Sentence Correction Tips

Errors in sentences occur due to the fact that different parts of speech, Noun, Pronoun, verb, prepositions, number, gender, adjectives and adverbs etc. are not used properly.

To locate an error in a sentence knowledge in this regard is essential. Further, practice of reading and writing clears the doubts about proper usage of different parts of the sentence.

An attempt is made in the below article to clarify certain points in this regard.
It is not exhaustive nor will it be directly used in solving questions in the examination. However it will certainly help in making the basic concepts in this regard clear to the reader.


 

Use of Singular & Plural numbers:

(A) Generally, inter-alia, we add ‘s’ or ‘es’ to make a plural of a noun.

But in compound words a little more care is needed.

Examples:

  • Son-in-law becomes Sons- in- Law and not laws.
  • Looker-on= Lookers -on.
  • Passer-by = Passers-by
  • Coat-of-mail= Coats -of-mail &
  • Fisher-man = Fisher-men.

But there are some exceptions also.

Example :

  • Lord-justice changes to Lords-justices
  • Man-servant=Men –servants.
  • Plural of
    C.A. is C.A.’s,
    M.A. = M.A.’s,
    B.A.=B.A.’s

Look at the following plural words :

  • Focus=foci,
  • radius=radii,
  • Terminus=Termini,
  • Basis=bases,
  • crisis=crises,
  • oasis= oases,
  • index=indices,
  • Mr.=Messrs.

 

(B) Certain words when changed to plural form give different meaning to that in their singular form

Example :

  • Force = strength,
  • Forces = army,
  • Physic = a medicine,
  • Physics = a subject.
  • Iron = metal,
  • Irons = fetters made of iron,
  • Beef=flesh of a cow,
  • Beeves=Cattle(bulls or cows),
  • Good=benefit,
  • Goods=moveable property,
  • Return = come back,
  • Returns=statistics or income,
  • Air=atmosphere,
  • Airs=demeanour.

 


 

(C) In certain cases where a word has two plurals but these two have different meanings

Example :

  • Brother :
    1. Brothers – sons of a father
    2. Brethren – Person of same society or profession etc.
  • Cloth :
    1. Cloths – pieces of cloth not stitched.
    2. Clothes – Garments.
  • Genius :
    1. Geniuses- Men of original mental power,
    2. Genii – imaginary spirits.
  • Die :
    1. Dies – used for coining,
    2. Dice – small cubes for gaming.
  • Beef :
    1. Beefs – kind of beefs
    2. Beeves – cattle.
  • Index :
    1. Indices – signs in Algebra.
    2. Indexes – of a book.

 


 

(D) Nouns having two meanings in singular but one meaning in plural form.

Example :

  • Abuse {Singular} :
    1.wrong use
    2. Reproach,
  • Abuses {Plural} : wrong uses

 

  • Foot {Singular} :
    1.Part of body (पैर)
    2. Infantry,
  • Feet {Plural} : Parts of body

 

  • Issue {Singular} :
    1. Result
    2. Off-spring
  • Issues {Plural} : results

 

  • People {Singular} :
    1.Nation
    2.Persons
  • Peoples {Plural} : Nations

 

  • Wood {Singular} :
    1.Material
    2.Forest
  • Woods {Plural} : forests

 

  • Light {Singular} :
    1. of Sun or lamp (रोशनी) etc.
    2. A lamp
  • Lights {Plural} : lamps.

 

  • Practice {Singular} :
    1. Habit
    2. Professional work.
  • Practices {Plural} : Habits.

Nouns having one meaning in singular and two meanings in plural.

Example :

  • Colour {Singular} : hue
  • Colours {Plural} :
    1. Hues
    2. Flags of army groups

 

  • Custom {Singular} : habit
  • Customs {Plural} :
    1. Habits
    2. Tax

 

  • Quarter {Singular} : one fourth part
  • Quarters {Plural} :
    1. Fourth part
    2. Lodgings

 

  • Spectacle {Singular} : Sight
  • Spectacles {Plural} :
    1. Sights seen
    2. Glasses to help to see

 

  • Letter {Singular} : alphabets
  • Letters {Plural} :
    1. Alphabets
    2. Epistles.

 

  • Pain {Singular} : suffering
  • Pains {Plural} :
    1. Sufferings
    2. Care

 

  • Manner {Singular} : mode or way
  • Manners {Plural} :
    1. Ways
    2. Behavior

 

  • Effect {Singular} : result
  • Effects {Plural} :
    1. Results
    2. Goods

 

(E) Following nouns are used in singular form:

  • Scenery
  • Advice
  • Poetry
  • Furniture
  • Information
  • Issue
  • Off-spring

 


 

(F) Following nouns are plural in form but singular in sense:

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Mechanics
  • News
  • Summons
  • Innings
  • gallows
  • Means

 


 

(G) The names of sciences are used in the singular number:

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Ethics
  • Politics
  • Conics

 


 

(H) Some of the Nouns are same in singular & plural forms.

  • Fish
  • Deer
  • Sheep
  • Swine.

 


 

(I) Following nouns are in singular form but are used in plural form:

  • Cattle
  • People
  • Gentry
  • Clergy
  • Poultry

 


 

(J) Following nouns are used only in plural :

  • arms
  • trousers
  • scissors
  • shoes
  • ashes
  • tidings
  • tongs
  • socks
  • assets
  • pants
  • thanks
  • stockings
  • bowels
  • drawers
  • tidings
  • belongings
  • bellows etc.

 


 

(K) When a noun is preceded by a numerical adjective:

it is not used in plural if it is accompanied by a number or quantity

Example :
We do not use “ a ten- rupees note” it is “a ten -rupee note”
It will not be “two ten- rupees notes” but “two ten- rupee notes”

  • A seven day week
  • Four pair of shoes
  • A dozen pens
  • A four metre rod
  • A twenty-kilo weight
  • Sixty head of cattle.

Following nouns are generally used in plural :

  • Alms : These alms will be given to the poor children.
  • Riches : Riches have turned his head.
  • Pains : He took pains to achieve his goal.
  • Odds : He fought against all odds and won.
  • Amends : He made no amends for his mistakes.

 

 

 

 

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