Golden rules for Spotting Errors – Part 4

by Mr. Veeraraghavan Retd.RBI Officer

Rule 1:

Position — at, in , between, among, amongst, above, on, under, below,

at exact point The tourist stayed at Annapoorna Hotel

Kumar studied at Anna University

Someone is waiting at the door.

in large area He lives in Coimbatore

between, among and amongst ( for following words starting with vowel sound)

above higher than

under vertically below The book is under the table

over vertically above The bedroom is over the kitchen

below lower than

Rule 2:

Direction – to, towards, into, at, for, against, off, from

towards – from one direction to another – He is walking towards the bus stop.

to – from one place to another – He is travelling from Salem to Chennai

into – movement towards inside – She walked into the room

at – refers aims – He aims at becoming a bank employee.

for – denotes direction -I will be leaving for Mumbai tomorrow

against – shows pressure – He leaned against a tree

off – separation – He fell off the chair

from – point of departure – We went from Coimbatore to Pollachi.

Rule 3:

Other commonly used about, along, after, across, before, behind,beyond, beside, besides

about – nearness – His father is about to retire

after – sequence – He came after me.

across –  from one side – He walked across the road and reached the bus stop.

before – in front of – There is a milk booth infront of our house

behind – at the back of – At the back of our house there is a house for servants

beyond – on the further side – The mofussil bus stand is beyond the city bus stand.

beside – by the side of – My moped is parked beside his bike.

besides – in addition to – Ramu has a car besides a motor bike.

Rule 4:

Certain verbs / phrases are always used with particular prepositions like adhere to , abide by, accuse of, accompanied by, acquit of , aim at, angry with , arrive at, ask for, avail of , bail out , bring about, comprise of, capable of, deter from , insist on etc.

NOTE: Many phrasal verbs are used with the preposition `with’ when the object of the verb is a person and other prepositions for other objects. Examples are vexed with, agree with, angry with, deal with etc and for other objects generally take other words like agree on the subject, agree to the terms, vexed on the subject etc

Rule 5:

Some verbs when they are used as transitive verb take the object without a preposition; e.g. attack, await.

Rule 6:

Conjunctions are of three types viz: coordinating, subordinating and correlative.

Coordinating conjunctions:

There are seven coordinating conjunctions in total which can be remembered with the help of the mnemonic, FANBOYS.

F – for A – and N – nor B – but O – or Y – yet S – so

These seven words function to connect two or more items of equal syntactic importance. These items can be words, sentences, or clauses.

Rule 7:

Subordinating conjunctions.

These conjunctions when connecting two clauses make one clause subordinate to another clause with the help of one of the following relations.

a) Contrast – although, though, even though, while, whereas –

The US failed to ratify the Kyoto treaty although/though it supported

the UN’s objectives on global warming.

Clean water is scarce in the poorest countries while Western consumers

have abundant supplies.

b) Reason — because, since, as

Dolly the sheep was unique because she was cloned from an adult cell.

The findings were flawed since the data were inaccurate.

c) Time — when, as soon as, while, as, once, until, after, before

Sea water evaporates when the sun radiates heat.

The water vapour cools while it is rising.

The water vapour condenses as it cools.

Clouds begin to form once condensation starts to occur.

The clouds move until they reach high land.

d) Purpose — so that

Tourists visiting Antarctica are required to clean their footwear

so that contamination can be avoided.

Many students join RACE institute so that they can easily clear the

competitive examination for a good job.

e) Condition – if, unless , as long as

Pollution levels will rise if emissions are not controlled.

Management recommendations are ineffective unless they are implemented.

f) Manner — as

We wrote up the results of the experiment as we had been directed.

This article researches how climate change might affect wildlife in Britain.

g) Place — where

People prefer to shop where they feel relaxed.

h) Adding information about a person — who, whose

The person who spoke to me yesterday gave me the wrong information.

Alvar Aalto was a Finnish architect whose ideas are fundamental to modern design.

i) Adding information about a thing — which, that

Canna is an island which lies off the west coast of Scotland.

There are geological changes in coastlines that may be impossible to influence.

j) Introducing reported information — whether, that, how

It was unclear whether the management would fund the proposed training scheme

Rule 8:

Correlating conjunctions:

Correlative conjunctions are conjunctions which consist of pair of words always used together like not only … but also, either ..or, neither..nor, no sooner… than hardly … when, scarcely … when etc.,

Rule 9:

Wrong usage of verb or verb form is frequently tested in competitive examinations.

Rule 10:

Some verbs when they are used as transitive verb take the object without a preposition;

e.g. attack, await,