words like; States, Kingdom, Republic.
- For Example: The USA, The USSR, The UK, The Republic of Ireland, ‘
- The is also used before the name of directions.
- For Example: The East, The West, The North, The South.
- Before the names of important and renowned books.
- For Example- The Kuran, The Ramayana , The Mahabharata
- Before such nouns that are names of things unique of their kind.
- For Example: The Sun, The Earth, The Sky, World, The Sea, The Environment.
- Before terms referring Nationality or Community.
- For Example: The Indian, The French, The American, The English
No Article cases
Sometimes the nouns and pronouns are not preceded by any article. Following are the cases of No Article.
- Before a Proper Noun.
- For Example: Jhansi ki Rani was a great warrior.
- Before name of regular meals. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- For Example: I invited them for dinner on Saturday.
- Before names of ‘Languages’ or ‘Colours’.
- For Example: He doesn’t know ‘Hindi’ but knows ‘English’.
- Before nouns, which are plural in their meanings ,though singular in form i.e.,
- For Example: Cattle, gentry. furniture, scenery, advice, information.
- Before names of public institutions, (Church, School, University, Prison, Hospital, Court, etc.)
- Article is omitted with years.
- For Example: 1978 is my birth year.
- No article is used before name of games, sports. For Example: My son is good in Football.
ERRORS OF NOUNS
Nouns are the words that refer to people, places, things, or abstract ideas. They are also known as Naming Words.
The following words are uncountable and are normally used in the singular form only.
- The indefinite article “A or An” should not be used with them.
- They have no plural forms. ‘A/An’ not used before them.
- For Example: Luggage / Baggage / Breakage / Advice / Furniture / Information / Scenery / Poetry / Work / Soap / Food / Bread / Fish / Paper / Machinery etc.
- The Sceneries of Manali is very beautiful. (Incorrect)
The words such as “News / Maths /Ethics /Politics / Physics / Phonetics / Economics / Statistics / Measles / Mumps / Rickets / Billiards / look like plural nouns but give singular meaning. So, they take singular form of verbs.
- Physics is a difficult subject. (Correct)
- “His Mathematics are not good”. (Incorrect)
Some Nouns remain in plural form only – Belongings / Earrings / Vegetables/ Valuables /Wages/ assets / arrears /spectacles /Riches / outskirts / athletics /surroundings / braces / trousers /pants /goggles / etc.
- His assets are running into billions. (Correct)
- My trousers are new. (Correct)
Rule – 4
Some Nouns have the same form whether singular or plural – Sheep / Deer / Service / Series / Series / Species /Fish / Apparatus
- We saw two fishes in the lake (Incorrect)
- We saw two fish in the lake(Correct)
The following nouns look singular but are always used in the plural form :
Cattle / People / Police / Electorate / Poultry / Swine / Gentry / Clergy/ Children / Cavalry. All these are used with plural form of verbs.
‘S’ is added to the main word in compound noun to make it plural.
- Sister-in-Law, the plural form is Sisters-in-Law, not Sister-in-Laws
- Brother-in- Law, the plural form is Brothers-in-law, not Brothers-in- Laws
Rule – 7
The possessive case of a compound noun is formed by adding ‘s’ to the last word.
- Father-in-Law, father-in-Law’s house
- Sister-in-Law, Sister-in-Law’s car
After the phrases One of / some of/ Each of / Either of /Neither of / Any of / None of, a plural form of a noun is used.
- One of my best friends (not One of my best friend)
- One of the biggest cities (not One of the biggest city)
Rule – 9
Nouns indicating numerals should be used in singular form
- A Dozen eggs (not dozens)
- Two hundred Oranges (not hundreds)
- A ten-mile walk (not miles)
But when ‘a, one, two, ……several ‘ etc are not mentioned; we can use dozens, hundreds etc.
- She is hundreds of miles away from me.
- Hundreds & thousands of people have gathered for Puja.
Rule – 10
If the same noun is repeated after preposition, the noun will be singular.
- City after city was devastated due to flood.
Rule – 11
After collective nouns either a singular or plural form of verb is used. If it is given as a single unit, use singular verb otherwise plural verb.
- The team is strong (here, we are treating the TEAM as an UNIT)(Correct)
An “Apostrophe” and ‘S’ should be used with living things only to show possession. It should not be used with non-living things.
- The car’s tyre is puncture (Incorrect – because the car is a non living thing)
We shouldn’t use “family members / cousin brother or cousin sister” but should use “The members of the family / he or she is my cousin”.
- My cousin Tina is my best friend.
- The members of my family are adorable.
ERRORS OF PRONOUNS
Pronouns are words used to replace noun or noun groups. These refer to a specific thing or person. They are used in the following ways-
Agreement in Number
A pronoun must match its antecedent in number, if the antecedent is plural, the pronoun must be plural, and if the antecedent is singular, the pronoun must be singular.
- Hitesh wears his black t-shirt at least twice a week. (Since the word Hitesh is singular, the pronoun that refers to it is also singular.)
Agreement in Gender
A pronoun must match its antecedent in gender. If the antecedent is feminine, she, her, and hers, are used and if it is masculine, the pronouns he, him, and his are used. Plural pronouns (they, them, their, and theirs) refer to plural nouns of either gender.
- Hitesh’s father is proud of his son.
- Hitesh’s mother is proud of her son.
- Hitesh’s relatives are proud of their nephew.
When two or more nouns are joined by ‘and’ , plural pronoun will be used.
- Ramesh and Mohan went to their school. (Correct)
Exception: If both the nouns are joined by ‘and’ and denote the same person, the pronoun used would be singular.
- The collector and magistrate is negligent in his duty. (same person)
When antecedents are joined by ‘or‘or ‘nor’, the pronoun referring to them should match the part of the antecedent that is closest to the pronoun.
- Neither her friends nor Seema will bring her basketball. (Correct)
- Neither Seema nor her friends will bring their basketball. (Correct)
Indefinite pronouns are those that are not specific, exact or definite. They are also used when the noun is unknown. They are:
- Singular: another, anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, enough, everybody, everyone, everything, little, much, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, other, somebody, someone, something. (use singular verb)
- Plural: both, few, many, several (use plural verb)
- Both singular and plural: all, any, more, most, none, some, such. (use singular or plural verb depending upon the context of the sentence)
- Everybody needs to bring their assignment to class. (Incorrect)
- Everybody needs to bring his or her assignment to class. (Correct)
If a singular antecedent’s gender is unknown, or the antecedent refers to a group composed of both males and females, both the masculine and feminine pronouns are used.
- Everyone appeared for his board Exams. (Incorrect)
- Everyone appeared for his or her board Exams. (Correct)
If a collective noun is used as a unit denoting a unitary action as a whole, the pronoun used is singular and in neutral gender.
- The audience doesn’t like the show.
- The jury gave its verdict.
When a pronoun follows ‘let’, the objective form of the pronoun is to be used.
- Let you and I decide the menu for today’s dinner (Incorrect)
- Let you and me decide the menu for today’s dinner (Correct)
When first, second and third person singular pronouns are used together, they are placed in the order:
You, he and I. (2-3-1)
- You, He and I are going for the movie tonight.
If pronouns are in plural forms then the first person plural pronoun is followed by second and third person plural pronouns. They are placed in the order:
We, you and they (1-2-3)
- We and you cannot live together.
Exception: Sometimes the sentences have some apologetic sense or negative sense or sense of some Errors committed etc. or when the sentence confesses guilt, flaw or sin, then they are arranged in order –
I, You and He (1-2-3.)
In such sentences the good manners demand; to accept the guilt first by the speaker that means by the first person.
- I and you are responsible for the loss.
- You and he spoiled the party.
- I, you and he didn’t go to see him in the hospital.
SUBJECT – VERB AGREEMENT
- Subject is a person that is being talked about or a thing which performs the action.
- There should be an agreement between the subject and the verb.
Rules of the game:
Use of compound subjects: plural subject will use plural verb.
- Ram and Mohan are leaving (compound subject is Ram and Shyam)
Exceptions – compound nouns: bread and butter, Bed and Breakfast, car & petrol, pen & ink etc. Also when they refer to the same person, they take singular verbs e.g. The poet and painter has died.
Subject verb separated by accompanying phrase and also with a comma: Along with, as well as, in addition to, accompanied by, besides, with, including etc. this phrase has to be ignored.
- Professor Gupta, accompanied by his students, was in library
- The house with all its belongings was sold
Rule – 3
Use of Collective Nouns: they can be treated as a singular or a plural subject:- e.g army, family, board, committee, flock, class, faculty, society, audience, group, jury etc
These may be singular or plural depending upon their usage:
- The orchestra is playing a hit song. (subject is singular)
- The orchestra members are playing a hit song (subject is orchestra members and is plural)
Rule – 4
Indefinite Pronouns: are considered singular – each, someone, either, anyone, neither, nobody, one, somebody, no one, anybody, everyone, everybody, Many a, Whatever, whoever etc.
- Someone in the game was (not were) hurt.
- Neither of the men is (not are) working.
Rule – 5
Exceptions of indefinite pronouns: None, Any, Most, All, Some, Most could be either singular or plural depending upon the context:
- Most of the news is good. (singular verb with uncountable noun)
- Some of the flowers were yellow. (plural verb with countable nouns)
- All of the children were late. (plural)
Certain plural nouns such as Both, Several, few, many, others are treated as plural subject & will take plural verb:
- Both, Rajesh and his brother, are going to Shimla
- Several books are lying idle at my place.
One of/Either of/Neither of/ None of – takes plural nouns and Singular Verb
- None of those reasons is valid.
- One of my friends is working with wipro.
Use of correlative conjunctions: either….or, neither …..nor, or, not only….but also. In these the verb should agree with the subject closer to it.
- Neither Seema nor her friends are going for the movie.
- Neither the juniors and their commander is going for the parade.
Phrases and words separated by and are plural:
- My mother, my father and I are going for a walk.
There and here are never subjects. In sentences that begin with these words, the subject is usually found later on in the sentence.
- There were five books on the shelf. (were, agrees with the subject book)
- Here is the report you wanted. (Is agrees with subject report)
Rule – 12
Expressions of time, money, measurement, and weight are usually singular when the amount is considered one unit.
- Fifty rupees is (not are) too much to ask.
- Ten days is (not are) not nearly enough time.
- On one occasion, however these terms are used in the plural sense:
- There were thirty seconds to countdown.
Constructions such as: singular noun + Preposition + Singular Noun will take plural verb
- Man after Man are coming.
Don’t and Doesn’t must agree with the subject. Doesn’t is used after he, she, it.
Rule -15 Nouns ending in -ing
- If were a bird, I would fly high.
ERRORS OF VERBS & TENSES
Grammar tenses refer to the state of the verb. The state, or tense, of the verb explains the time of the action. There are three major tenses in English. These include present, past, and future
Rules of the Game:
Rule – 1
If the subject is Singular number third person, affix ‘s’ or ‘es’ to the verb. If the verb ends in any of the following : ss, o , x, z, sh,ch , add, ‘es’ instead of ‘s’ with the verb.
- Pass-passes, miss-misses, do – does, mix – mixes, fix – fixes etc.
Rule – 2
When the main verb is in Future Tense, use Present Simple in clauses with – if, till, as soon as, when, unless, before, until, even if, in case and as.
- We shall wait till they arrive.
- He will not come today even if it rains.
Present Simple Tense must be used instead of Present Continuous Tense with verbs of perception (feel, hear, smell etc.), verbs of cognition (believe, know, think etc.), verbs of emotion (hope, love, hate etc.) verbs of appearance (look, resemble, seem, sound etc). These are known as static verbs & they define a state. Whereas continuous tense describes an action that is in progress at some moment of present, past & future.
- I am feeling sleepy (Incorrect)
- I feel sleepy(Correct)
But these words can be used in progressive form in the following cases.
- I am seeing my fiancé tonight.
- I am having some difficulties with this puzzle.
Adverbs of past time like yesterday, last year, last month, ago, short while etc. are not used with Present Perfect Tense.
- Krishna has completed his project yesterday(Incorrect)
- Krishna completed his project yesterday. (Correct)
If two or more actions took place in sequence, we use Simple Past to denote the actions. (Otherwise Past Perfect is used to denote the earlier action). This is usually used with the conjunction ‘before’.
- He switched on the light before he had opened the door.
- The train started just before I had reached the station.
Rule – 6
The use of Simple Past Tense with, ‘wish’ and ‘If only’ shows unreal Past and present state of things.
- I wish I were a millionaire!
- I wish you were here.
Rule – 7
Use of Past Continuous with ‘When’ and ‘While’. When is usually used when one action was completed and another action was going on. ( the longer action uses past continuous and the shorter action uses past tense). When gives the meaning ‘at the time that’. While is used to denote the period.
- When Reema arrived, his brother was using her laptop.
- While I was in Delhi, I was partying hard.
Rule – 8
In case of conditional sentences starting with ‘if’; first conditional is about real situations – uses simple present and will in the second part of the sentence.
The second conditional is about unreal situations – uses simple past and would/could/might in the second part of the sentence.
- If I go by bus today, I will be late.(first conditional, real situation)
- If she were a Prime Minister, she would stop corruption. (second conditional, unreal)
Past Perfect is used when we look back at earlier action from a certain point in the past.
- She had finished her lunch, before I entered the room.
- I had started teaching before I got married.
Rule – 10
When two actions are to be taken place on some future time, we use Future Perfect for the action completed first and Present Simple for the action to be completed, afterwards.
- The maid will have left the home before mother reaches.
Future Perfect is also used for such incidents/actions about which we presume that another person had the knowledge of that incident.
- You will have heard about the 100 cr scam.
ERRORS OF ADVERB
- Adverb is a word that qualifies –
- a verb
- an adjective
- another adverb
- a preposition
- For Example: She runs fast. Here, ‘fast’ is an adverb because it is qualifying the verb ‘runs’.
Rules for identifying Errors of adverbs:
An adverb must be placed as near as possible to the word it modifies.
When a verb consists of an auxiliary and a main verb, the adverb which qualifies is placed between the auxiliary and the main verb.
- I have told him often not to come late. (Incorrect)
- I have often told him not to come late. (Correct)
Adverb of time – are placed before the verb they modify. For Examples: Often, always, already, just, never, ever, sometimes, frequently, generally, recently, usually, seldom, hardly rarely, normally etc
- For Example –He comes usually late to office. (Incorrect)
- He usually comes late to office. (Correct)
The adverb ‘enough’ is placed after the adjective.
- For Example – I am good enough to handle this.
- He is big enough to play a video game.
Rule – 3
‘Else’ should be followed by ‘But’
- For Example – There is nothing else but hatred in this relationship.
Rule – 4
When there are two adverbs of place, the smaller unit is usually placed first.
- For Example – I belong to a small town in Uttar Pradesh.
If the sentence is beginning with hardly, never, seldom, scarcely, rarely, no sooner etc. then the verb is used in inverted form.
- No sooner had we entered the theatre than the movie started.
- Hardly does my mom go for a walk.
With more than one adverb in a sentence, the order is – adverb of manner, adverb of place & adverb of time etc.
- For Example – She danced in the party well today. (Incorrect)
- She danced well in the party today.
The adverb ‘too much’ is used with nouns and adverb ‘much too’ is used with an adjective.
- For Example: Dad’s knee surgery gives him too much pain.
Generally ‘fairly’ is used with positive sense and ‘rather’ is used with negative or unfavourable sense.
- For Example: Garima is fairly smart.
‘Only ‘ should be placed before the word it qualifies.
- For Example: The baby has slept for only two hours.
Adverb ‘very’ is used in positive degree while adverb ‘much’ is used in comparative degree.
- For Example: Hardik is very intelligent.
- Cheetah is much faster than elephant.
‘Too’ denotes ‘more than required’. It is generally used with unpleasant adjectives. e.g. too ugly, too bad, too wicked etc. Too happy, too healthy, too pleased etc are incorrect as we don’t really mean “more than required happy” or “healthy – more than required”.
Late shows period of time and lately shows recently.
- For Example: He came late last night.
- Lately I have started jogging.
‘Seldom or never’, ‘Seldom or ever’, ‘little or nothing’, ‘little, or anything’ is correct form.
- For Example – Jatin seldom or ever meet his brother.
Negative adverbs should not be used with the negative meaning word. (Double negative should be avoided)
Avoid the use of negative with until, unless, lest.
‘Scarcely’ and ‘Hardly’ are followed by ‘When’ not by ‘Then’.
- For Example – I had scarcely entered the room when the light went off.
‘Lest’ must be followed by ‘Should’.
- For Example – Study regularly lest you should fail.
‘Very’ is used with the adjective in the positive degree and with present participles.
‘Much’ is used with adjectives in the comparative degree and with past participles.
- For Example – It is very interesting book.
- He is very much stronger than I am.
ERRORS OF PREPOSITIONS
Prepositions are words which show the relationship between a noun or a pronoun object and some other words in
a sentence. They are always followed by nouns or pronouns.
A preposition cannot be followed by a verb. Verb placed immediately after preposition must be in gerund form.
- He prevented me from drinking alcohol.
When ‘object’ of the preposition is an Interrogative Pronoun What, Who, Whom, Which, Where etc., the preposition usually takes end or front position.
- What are you talking about?
When ‘object’ of the preposition is Relative Pronoun ‘that’, the preposition takes end position.
- This is the book that I was looking for.
When ‘object’ of the preposition is infinitive (to + verb), the preposition is placed after infinitive.
- I need some money to start with.
In some sentences, preposition is attached with the verb (These verbs take appropriate preposition with them).
- This is something I insist upon.
In case of interrogative sentences, the preposition comes in the beginning.
- By which route did you come?
With different the preposition used is ‘from’ not ‘than’
- Ramesh is different than Suresh. (Incorrect)
- Ramesh is different from Suresh.(Correct)
The preposition like means “similar to” or “similarly to.” It should be followed by an object of the preposition (noun, pronoun, noun phrase), not by a subject and verb. Rule of thumb: Avoid like when a verb is involved.
- He looks like his brother do.(Incorrect)
- He looks like his brother.(Correct)
Instead of like – the words “use as, as if, as though, or the way “ should be used , when following a comparison with a subject and verb.
- She looked like she was tired. (Incorrect)
- She looked as if she was tired (Correct)
Verbs such as enter, resemble, lack, discuss, marry, reach, order and approach are normally followed by direct objects without prepositions.
- I don’t want to marry to her (incorrect)
- I don’t want to marry her (Correct)
“with” is used in a number of expressions to express their feelings and sensations. For Examples are: white with fear/rage, red with anger/embarrassment, green with envy, blue with cold etc.
- After seeing my marksheet, my dad got red with anger.
- She turned blue in this extreme cold weather.
ERRORS OF ADJECTIVES
Word qualifying a noun or pronoun is called an Adjective.
The types of adjectives are: descriptive, possessive, demonstrative, interrogative, or indefinite.
The Comparative adjectives ending in –ior (Prior, Junior, Senior, Superior, Inferior, Posterior), Prefer (verb), Preferable, Elder etc. are followed by ‘to’ instead of ‘than’
For Example –
- He is senior to me
- Milk is preferable to tea.
Some adjectives do not admit of any comparison and thus they always remain in the positive degree: Absolute, Annual, Chief, Circular, Complete, Entire, Eternal, Extreme, Excellent, Full, Impossible, Perfect, Right, Round, Unique, Universal, Supreme, Whole etc.
- This is the unique building that I have seen.
When two adjectives qualify the same noun, both the adjectives should be expressed in the same degree.
For Example –
- He is wiser and more intelligent than his brother.
When we compare two qualities in the same person or thing, the comparative ending –‘er’ is not used.
For Example –
- He is cleverer than honest (Incorrect)
- He is more clever than honest. (Correct)
Compound adjective formed by adding ‘worth’ is placed after the noun it qualifies.
For Example –
- This is a sight worth seeing.
Either, Neither, Only, Both, even, but also should be placed immediately before the word they emphasize.
For Example –
- He likes to take not only coffee but also tea.
When two adjectives require different prepositions, appropriate prepositions should be used with both adjectives.
For Example –
- His watch is different from and cheaper than mine.
Double comparatives and double superlatives must not be used.
For Example –
- He is wiser than his brother.
When two changes happen together, comparative degree is used in both.
For Example –
- The higher you go, the cooler you feel.
While comparing an object with others, it is necessary to exclude it from the comparison.
For Example –
- Iron is harder than any other metal.
We should not use ‘other’ or ‘else’ with
For Example –
- He is the strongest of all students (not all other students).
‘Kind’ and ‘Sort’ refer to a singular number. We can use ‘this’ and ‘that’ with them, but we can’t use ‘these’ and ‘those’ with them.
For Example –
- He doesn’t like that kind of shirts. (not those kind of shirts)
When two or more comparatives are joined by ‘and’ they must be in the same degree.
For Example – Ram is the wisest and the most learned boy in the class.