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English Error Spotting - Previous Year Questions of SSC CGL

Competition Zenith brings you a post on Error Spotting to boost your English for competitive exams. We are providing you the specifically chosen questions from previous year papers of SSC CGL with the best possible explanation in simplest of the language. Below are some questions with explanation:


1. Have trust on(a)/God and everything(b) /will be right.(c) /(d) No error
2. The cattles (a) /are grazing (b) /in the fields.(c) /(d) No error
3. He is one of (a)/ the best novelists (b) /that has ever lived. Do you agree? (c)/no error (d)
4. On a rainy day (a) /I enjoy to watch TV (b) / with a hot cup of tea.(c ) /no error(d)
5. No sooner did (a)/I reach (b)/ Patna railway station than the train departed(c)/no error (d)
6. There is no agreement (a) / between you and I (b) /so we are free to go our way(c) /no error (d)
7. A variety of books (a) / is available in the market (b) / to help the students qualify the competitive examinations.(c) /no error
8. He has taken charge (a) /as principal of our college (b) /three years ago(c) /no error (d)
9. One should (a) / be honest to his word (b) /in all situations(c) / no error (d)
10. In despite of his (a) / being a small boy he offered to(b)/ fight the giant (c) / No error (d)
11. Neither of these two documents (a) /support your claim (b) /on the property(c) / no error (d)
12. I was wondering whether (a) /I can produce a meal (b) /out of what’s left in the fridge (c) / no error (d)
13. What to speak of milk/even water was/not available there/no error
14. We demonstrated (a)/to them how we were prepared (b)/the artistic pattern.(c)/no error(d)
15. If we had Mohan (a) / in our team,(b) / we would have won the match against your team. (c) /no error (d)

Answers with explanations:

1. Replace ON by IN in part ‘A’.
In the sentence above the word TRUST is a noun; and when it’s is noun it takes the preposition IN; not ON. And when it’s a verb it does not take any preposition;
You can trust me not to tell anyone. (Here the word TRUST is a verb)

2. Replace CATTLES by CATTLE in part ‘A’).
Certain collective nouns like CATTLE, POULTRY, POLICE, PEOPLE, GENTRY, though singular in form, are always used as plurals, means they don’t have plural forms and take plural verbs; as,
i) These poultry are mine.
ii) Whose are those cattle?
iii) Who are those people?
iv) There are few gentry in this town.
v) Police are investigating the case.
NOTE: Use of the word FIELDS is quite correct.
It means some of the cows/bulls were grazing in one field and some of them in other field(s).

3. Replace HAS by HAVE in part ‘c’)
As the verb must agree with the noun (here NOVELISTS) of the relative pronoun (here THAT). You see NOVELISTS is in plural, so the verb must be plural.

4. Replace ‘TO WATCH’ by WATCHING in part of ‘B’
As the verb ENJOY is followed by the gerund (ING form of a verb); not the infinitive (TO + first form of the verb). HOT CUP OF TEA is quite correct. Had the tea been cold; then it’s A CUP OF COLD TEA.

5. Insert THE before Patna in part ‘C’
As the station is specific. It must take the article.

6. Replace ‘I’ by ME in part ‘B’.
BETWEEN is a preposition, and after a preposition only the objective form a pronoun is used. ME is objective form of ‘I’.

7. Replace AVAILABES by AVAILABLE in part ‘B’.
IS is quite here as the main word of the subject i.e. VARIETY is singular.

8. Replace HAS TAKEN by TOOK in part ‘A’.
When we use time adverbs (here THREE YEARS AGO) that talk about FINISHED periods of time we use the past simple rather than the present perfect. Other such expressions are: AGO, AT (3 o’clock), LAST (week/month), ON (Monday), THEN, YESTERDAY, etc.
More Example:
i) She DIED at the age of 86, in 1964. (not HAS DIED)

9. Replace HIS by ONE’S in part ‘B’.
The subject of the sentence is noun ONE; for it possessive adjective is ONE’S; not HIS. The indefinite pronoun should be used through if it refers to ONE.
i) ONE cannot be too careful about ONE (not HIS) says.
ii) ONE does not like to have ONE”S (not HIS) word doubted.
iii) ONE must not boast of ONE’S (not HIS) own success.

10. The mistake is in part ‘A’.
Either do it IN SPITE OF or DESPITE

11. Replace SUPPORT by SUPPORTS in part ‘B’.
When NEITHER is the main word of the subject it takes singular verb.

12. Replace WAS by AM in the part ‘a’
As parts ‘b’ and ‘c’ both are in the present tense. WHAT’s = what is; not what was as WAS cannot be contracted; means it can’t be written in short form.

13. Replace WHAT by NOT in part ‘A’.
The idiom is NOT TO SPEAK OF SOMETHING; which means worthless to mention.

14. Remove WERE from part ‘b’
As the passive form is not required here.

15. Replace HAD by ‘HAD HAD’ in part ‘1’
As past perfect is needed here


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