SPOTTING ERRORS NOUN A Noun is the name of a person, place, thing, quality, condition and action. There are five kinds of Noun – (a) Proper Noun (b) Common Noun (c) Collective Noun (d) Abstract Noun (e) Material Noun. Noun Number Gender Case Singular Plural masculine Feminine Common Neuter Nominative Objective possessive A boy Boys Boy Girl Baby Non-living things Ram helps Sita. Ram helps Sita. Ram 's wife Subject verb agreement in Number words Deer Form Same form both in singular & plural Hundred Three hundred people/ Hundreds of people Looks plural Plural Looks singular Singular Politics Spectacles Cattle Furniture Usage Singular/plural depending upon context Plural Singular Plural plural singular NOTE to manage questions on number of noun, try to make out sense of sentence whether singular or plural which noun form is to be used. Important rule Some nouns have the same form both in singular as well as in plural. For example a) A deer was caught b) Deer were caught. Here, the singular and plural form of the noun Deer is same. Like Deer there are other nouns that have the same form in Singular as well as plural form. For example sheep, apparatus, species, series, hundred, dozen, hair etc Important rule Nouns denoting large numbers are used both in singular and plural form For example a) Three hundred people attended the function. b) Hundreds of people attended the party. In sentence a), ‘hundred’ is preceded by number ‘three’. So ‘hundred’ will take no plural form. Word ‘three hundred’ indicates plurality. But in sentence b), ‘hundred’ is not preceded by any number. So to indicate plurality, we will write ‘hundreds’. So, rule is that when words like hundred, dozen, thousand, pair, score are not preceded by any word denoting number then they take the plural form, otherwise not. a) Cola paid lakhs of rupees to Aamir Khan for promoting their product. b) I brought two dozen bananas. Important rule Tell which sentence is correct a) Since long no news has been heard. b) Since long no news have been heard. Sentence a is correct. Some nouns are always used as singular though they look like plural nouns. Other similar words are politics, mathematics, physics, gallows, means, billiards, ethics, summons, innings For example a) Politics is not my cup of tea. b) I received summons. c) Sachin once again played a superb innings Important rule Tell which sentence is correct a) The spectacles that you are wearing are really nice. b) The spectacles that you are wearing is really nice. Sentence a) is correct. The reason being that some noun words are always used in the plural form. For example trousers, arms, drawers, assets, scales, alms, thanks, cards; ashes, riches, premises, scissors, credentials, proceeds. Important rule Tell which sentence is correct a) The cattle was grazing in the field. b) The cattle were grazing in the field Sentence b) is correct .The reason being that some nouns are always used as plurals though they look like singular. Other nouns like this are public; people, folk, mankind, poultry, sheep, police, gentry, peasantry, bulk, majority, etc. For example a) The majority are with the leader. b) Police, though late, have come. c) Public wants results.
Important rule Tell which sentence is correct. a) This project will lead to lots of expenditures b) This project will lead to lots of expenditure. Sentence b) is correct. The reason is that some nouns are always used as singular. Preceding adjectives or the verb form indicates the singularity or plurality. Other nouns are expenditure, furniture, information, machinery, issue, offspring, alphabet, scenery, poetry. For example a) All the furniture was bought last year. b) All the Information was given to him. Important rule Meaning of some nouns in plural form is very different from the meaning of nouns in singular form. Hence, that form should be used which will convey the right meaning. For example a) I opened the letter and read its contents. b) Her mouth was fixed in a smile of pure content. c) The conflict between good and evil is ages old. d) We must produce goods at competitive prices. e) Delhites breathe the most polluted air in the world. f) She was just putting on airs when she came to visit us/me. g) We should renounce the use of force to settle our dispute. h) Families of people who died as a result of services in the forces should not be ignored. i) I was very excited on my return to my home village. j) Early returns in the ballot indicate majority for opposition. Following are rules regarding apostrophe Rules regarding apostrophe S (’s) a) Singular noun ’s is added after the word. b) Singular noun Only an apostrophe is added when there are too many hissing sounds. For example Moses’ laws, for goodness’ sake, For justice’ sake. c) Plural nouns ending in s like boys, cows only’ is added after the word d) Plural nouns not ending in s like men, children ’s is added after the word. e) ’S is added primarily after the living things and personified objects. For example Governor’s bodyguard, horse’s head, Nature’s law, Fortune’s favourite. f) ’S is not used with inanimate or non-living things. For example leg of the table, cover of the book. g) But in nouns that denote time, distance or weight, ’s is used. For example a stone’s throw, in a year’s time, the earth’s surface. h) Some other common phrases where ’s is used are to his heart’s content, at his wit’s end, out of harm’s way. i) When a noun consists of several words, the possessive sign is attached only to the last word. For example a) The Queen’s of England reaction is important in the Diana episode. (Incorrect) b) The Queen of England’s reaction is important in the Diana episode. (Correct) Do not be mistaken that since it is the Queen’s reaction, the ’s should come after queen. You might think that putting it after England would make the reaction England’s and not the Queen’s. This is shortsightedness. Do not see Queen and England in isolation, Queen of England is one whole unit and the apostrophe should come at its end. j) When two nouns are in apposition, the possessive sign is put to the latter only. For example a) I am going to Stephen Hawking’s the scientist’s country. (Incorrect) b) I am going to Stephen Hawking the scientist’s country. (Correct) k) When two or more nouns show joint possession, the possessive sign is put to the latter only. For example a) Amitabh and Ajitabh are Bachchanji’s sons. So Bachchanji is Amitabh’s and Ajitabh’s father. (Incoreect) b) Amitabh and Ajitabh are Bachchanji’s sons. So Bachchanji is Amitabh and Ajitabh’s father. (Correct) I) When two or more nouns show separate possession, the possessive sign is put with both. For example . a) The audience listened to Javed and Vajpayee’s poems. (Incorrect) b) The audience listened to Javed’s and Vajpayee’s poems. (Correct) AGREEMENT OF THE SUBJECT WITH THE VERB A verb must agree with its subject in number and person. Often due to “Error of Proximity” the verb is made to agree in number with a noun near it instead of with its proper subject. For example
a) The quality of the mangoes were not good. (Wrong since subject is quality, a singular and not mangoes.) b) The quality of the mangoes was not good (Right). c) His knowledge of Indian vernaculars are far beyond the common. (Wrong) d) His knowledge of Indian vernaculars is far beyond the common. (Right) Important Rule If two singular nouns express one idea, the verb is in the singular. For example a) Bread and Butter are essential for one’s life. (Incorrect) b) Bread and Butter is essential for one’s life. (Correct) Important Rule Verb should be singular even when some words are joined to a singular subject by ‘with’, ‘as well as’ etc, For example a) The chairman, with the directors, is to be present. b) Silver, as well as cotton, has fallen in prices. Important Rule When a plural noun denotes some specific quantity or amount considered as a whole, the verb is generally singular. For example a) Five hours are too short a time to judge one’s character. (Incorrect) b) Five hours is too short a time to judge one’s character. (Correct) This is so because five hours is considered as one chunk. Important Rule Two or more singular subjects connected by ‘or’, ‘nor’ require singular verb. For example a) No nook or corner was left unexplored. b) Our happiness or our sorrow is largely due to our own actions. Important Rule When the subjects joined by ‘or’, ‘nor’ are of different numbers, the verb must be plural, and the plural must be placed next to the verb. For example a) Neither Rekha nor her fiends was present at the party. (Incorrect) b) Neither Rekha nor her friends were present at the party. (Correct) Important Rule Either, neither, each, everyone, many a must be followed by a singular verb. For example a) Neither of the two men was very strong. b) Every one of the prisons is full. c) Many a man has done so. d) He asked whether either of the applicants was suitable. Important Rule Two nouns qualified by each or every, even though connected by ‘and’ require a singular verb. For example Every boy and every girl was given a packet of sweets. Important Rule ‘None’ though singular commonly takes a plural verb. For example None are so deaf as those who will not hear PRONOUN A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun Now consider the following cases Since a pronoun is used instead of a Noun, it must be of the same number, gender and person as the noun for which it stands. For example Those beggars are idle. They refuse to work for their living. Please consider the following two sentences. a) After a few hearings the jury gave its verdict. (Pronoun ‘its is used in place of noun 'jury'). b) The jury were divided in their opinions. (Pronoun ‘their’ is used in place of noun ‘jury’ You must be wondering why different pronoun 'its' and ‘their’ is used in place of the same noun ‘jury’ The reason is when a pronoun stands for a collective noun it must be in the singular number and neutral gender. (Sentence a). But when collective noun conveys the idea of separate individuals comprising the whole, the pronoun standing for it must be of the plural number. In sentence b, it is clear that members of the jury are not behaving as whole. For example
a) The committee is reconsidering its decision. b) The committee decided the matter without leaving their seats. Major categories - rules 1. Noun pronoun verb- Agreement in person- number- gender throughout sentence 2. Type of pronoun - for persons/things 3. Order of preference 4. Position - nearness 5. Case - subjective/objective/possessive Noun-pronoun agreement in person, number, gender A pronoun must agree with its Antecedent in person, number and gender. For example a) All passengers must show their (not his) tickets. b) I am not one of thosewho believe everything they (not I) hear Important Rule When two or more singular nouns are joined by ‘and’, the pronoun used for them must be plural. For example Rama and Hari work hard. Their teachers praise them. But when two Singular nouns joined by ‘and’ refer to the same person or thing, the pronoun should be singular. For example The Secretary and Treasurer is negligent of his duty. Here the same person is acting as Secretary and Treasurer. That’s why singular pronoun is used. Important Rule When two singular nouns joined by ‘and’ are preceded by ‘each’ or ‘every’, then the pronoun must be singular For example Every soldier and every sailor was in his place. Important Rule When two or more singular nouns are joined by ‘or’, ‘either...or’, ‘neither...nor’, the pronoun is generally singular. For example a) Neither Abdul nor Rehman has done his lessons. b) Either Rama or Hari must help his friend. Important Rule When a plural and a singular noun are joined by ‘or’ or ‘nor’, the pronoun must be in the plural For example Either the manager or his assistants failed in their duty. Rules regarding personal pronouns Rule 123 order of preference = 1>2>3 When a pronoun refers to more than one noun or pronouns of different persons, it must be of the first person plural in preference to the second and of the second person plural in preference to the third. For example You and I, husband and wife, have to look after your home. (Incorrect) You and I, husband and wife, have to look after our home. (Correct) Case - subjective/objective/possessive Important Rule The complement of the verb be, when it is expressed by a pronoun, should be in the nominative form. For example a) It was he (not him), b) It is I (not me) that gave the prizes away. c) It might have been he (not him). Tell which sentence is correct a) The presents are for you and me. b) The presents are for you and I. Sentence a is correct. Pronoun has to agree with the case. Here it is the objective case. So, ‘me’ should be used instead of ‘I’. For example My uncle asked my brother and me to dinner. Important Rule Tell which sentence is correct a) He loves you more than I. b) He loves you more than me. Sentence a is correct ‘Than’ is a conjunction joining clauses. And the case of the pronoun to be used may be found by writing the clauses in full. So, in sentence a.) Two clauses joined by ‘than’ are ‘He loves you more’ and ‘I love you’. Being a subjective case, ‘I’ should be used. For example a) He is taller than I (am). b) He loves you more than (he loves) me. Rules regarding relative pronouns On combining each of the above pairs into one sentence a) This is the boy who works hard (Who in place of He)