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How to Tackle Error Spotting Questions

Published on Wednesday, April 05, 2017


English is treated as an abstruse subject, but it is not very difficult, if you develop basics of grammar, which is the heart of English. We know that “Rome is not built in one day.” In the same way reaching the pinnacle of the English language is not a one-day process. It is an incessant process.


‘Spotting the error in a given sentence’ in bank exams is to be given the utmost priority; because, in every section of the new pattern of English language, except reading comprehension, spotting the error is required.
For instance, in cloze test, among the five options, if it is asked to find a helping verb among them, your knowledge of spotting the error will be useful.

For instance Example 

1. Ram _______ living here since 2005.

a. Has been d. is
b. Have been e. none of these
c. Had been

2. We __________ met yesterday at 5 p.m.

a. have 
b. had
c. has
d. have been
e. none of these

Here, the answers are 1. Has been and 2. None of these.
These can be answered by knowing the rules of grammar.


Anticipation sometimes may not come true, but our astuteness will give certain answers.
1. Firstly, you need to find out the subject present in the sentence, and check whether all the verbs are according to the subject or not.
2. You should see whether articles are placed correctly or not. And to check whether articles are placed unnecessarily.
3. Then check the nouns, whether they are plural or singular as some of the nouns seem like plural, but not plural.
For instance, 
  • Mathematics are a scoring subject. (False) 
  • Mathematics is a scoring subject. (True) 
4. Sometimes the question may be lengthy, at that time, don’t get panicked, but spot the error by checking every part separately.

There are some grammar rules to spot the error promptly.

1. If a sentence starts with negative adverb, the adverb is followed by an auxiliary verb. 


  • Neither had he come to the party, nor his wife. 

2. The word before ‘of the noun’ in a sentence will be taken as subject and verb should be taken accordingly. 


  • The books of the student are missing. 
  • Here ‘books’ is the subject and the helping verb accords with the subject. 
  • The memories of my childhood are titillating. 
Here ‘memories’ is considered as the subject and the helping verb accords with the subject.

3. Now I’ll give an instance and then tell the rule. 


  • The teacher explained the class and repeated again. (X) 
  • The teacher explained the class and repeated. (True) 
  • Here words with same meaning are repeated. This is the rule of redundancy. 
  • Hence, sometimes check for redundancies. 
  • These are some tricks to spot the error promptly. 
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ramandeep singh

Ramandeep Singh, your guide to banking and insurance exams. With 14 years of experience and 5000+ selections, Ramandeep understands the path to success, having transitioned himself from Dena Bank and SBI. He's passionate about helping you achieve your banking and insurance dreams.

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