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Spot the error


- Articles
- Rules, examples and practice questions
1) Read each sentence given below and find out whether there is an
error in it. The error, if any will be one of the parts of the sentence
which are marked as 1,2,3 and 4. If there is no error, the answer will be
(5) i.e. No error. (Ignore the errors of punctuation, if any).

Ankit prefers (1) / self-employment (2) / to job (3) / in any office. (4) /
No Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 3
Explanation:
Use ‘a’ before ‘job’. ‘Job’ is a singular countable noun, hence, ‘a’ should be
used.
The correct sentence should be: Ankit prefers self-employment to a job in any
office.
Examples:
Before a word beginning with consonant sound, ‘a’ should be used.
A boy, A hole, A horse, A woman, A reindeer, A man
Similarly, if a word begins with a vowel but gives sound of a consonant, ‘a’
should be used before it.
A university, A union, A European, A unicorn, A useful article, A one-eyed
man, a one-rupee note

2) Amar’s habit of (1) / delaying his work (2) / put his friends (3) / to
lot of trouble. (4) / No Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 4
Explanation:
Use ‘a’ before ‘lot’. With certain idiomatic phrases and expressions. ‘a’ is used.
The correct sentence should be: Amar’s habit of delaying his work put his
friends to a lot of trouble.
With the following expressions ‘a’ is used -

Expressions denoting number and quantity-


A lot (of), A great deal (of), A good deal (of), A large quantity (of), A large
amount (of),
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A great many (of), A good many (of), A number (of), A large number of (of),
A great number (of)

Expressions such as-


Eat a humble pie, in a hurry, in a dilemma, in a rage, have a walk, at a loss,
have a drink, go for a walk, have a headache, have a sleep, have a dream,
have a chat, have a fight, have a quarrel, make a noise, take a risk, take a
meal, get/give/award a scholarship

3) He is not (1) / rich so he (2) / cannot afford to buy (3) / a expensive


house. (4) / No Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 4
Explanation:
Replace ‘a’ with ‘an’ in part 4. Before a word beginning with vowel sound
(A, E, I, O, U), ‘an’ should be used.
The correct sentence should be: He is not rich so he cannot buy an
expensive house.
Examples: He is an artist.
She is an old-woman.
An ass, An enemy, An ink-pad, An umbrella, An orange

4) Although he is not (1) / a honorable man (2) / yet he is (3) / not a


crook. (4) / No Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 2
Explanation:
Replace ‘a’ with ‘an’ in part 2. The choice between a and an is determined
by sound. If a word starts with a consonant but gives the sound of a vowel,
‘an’ should be used.
The correct sentence should be: Although he is not an honorable man yet
he is not a crook.
Examples: You will reach in an hour.
Sachin is an honest man.
He is an heir to the property.

5) The saint drew (1) / an attention of the (2) / followers to the (3) /
importance of regular practice. (4) / No Error (5)
a. 1
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b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 2

Explanation:
Replace ’an’ with ‘the’ in part 2. In sentence of the form,
Noun + of + noun, ‘the’ should be used before the first noun.

The correct sentence should be: The saint drew the attention of the
followers to the importance of regular practice.

6) Diksha is (1) / a best student (2) / in our class (3) / at present. (4) /
No Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 2
Explanation:
Replace ‘a’ with ‘the’ in part 2. When superlative degree is used, the
article ‘the’ should be used.
The correct sentence should be: Diksha is the best student in our class
at present.

7) The greater (1) / the demand, (2) / higher (3) /the price. (4) / No
Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 3
Explanation: Add ‘the’ before ‘higher’. In this case, the sentence must be
improved with use of definite article ‘the’. The correct sentence should be:
The greater the demand, the higher the price.
The article ‘the’ is used when necessary, to make any singular countable
noun, plural countable noun or uncountable noun, definite.
Examples:
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8) Rajasthan Canal (1) /will be the (2) / longest canal (3) / in India.
(4) / No Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 1
Explanation: Add ‘the’ before ‘Rajasthan’. Before the names of rivers,
canals, seas, oceans, bays, gulfs, groups of islands, etc. ‘the’ should be
used.
The correct sentence should be: The Rajasthan Canal will be the
longest canal in India.
Some important uses of ‘The’
The is used before -
Names of the scriptures -
The Gita is a holy book.
The names of famous buildings –
The Taj is one of the best buildings in India.
The names of nationals, sects and communities -
The English defeated the Germans.

The rich should help the poor.


The Hindus still believe in the caste system.
Famous historical events -
The Green Revolution changed the face of India.
Direction and Names of Unique things -
The sun rises in the east.
The sun and the moon are lamps of heavens.

9) The honesty (1) / is the (2) / best policy. (3) / No Error (4)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
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Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 1
Explanation: Remove ‘the’ before ‘honest’. ‘The’ is not used before abstract
nouns. Honesty, Beauty, Truth, love etc. are abstract nouns.
The correct sentence should be: Honesty is the best policy.
Note - If the abstract noun is particularized, i.e. name of some person or
place is attached to it, ‘the’ will be used.
Example: The honesty shown by him was highly praised.

10) She can (1) / speak the Hindi, (2) / Sanskrit and (3) / English
fluently. (4) / No Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 2

Explanation:
Remove ‘the’ before ‘Hindi’. ‘The’ is not used before names of subject,
languages, games and sports.
The correct sentence should be: She can speak Hindi, Sanskrit and English
fluently.
Examples: She is student of Geography.
English is an international language.

11) The man is (1) / mortal and (2) / ultimately has to (3) / leave
everything here. (4) / No Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 1
Explanation:
Remove ‘the’ in part 1. Before the words, Man, Woman, Life, Death, Science,
Art, Nature, article is not used.
The correct sentence should be: Man is mortal and ultimately has to leave
everything here.
Example: Woman is man’s mate.
Man is the only animal that uses fire.

12) The robbers (1) / were caught just before (2) / they were about to
(3) / escape the jail. (4) / No Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
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ANSWER: 4
Explanation:
Remove ‘the’ before ‘jail’. Article should not be used before school, college,
university, church, bed, hospital, prison, jail, court, bed, market, when
these places are visited or used for their primary purpose.
The correct sentence should be: The robbers were caught just before they
were about to escape jail.

13) It was (1) / by a mistake (2) / that he caught (3) / his hand. (4) / No
Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 2
Explanation:
Remove ‘a’ in part 2. Article is not used before phrases such as in danger, in
fact, in debt, in confusion, in demand, in detail etc.
The correct sentence should be: It was by mistake that he caught his hand.

Similarly, Article should not be used before the following phrases -


By post, by chance, by messenger, by cheque, by air, by land, by sea, by
road, by car, by bus, by jeep, by train, by plane, by steamer, by scooter, by
bicycle, by mistake
In fact, in detail, in short, in trouble, in confusion, in time, in demand, in
danger, in life, in haste, in crisis, in difficulty, in doubt, in debt.
Write in ink, write in pencil

14) He has been (1) / promoted to the (2) / rank of (3) / the S.P. (4) / No
Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
ANSWER: 4
Explanation: Remove ‘the’ in part 4. Article is not used with the following
phrases – kind of, type of, sort of, variety of, rank of, post of, title of etc.
The correct sentence should be: He has been promoted to the rank of S.P.

15) The rice (1) / is the (2) / favorite food of (3) /the Bengalis. (4) / No
Error (5)
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
Answer Explanation
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ANSWER: 1
Explanation: Remove ‘the’ in part 1. Article is not used before the names
of food-grains.
The correct sentence should be: Rice is the favorite food of the Bengalis.
Note - If the name of the food-grain is attached with the name of a place
or person, ‘the’ is used.
Example: The rice of India is also exported to other countries.
Similarly, Article ‘the’ is not used in the following cases –
Before the names of metals
e.g. The Silver is a precious metal.
The correct sentence should be: Silver is a precious metal.
Explanation: ‘The’ is not used before the names of metals.
Note - If the metal is particularized, ‘the’ is used.
Example: The Gold of India is exported to other countries.
Before the names of meals
e.g. She enjoyed the dinner with her friends.
The correct sentence should be: She enjoyed dinner with her friends.
Explanation: ‘The’ is not used before the names of meals.
Note - When the meal is particular one, we use ‘the’.
Example: The lunch will be held at the Marriott Hotel.
Before collective noun used in general term
e.g. The Parliament has passed the bill.
The correct sentence should be: Parliament has passed the bill.

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