Friends, today we shall discuss one of the very important topics of competitive exams’ English Section Correction of Sentences or Correct usage of words in English. In this type of questions, each sentence is divided into four parts and each part is marked below as A, B, C, and D. There is a mistake in any one part of the sentence. The students are required to detect which part contains the mistake. If there is no mistake in any part of the sentence, it should be marked as No Error (Option E).
As a number of our friends have been saying that they are unable to perform well in this area we have decided to update detailed lessons on Correction of Sentences in English. This is the introductory lesson and this lesson followed by exercises on Correction of Sentences with detailed explanations. We hope these lessons and exercises will help you perform well in upcoming exams. All the best.
The mistake may be of any one of the following types:
- Mistake in the use of article — a, an, the.
- The subject in the sentence may not be agreeing with the verb in number.
- Pronoun may not be agreeing with its antecedent in person, number of gender.
- There may be a mistake in the use of preposition.
- There may be a wrong use of a conjunction in the sentence.
- There may be mistakes in the use of participles, gerunds, infinitives and verbal nouns.
- Some word in a sentence may have been wrongly used.
- There may be a mistake in the use of an adverb or adjective. Degree of adjective may have been wrongly used.
- Rules regarding verbs, their tenses, number, or moods may not have been correctly followed.
- There may be miscellaneous mistakes which may not fit in the above categories.
English Correction of Sentences Exercises with Explanations
- I have criticize (1)/ the remarkable book (2)/ because I benefited (3)/ from reading it. (4)/ No error (5)
Answer: The error lies in part (1) of the sentence. ‘I have criticize’ should be replaced with ‘I did not criticize’. It will make the sentence meaningful.
- When he had been (1)/ walked along the road (2)/ a wild and ferocious dog (3)/ hit him hard and knocked him down (4)/ No error (5).
Answer: (2) The structure of Past Perfect Continuous is : Subject + had been + verb +ing
- I am grateful to you (1)/ and all your friends (2)/ for showing sym-pathy (3)/ and kindness with me (4)/ No error (5).
Answer: (4) The preposition ‘with’ should be replaced by ‘to’.
- It was clear from the way (1)/ they were behaving (2)/ that they had been (3)/ lost their senses (4)/ No er¬ror (5).
Answer: (3) Past Perfect Tense will be used. The structure is : Subject + had + past participle
- As Arundhati Roy (1)/ in her foreword write (2)/ John offers (3)/un-told stories of people. (4) No error (5)
Answer: (2) The word ‘write’ is in Present Indefinite Tense. It should be replaced with ‘has written’ as Present Perfect is used to express past action whose time is not given and not defi¬nite.
- Responsibilities includes (1)/ working with the editors (2)/ on all. aspects (3)/ of the editorial process. (4)/ No error (5)
Answer: (1) The word Responsibilities is a Plural Subject. It will take plural verb.
- While grouping the words (1)/ care have been taken (2)/ to in-clude th’e role (3)/ grammar plays in a language. (4)/ No error (5)
Answer: (2) The word Care is Singular and it will take Singular ~erb. Hence, ‘care have been taken’ should be re¬placed with ‘care has been taken’.
- Distrust seems (1)/ to be a factor (2)/ borne out of (3)/ prevail¬ing circumstances. (4)/ No error (5)
Answer: (3) The phrase ‘borne out of,’ should be replaced with ‘born of’ which means coining from the speci¬fied type of parents, background, ori¬gin etc. For example,
- That boy possess (1)/ three beautiful pens (2)/ but he would not (3)/ show them to anyone (4)/ No error (5)
Answer: (1) ‘That boy possesses’ is the correct usage, as the verb must agree with its subject in number and person.
- Though I had been (1)/ his friend for quite a long time, (2)/ I re¬fused to help him (3)/ because his ill nature (4)/ No error (5).
Answer: (4) ‘Because of’ is the correct idiomatic form.
Key with Explanations for the Sentence Correction Problems
- The things I told you has been done.
Here we are talking about things (plural). So we should use have been instead of has been. The correct sentence is The things I told you about have been done.
- I do not know why I felt so grief.
* Here grief means Deep Sorrow
There are two errors in this sentence,
You shouldn’t use the word so.
Here is grief is noun. So you can’t feel grief (grammatically incorrect).
So you can say I do not know why I feel so sad (instead of grief)
- The old lady is poor stricken.
*here stricken means “affected by being poor (poverty)).
here poor is an adjective, stricken is also a noun. We can’t put them together. Its grammatically incorrect. So you can use the noun form of poor (poverty) so the sentence will be The old lady is poverty stricken.
- I will drink milk today morning.
The above sentence is grammatically incorrect. You should say I will drink milk this morning.
Some important points to remember :
Today morning –> This morning
Yesterday morning –> Last morning
Tomorrow morning –> The coming morning.
- He said he will unable to help me.
You should use the be form after will. So the correct sentence is He said he will be unable to help me.
- Not only is Javed handsome but also he is very friendly.
The correct structure of the sentence will be Not only is Javed handsome, but he is also very friendly.
- Thus I have been lived alone for the past two years.
Have been is there. So, there should be an ing form. So the correct sentence is,
Thus I have been living alone for the past two years.
Important Note : I’ve been observing that people often confuse about the usage of for and since.
for is used when you give the time duration.
ex : for the past two years. for the last two weeks etc.
since is used when you give the starting point of the time.
ex : since 1980, since 1st July 2013 etc
- This chapter comprises of seven sections.
Comprises of is grammatically incorrect. You should say consists of or just comprises. So the correct form(s) of the sentence will be,
This chapter comprises seven sections.
This chapter consists of seven sections.
- The man was sweating proficiently.
We use the proficiently when somebody is really good at it.
Ex : proficient driver, proficient dancer, proficient in a foreign language etc. Sweating is not a skill 😛 So we shouldn’t use proficiently here.
You can use profusely here if you want to express Extravagant / Abundant.
One more important point to note : Now a days everybody using “sweating” while talking about humans. But grammatically its a blunder. We use sweating only for animals. For humans you should use the word perspire.
Animals —> Sweats / Sweating
Humanbeings –> Perspire / Perspiring
So you can write, The man is perspiring profusely
- I also have been sick too.
Here also and too, represent the same meaning. So you shouldn’t use them both. Any one of them is enough. So you can say,
I have been sick too.