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Chapter-wise Noun Spotting Errors Asked in SSC CGL from 1999 to 2016

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Solving Error Spotting Questions in SSC Exams

The English section plays a pivotal role in selection for SSC CGL Exams. And then, Error spotting is an important part of the English section. You should keep in mind rules governing the structure of sentences.

Solving Error Spotting Questions for SSC CGL & CHSL Exams

Here are some questions that help you understand the pattern of the questions that can be asked in the next exam.

1. ‘No sooner’ is followed by ‘than’

(i) No sooner had I entered the room when the friends greeted me. (Incorrect)

(ii) No sooner had I entered the room than the friends greeted me. (Correct)

Note: The Sentence Form must be past perfect or past indefinite

2. More than one 

More than one indicates a plural sense. But it is treated as a sort of compound of one. Thus, it agrees with a singular noun and takes a singular verb.

(i) More than passengers were killed in the accident. (Incorrect)
(ii) More than one passenger was killed in the accident. (Correct)

3. Making a statement and asking for confirmation

For instance, ‘it’ is very hot, isn’t it? Two points are to be kept in mind. If the statement is positive, the pattern will be

Auxiliary + n’t + Subject

In case the statement is negative, the pattern will be ‘’Auxiliary + subject’’


(i) You are not busy, aren’t you? (Incorrect)
(ii) You are not busy, are you? (Correct)

4. ‘The two first’ 

It is a meaningless expression for it implies that two things may be first. We should say ‘the first two’.

(i) The two first chapters of novel are dull. (Incorrect)
(ii) The first two chapters of the novel are dull. (Correct)

5. The word ‘Only’ should be placed immediately before the word it qualifies!

(i) He only lost his bag in the stampede. (Incorrect)
(ii) Only he lost his bag in the stampede. (Correct)

6. An infinitive verb should not be split.

(i) I request you to kindly help me in getting my ticket. (Incorrect)
(ii) I request you kindly to help me in getting my ticket. (Correct)

7. Care should be taken with some statements like

(i) The doctor saw the pulse of the patient. (Incorrect)
(ii) The doctor felt the pulse of the patient.  (Correct)

8. Scarcely should be followed by when, not by than

(i) Scarcely had he arrived than he had to leave again. (Incorrect)
(ii) Scarcely had he arrived when he had to leave again. (Correct)

9. Till is used of time and to is used of place

(i) The college will remain open to seven in the evening. (Incorrect)
(ii) The college will remain open till seven in the evening.  (Correct)

10. The preposition “off” denotes “separation”, “at a distance from” or “far from” whereas the preposition “of” denotes cause, origin, quality, possession.

(i) He put of his blazer. (Incorrect)
(ii) He put off his blazer. (Separation) (Correct)
(iii) He died off heart-attack. (Incorrect)
(iv) He died of heart attack. (Cause) (Correct)

11. Beside means by the side of, whereas besides means in addition to.

(i) He sat besides the bed. (Incorrect)
(ii) He sat beside the bet. (Correct)

12. Between is used for only two things or persons while among is used for more than two.

(i) You have to choose among tea and coffee. (Incorrect)
(ii) You have to choose between tea and coffee. (Correct)

13. Above and below merely denote position while over and under also carry a sense of covering or movement.

(i) The bird flew above the lake. (Incorrect)
(ii) The bird flew over the lake. (Correct)

14. ‘During’ is used when we are talking about the time within which something happens. ‘For’ is used when we are talking about how long something lasts.

(i) There were few incidents of irregularity for the Emergency years. (Incorrect)
(ii) There were few incidents of irregularity during the Emergency years. (Correct)

15. There are some nouns that indicate length, measure, money, weight or number. When they are preceded by a numeral, they remain unchanged in form.

Foot, meter, pair, score, dozen, head, year, hundred, thousand, million

(i) It is a three – years degree course. (Incorrect)
(ii) It is a three – year degree course. (Correct)

16. Some nouns are always used in a plural form and always take a plural verb.

Trousers, scissors, spectacles stockings, shorts measles, goods, alms, premises, tidings, annals, chattels, etc.


(i) Where is my trouser? (Incorrect)
(ii) Where are my trousers? (Correct)

17. A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in person, number, and gender.


(i) Every man must bring his luggage.
(ii) All students must do their homework.
(iii) Each of the girls must carry her own bag.

18. The pronoun ‘one’ must be followed by ‘one’s’.


(i) One must finish his task on time. (Incorrect)
(ii) One must finish one’s task on time (Correct)

19. ‘Whose’ is used for living persons and ‘which’ for lifeless objects.


(i) Which photograph is lying here? (Incorrect)
(ii) Whose photograph is living there? (Correct)

20. Use of ‘less’ and ‘fewer’


‘Less’ denotes quantity and ‘fewer’ denotes number.

(i) No less than fifty persons were (In correct)
(ii) No fewer than fifty people were (Correct)

21.‘One of’ always takes a plural noun after it.


(i) It is one of the most important day in my life. (Incorrect)
(ii) It is one of the most important days in my life. (Correct)

22. Use of ‘not only ‘and ‘but also ‘examine the sentences given below.


(i) He not only comes for swimming but also for coaching the learners. (Incorrect)
(ii) He comes not only for swimming but also for coaching the learners. (correct)

23. The case of the noun or pronoun preceding or succeeding the verb ‘to be’ should be the same.


(i) It is him who came to see us. (Incorrect)
(ii) It is he who came to see us. (Correct)
(iii) It is me who caught the thief. (Incorrect)
(iv) It is I who caught the thief. (Correct)

24. Neither is followed by nor, not by

(i) The phone neither went dead or worked properly. (Incorrect)
(ii)The phone neither went dead nor worked properly. Correct)

Error Spotting (Based on Determiners)


Some parts of the sentence have errors and some are correct. Find out which part has an error and mark that part as your answer. If there are no errors, mark ‘No error’ as your answer.

She will not be bringing some food to the party.

  • She will not be
  • bringing some food
  • to the party.
  • No error

Answer: She will not be bringing any food to the party.

An Advice

Taking mock tests can prove highly beneficial. It will also let you know where you rank among your peers and can definitely improve your score based on the same. These tests are available online, both in Hindi and English and come along with a report card with your overall performance analysis.

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By Asad yar Khan

Asad Yar Khan is Former Chairman of AMC, an educational NGO. A passionate proponent of education development, his favour...more

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