In the next few articles, we will be covering commonly found grammar traps. These will help you crack sentence correction questions. Read these and be a grammar wizard!

Tip 1: A simple, direct sentence would definitely be better than a twisted account of things. In case two sentences are grammatically correct, choose the one which expresses the central idea in a clearer manner.

Tip 2: A verb should agree with the subject in number. A pronoun should agree with the antecedent noun in number

Tip 3: Find the true subject in a sentence and not the intermediate pseudo subjects while ensuring agreement with the verb. Example: The person with six fingers has requested for a room.

Tip 4: Where there is an ‘and’ there should be a plural verb.

Tip 5: Phrases implying addition (along with, with, together with, besides, including, as well as, etc.) do not alter the status of the main subject. Example: (Ram, along with his friends, is going to the party.

Tip 6: If the subject is made up of two parts, unequal in number, the verb takes the form of the part closer to it. Example: Not only the secretary but also the tenants have agreed to vote in favour of the bill. OR Not only have the tenants but also the secretary has agreed to vote in favour of the bill.

Tip 7: Two singular subjects connected by either, neither, or would result into a singular verb form. Example: Neither Salman nor Aamir has agreed to host the show.

Tip 8: There are a few nouns that look plural but essentially mean one thing. Example: tactics, electronics, news, etc. These will take singular verbs.

Tip 9: The verbs which connect the subject to the rest of the sentence (called linking verbs) agree with the subject and not the rest of the sentence. Example: Your plans for the wedding sound nice.

Tip 10: The nouns which have no singular form always take a plural verb. Examples: proceeds, goods, ashes, credentials, etc.

Tip 11: Collective nouns which have no plural form but are always used in a plural sense always take a plural verb. Examples: alphabet, poultry, cattle, offspring, etc. To get this sense, understand the subject phrase completely. It will always be an indicator if the sense of the subject is singular or plural.

Tip 12: Collective nouns that have no plural form and are always used in a singular sense always take a singular verb. Examples: hair, tissue, furniture, abuse, poetry, prose, etc.


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