Sentence Correction – Tips and Tricks to solve Questions in CAT Exam

Thu Sep 10, 2020


One of the most scoring just as dubious piece of Verbal Ability segment is-Sentence Correction. What might be the reason for this point? Indeed, it checks your grammar aptitudes. At the end of the day, you have to distinguish whether the sentence is syntactically right or a piece of it should be supplanted. All in all, what do you have to know for that? A couple of major standards of grammar and right utilization of words!

In such questions, you may discover a piece of or the entire sentence in intense or underline and you are relied upon to locate the right expression to supplant it. Essentially, you have to make sense of the linguistic mistake in that specific aspect of a sentence. The majority of the occasions, you will locate that one of the choices rehashes a similar expression while the rest revise it in various manners. Thus, it's for you to choose whether the given expression is right or not.

We all have learned the basic grammar rules in our school days. Now, let’s discuss some important rules and errors so as to tackle questions based on sentence correction.

1. Subject-verb agreement

As the name says itself, the verb utilized in the sentence ought to be as per the subject. Both ought to be either plural or singular simultaneously.

E.g. The girl was reading.. (Singular)

The girls were reading.. (Plural)

Let’s recall some of the essential rules of subject-verb agreement.

  • In case of collective nouns (like police, army, herd, etc.), the verb used is singular.
  • Similarly, for subjects connected by ‘and’/‘or’, plural verbs are used.
  • If the sentence begins with each/anyone/everyone, a singular verb is used.
  • For the sentences that contain ‘either/or’ and ‘neither/nor’ pairs, the verb used will be singular if both the subjects are singular. In case one or both the subjects are plural, the plural verb is used.
  • Often, there arises confusion between the usage of ‘I’ and ‘me’. Let’s see the following examples:
Mary and I joined the sports club. (Here, ‘Mary’ and ‘I’ are the subjects of the sentence.)

John took Mary and me to the sports club. (Here, ‘Mary’ and ‘me’ are the objects of the sentence.)

Similarly, in case of comparison, ‘I’ is used with the other subject. E.g. He is shorter than I am.

Another important thing to identify here is the correct usage of pronouns as per the subject and object.

In some cases, long sentences are given without the required verb. That calls for an answer option with the required missing verb.

2. Repetition

Once in a while, there is excess in the sentence. As it were, something very similar is composed twice in a solitary proclamation. The vast majority of the occasions, you can spot such blunders without any problem. Examples-

I returned back from Goa.(Incorrect)

I came back from Goa. (Correct)

3. Error in modifiers

As you can figure from the name itself, modifiers adjust the subject. Anyway, where do you think should the modifiers be put? Indeed, they should be put close to the subject it modifies.

Sitting in the garden, a scorpion stung her. (Here, you can’t figure out who is sitting in the garden- the scorpion or the girl. This is an incorrect way. )

The correct way would be: Sitting in the garden, she was stung by a scorpion.

4. Parallelism
What precisely can be parallelism in sentence? All things considered, it identifies with the structure of the sentence. Putting it different ways, the various expressions/words playing out a similar capacity ought to be utilized in a similar organization. examples:

Sonia likes to dance, sing and cook.(Correct)

Sonia likes dancing, singing and cooking.(Correct)

Sonia likes to dance, sing and cooking.(Incorrect)

5. Error in diction

A diction error refers to the error in choice of words/phrases. At other times, even some idioms occur in sentences in an incorrect way. Common pair of words and phrases where you may face diction error are:

  • affect v/s effect (E.g. the effect of the decision, ..affect the outcome)
  • adapt v/s adopt
  • argue against v/s argue with
  • later v/s latter
  • lay v/s lie
  • few v/s less (E.g. less water left.., ..few students in class)
6. Wrong comparisons
Here and there, the correlations are made between different things or in a wrong manner. Example:

John is wiser than all men. (Incorrect way)

John is wiser than all other men. (Correct way- John needs to be excluded from the rest of the same category.)

In the above example, comparative degree is used. But in case of superlative degree, the person/thing compared is included in the rest of the class. E.g. John is the strongest of all men.Overall, you need to make sure that the different parts of speech (adjective, adverb, nouns, pronouns, conjunctions, interjections, verbs, etc.) are used appropriately and at the right place in the sentence.So now, you are aware of the errors that may occur in questions based on sentence correction. The next step should be to devise a strategy to answer these questions in an accurate and timely manner. Keep the following things in mind while tackling a sentence correction question:

  • Identify the concept

The very reason above-stated rules were discussed! Generally, in such questions, one or two rules are rules are used inappropriately. So, the first task is to identify the particular kind of error/s.

Keep an eye on the time indicators (before, after, during, etc.). This can help you spot the verb tense errors easily. In some cases, the whole sentence needs to be rewritten.

Once you have figured out the kind of error/s, try to make the correction without looking at the options.

  • Similar answer choices
At times, the offered response alternatives are extremely near one another and show less distinction. In this way, you have to extra cautious in the assessment of such decisions. Peruse the full proclamation before choosing your answer. Additionally, if there are 2-3 comparative answer choices, that doesn't mean one of them must be the correct decision. The genuine answer might be the totally divergent one.

  • Treat all options equally
While going through the answer options, you may feel the initial particular option is correct and neglect the remaining. It is advised to go through all the options before deciding your answer choice.

  • Pay attention to the non-underlined part
It is common to ignore the non-underlined part of sentence. But, this part may contain vital hints about the kind of error as well as the required answer.

  • Choose the shorter answer
In case you are left with two choices, pick the shorter one. Frequently the long sentences are included the alternatives to befuddle the up-and-comers. This likewise helps when you are uncertain of the idea being tried. It is consistently savvy to begin analyzing the shorter alternatives first, before proceeding onward to the more drawn out ones.

  • Substitute the selected answer
Before you mark your chose answer, it is a smart thought to peruse the sentence alongside the appropriate response choice. Infact, you should peruse it a second time after the right inclusion. Additionally, here and there, blunder is caused in an uncommon principle and not the typical standard guidelines. Along these lines, ensure the sentence bodes well.

On the off chance that it despite everything appears to be excessively unpredictable, tune in to the sentence. As such, state the sentence in your mind and pick the choice that sounds best to your ears.

  • Elimination technique

Numerous blunders in a sentence and comparative answer decisions – entangle matters! Here, disposal technique acts the hero. This procedure demonstrates successful in any sort of inquiry. There would be a few alternatives that change the significance of the sentence while some make it syntactically wrong. In such cases, end strategy will assist you with showing up at the correct answer.

  1. Do not eliminate options with idioms or pronoun ambiguity in the first go. These pose problem only when the meaning of the sentence is altered.
  2. The options with ‘ing’ form is mostly incorrect and can be rejected outright.
  3. In some cases, the word pair (just as…so, not only..but also, etc.) is used incorrectly or half of it is missing.
At last, don't find stayed with a specific solution decision on the off chance that it seems befuddling to you. Experience the rest and eliminate the conspicuous ones first.

In this way, presently you are good to go with the information on significant principles and procedure to deal with sentence rectification questions. The most ideal approach to recall the standards is to rehearse as much as possible. Mock tests and earlier year papers will acclimate you with the sort of sentence remedy questions that highlight in CAT. Alongside that, you have to have a decent jargon base to comprehend the significance of sentences given in such questions. Picking up aptitude around there can extraordinarily improve your score in CAT Verbal Ability segment.


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