Practice Sets - EnglishSentence Improvement





1. The child tossed in bed burning with fever.

Answer: B

Explanation: Option ‘B’. Burning with fever is the adjectival phrase for the noun CHILD, so you must bring it closure to its noun.

2. The firm buys frozen seafood in bulk, packs it into smaller pouches and then they sell them to the local grocery store.

Answer: A

Explanation: Option ‘A’ (it sells them). Here we need a pronoun for the noun FIRM. FIRM is a collective noun, hence it could be used both in the singular and plural. Here it’s used as singular because the verb BUYS is singular. Therefore the pronoun THEY needs to be in the singular as well.

Option ‘B’ is incorrect as the verb SELL also needs to be in the singular for the reason said above.

3. That’s a very old bicycle. How long do you have it?

Answer: A

Explanation: Option ‘A’ (have you had). To talk about how long an existing situation has lasted we use the Present Perfect Tense.

4. The chairman being absent, the meeting was adjourned sine die.

Answer: A

Explanation: Option ‘A’ (put off). The given sentence is incorrect as the word AJOURNED doesn’t fit here. We use the word ADJOURN when a meeting is held at the notified date and put off to a future date. But in the sentence the phrase THE CHAIRMAN BEING ABSENT suggests that the meeting was not held at all. In such a situation we use either PUT OFF or POSTPONE; e.g.

a) The district judge adjourned the case for 16 weeks to allow time for experts to give evidence.
b) The proceedings have now been adjourned until next week.
c) I am afraid the court may not adjourn until three or even later.

PUT OFF/POSTPONEMENT = When a meeting is put off without holding it at the notified date is called postponement. PUT OFF 0r POSTPONEMENT is the same thing; e.g.

a) They had to postpone/put the wedding off because the bride’s mother had an accident.
b) I’ll postpone/put off going to Mumbai until you’re well enough to look after yourself again.
c) The meeting has been postponed/put off for a week.
h) We’ve had to postpone/put off going to England because the children are ill.

NOTE: SINE DIE = indefinitely

5. There is full justification to close down the units which are neither profitable or serving any social cause.

Answer: A

Explanation: Option ‘A’ (which are not profitable or serve). The given sentence is incorrect as there is no pair of NEITHER — OR in English. Pairs of conjunction like NEITHER — NOR add two same type of grammatical terms. In option ‘B’ the first part NEITHER is followed by an adjective (profitable). Therefore it must be also an adjective after NOR. SERVING can be an adjective only when it’s followed by a noun; but ANY is NOT a noun, it means that the option ‘B’ is incorrect.

Option ‘A’ is correct as SERVE is a verb. To know how read this: If you’re confused about how to use NOR, remember that NOR often pairs up with NEITHER; but not always. When it comes to other negative words, use OR if the second part of the negative is a noun, adjective, or adverb phrase. If it’s a verb, choose either NOR or OR.

6. If I had money I would have bought the house.

Answer: D

Explanation: Option ‘D’ (no improvement). This sentence is an example of Mixed Conditional Sentences (not a type-III conditional).  Here it is Past Result of a Present Condition. In this type of mixed conditional sentences, the tense in the IF-CLAUSE is the Past Simple Tense, and the tense in the main clause is the Perfect Conditional (Would + Have + V3).

These mixed conditional sentences refer to an unreal present situation and its unreal past result. For example in the sentence the unreal present condition is if I had money, and  the unreal past result is I would have bought the house. For example in the sentence ‘If I wasn’t afraid of spiders I would have picked it up.’ ‘If I wasn’t afraid of spiders’ is contrary to the present reality. Means I am afraid of spiders. ‘I would have picked it up’ is contrary to past reality. Means I didn’t pick it up.

See more such examples:

a) If I were you, I would have bought the red dress. (= I am not you, so I did not buy the red dress in the past.)
b) If the students had more time, they would have finished their work yesterday. (= The students do not have more time, so they did not finish their work yesterday.)
c) If I were rich, I would have bought that Ferrari we saw yesterday. (= But I am not currently rich and that is why I didn’t buy the Ferrari yesterday.)

7. I refreshed myself with a cup of tea.

Answer: D

Explanation: Option ‘D’ (no improvement). REFRESH ONESELF = to make oneself feel less tired

8. Not until did he receive her letter he fully realized her problem.

Answer: A

Explanation: Option ‘A’. Read this to understand:

If any negative expression begins with NOT UNTIL/TILL the subject and the verb in the first clause immediately after NOT UNTIL/TILL are not inverted; the subject and the verb in the second clause are inverted; e.g.


a) Not until many years later did the whole truth become known. (One clause)
b) Not until the rain stopped could we see the view of the ocean. (two clauses)
c) Not until the president resigned did the protests stop. (two clauses)
d) Not until my daughter called me did I stop worrying about her.
e) Not till I got home could I feel my purse was lost. (two clauses)

9. If only he can swim!

Answer: B

Explanation: Option ‘B’ (could). We use IF ONLY for a wish. For wishes we use the past subjunctive (unreal past), means we use V2. COULD is the V2 of CAN; e.g.

a) If only I were your boss.
b) If only she were home.

10. The management would prefer you finishing the project on time.

Answer: A

Explanation: Option ‘A’ (you to finish). In the given sentence MANAGEMENT and YOU are two different things. When we are talking about our preferences for the actions of another person, we use would prefer + objective pronoun + to-V1. Option ‘B’ and option ‘C’ are incorrect as we do not use a THAT-CLAUSE after WOULD PREFER; e.g.

a) They’d prefer us to come later.
b) Would you prefer me to drive?

View solution with explanation in HINDI


For more English Practice Sets on various topics read the following book authored by me.

Link for buying the above book


For chapters/topics on English Grammar read the following book authored by me.

Link for buying the above book


Previous post


Next post

Active Passive Voice Practice Set 6 solved in Hindi & English

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)

No Comment

Leave a reply