Practice Sets - EnglishSentence Improvement


Here is a Practice Set on Sentence Improvement taken from the book English Practice Set (for competitive exams) authored by me (Maha Gupta). All the question included in this Practice Set are supported by the answer key of the set. Each question of this Practice Set is also well supported by lucid and detailed explanation. I’m sure you won’t face a problem in understanding those explanations.

Further, I want to ensure you that Each Practice Set on Sentence Improvement of the above book is just like the present Practice Set on Sentence Improvement as well. These Practice Sets will be very useful for any competitive exams of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) or Grade-II DASS Exam of the DSSSB, and other similar exams and will help you score good score.


1. I don’t remember exactly when did I go to Shimla last year.
A) when I did go B) when I was going
C) when I went          D) no improvement

2. Even he worked hard, he failed in the examination.
A) Since B) Although
C) For D) no improvement

3. He was asked to arbitrate with two merchants in a dispute.
A) to arbitrate between B) to arbitrate at
C) to arbitrate            D) no improvement

4. He is definitely the cleverer among the two.
A) in B) of
C) than           D) no improvement

5. He is resembling his father.
A) has resembled B) was resembling
C) resembles  D) no improvement

6. Would you mind closing the window?
A) to close B) in closing
C) for closing  D) no improvement

7. I can be grateful if you could write to me about it.
A) would be B) should be
C) must be     D) no improvement

8. A majority of the passengers could have been saved if the driver had applied the brakes in time.
A) had been saved B) may have been saved
C) could have saved  D) no improvement

9. He is living in this house for the past ten years.
A) was living B) had been living
C) has been living      D) no improvement

10. He is knowing the secret.
A) knows B) has been knowing
C) was knowing         D) no improvement

11. The meeting has been put off  to Friday next.
A) put on B) put out
C) put for        D) no improvement

12. If you will come with me I shall be happy.
A) come with me B) had come with me
C) came with me       D) no improvement

13. Although India is still by far a poor country, it can become rich if its natural and human resources are fully utilised.
A) few and far between B) by and large
C) by and by   D) no improvement

14. The more they earn, more they spend.
A) More they earn, more they spend B) More they earn, the more they spend
C) The more they earn, the more they spend         D) no improvement

15. But in all these cases conversion from one scale to another is easy because scales have well-formulated.
A) can be well-formulated B) are well-formulated
C) well-formulated    D) no improvement

16. Five years ago on this date, I am sitting in a small Japanese car, driving across Poland towards Berlin.
A) was sitting B) sat
C) have been sitting  D) no improvement

17. The old man felled some trees in the garden with hardly no effort at all.
A) hard effort B) hardly any effort
C) a hardly any effort            D) no improvement

18. She says she’s already paid me back, but I can’t remember, so I’ll have to take her word.
A) to take her word true B) to take it at her word
C) to take her word for it      D) no improvement

19. The workers are hell bent at getting what is due to them.
A) hell bent on getting B) hell bent for getting
C) hell bent to getting           D) no improvement

20. You are warned against committing the same mistake again.
A) to commit B) for committing
C) against to commit D) no improvement

21. While we would like that all Indian children to go to school, we need to ponder why they do not.
A) that all the Indian children B) if all the children of India
C) all Indian children            D) no improvement

22. Due to these reasons we are all in favour of universal compulsory education.
A) Out of these reasons        B) For these reasons
C) By these reasons  D) no improvement

23. When it was feared that the serfs might go too far and gain their freedom from serfdom, the protestant leaders joined the princess at crushing them.
A) into crushing B) in crushing
C) without crushing   D) no improvement

24. In India, today many of our intellectuals still talk in terms of the French Revolution and the Rights of Man, not appreciating that much has happened since then.
A) much has been happening B) much had happened
C) much might happen         D) no improvement

25. Taxpayers are to be conscious of their privileges.
A) have to B) need
C) ought to     D) no improvement

Answer Key

1. C 2. B 3. A 4. B 5. C 6. D 7. A 8. D 9. C 10. A
11. D 12. A 13. D 14. C 15. B 16. A 17. B 18. C 19. A 20. D
21. C 22. B 23. B 24. D 25. C

Solution with explanation

1. Option ‘C’ (when I went). The given sentence is an assertive sentence, but the verb is in question form, means the helping verb has been used before the subject. We see, here we need the past simple tense in the affirmative. In the past simple the helping verb is not normally used if the sentence is affirmative. Therefore the verb will be WENT which will go after the subject.

2. Option ‘B’ (Although). Both the clauses are contrasting clauses, so use of EVEN is incorrect.

3. Option ‘A’ (to arbitrate between). ARBITRATE = to make a judgment in an argument, usually because asked to do so by those involved; e.g.

a) I’ve been asked to arbitrate between the opposing sides.
b) An outside adviser has been brought in to arbitrate the dispute between the management and the union.

4. Option ‘B’ (of). We can use THE before a comparative degree also, but we must use OF THE TWO after it in this case; e.g.

a) Ankur is the duller of the two.
b) She is the more beautiful of the two girls.

5. Option ‘C’ (resembles). The verb RESEMBLE is not used in the continuous; also the Present Simple Tense is required here.

6. No improvement. We use a gerund after WOULD YOU MIND or DO YOU MIND, not an infinitive or any preposition before the gerund; e.g.

INCORRECT: Would you mind to get me a newspaper?
CORRECT: Would you mind getting me a newspaper?

7. Option ‘A’ (would be). WOULD BE GRATEFUL is used for asking someone formally and politely to do something; e.g.

We would be grateful if you could return the signed contracts as soon as possible.

8. No improvement. This is a type-III conditional sentence, in such sentences the verb in the IF-CLAUSE is in the past perfect tense; the verb in the MAIN CLAUSE is the perfect conditional (WOULD HAVE + V3). But to express ability or possibility or permission, COULD or MIGHT may be used instead of WOULD, but you can’t use CAN or MAY; e.g.

a) If we had found him earlier we could have saved his life. (ability)
b) If we had found him earlier we might/could have saved his life. (possibility)
c) If our documents had been in order we could have left at once. (ability or permission)

NOTE: We need the main clause in the passive here.

10. Option ‘A’ (knows). The verb KNOW can’t be used in the continuous.

11. No improvement. PUT OFF = to delay; postpone; e.g.

Put off paying the bills.

12. Option ‘A’ (come with me). If the main clause in the future, we use the present simple tense in the IF-CLAUSE.

13. No improvement

BY FAR = to a great degree; e.g.

She is by far the shortest student in the class.

BY AND LARGE = generally; usually; e.g.

I find that, by and large, people tend to do what they are told to do.

14. Option ‘C’ (The more they earn the more they spend). This is a sentence to express parallel increase. Parallel increase is expressed by ‘THE COMPARATIVE — THE COMPARATIVE’; e.g.

a) The more dangerous it is, the more I like it.
b) The older I get, the happier I am.

15. Option ‘B’ (are well-formulated). The given sentence is incorrect as we need the passive here. Option ‘A’ though is in the passive voice, you cannot use MAY as the scales are already formulated.

FORMULATE = to develop all the details of a plan for doing something

16. Option ‘A’ (was sitting). AGO is used with the Past Simple Tense. If you are sitting somewhere, your bottom is resting on something such as a chair. In this meaning we use SITTING, not SIT, so use of SAT (option ‘B’) is incorrect here; e.g.

a) They are sitting at their desks.
b) She was sitting on the edge of the bed.

17. Option ‘B’ (hardly any effort). We do not use any negative word with HARDLY as HARDLY itself is a negative word.

18. Option ‘C’ (to take her word for it). Take someone’s word for it = to believe that what someone is saying is true; e.g.

If she says she’s sick, you have to take her word for it.

19. Option ‘A’ (hell bent on getting). Be hell-bent on something/doing something = to be determined to do something; e.g.

a) Local fans seemed hell-bent on causing as much trouble as possible during the match.
b) He was hell-bent on revenge.

20. No improvement. Say Warn not to commit OR Warn against committing.

21. Option ‘C’ (all Indian children). Use of THAT as a conjunction is incorrect here, as the clause governed by it must have a verb. TO GO is not a verb, rather it’s an infinitive.

22. Option ‘B’ (for these reasons). DUE TO is used for a reason, so we can’t use the word REASON with it.

23. Option ‘B’ (in crushing)

SERF = a member of a low social class in medieval times who worked on the land and had to obey the person who owned that land.

JOIN = to get involved in an activity or journey with another person or group.

NOTE: When we join somebody to involve in an activity we use IN after JOIN, so it will be IN CRUSHING.

24. No improvement. We need to use the Present Perfect Tense here because of the phrase SINCE THEN. Though in sentences with phrases like this we can use the Past Perfect Tense also, we do like that only when if a point of past time is given as reference. But here nothing is like that.

For more Practice Sets on Sentence Improvement buy the following book authored by me.



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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of 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)

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