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How To Solve Sentence Improvement And Construction Quickly

Key Points to note before answering:

There will be a sentence with a word or a phrase in an italicized form, or bold or underlined. Various options will be provided to you as a substitute of that word.

All you need to do is find out the error and choose the correct answer from all the options given. If your selection is correct; then the sentence will be clear and meaningful without any ambiguity. 

Let’s try some practical questions to understand the topic precisely.

how to solve sentence improvement question quickly

How To Solve Sentence Improvement?

1. Subject – Verb Agreement

As the name subjects, both the subject an the verb should agree with each other in terms of it number or quantity  i.e. Singular or Plural.

  • If the subject is singular, the verb will be singular.
  • If the subject is plural, the verb will be plural.

Example:

  1. The boys are playing in the park ( subject = boys = plural, so, verb = are = plural)
  2. The girl cooks delicious food. (subject = girl = singular, so, verb = cook = singular)

2. Modifier Words / Clauses

A modifier is an adjective or adverb, that describes or adds meaning to a sentence. As the name and relationship suggests, a modifier is placed next to a subject that needs modification.

Example:

Sitting in the room, the cat bit her. (there’s no clarity as to who is sitting in the room, the cat or the girl)

Correct way to write: Sitting in the garden, she was bitten by the cat.

3. Parallel Construction

What is Parallelism and how to use it in a sentence?

Parallelism functions around the structure of a sentence. the different phrases or words that relate to the subject should be used in the same form. To make it clearer, see the example below:

Example:

Sonam loves dancing, singing and cooking. (Correct)

Sonam loves to dance, sing and cook. (Correct)

Sonam loves dancing, singing and to cook. (Incorrect)

Here, the forms are simple (first sentence) and continuous (2nd sentence). In the third sentence it is a mixture which is wrong.

4. Redundancy

Redundancy in a sentence means to have the presence of multiple words that can be otherwise summed up into a single word.

Example:

  • await – wait for
    • the lawyers await the judgement
    • the lawyers wait for the judgement
  • fetch – to go and bring back
    • she asked me to fetch the drinks for her
    • she asked me to go and bring back the drinks for her

The same thing written twice in a sentence can be wrong and have grammatical errors when spoken or written.

5. Pronoun Reference Error

A pronoun comes after the noun and should be able to refer clearly to one, clear, unmistakable noun. This type of noun is termed as antecedent.

Example – Mary kept the keys in the box and sold it later.

Here, ‘it’ can be referred to the box or the key, hence it’s a faulty pronoun. Instead it should be either,

  • ‘Mary kept the keys in the box and sold the keys later’ /or
  • ‘Mary kept the keys in the box and sold the box later’

6. Wording

A reference error indicates the error while using appropriate words or phrases to complete a sentence. Sometimes even an idiom can be used incorrectly in a sentence that doesn’t extract the exact meaning of it.

There are some common pair of words that are often confused or used wrongly:

  • affect v/s effect
  • few v/s less
  • adapt v/s adopt
  • argue against v/s argue with
  • lay v/s lie
  • later v/s latter
  • Lean on / lean against

Sample Questions For Sentence Improvement and Construction

Question 1.

Select the correct form of word to fill in the blank:

Both Joseph and Mike _________ around the school for the entire day.

a. is riding
b. were riding
c. has been riding
d. rides

Answer – B (were riding)
Explanation: With the use of ‘and’, the two singular subjects become plural hence here we use ‘were’ which is a plural verb.

Question 2.

Select the correct form of word to fill in the blank:

The movie, including all the previews, ________ about two hours to watch.

a. were taking
b. take
c. have taken
d. takes

Answer – D (takes)
Explanation – Though ‘previews’ is plural here, but it is not the subject. The subject actually is the ‘movie’ which is singular so we take a singular verb with it. Any verb becomes singular when it ends with s/es.

Question 3

Which sentence uses the modifier correctly?

a. the child ate a cold dish of cereals for breakfast
b. I only contributed a thousand rupees to the fund
c. We came to know the fact after coming here.
d. The romantic poet wrote a poem

Answer – C (We came to know the fact after coming here.)
Explanation: The sentence in Option C is correct because it uses the adverb modifier correctly ‘after’. For all other sentences the modifier is misplaced.

  • The child ate a dish of cold cereals for breakfast.
  • I contributed only thousand rupees to the fund.
  • The poet wrote a romantic poem.

Question 4.

Identify the modifier in the sentence given below:

Hoping to excuse my lateness, I wrote a note and gave it to my teacher.

a. excuse
b. I
c. gave
d. hoping

Answer – I
Explanation: We used I as the modifier because here, the note is the subject which was written and given to the teacher. So to modify who wrote and gave the note we use ‘I’.

Question 5.

Which of the sentences below follow the Parallel Structure Rule correctly?

a. Every morning, we, after making our bed, eat breakfast and feed the dog. 
b. Either she likes to see him or doesn’t like seeing him.
c. Ashley likes to ski, to swim and jump
d. It was surprising not only that the house sold but also that it sold well over the asking price.

Answer – D ( It was surprising not only that the house sold but also that it sold well over the asking price.)
Explanation –
in this sentence, we use the parallel word ‘that’ in the first clause and follow the same pattern in the second word too.

  • Every morning we make our bed, eat breakfast and feed the dog.
  • Either she likes to see him or she doesn’t like to see him.
  • Ashley likes to ski, to swim and to jump.

Question 6.

Identify the error in the sentence below:

The students were unprepared, poorly behaved, and disrupted the class.

a. students were 
b. poorly behaved
c. disrupted the class
d. No error

Answer – Disrupted the class.
Explanation – in this sentence, the verbs like under prepared, behaved are adjectives. So to follow parallelism here, we will use disruptive instead of action word like disrupted the class.

Question 7.

Choose the correct sentence from the following option:

a. Go and fetch some water for me
b. Go to fetch some water for me
c. Fetch some water for me
d. Fetch and bring some water for me

Answer – Fetch some water for me
Explanation – The meaning of ‘fetch’ is ‘to go and bring back’. Both ‘go’ and ‘bring’ are included in the meaning of ‘fetch’. So, both ‘fetch’ and ‘go’ or ‘fetch’ and ‘bring’ can’t be used in a single sentence.

Question 8.

Which among the following sentences is correctly framed?

a. Dipping the spoon into the pot of simmering soup, Jean felt the spoon slip out of her hand.
b. Dipping the spoon into the pot of simmering soup, Jean felt it slip out of her hand.
c. Jean dipped the spoon into the simmering soup and felt it slipping out of her hand
d. Jean dipped the spoon into the simmering soup and it slipped out of her hand

Answer – A (Dipping the spoon into the pot of simmering soup, Jean felt the spoon slip out of her hand. )
Explanation – here, A is correct because it specifies what is slipping out of her hand. In all other sentences, the reference is not clear.

Question 9.

Which among the following sentences is correctly framed?

a. After Ben took the radio out of the car, he sold it.
b. After taking the radio out of the car, Ben sold it.
c. Ben sold it after taking the radio out of the car.
d. After Ben took the radio out of the car, he sold his car.

Answer – D (After Ben took the radio out of the car, he sold his car.)
Explanation – It is clear in the last sentence that Ben sold the car.

Question 10.

Choose the correct form of sentence from the followings:

a. We should come up with a new innovation for doing this task
b. We should came up with a new innovation for doing this task
c. We should come up with an innovation for doing this task
d. We should come up with innovation doing this task

Answer – C (We should come up with an innovation for doing this task)
Explanation – ‘Innovation’ means ‘new idea’. So, if we use these words together, then they will give a rise to redundancy within the sentence.

Question 11.

Fill up the blank with suitable words:

Julita and Edward are both Polish. ______ been ____ years now since they came to UK. They have _____ married for ten years now.

a. Its, two, been
b. It’s, too, bean
c. Its, two, bean
d. It’s, two, been

Answer – D (It’s, two, been)
Explanation – It has (It’s) been two years. They have been married.

Question 12

Fill up the blank with suitable words:

They had to __________ the __________ before the ceremony began. The ______ were playing loud to give the ____ of ceremony commencement.

a. alter, altar, symbols, cymbal
b. Altar, alter, cymbal, symbol
c. Alter, Altar, cymbals, symbol
d. Altar, alter, symbols, cymbal

Answer – C (Alter, Altar, cymbals, symbol)
Explanation – Here, Alter means to change, altar means the prayer stand, cymbals means a musical instrument and symbol means a sign.