To find an error in a given sentence or a group of sentences is very common in competitive job exams in India. Whether it is SSC CGL or UPSC or any banking (IBPS/SBI/RBI) job exams, you can expect at least 3 to 5 questions come from this topic. In this post, we are going to discuss some spotting error rules related to Nouns. We will talk about 9 such rules of Nouns which you should know to find out the errors (related to the usage of nouns) in a sentence.
Spotting error rules related to Nouns:
Uncountable nouns are used in singular forms with a singular verb.
For Example; (a) Your information is correct. (b) Thank you for your advice, it helps me a lot.
List of such uncountable nouns is – Business, Hair, Vacation, Food, Information, Evidence, Work, Baggage, Luggage, Furniture, Fuel, Material, Equipment, Scenery, Employment, Poem, etc.
The following collective nouns are always used in plural forms with plural verbs.
Cattle, Poultry, Folk, People, Clergy, Gentry, Peasantry, and Majority.
- People are gathering together to enjoy the show.
- Folk was dancing.
Following collective nouns are used in singular form as well as plural according to what they represent in a sentence.
If they are shown as a body or group then they are singular, but if they are shown as individual then they are plural.
Public, Board, Audience, Team, Mob, Ministry, Jury, Number, Police, Staff, Crowd, Family, House, and Committee.
- The family is on a vacation. (Family used as a whole)
- The family are working in the house. (Family used as an individual)
Let’s see another example –
- The team is in a cheerful mood. (Team used as a body)
- Real Madrid is a good team so they can win the match. (Team used as an individual)
Following expressions are used as singular noun always.
- A piece of bread
- A piece of work
- A word of advice
- An article of luggage/baggage
Following expressions are always used as plural nouns.
- Words of abuse
- Some advice
- Pieces/loaves of bread
- Few articles of luggage
Some nouns that end with ‘s’ or ‘es’ look like a plural but used as a singular form with a singular verb.
Such words are – Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Politics, Mechanics, Innings, News, Series, United States, Aquatics etc.
- The word ‘Statistics‘ when used as a subject, it is singular. For example – Statistics is my favorite subject. But if ‘Statistics‘ refer some collection of data like this example “The statistics of the previous year’s economic condition are not impressive”, used as a plural.
- The subject’s name i.e. Physics, Mathematics, Economics, Politics when used in the possessive case become plural.
- (i) His mathematics are very good.
- (ii) Politics of West Bengal are very complicated.
If a singular noun is qualified by two different adjectives then it is considered as plural and used with a plural verb.
- The Social and political value of India are changing these days. (In this example ‘India’ is a singular noun quantified by two adjectives ‘social value’ and ‘political value’.)
If the same noun appears before and after a preposition, the noun remains singular.
- Ram went door to door to sell household products.
- Virat Kohli is recovering day–by–day.
Some common nouns are used singular as well as plural according to what they represent in a sentence.
If it defines as a group then it is used as a plural.
But if the common noun defines an individual then used as a singular.
- Fish live in water. (Fish is used as plural)
- Fish is a part of our diet. (Fish is used as singular)
Some nouns are always used in a plural form with a plural verb.
For example; Jeans, Trousers, Scales, Orders, Contents, Savings, Surroundings, Requirements, Riches, Scissors etc.
These are nine important spotting error rules related to nouns you should remember.