Error FindingPractice Sets - English





1. Under no circumstances / have I harmed him / and he knows. / NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Replace ‘knows’ by ‘knows it’ in part ‘C’. Here the verb ‘know’ should be used as a transitive verb as it needs an object.

NOTE: Though it’s not a question, the helping verb ‘have’ is correctly placed before the subject (‘I’). Read this:

When a sentence or clause begins with ‘preposition + no’, the verb is inverted, means it’s helping verb is used before the subject of that sentence. Some of such expressions are given below:

At no time Under no circumstances In no way On no account
On no condition

a) Under no circumstances will I go there.
b) At no time was the minister known with the disaster caused by the fire.
c) On no account should one drink and drive.

The doctor told his patient that he should on no account return to work until he had made a complete recovery.
= The doctor told his patient that on no account should he return to work until he had made a complete recovery.

2. The beggar who we had suspected / to be guilty turned out / to be innocent. /NE

Answer: A

Explanation: Replace ‘who’ by ‘whom’ in part ‘A’.

In case of confusion count the number of verbs and see whether or not there are as many subjects in the sentence. If every verb of the sentence has a subject, we need ‘whom’ otherwise ‘who’. In the above sentence there are two verbs namely ‘had suspected’ and ‘turned out’. Here the subject of the verb ‘had suspected’ is ‘we’ and subject of the verb ‘turned out’ is ‘beggar’, it means here we need ‘whom’ as there is no other verb left in the sentence. Another example:

The doctor who/whom you recommended is not available for three months.

(In this sentence, the verb ‘recommended’ has the subject ‘you’, the verb ‘is’ has the subject  ‘the doctor’. There is no verb left without a subject now. Therefore we need ‘whom’ here.)

3. I ordered some books on English Grammar / but none / has arrived yet. / NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Replace ‘has’ by ‘have’ in part ‘C’. Verb after ‘none’ is either singular or plural depending on what it is referring to; e.g.

a) I’m always looking for inspiration. None ever comes. (‘Inspiration’ is singular, so the verb is also singular)
b) She’s always looking for ideas. None ever come. (‘Ideas’ is plural, so the verb is also plural)
c) None of this furniture is ready to use yet.

In the given sentence you see ‘none’ has been used for ‘books’, which is plural.

NOTE: Verb after ‘none of’ is optional, means it’s our wish whether we use it in singular or plural form; e.g.

None of these suggestions is very helpful.
= None of these suggestions are very helpful.

4. He insisted on me to accompany / him / in the journey. / NE

Answer: A

Explanation: Replace ‘me to accompany’ by ‘my accompanying’ in part ‘A’. ‘Insist on’ is an intransitive verb and therefore can’t take an object.

5. He threw / the ball / in the well. /NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Replace ‘in’ by ‘into’ in part ‘C’. When someone/something moves somewhere from outside to inside of it we use the preposition ‘into’, and when someone/something does not cross the boundaries of something while making a movement or exists there already we use the preposition ‘in’; e.g.

She was walking in the garden. Then she walked into the house.


a) She was in the house. (static position)
b) She went into the house. (movement from outside to inside)

a) They are sitting in the bus. (static position)
b) They climbed into the bus. (movement from outside to inside)

NOTE: With the verb ‘put’ we can use either of ‘in’ and ‘into’; e.g.

She put her hands in her pockets.
= She put her hands into her pockets.

6. Although the police officer sympathised with poor, / he refused to take an action / against the rich man. / NE

Answer: A

Explanation: Place the article ‘the’ before ‘poor’ in part ‘A’. ‘Poor’ is an adjective describing human quality. When we place the article ‘the’ before an adjective describing a human character/quality or condition, that adjective becomes a noun and then represents the whole class of persons of that category. Some of these adjectives are:

Blind Deaf Disabled Healthy Sick Living Dead
Rich Poor Unemployed Old Young

Some examples of such an use:

a) The poor get poorer, the rich get richer. (The poor = सभी गरीब व्यक्ति; The rich = सभी अमीर व्यक्ति)
b) The city government has made a good provision for the disabled this year. (The disabled = सभी अपंग व्यक्ति)

INCORRECT: This government hospital is not suitable for sick.
CORRECT: This government hospital is not suitable for the sick. (The sick = सभी बीमार व्यक्ति)

7. These superstitions / live on / in the backwaters of America. / NE

Answer: D

Explanation: No error. Use of prepositions ‘on’ and ‘in in togetherness is quite correct here. Here ‘live on’ is an idiom, which means to exist, or to continue to live through difficult times.

Backwater = A place or situation regarded as isolated, or backward

Translation in Hindi: ये अन्धविश्वास (superstitions) अमेरिका देश के पिछड़े इलाकों (backwaters) में पाए जाते हैं.

8. It is not / such a pretty place / that I had expected. / NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Replace ‘that’ by ‘as’ in part ‘C’. We use the relative pronoun ‘as’ after the use of ‘such’, but if there is a cause of something in the ‘such-clause’ and result in the other clause we use the relative pronoun ‘that’ instead of ‘as’; e.g.

There was such a noise that I was not able to hear anything. (In this sentence ‘noise’ is the reason, and ‘not able to hear anything’ is the result of that noise.)

9. The warden / forbade the students / from leaving the hostel. /NE

Answer: D

Explanation: No error. Both ‘to + V1‘ and the gerund (ing form) are correct after the verb ‘forbid’. So either say ‘to leave’ or say ‘from leaving’.

10. I am afraid / I did a mistake / in the calculation. / NE

Answer: B

Explanation: Replace ‘did’ by ‘made’ in part ‘B’. When we use ‘do’ with a noun it tells us how something was performed/done. ‘Make’ emphasises more the outcome (result of an action) of an action; e.g.

When I was doing the calculations, I made two mistakes.

(Here in this sentence you see there is use of both the verbs ‘do’ and ‘make’. Use of the verb ‘do’ (doing) is suggesting the process of calculating something whereas ‘two mistakes’ is the outcome/result of performing the process of the calculations, therefore we’ve used the verb ‘make’ (made) in the second clause of the sentence.)

See another example:

I did some work for her last summer; I made a pond in her garden. (The first clause is the action whereas the second one is the result of that action.)

11. Their company is going to incur / heavy losses this year because / of the big discounts they offers to customers / NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Replace ‘they’ by ‘it’ in part ‘C. ‘Company’ is a collective noun. When using company / organizational names, we treat them as either singular or plural (but not both). The important thing is we have to maintain consistency, if we have treated a company as a singular entity at the first place it should be treated as a singular entity at all other places of the sentence as well, and if we have treated a company as a plural entity at the first place it should be treated as a plural entity at all other places of the sentence as well.

In the given sentence above the helping verb ‘is’ for the company is making it an entity in the singular, therefore ‘they’ in part ‘C’ should also be in its singular form ‘it’.

NOTE: If the organization is referred to as ‘they’ or ‘who’ we use a plural verb with the company name. If the organization is referred to as ‘it’ or ‘which’ we use a singular verb.

12. When I fail / to solve the problem myself, / I unhesitatingly called for his help. / NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Replace ‘called’ by ‘call’ in part ‘C’ as the context of the sentence is in the present. Though the sentence can also be corrected by replacing ‘fail’ by ‘failed’ in part ‘A’, here we can’t do that as when a sentence can be corrected by making alteration in any of two parts the first part is taken as correct one.

13. As a boy Dhritiman is very obedient, polite and hard-working / but as a student he is / always inattentive in study. / NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Replace ‘in’ by ‘to’ in part ‘C’. Word ‘inattentive’ takes the preposition ‘to’ not ‘in’. Use of ‘but’ is correct as both the clauses are contrasting clauses.

14. I am coming directly / to my office / from the station. /NE

Answer: B

Explanation: Replace ‘my office’ by ‘our office’ or ‘the office’ in part ‘B’. Use of the adverb ‘directly’ is at right position, it’s not qualifying the verb, rather it’s qualifying the preposition ‘to’. Verb ‘coming’ is making it clear that he is saying this either to any official of the office or to his boss. In such a scenario he can’t say ‘my office’.

15. I cannot believe that / he is wasting time / all along his life. / NE

Answer: B

Explanation: Replace ‘is wasting’ by ‘has been wasting’ in part ‘B’. All along = from the beginning of a period of time; e.g.

Do you think he’s been lying to us all along?

An action which began in the past and is still continuing or has only just finished can be expressed by either the present perfect or the present perfect continuous. Sometimes we use this tense with expressions indicating the time period ‘since’ and ‘for’; e.g.

a) He has been sleeping for an hour.
b) They have been playing since five o’clock.
c) She has been living in Delhi for ten years.
d) People have been saying for ages that the building be/should be pulled down.

16. When I reached school / the bell / already had been rung. / NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Shift the adverb ‘already’ between ‘had’ and ‘been’ in part ‘C’, means it will be ‘had already been’. Adverbs of frequency (always, never, often, rarely, usually, generally, etc.) and some of the other adverbs like almost, already, hardly, nearly, just, quite are normally put between the subject and the verb if the verb consists of only one word; if there is more than one word in the verb, they are put after the first word.

a) I never go for a morning walk. (one word verb)
b) He has never seen a lion. (two word verb)
c) She quite agrees with me. (one word verb)
d) We usually have breakfast at eight. (one word verb)
e) He has just gone out to buy bread. (two word verb)
f) The letter has already been posted. (three word verb)

17. Have you / forgot / my name? / NE

Answer: B

Explanation: Replace ‘forgot’ by ‘forgotten’ in part ‘B’. Three forms of the verb ‘forget’ are Forget, Forgot, Forgotten. In American English the third form of ‘forget’ is also ‘forgot’, but in exams we follow the British English, therefore third for ‘forgot’ is incorrect.

NOTE: Three forms of ‘get’ are Get, Got, Got though in American English we also use ‘gotten’ as the third form of ‘get’.

18. Never before did / I have such an opportunity of loving / any young human creatures. / NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Replace ‘human creatures’ by either ‘humans’ or ‘human beings’ in part ‘C’. We don’t normally use the noun ‘creature’ for humans.

NOTE: But the noun ‘creature’ can also be used for humans when an opinion is being  expressed  about them; e.g.

a) Shruti is a strange creature.
b) A lovely blonde creature (= a beautiful blonde woman) walked into the room.
c) It seems clear to me that people are creatures of emotion.

19. A senior doctor / expressed concern / about physicians recommended the vaccine. / NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Insert the relative pronoun ‘who’ after ‘physicians’, and the article ‘the’ before it in part ‘C’. Relative pronoun को यहाँ से हटाया नहीं जा सकता.

20. I really do regret / not to learn to play the violin / when I had so many opportunities to learn and practise in school. / NE

Answer: B

Explanation: Replace ‘not to learn’ by ‘not learning’ or ‘not having learnt’ in part ‘B’.

When  an action that happened earlier than the verb ‘regret’ we use a gerund (ing form) after the verb ‘regret’.  The gerund could be replaced by the present perfect participle (having + V3) in these sentences to make the sequence of events more clear and exact; e.g.

He regretted speaking so rudely.
= He regretted having spoken so rudely.

NOTE: When  an action that happens at the same time of the verb ‘regret’, or later, we use an infinitive (to + V1) after the verb ‘regret’. Here our focus is on to say sorry about something we are going to say; e.g.

a) We regret to inform you that your application has not been successful. (= Our regret comes before the information.)
b) We regret to announce the late arrival of the 12.45 from London. (= Our regret comes before the announcement)

21. If the motorists do not observe / the traffic regulations, / they will be stopped, ticketed and have to pay a fine. / NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Replace ‘have to pay a fine’ by ‘fined’ in part ‘C’. The second clause of the sentence is in the passive voice as the earlier two verbs ‘stopped’ and ‘ticketed’ are in the passive because of use of the helping verb ‘will be’ in front of them. But ‘have to pay’ is in the active voice, therefore the next verb will also be in the passive.

22. You have acted / nobler than / all of us. / NE

Answer: B

Explanation: Replace ‘nobler’ by ‘more nobly’ in part ‘B’. ‘Noble’ is an adjective, an adjective can only qualify nouns or pronouns. But here we need a word that could qualify the verb ‘acted’; a word qualifying a verb is called an adverb rather. Adverb of the adjective ‘noble’ is ‘nobly’, but here we need this adverb in the comparative degree because of use of ‘than’, comparative degree of the adverb ‘nobly’ is ‘more nobly’.

23. Sudoku was first designed in the 1970s / by a retired architect / and freelance puzzle constructor. / NE

Answer: D

Explanation: No error. Freelance = self-employed and hired to work for different companies on particular assignments; e.g.

Most of the journalists I know work freelance.

24. The doctor asked / his patient / to regularly take his medicine. / NE

Answer: C

Explanation: Replace ‘to regularly take his medicine’ by ‘to take his medicine regularly’ in part ‘C’. In standard English to split the infinitive is not allowed. ‘to take’ is an infinitive, therefore you can’t split it by inserting any word between ‘to’ and ‘take’; therefore the adverb ‘regularly’ needs to be placed anywhere else in the sentence.

‘Regularly’ is an adverb of manner, which is describing the infinitive ‘to take’ here. When an adverb of manner describes a verb or an infinitive it’s placed after that verb or the infinitive, but if the object of that verb or the infinitive is also given we place the adverb of manner after that object. ‘His medicine’ is the object of the infinitive ‘to take’ here, therefore it need to placed after it.

25. Today I met a lady who / had been my teacher / fifteen year ago. / NE

Answer: B

Explanation: Replace ‘had been’ by ‘was’ in part ‘B’. For the adverb ‘ago’ we use the Past Simple Tense.

View solution with explanation in Hindi


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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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