Rules For Error Identification

Error Indentification Rules

Rules for Error identification is a combination of all the elements that fall the umbrella of Grammar. It is a type of competitive test where one needs to identify the grammatical errors in a sentence. Though termed as Sentence Correction, most often, problems in this topic need one to only classify sentence errors.

It can be a punctuation error, wrong use of tense, subject-verb disagreement and more, through which a reader’s skills are tested. Error questions can be tough for people appearing for competitive exams.

rules for error identification

Rules For Error Identification:-

The following rules for error identification should be kept in mind while solving any questions:

1. You should be well-versed with the parts of speech, such as adverb, adjectives, conjunctions, nouns, interjections, etc.

  • These must be correctly used as they help to make a sentence constructive.
  • Example:
    She cooks real good. (Incorrect)
    She cooks really well. (Correct)

2. Make sure the sentence is grammatically appropriate, where the subject must agree with the verb.

  • The subject-verb agreement should there, if not, then the sentence has an error. It also acts as a hint for finding an error.

3.  There should be no parallelism within the sentence. Various words in the sentence should follow the same concept where all are written in the same tense.

  • Example:
    Students must go through programming, computing and how to process.(Incorrect)
    The student must go through programming, computing, and processing. (Correct)

4.  A modifier is something which should come after subject as it modifies the subject. The sentence can be wrong if the modifiers are placed before the subject.

  • Example:
    Swamped in mud, Jai rescued the puppy. (Incorrect)
    Swamped in mud, the puppy was rescued by Jai. (Correct)

5.  The sentence must not include repetitive words or redundancy.

  • Example:
    He will return back next week. (Incorrect)
    He will return next week. (Correct)

6.  Several grammatical, punctuation, and spelling details or knowledge is a must have for the people appearing for error identification test.

7.  Pronoun agreement should be there, such as he/she/it should go with does or ‘es’ and you/we/they must go with doing.

8.  A verb followed by a preposition typically forms a phrasal verb.

  • Phrasal verb mistakes happen when a dissimilar preposition is used in place of the one that is required to be put.
  • It is required to have knowledge about phrases and idioms as they have some specific words.
  • One can easily identify errors in phrases if they have thorough knowledge about the phrases.

9.  Use of correct words at correct places is important. It may also help you find a logical replacement of the word in mind through which you can identify that the sentence has errors to be replaced.

Some Extra Rules for Spotting Error

1. Use of Question Tags:

Question tags are the short clauses in the end of a statement that turn a statement into question. These questions are formed by the auxiliary verb that are used in the first clause.


The birds were flying in the same direction, weren’t they?

Here, ‘The Birds were’ is the subject and verb used, hence the question tag will be ‘weren’t they’

2. Use of Relative Pronoun:

Relative Pronouns are used to show a relation between the dependent and the independent clause. The 5 most common Relative Pronouns are:

  1. who
  2. whom
  3. that
  4. which
  5. what


The boy who scored the highest marks is my best friend

Here, who is the relative pronoun that relates the dependent clause ‘the boy’ with the independent clause ‘the remaining sentence’.

3. Transitive and Intransitive Verb:

Transitive verbs will always carry the object with themselves while an Intransitive verb will never carry an object.


Transitive Verb:

The lawyer addressed the jury before the hearing began

Here, addressed is the transitive verb which needs the object ‘the jury’.

Intransitive Verb:

The patient’s health recovered quickly

Here, recovered is followed by an adverb instead of an object.

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