ENGLISHMiscellaneous English



Here are some of the very important words and expressions that a candidate of any competitive exam should understand to crack an exam with good marks. They will be very useful for the competitive exams of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) or Grade-II DASS Exam of the DSSSB, and other similar exams:

1. Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Exam Tier-I & Tier-II

2. Combined Higher Secondary (10+2) Exam (CHSL) Tier-I

3. SI in Delhi Police and CPO Exam Paper-I & Paper-II

4. Stenographers Exam

5. Grade-II DASS Exam conducted by Delhi Staff Subordinate Services (DSSSB)

Words and Expressions that are included here in this very post are:











1. Each & Every

A) When we speak of two we can only use EACH (not EVERY), but if we speak of more than two we can use either EACH or EVERY without a difference in meaning; e.g.

i) She had a bag in each hand. (You cannot use EVERY here as a person only has two hands.)

ii) EACH member has given the dues. (If the number of members is two only you can use EACH, if the number of members is more than two you can use either EACH or EVERY.)

NOTE: When the number of things/persons in a group is limited, means they can be counted, we prefer EACH (not EVERY). But when the number of things/persons is indefinite, means can’t normally be counted, we can only use EVERY (not EACH); e.g.

Every person in the rally was looking enthusiastic. (here the number of persons is indefinite, though limited. So we can use EVERY only (not EACH).

B) With words ALMOST, PRACTICALLY, NEARLY, WITHOUT EXCEPTION we cannot use EACH; with these words we can only use EVERY; e.g.

Almost every car in the car park was new.

INCORRECT: Practically each part of the banana tree is useful.
CORRECT: Practically every part of the banana tree is useful.



HARD is both an adjective and an adverb, whereas HARDLY can only be an adverb. HARDLY is not the adverb form of the adjective HARD. The adverb form of HARD is HARD itself. When HARD is an adverb, it means ‘with a lot of effort’ or ‘heavily or severely’. We use it after the main verb. HARDLY has a negative meaning. It normally means ‘almost not’ or ‘only just’. We put HARDLY before the verb.

i) I studied hard for my exams but could not pass.
ii) The government is coming down hard on rape crime.
iii) There is so much noise in the other room. I can hardly hear what you are saying. iv) The instructions are printed so small I can hardly read them.

INCORRECT: I tried hardly to find the key.
CORRECT: I tried hard to find the key.

INCORRECT: It was raining hardly and we all got wet.
CORRECT: It was raining hard and we all got wet.

INCORRECT: You must not have beaten him too hardly.
CORRECT: You must not have beaten him too hard.

NOTE-I: As HARDLY is a negative word we don’t use NOT or any other negative words with it; e.g.

INCORRECT: I did not hardly know him.
CORRECT: I hardly knew him.

INCORRECT: There are hardly no mangoes left.
CORRECT: There are hardly any mangoes left.

NOTE-II: If needed, HARDLY takes WHEN, not THAN; e.g.

INCORRECT: The doctor had hardly arrived than the patient died.
CORRECT: The doctor had hardly arrived when the patient died.

NOTE-III: HARDLY and SCARCELY are the same thing and both are replaceable with each other. Like HARDLY, if needed we also use WHEN with SCARCELY in the next clause.


3. After & Afterwards

A) AFTER as a preposition is always followed by a noun, pronoun or gerund (-ing form); e.g.

i) We ate ice-cream after lunch. (LUNCH is a noun.)
ii) You should not have a meal and bathe immediately after it. (IT is a pronoun.)
iii) After running, I took a rest. (RUNNING is a gerund.)

B) AFTERWARDS is normally used alone or with a clause; e.g.

INCORRECT: We had tea, and after we sat in the garden.
CORRECT: We had tea, and afterwards we sat in the garden.

INCORRECT: We’ll go to the park first and eat after.
CORRECT: We’ll go to the park first and eat afterwards.


4. Beside & Besides

BESIDE = next to. It also means ‘compared to’

i) She sat beside me after the class. (वह class ke baad मेरे साथ बैठ गयी.)
ii) These problems seem unimportant beside the potential benefits of the new system. (ये उलझने नए सिस्टम के संभावित फायदों की तुलना में अनावश्यक लग रही हैं.)
B) Besides

BESIDES = in addition to something/somebody

i) My brother is also here besides me. (मेरे अतरिक्त मेरा भाई भी यहाँ है.)
ii) She also wants to learn other languages besides English and Hindi. (अंग्रेजी और हिंदी के साथ साथ वह दूसरी भाषाएं भी सीखना चाहती है.)
iii) Besides TVs we also sell computers here.
iv) Besides working as a teacher, he also writes novels.


5. Alone & Lonely

ALONE = without other people around you; e.g.

My wife has gone to live with her parents for some days, so I’m forced to live alone.

LONELY = sad because you are alone and feel that nobody loves you or cares about you; e.g.

I didn’t know anyone in Mumbai and felt very lonely.

INCORRECT: I was very alone at first but then I made some friends.
CORRECT: I was very lonely at first but then I made some friends.


6. In spite of & Despite

IN SPITE OF and DESPITE are exactly equal in use. DESPITE does not take OF; neither is it preceded by IN. IN SPITE OF = DESPITE = ALTHOUGH

The construction is:

In Spite Of/Despite + Noun/Pronoun
In Spite Of/Despite + Gerund (ing form)

i) IN SPITE OF my sickness I went to the office. (noun construction)
= DESPITE my sickness I went to the office.

ii) IN SPITE OF being sick I went to the office. (gerund construction)
= DESPITE being sick I went to the office.

NOTE-I: IN SPITE OF/DESPITE are never followed by a clause; e.g.

INCORRECT: In spite of/Despite she fell midway through the race, she won.
CORRECT: In spite of/Despite falling midway through the race she won.

NOTE-II: However, we can use a clause if IN SPITE OF/DESPITE are followed by THE FACT THAT; e.g.

IN SPITE OF/DESPITE the fact that she fell midway through the race, she won.


7. Although & Though

Both ALTHOUGH and THOUGH mean ‘in spite of something. Both are the same thing, and are replaceable with each other. For emphasis, we often use EVEN with THOUGH (but we can’t use EVEN with ALTHOUGH); e.g.

The match was beautiful although we lost it.
= The match was beautiful though we lost it.

INCORRECT: Even although she is very busy, she still found time to help me.
CORRECT: Even though she is very busy, she still found time to help me.

NOTE-I: When a sentence begins with ALTHOUGH or THOUGH, we don’t use BUT or YET before the main clause, we usually put a comma rather; e.g.

INCORRECT: Although he was late, yet he stopped to buy fruit.
CORRECT: Although he was late, he stopped to buy fruit.

NOTE-II: Don’t use ALTHOUGH or THOUGH in front of a noun phrase, you use IN SPITE OF or DESPITE instead in such a case; e.g.

INCORRECT: Although his hard work, he failed his exam.
CORRECT: In spite of his hard work, he failed his exam.

NOTE-III: THOUGH sometimes is an adverb. You use it when you are making a statement that contrasts with what you have just said. You usually put THOUGH after the first phrase in the sentence. ALTHOUGH is never used an adverb; e.g.

INCORRECT: Very nice although, this dress is too expensive.
CORRECT: Very nice though, this dress is too expensive.


8. Enough

We use ENOUGH to mean ‘as much as we need or want’ or ‘more than is wanted’.
As adjective you can use ENOUGH in front of a noun, not after. If the noun is countable, it must be in the plural. As adverb you use ENOUGH after an adjective or adverb, not before; e.g.

i) There aren’t enough bedrooms for the family here in this house. (adjective)
ii) I haven’t had enough exercise yet. (adjective)
iii) This room is big enough for her. (adverb)
iv) We have a long enough list for sending invitations. (adverb)

INCORRECT: Is this box enough big for all those books?
CORRECT: Is this box big enough for all those books?

NOTE-I: The degree of the adjective/adverb must be positive (not COMPARATIVE or SUPERLATIVE); e.g.

INCORRECT: This room is bigger/biggest enough for her.
CORRECT: This room is big enough for her.

NOTE-II: Don’t use ENOUGH, or ‘ENOUGH + NOUN’, as the subject of a negative sentence, you use NOT ENOUGH; e.g.

INCORRECT: Enough people didn’t come.
CORRECT: Not enough people came.

NOTE-III: We don’t use ENOUGH immediately before a noun phrase beginning with an adjective (the, my, etc), or before a pronoun (us, them, etc). Instead we use ENOUGH OF; e.g.

INCORRECT: You haven’t eaten enough your dinner, Ranjan.
CORRECT: You haven’t eaten enough of your dinner, Ranjan.

INCORRECT: There weren’t enough them.
CORRECT: There weren’t enough of them.

NOTE-IV: We don’t use a THAT-CLAUSE after ENOUGH when we say what is needed for something to be possible; e.g.

INCORRECT: She is intelligent enough that she can solve this question.
CORRECT: She is intelligent enough to solve this question.


For more IMPORTANT WORDS & EXPRESSIONS buy the following book authored by me.



Previous post


Next post


Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *