There are a lot of areas in English language where the errors are commonly happening. In many competitive examinations error hunting in sentences will be a question to check your knowledge in English. Here are some golden rules to easily spot and rectify the errors in English language.
1. Normally a past tense in the principal clause is followed by a past tense in the subordinate clause.
2. If two actions in a sentence are shown happening in the past, one after the other, the first act should be in past perfect and second in simple past.
3. If, in a sentence two actions are mentioned and both are going to take place in future, the sequence of the tenses will be as follows.
4. Any tense can be used in the subordinate clause if it gives the comparison by using the word 'than'.
5. There are three kinds of conditional clauses : Study their structures well to avoid mistakes. The clause with 'if' or 'unless' is called conditional clause.
6. When an action that has taken place in two clauses of sentence are different, the verb is used in both clauses according to requirement.
7. When an action has taken place in the past and continues in present, the perfect continuous tense form of the verb should be used.
8. Some nouns like scenery, is only in singular form and they always take singular verb.
The sample usages of the rules above are given below according to the statement numbers of the rules :
1. He said that the cricket match is postponed. (wrong)
He said that the cricket match was postponed. (Right)
2. The train left before I reached the station.(wrong)
The train had left before I reached the station.(Right)
3. If he will pay me, I shall do the work.(wrong)
If he pays me, I shall do the work.(Right)
4. He respected you more than he respected his uncle.(wrong)
He respected you more than he respects his uncle.(Right)
5. If he comes, I shall welcome him.[Present tense used in conditional clause]
6. My mother has and is still doing good work for charity.(wrong)
My mother has done and is still doing good work for charity.(Right)
7. We are studying English for the last two years.(wrong)
We have been studying English for the last two years.(Right)
8. The sceneries are breathtaking.(wrong)
The scenery is breathtaking.(Right)