- Error of Proximity
- Two subjects joined by ‘and’ – plural
- If both point to the same thing (one thing) – singular
- Parenthetical words joined to a singular subject – singular (e.g. ‘with’, ‘as well as’)
- Two or more singular subjects connected by ‘or’, ‘nor’ – singular
- When one of them is plural – plural (and nearer to it)
- When subjects of different person joined by ‘or’. ‘nor’ – verb is of person nearer to it
- Either, neither, each, everyone, many a – singular
- Each X and every Y – singular
- Pains, means – singular or plural (depends)
- Nouns which are plural in meaning – plural (e.g. ‘dozen’ – needs a plural verb)
- None – plural, but singular also in some cases
- Collective noun – singular (but if individuals are thought of – plural; e.g. – the team is united. The jury are divided in their decision…because it no more is collective in a sense…)
- Plural noun is a proper name – singular (e.g. Arabian Nights)
- Plural noun denote some specific quantity or amount as a whole – singular (e.g. fifteen minutes is..)
- When ‘each’ or ‘every’ follows a subject, it has no bearing on the verb form.
- Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives or adverbs.
- Thence = from there; Whence = from where (use of ‘from’ with these is wrong; from thence is wrong usage)
- Only Adverb of Manner, Degree & Time admit of comparison
- Order of Adverbs – Manner, place, time
- Manner, place are placed after the verb (or object)
- Frequency, Degree are normally placed between the subject & the verb (if the verb has more than one word, then placed after the first)
- If the verb is :
am/are/is/was --> after
Before <-- be (do) Before <-- have to, used to
- If adjective (adverb) -- then before the adjective (adverb)
- But ‘enough’ is always placed after
- ‘Only’ is placed immediately after the word it modifies
- ‘Ever’, ‘never’, ‘scarcely’ are often misplaced (e.g. scarcely anyone believes…right; no one scarcely believes…wrong)
- Seldom or never…right
- Seldom if ever…right
- Seldom or ever…wrong
- ‘Never’ for ‘not’ is wrong. (E.g. He was never born in India…wrong; He was not born in India…right)
- too = more than enough
- too != very/much
- Of course != certainly, undoubtedly
- Of course = natural or inevitable consequence
- Uncountable nouns do not have plurals. Cannot be used with a/an. (e.g. advice, news, information, luggage, work, business, weather, traffic, scenery, paper, soap, bread, etc.)
- Possessive Case –
Living beings, personified objects, space or time (denoting an amount)
Apposition – ‘s is added to the latter
Two subjects – when different possession is implied, then both of them has ‘s
When joint possession is implied, only the latter has ‘s
- Pronoun after than/as – nominative form (e.g. taller than I) But if verb is missing then objective form can be used. (Taller than me…is also correct)
- Anybody, everybody, everyone, anyone, each – singular. Gender is as per context
- ‘One’ should be used throughout
- ‘None’ – singular/plural – as per context
- ‘Anyone’ – used only when there are more than two persons
- Each, either, neither – singular
- For relative pronouns – verb must agree with antecedent of the relative pronoun
(e.g. – He is one of the cleverest boys that have passed this year. This is only one of the poems that is worth reading.)
- Possessive case pronoun cannot be used as antecedent
- Third person pronoun should not be used as antecedent to who/that
(e.g. Mucool’s room is so messy that his mother calls him a pig. Him is wrong. Needs an antecedent and there is none. Mucool’s is possessive case. Him should e replaced by mucool)
LIKE Vs AS
Like -- to comapre people, things (nouns)
As -- to compare clauses (any phrase that involves a verb)
SUCH AS = For Example
such as != like ...'such as' cannot be substituted for 'like'
Comparisons must be logically and structurally parallel.
Two things -- comparative degree
More things -- superlative degree
Different from -- is correct
Different than -- incorrect
Verb Tense, Mood & Voice
Infinitives -- to + the verb
Split Infinitives are wrong
e.g. to + ___ + Verb ...is wrong...nothing should come in between to and the verb.
PRESENT PERFECT -- have/has + past participle
PAST PERFECT -- Had + past participle
"To have" = "had"
These are correct forms:
If she wins...will give... (present)
If she won...would give...(past)
If she had won...would have given...(future)
COULD/WOULD never appear in the IF clause.
IF vs WHETHER --> Use whether not if, when you have to make a choice.
If I were...(contrary to reality)
Uncertainity --> Hopes, desires, proposals, requests
Formed using "That"...then plural form to be used for singular subjects.
e.g. It is urgent that she sign...not signs!!
that he be...infinitive form without "to".
Suggested Books : Wren & Martin, Manhattan SC, Kaplan 800, Kaplan Verbal Workbook, Official Guide
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