Error Spotting

Answer Key with Explanatory Notes

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Question 1: Before he started out/ he had collected all the/ informations about the country /he was going to visit/ No error.

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
The error is in the 3rd fragment. Usually, nouns have distinct singular and plural form i.e. the plural form of the singular noun ‘boy’ is ‘boys’. However, ‘Information’ is a non-countable abstract noun and therefore it has no distinct singular or plural form. Other examples of non-countable abstract nouns with no singular or plural form are education, violence, anger etc.

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Question 2: The first lesson I got/ in my military days was that/ one should love his country/ better than anything else/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) There are two errors in this sentence; the errors are in the 3rd and 4th fragment. In the 3rd fragment, the pronoun one refers to an unspecified individual; the individual maybe male or female. Thus we cannot say one must love ‘his’ country. We can replace ‘his’ with either ‘his or her’ or ‘one’s’. The use of the word ‘better’ in the 4th fragment is incorrect. Better is used to compare two entities at a time e.g. X is better than Y. In the given sentence, the speaker wants to convey that love for one’s country must be of a higher level compared to one’s love for other things. Thus, the phrase ‘better than’ must be replaced with ‘more than’.
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Question 3: Shakespeare was/ better than any poet/ of his days/ according to critics/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) The error is in the 2nd fragment. According to this sentence, X is better than Y; where X is ‘Shakespeare’ and Y is ‘any poet ’. However, ‘any poet of his days’ would include Shakespeare himself. Thus, instead of saying ‘any poet’, we must say ‘any other poet’.

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Question 4: I ordered for a cup of tea/ but the bearer/ brought it only/ at the end of the tea-session/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) The error is in the 1st fragment. The phrase “ordered for a cup of tea” is incorrect. The correct phrase is “ordered a cup of tea”.

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Question 5: Hardly I have finished reading /when mv sister /snatched the book /from me/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) There error is in the 1st fragment. The phrase “Hardly I have finished” is incorrect. The correct phrase is “I had hardly finished”. The phrases “Hardly had I finished” and “I had hardly finished” are also correct.

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Question 6: I went to the Principal/ because I wanted/ to know as to why/ I was detained/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) The sentence can be rephrased in two ways viz. 1) I went to the Principal to know as to why I was detained 2) I went to the Principal because I wanted to know why I was detained. Thus, the error is in the 3rd fragment. Instead of using the phrase “know as to why”, we must use the phrase “know why”.

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Question 7: The assurance that/ he would be cured of the/ disease pleased him/ very much/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) There is no error in this sentence!!! Yahooo!!!

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Question 8: I have been living here/ since four years/ but no one has/ noticed my presence so far/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) The error is in the 2nd fragment. The prepositions for, since and from – to are all used to indicate duration. When there is a definite start and finish time for a particular time period, use from – to e.g. Lunch time is from 1 P.M. to 2 P.M. When there is only a start time for a particular time period, use since e.g. I have been working since 9:30 A.M. When there is no start or finish time for a particular time period, use for e.g. I have been working for 3 hours. In the 2nd fragment, the time period has no definite start or finish time. Thus, we must substitute the phrase ‘since four years’ with the phrase ‘for four years’ in order to correct the sentence.
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Question 9: No sooner did the train start/ when there was a/ great rush/ into my compartment/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) The error is in the 2nd fragment. When a sentence begins with the phrase ‘no sooner’ the structure must be No sooner X than Y And NOT No sooner X when Y

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Question 10: Do you object to me/ sitting in this room/ and reading a book/ for a short while?/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) The error is in the 1st fragment The correct phrase is “do you object to my”. If the following structure occurs: [pronoun] [verb+ing] Then, the pronoun must be a possessive pronoun. Possessive pronouns are my, your, his, her, its, our, their. e.g. Do you like his singing? Do you appreciate their practicing till late night? Do you like the idea of our cooking non-veg food in the kitchen?
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Question 11: Hardly had I left the school/ than it began/ to rain/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

The error is in the 2nd fragment.
When a sentence begins with the phrase ‘hardly’ the structure must be Hardly X when Y And NOT Hardly X than Y

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Question 12: Her ability to/ talk to strangers/ is one of her/ strong points/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) The error is in the 2nd fragment. When we say Van is talking to Hussein, it is understood that Van is the only one talking. However, when we say Van is talking with Hussein, we must understand that both Van and Hussein are talking and exchanging ideas. Therefore, in the context of this sentence, it is more appropriate to use the phrase ‘talk with strangers’.

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Question 13: My sister/ only drew/ on one side/ of the paper/ No error (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) The error is in the 2nd fragment. The word only applies to the phrase ‘on one side of the paper’. However, in the sentence, it seems like only applies to the phrase ‘my sister’. Thus, to correct the sentence, the phrase ‘only drew’ must be replaced with the phrase ‘drew only’.

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Question 14: My brother-in-law/ along with his daughter/ were present/ at the function/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) The error is in the 3rd fragment. If the following structure occurs: X along with Y [verb] Then, X and the [verb] must agree in number. In the sentence, X is ‘brother-inlaw’. Since X is singular, the verb must also be singular. Therefore, the phrase ‘were present’ must be substituted with the phrase ‘was present’.

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Question 15: Motivating employees with/ traditional authority/ and financial /incentive have become increasingly difficult/ No error. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) The error is in the 4th fragment. In this sentence the subject is ‘motivating employees’. When the subject contains an ‘ing’ word. The verb must be singular. e.g. Running is good for health.

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