Study Notes of Sentence Improvement for English Language

How to solve Sentence Improvement Questions?

How to solve Sentence Improvement Questions?

Sentence Improvement is one of the most crucial portions that attract a great concern of the aspirants of competitive exams. Almost every candidate hopes to score as better as he/she can by simply hitting the basic grammar rules. However, some of them feel out of the box after when they are unable to touch the expectations and crack this section with good score. Fundamentals of the grammar may or may not be necessary but the tricks and tips should always be done by heart in order to avoid the mistakes. 

The strategies are always better than the knowledge applied. Hence, here are some tips to improve the proficiency one should keep in mind…..

  • Analyze the tone of the given statement or sentence. It can be positive, negative, sarcastic, critical or analytical. Keeping in mind the purview of the whole scenario, one can easily spot the incorrect part of the sentence after a deep analysis.
  •  Use elimination before you do anything. This is the quickest approach one can easily apply as  रामबाण to every situation. If you are unable to spot the exact error, eliminate.
  • It is not mandatory that there should always be errors present in the sentence. Often, there are no errors present in the statement and the sentence is grammatically correct. Try to curtail the tendency of always finding the errors and improving it. You can also go for “no correction required” sometimes.
  • Of course, the knowledge of fundamental concepts should be there. And obviously, one must be hand in glove with the grammatical rules of Verbal.
Now, let’s keep a close watch on the following points:

1. Subject-verb Agreement: It is necessary to consider the verb according to the subject. Verbs should always be dependent on the subject or the vice-versa. Like, if the subject is plural then verb should also be plural, and if it is singular, then the given verb will also be singular. 
For example:
  • The boys were abandoning the residence where they had been living since 2010 (Plural)
  • The boy was abandoning the residence where he had been living since 2010 (Singular)

Likewise, other points should always be kept in mind such as collective nouns, confusing pair of words, objective and normative cases etc.

2. Idioms/Phrases: This is one of the most important points that sometimes an idiom or phrase is used and we have a habit of finding errors, no matter what it says. Generally, idioms and phrases are written in the same form as they are given e.g. As you sow so shall you reap…. This idiom is grammatically incorrect because we can’t use ‘as’ followed by ‘so’ but we use it in the same form in which it is written. Likely, errors related to idioms/phrases come in the exams and we often end it finding mistakes in it or vice versa. So, it is suggested that one must go through all the tentative idioms/phrases deeply so that mistakes related to this section shouldn’t be made again.

3. Misplaced Modifiers: One of the most common problems is where to place them. Specifically, modifiers can cause confusion or unintentional humor in a sentence when they are placed too far from the noun they are modifying. For example, consider the following sentence:
Only Maiden wants pizza
Maiden wants pizza only

4. Wrong Comparisons: Sometimes we end up comparing things which are not logical or equivalent. Like, we have to compare furniture with furniture and persons with persons. You can’t compare a table to a person.

5. Relative noun and pronoun agreement: Pronoun should always have clear antecedent. If it fails to do so, then it should be replaced by a proper noun. Likewise, in the noun agreement, single person or thing can’t take a plural noun or vice-versa. e.g. It is incorrect to say ‘John and Sarah want to become a doctor’. The correct sentence is ‘John and Sarah want to become doctors’

Let's look at some examples ……..

Directions: Which of the following phrases (I), (II), and (III) given below each sentence should replace the phrase printed in bold letters to make the sentence grammatically correct? Choose the best option among the five given alternatives that reflect the correct use of phrase in the context of the grammatically correct sentence. If the sentence is correct as it is, mark (e) i.e., “No correction required” as the answer.

Q1. Considering he had played football for only two years, he does it well.

(I) Consider he had played

(II) Considering he has played
(III) Had he considered played
(a) Only (I) is correct
(b) Only (II) is correct
(c) Only (III) is correct
(d) All are correct
(e) No correction required

Sol. As we read the sentence further, we can easily sum up that the sentence is in present tense. Hence it would be preceded by the present form of tense only i.e. Considering he has played.

If you are still unable to find the errors, then you must leave it and move further and attempt another questions to save your time.