Sentence Correction — 1

Test
Materials

1) ‘One of’ is followed by a plural noun phrase. It means ‘one of them’. It takes a singular verb because the subject is ‘one’.

One of my friends are a doctor. (Incorrect)
One of my friends is a doctor. (Correct)

2) The use of two negatives to express a single negative idea is wrong. Two negatives lead to a positive meaning. One negative word should, therefore, be used for the expression of a negative idea.

(a) I don’t know nothing about him. (Incorrect)
I don’t know anything about him. (Correct)
(b) I couldn’t find him nowhere. (Incorrect)
I couldn’t find him anywhere. (Correct)
(c) He does not want none of that cake. (Incorrect)
He does not want any of that cake. (Correct)

3) Both the sentences are examples of split infinitive. The infinitive is the “to” form of the verb, for example, “to sing”, “to dance”, “to finish”. If a word is placed between the two words (eg, “to closely examine”), the infinitive is said to be “split”. Such splittings are to be avoided.

(a) I always like to closely examine every proposal. (Incorrect)
I always like to examine closely every proposal. (Correct)
(b) He plans to hurriedly complete this work. (Incorrect)
He plans to complete this work hurriedly. (Correct)

4) The subjunctive mood is used in English specifically in two situations: (i) with the expression of a wish and (ii) to express a condition contrary to actual fact. The present subjunctive is conjugated as follows: I were; We were; You were; He were; They were.

(a) I wish I was as tall as my father. (Incorrect)
I wish I were as tall as my father. (Correct)
(b) If he was alive he would help me. (Incorrect)
If he were alive he would help me. (Correct)

5) The verb that follows the phrase ‘with a view to’ or ‘look forward to’ is to be always in the ‘-ing’ form.
(a) He is working hard with a view to win this match. (Incorrect)
He is working hard with a view to winning this match. (Correct)
(b) I look forward to meet my old friend next month. (Incorrect)
I look forward to meeting my old friend next month. (Correct)

6) When verbs like absent, apply, acquit, enjoy, over- reach, resign, and pride are used reflectively (that is, when the subject of the verb is also the receiver of the action, the action is ‘reflected’) a reflexive pronoun (I—myself; you—yourself; We—ourselves; They— themselves; He—himself; She—herself; One—oneself) is used after it.

(a) He prides on his wealth. (Incorrect)
He prides himself on his wealth. (Correct)
(b) She absented from her class. (Incorrect)
She absented herself from her class. (Correct)
(c) I availed of this opportunity. (Incorrect)
I availed myself of this opportunity. (Correct)
(d) I enjoyed during the holidays. (Incorrect)
I enjoyed myself during the holidays. (Correct)
Or, I enjoyed the holidays. (Correct)
(e) He resigned to the will of God. (Incorrect)
He resigned himself to the will of God. (Correct)

7) When the same person is the subject and the object, it is necessary to use the reflexive pronouns: myself, yourself, herself, himself, itself, ourselves, themselves, oneself.

(a) I cut me shaving this morning. (Incorrect)
I cut myself shaving this morning. (Correct)
(b) We got out of the swimming pool and dried us. (Incorrect)
We got out of the swimming pool and dried ourselves. (Correct)

8) When first, second and third person singular pronouns (I, You and He) are used together, they are placed in this order: Second person (You), third person (he) and then first person (I). In the case of plural pronouns ‘we’ comes first, then ‘you’ and then ‘they’.

(a) I, you and he are neighbours. (Incorrect)
You, he and I are neighbours. (Correct)
(b) You, they and we must work together. (Incorrect)
We, you and they must work together. (Correct)

9) Relative pronoun should be placed as close to its antecedent as possible.

(a) I have read Shakespeare’s works who was a great dramatist (Incorrect)
I have read the works of shakespeare who was a great dramatist. (Correct)
(b) Salma’s dog who was my friend has died. (Incorrect)
The dog of Salma, who is my friend, has died. (Correct)

10) Pronouns following ‘Let’ must be in the objective case, and not in the nominative (or subjective) case.

(a) Let he do whatever he likes to do. (Incorrect)
Let him do whatever he likes to do (Correct)
(b) Let you and I solve this riddle. (Incorrect)
Let you and me solve this riddle. (Correct)

Always keep in mind these forms of Personal Pronouns:

When the pronoun is the subject of a sentence, the nominative case is used. When the pronoun is the object of a sentence, the objective case is used. And when the pronoun shows possession, the possessive case is used.

11) When a pronoun is the object of a verb or a preposition it should be in objective case.

(a) These books are for you and I. (Incorrect)
These books are for you and me. (Correct)
(b) Between he and I there is an understanding. (Incorrect)
Between him and me there is an understanding. (Correct)

12) The case of the pronoun following ‘than’ and ‘as’ is decided by mentally supplying the verb and completing the sentence.

(a) He is taller then me. (Incorrect)
He is taller than I (am). (Correct)
(b) I love you more than him. (Incorrect)
I love you more than he (loves you). (Correct)
(c) I love you more than he (Incorrect)
I love you more than (I love) him. (Correct)

13) The objects of comparison are ‘the climate of Karachi’ and ‘the climate of Lahore’; ‘the roads of Islamabad’ and ‘the roads of Karachi’. To avoid the repetition of a noun in a sentence we use ‘that’ for singular noun and ‘those’ for plural noun.

(a) The Climate of Karachi is better than Delhi. (Incorrect)
The Climate of Karachi is better than that of Delhi (Correct)
(b) The roads of Islamabad are wider than Karachi. (Incorrect)
The roads of Islamabad are wider than those of Karachi. (Correct)

14) When ‘one’ means ‘one in number’, the pronoun for it is third person singular pronoun (he, she, it). The possessive formed from them can be his or her or its. In the first sentence the meaning is one taken out of them. Hence the possessive should be ‘his’. In the second sentence ‘One’ is an indefinite pronoun, meaning ‘anyone’. The possessive of ‘one’ is ‘one’s’. Hence the use of ‘one’s’ in place of ‘his’.

(a) One of them has already given up one’s studies. (Incorrect)
One of them has already given up his studies. (Correct)
(b) One should not waste his time. (Incorrect)
One should not waste one’s time. (Correct)

15) When two nouns joined by ‘Either….or’ or ‘Neither….nor’ differ in number, the pronoun must agree with the plural noun which comes after ‘or’ or ‘nor’.

(a) Either the Chief Minister or his Cabinet colleagues have submitted his resignation. (Incorrect)
Either the Chief Minister or his cabinet colleagues have submitted their resignation. (Correct)
(b) Neither the officer nor the clerks could get his salary. (Incorrect)
Neither the officer nor the clerks could get their salary. (Correct)

16) ‘Each other’ is used in speaking of two persons or things, ‘one another’ in speaking of more than two.

(a) The mother and the daughter love one another. (Incorrect)
The mother and the daughter love each other. (Correct)
(b) Those three boys love each other. (Incorrect)
Those three boys love one another. (Correct)

17) ‘Either’ or ‘Neither’ is used in reference to two only. ‘Anyone’ or ‘None’ is used for more than two.

(a) Neither of the three boys came. (Incorrect)
None of the three boys came. (Correct)
(b) None of the two boys came. (Incorrect)
Neither of the two boys came. (Correct)
(c) Either of the four boys has done this work. (Incorrect)
Anyone of the four boys has done this work. (Correct)
(d) Anyone of the two candidates is fit for this post. (Incorrect)
Either of the two candidates is fit for this post. (Correct)

18) When two singular nouns are joined by ‘and’ and preceded by ‘each’ or ‘every’, the pronoun is always singular.

(a) Each boy and each girl was in their best dress. (Incorrect)
Each boy and each girl was in her best dress. (Correct)
(b) Every soldier and every sailor is in their place. (Incorrect)
Every soldier and every sailor is in his place. (Correct)
(c) Every night and every day brings their own responsibility. (Incorrect)
Every night and every day brings its own responsibility. (Correct)

19) The relative pronoun ‘as’ or ‘that’ should be used after ‘same’ or ‘such’. Never use ‘who’ or ‘which’ after ‘same’ or ‘such’.

(a) It is not such a good book which I expected. (Incorrect)
It is not such a good book as I expected. (Correct)
(b) This is the same beggar who came yesterday. (Incorrect)
This the same beggar that came yesterday. (Correct)
(c) My problem is the same which yours. (Incorrect)
My problem is the same as yours. (Correct)

20) Double comparatives and double superlatives must not be used.

(a) He is more wiser than his brother. (Incorrect)
He is wiser than his brother. (Correct)
(b) He is the most wisest of all. (Incorrect)
He is the wisest of all. (Correct)

21) When reference is made to the material of which something is made, we use ‘of’. The original material of which something is made can still be recognised. But we use ‘from’ when something is changed beyond recognition.

(a) Flour is made of wheat. (Incorrect)
Flour is made from wheat. (Correct)
(b) Your chair is not made from wood. (Incorrect)
Your chair is not made of wood. (Correct)

22) When negative ideas are introduced with think, believe, suppose and imagine, we make the first verb (think, believe, etc.) negative, not the second.

(a) I think you haven’t met my father. (Incorrect)
I do not think you have met my father. (Correct)
(b) I believe you haven’t seen the Taj Mahal. (Incorrect)
I don’t believe you have seen the Taj Mahal. (Correct)

23) After imperative we use (i) won’t you? — to invite people to do things. (ii) will you?/would you?/could you?/can’t you? — to tell people to do things.

(a) Do sit down, will you? (Incorrect)
Do sit down, won’t you? (Correct)
(b) Give me sufficient time, won’t you? (Incorrect)
Give sufficient time, will you? (Correct)
(c) Shut up, can you? (Incorrect)
Shut up, can’t you? (Correct)

24) When there is comparison between two objects, the preposition is placed before each of the two objects.

(a) He pays more attention to films than books. (Incorrect)
He pays more attention to films than to books. (Correct)
(b) I can rely more on you than her. (Incorrect)
I can rely more on you than on her. (Correct)

25) Perfect infinitive is used if it refers to a time prior to that which is expressed by the finite verb.

(a) He is declared to pass in the first division. (Incorrect)
He is declared to have passed in the first division. (Correct)
(b) She is supposed to commit this murder. (Incorrect)
She is supposed to have committed this murder. (Correct)

26) Don’t confuse How do you do? with How are you? It is a formula used when people are formally introduced. The reply is exactly the same: How do you do?

(a) How do you do? Fine, thanks. (Incorrect)
How do you do? How do you do? (Correct)

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1) When two adjectives in the comparative or the superlative degree are used together, the one formed by adding ‘more’ or ‘most’ must follow the other adjective.

(a) He is more wiser than brave. (Incorrect)
He is more wise than brave. (Correct)
(b) He is the more intelligent and wiser than his brother. (Incorrect)
He is wiser and more intelligent than his brother. (Correct)

2) When we compare two qualities in the same person or thing, the comparative ending ‘er’ is not used. In all such cases we should use ‘more’ before the adjective.

(a) You are wiser than old. (Incorrect)
You are more wise than old. (Correct)
(b) He is braver than wise. (Incorrect)
He is more brave than wise. (Correct)

3) When two adjectives with differing degrees of comparison are used they should be complete in themselves. We should complete the first comparison before taking up the second.

(a) He is as wise, if not wiser than his brother. (Incorrect)
He is as wise as, if not wiser than his brother. (Correct)
(b) This book is as good, if not better than that book. (Incorrect)
This book is as good as, if not better than that book. (Correct)

4) We should use comparative degree in comparing two things or persons and the superlative degree in comparing more than two things or persons.

(a) It is the best of the two books. (Incorrect)
It is the better of the two books. (Correct)
(b) He is the better of the three boys. (Incorrect)
He is the best of the three boys. (Correct)
(c) Which is the best; bread or butter? (Incorrect)
Which is better; bread or butter? (Correct)
(d) Which is better–bread, butter or fruit? (Incorrect)
Which is the best–bread, butter or fruit? (Correct)
(e) Out of these two watches this is the best. (Incorrect)
Out of these two watches this is better. (Correct)

5) ‘Less’ refers to quantity only, whereas ‘fewer’ denotes number. One is used in the case of uncountable things and the other in the case of countable things; as—fewer people, fewer houses, fewer boxes but less milk, less sunshine, less rice.

(a) There are no less than twenty boys in this class. (Incorrect)
There are no fewer than twenty boys in this class. (Correct)
(b) He takes no fewer than one kilo of milk. (Incorrect)
He takes no less than one kilo of milk. (Correct)

6) When expressions of measurement, amount and quantity are used as adjectives, they are usually singular. The noun occurring after the hyphen is always singular notwithstanding the fact that the preceding word indicates plurality.

(a) It is a ten-miles walk. (Incorrect)
It is a ten-mile walk. (Correct)
(b) It is a four-men committee. (Incorrect)
It is a four-man committee. (Correct)
(c) It is a two-hours journey. (Incorrect)
It is a two-hour journey. (Correct)

7) Plural nouns are used with fraction and decimal over 1.

(a) It took us one and a half hour. (Incorrect)
It took us one and a half hours. (Correct)
(b) This box weighs one and a half pound. (Incorrect)
This box weighs one and a half pounds. (Correct)
(c) It is 1.5 millimetre in length. (Incorrect)
It is 1.5 millimetres in length. (Correct)

8) When comparative degree is used in the superlative sense it is followed by ‘any other’ and not by ‘any’.

(a) Wasim Akram is better than any bowler. (Incorrect)
Wasim Akram is better than any other bowler. (Correct)
(b) He is better than any student. (Incorrect)
He is better than any other student. (Correct)

9) The comparative adjectives, senior, junior, superior, inferior, posterior, anterior, prior are followed by ‘to’ instead of ‘than’.

(a) He is senior than me. (Incorrect)
He is senior to me. (Correct)
(b) I am junior than him. (Incorrect)
I am junior to him. (Correct)
(c) This book is superior than that book. (Incorrect)
This book is superior to that book. (Correct)
(d) That book is inferior than this book. (Incorrect)
That book is inferior to this book. (Correct)

10) Some adjectives are not compared because they denote meanings which do not admit of variation of degree or qualities already possessed by them to the utmost possible extent. Such adjectives are: unique, ideal, perfect, extreme, chief, complete, round, square, universal, impossible, golden, infinite, perpetual.

(a) It is the most unique book. (Incorrect)
It is a unique book. (Correct)
(b) It is the most ideal place. (Incorrect)
It is an ideal place. (Correct)
(c) It is the most perfect answer. (Incorrect)
It is a perfect answer. (Correct)

11) When two changes happen together, that is, there is parallel increase, it is expressed by: the + comparative degree + the + comparative degree.

(a) The higher you go, the cool you feel. (Incorrect)
The higher you go the cooler you feel. (Correct)
(b) The older you get, the wise you grow. (Incorrect)
The older you get, the wiser you grow. (Correct)

12) We cannot use ‘one’ or ‘ones’ immediately after a genitive or possessive adjective. If these words are preceded by an adjective, however, they can come after a genitive or a possessive adjective.

For example:
Her new house is better than my old one.
My old watch, is in better condition than his new one.

(a) Her house is better than my one. (Incorrect)
Her house is better than mine. (Correct)
(b) His motor car is more expensive than Rana’s one. (Incorrect)
His motor car is more expensive than Rana’s. (Correct)

13) A compound adjective is sometimes formed by the combination of ‘worth’ with some participle. It is placed after the noun it qualifies.

(a) The Victoria Memorial is a worth seeing building. (Incorrect)
The Victoria Memorial is a building worth seeing. (Correct)
(b) This is a worth seeing sight. (Incorrect)
That is a sight worth seeing. (Correct)

14) We use ‘latest’ for things which are new. But last means either ‘before this one’ or ‘at the end of a series’.

(a) Have they heard the last news? (Incorrect)
Have they heard the latest news? (Correct)
(b) His last novel is being published next month. (Incorrect)
His latest novel is being published next month. (Correct)
(c) ‘Edward II’ was Marlowe’s latest play. (Incorrect)
‘Edwad II’ was Marlowe’s last play. (Correct)

15) We usually use ‘next’ for time. It means ‘nearest in the future’. It is generally used when we think of things coming one after another in a series. ‘Nearest’ is used for ‘place’. It means ‘most near’ or ‘closest’.

(a) I am looking forward to his nearest visit. (Incorrect)
I am looking forward to his next visit. (Correct)
(b) Excuse me. Where’s the next railway station? (Incorrect)
Excuse me. Where’s the nearest railway station? (Correct)

16) ‘Some’ is usually used in affirmative clauses whereas ‘any’ is used in questions and negative. We can use some in questions if we expect an affirmative answer, or when we want to encourage people to say
‘yes’.

For example:
Would you like some more potato chips?
Could I have some ripe mangoes, please?

(a) There are not some books on the table. (Incorrect)
There are not any books on the table. (Correct)
(b) Has he brought some books? (Incorrect)
Has he brought any books? (Correct)

17) When ‘than’ or ‘as’ is followed by third person pronoun, the verb is repeated. But the verb is omitted if ‘than’ or ‘as’ is followed by first and second person.

(a) He is not as tall as his brother. (Incorrect)
He is not as tall as his brother is. (Correct)
(b) She is richer than you are. (Incorrect)
She is richer than you. (Correct)

18) The words ‘elder’ and ‘eldest’ are used for comparing the members of the family. They are often used before words brother, sister, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter. ‘Older’ and ‘oldest’ are used with regard to age and in connection with human family relationship.

(a) He is my older brother. (Incorrect)
He is my elder brother (Correct)
(b) She is my oldest sister. (Incorrect)
She is my eldest sister. (Correct)
(c) He is the eldest man of this place. (Incorrect)
He is the oldest man of this place. (Correct)

19) We usually use ‘few’ with plural nouns and ‘little’ with uncountable nouns. ‘Little’ means ‘not much/many’. It is rather negative. ‘A little’ is more positive. It means ‘some’.

(a) Few politician can be relied on. (Incorrect)
A few politicians can be relied on. (Correct)
(b) Little learning is a dangerous thing. (Incorrect)
A little learning is a dangerous thing. (Correct)
(c) He has few interest in politics. (Incorrect)
He has little interest in politics. (Correct)

20) ‘Enough’ can qualify an adjective or adverb. It usually comes after adjectives and adverbs.

(a) He is enough bold to take up this challenge. (Incorrect)
He is bold enough to take up this challenge. (Correct)
(b) He hasn’t got enough good voice. (Incorrect)
He hasn’t got a good enough voice. (Correct)
(c) He is not driving enough fast. (Incorrect)
He is not driving fast enough. (Correct)

21) When we want to say that ‘it’s time’ for somebody else to do something, we generally use the structure: It’s time + subject + past tense verb.

(a) It is time you go to bed. (Incorrect)
It is time you went to bed. (Correct)
(b) It is time you wash your face. (Incorrect)
It is time you washed your face. (Correct)

22) If there is a past tense in the principal clause, the dependent clause must also be in the past tense.

(a) She knew that I am coming. (Incorrect)
She knew that I was coming. (Correct)
(b) He said that he wants to go home. (Incorrect)
He said that he wanted to go home. (Correct)

23) The correlative of ‘Both’ is ‘and’ (Both …and) and not ‘as well as’. The same kind of words generally follow ‘Both’ and ‘and’.

(a) Both Ali as well as his brother were present. (Incorrect)
Both Ali and his brother were present. (Correct)
(b) Tigers are both found is Asia and in Africa. (Incorrect)
Tigers are found both in Asia and in Africa. (Correct)

24) In interrogative sentences ‘shall’ is used in the first person and ‘will’ in the third person. In the second person ‘shall’ and ‘will’ are used in accordance with the answer expected.

(a) Will I turn the light on? (Incorrect)
Shall I turn the light on? (Correct)
(b) Shall he come tomorrow? (Incorrect)
Will he come tomorrow? (Correct)
(c) Shall you do me a favour? (Incorrect)
Will you do me a favour? (Correct)
(d) Will we attend the party? (Incorrect)
Shall we attend the party? (Correct)

25) When a noun or pronoun is placed before a gerund, it should be put in the possessive case.

(a) Please excuse me being late. (Incorrect)
Please excuse my being late. (Correct)
(b) She disliked me coming late. (Incorrect)
She disliked my coming late. (Correct)