How to Ace Error Spotting Questions in English Section for SSC Exams!

Error Spotting is a topic which tests one’s standard written English grammar. Questions based on this topic are quite commonly asked in various examinations conducted by SSC. This topic carries a prominent weightage in English for SSC Exams. These questions test you on your knowledge of various grammar rules in English that can include anything from basic structure of a sentence to the correct usage of different parts of speech in written English. To some extent these questions also test one’s ability to comprehend the essential message in a sentence or a paragraph. So, without any further delay, let’s jump right into the topic.

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Error Spotting in English for SSC Exams

Approach

First things first before discussing the approach to ace Error Spotting in English for SSC Exams.

  • You need to be well versed with the grammar rules. That’s of utmost importance.
  • Though grammar rules are the basics of any language, but apart from this, you should have a decent aptitude for the language. By aptitude, we mean your natural grip or command over the language.
  • You get this command by developing reading habits. You might have noticed that some people don’t explicitly identify the rules but still can identify the errors. This is the result of such reading habit as they subconsciously absorb a lot of grammar rules.

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Find below some common errors (rules, which are violated), that are introduced in a sentence to make it grammatically incorrect. One can keep an eye on them, while attempting an error spotting question. This will help one identify the place where the error(s) has/have been introduced. The list given below is indicative and exhaustive, in nature.

  • Subject-Verb Agreement; where the subject (singular/plural) needs to be in agreement with the verb (singular/plural)
  • Noun-Pronoun Agreement; where the pronoun used for a particular noun should be in agreement with one another.
  • Incorrect part of speech qualifying another one; where a correct part of speech must qualify another one. For example, an adjective qualifies a noun/noun phrase/pronoun, while an adverb qualifies an adjective, verb or another adverb.
  • Parallelism Error; where a consistent form of the verb needs to be maintained throughout the sentence.
  • Preposition/Conjunction Error; where incorrect preposition or conjunction is used, which renders the sentence meaningless or make the sentence convey a different meaning to the one intended.

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Tips to Ace Error Spotting in English for SSC Exams

  • Get thorough with the grammar rules and concepts, since error spotting primarily tests one on these rules.
  • Develop reading habit, so that one can spot or sense ambiguity or error even if one isn’t certain about the type of error introduced in the sentence. It helps a lot, in eliminating wrong answer options.
  • Practice a lot with a variety of questions encompassing different types of errors which can be introduced in a sentence. This will make you get a hang of it in no time.
  • Keep revising and revisiting grammar rules, so that they are afresh in memory and you don’t have to make a conscious effort to recall or recognise any type of errors introduced in the sentence.

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Sample Questions

  1. The question contains a sentence which is divided in four parts and you have to identify the part that contains the error and mark that as your answer.

(a)The music was powerful
(b) and hers expressions so
(c) piercing that neither time
(d) geography nor language seemed to matter

Answer: Option (b)

  1. The question contains a sentence which is divided in four parts and you have to identify the part that contains the error and mark that as your answer.

Unlike in spoken languages, in which grammar is expressed on sound-based signifiers for tense, aspect, mood and syntax, sign languages use hand movements, sign order as well as body and facial cues to create grammar.

(a) Unlike in spoken languages,
(b) in which grammar is expressed on sound-based
(c) signifiers for tense, aspect, mood and syntax, sign languages use
(d) hand movements, sign order as well as body and facial cues to create grammar.

Answer: Option (b)

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