How to Master Error Spotting In English?


How to Master Error Spotting In English?

What is Error Spotting in the English Language Section?

This is a common type of question in the English Language section in many government exams, including the IBPS clerk exam. The question consists of a sentence, which is separated into parts. The candidate is required to choose the part of the sentence which is grammatically incorrect.

However, the total English Language section holds 30 marks for 30 questions. Alongside the Error spotting, you need to attempt Reading Comprehension, Cloze Test, Fillers, Sentence Improvement, and Fill in the Blanks to ensure the complete 30 marks. 

Let’s check out the tricks on how to hone the skill of error spotting in a lesser time.   


Tips To Master Error Spotting in English Language Section

The errors are based on the speech, tenses, articles, form of the verb, the form of tenses, genders, etc.

Here are a few rules with examples to show you how to spot errors.


  1. Some singular nouns are used as plural nouns as they are inherently plural, such as people, cattle, police, peasantry, etc. They require a plural verb with them.

           Wrong- People are coming towards the Town Hall.

           Right- People are coming towards the Town Hall.


       2. Some nouns are always plural and hence will always be used with a plural verb. E.g., Trousers, scissors, clothes, specs, employees, etc.

           Wrong- My specs are missing from my desk.

           Right- My specs are missing from my desk.


        3. Some nouns are used in both singular and plural contexts, and the correct verb is used based on the meaning of the sentence. E.g., Committee, Government, Audience, etc.

            Singular Use- The committee was to take the decision on his plea.

            Plural Use- The committees were attending the meeting to make new rules.


        4. Some nouns always use a singular verb, e.g., Innings, News, Business, Economics, Physics, etc.

           Wrong- Today, the news is negative.

           Right- Today, the news is negative.


        5. The pronoun should be in alignment with the subject of the sentence. Gender, number, and person should be kept in mind.

            Wrong- The employees were not doing their work.

            Right- The employees were not doing their work.


        6. The pronoun one should be borne in mind while completing the sentence.

            Wrong- One should be diligent in his work.

             Right- One should be diligent in one’s work.


        7. The use of whose and which. 'Which denotes non-living things, while 'Whose' is used for living things.

            Which- Which is your favorite color?

            Whose- Whose book was lying on the drawing-room floor?


        8. If there is a question tag in a sentence, the next part will be its opposite. Say, if the sentence is positive, the question tag is negative, and vice versa

            Example 1- It is Reena, isn’t it?

            Example 2- It’s not what I think, is it?


        9. Comparative adjectives are always followed by “to”. E.g. Superior, Prior, Inferior, etc.

            Wrong- He is inferior to you.

            Right- He is inferior to you.


        10. When you are using an adjective to show comparison or equality, “As” is used both before and after the adjective.

              Wrong- He is as clever, if not clever than me.

              Right- He is as clever as, if not clever than me.


        11. “An” is also used with certain words, which start with H. Such honor, honest, hour, etc.

               Wrong- He is an honest man.

               Right- He is an honest man.


         12. 'Unless' is a word that denotes negativity itself. “Not” is never used in a sentence that contains unless.

               Wrong- Unless you do not hide, you won’t be caught.

               Right- Unless you hide, you won’t be caught.


Preparation Tips For Solving Error Spotting

There is a reason why there is the saying that “Practice makes a man perfect,” and the IBPS clerk exam requires lots of practice. You need to look into the finer points of grammar and improve your grip on the English language. It can be done in the following ways.


  1. Focus on your grammar. Read grammar books and solve them. Learn about some general and specific rules of the language.
  2. Solve previous year papers, mock test papers, reference books, etc. A lot of practice books are available on the internet and in the market.
  3. In the English language, you also have to focus on spellings. You should know every spelling correctly so that if a question contains a spelling error, you are able to spot it.
  4. Learn to read fast and understand the question as quickly as you can while grasping it completely. In exams, time is scarce; you must learn to spot the error while managing time.
  5. If you can’t understand the question even after reading it twice, leave it for later and focus on the questions you find easier to solve.
  6. Read the question in parts and focus on them individually. It will help you understand it better.


What’s More?

IBPS Clerk Preparation requires dedication, hard work, and of course, a concrete study plan. If you want to crack the IBPS Clerk exam on the first attempt, secure every single mark. The English language section can help you in scoring good marks if you practice a lot. Practice is the key to success and the answer to your question- “how to master error spotting in the English language section.” Best of luck!

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