Common Errors in English

Common Errors in English
Common Errors in English

Common Errors in English


English is currently one of the most widely spoken and written languages worldwide. Although it comes second to Mandarin in the total number of speakers, English is the language you’ll be able to use most widely, as it’s spoken in more countries than any other language. Through the global influence of native English speakers in cinema, music, broadcasting, science and the Internet in recent decades, English is now the most widely learnt second language in the world.

Today, English reigns supreme in all the important aspects, and statistics say it all:
• 55% of the world’s web pages are written in English which almost dwarfs any other language; the next
most widely used language on the internet is Russian (which constitutes just 6% of pages).
• Of the 163 member nations of the UN, more use English as their official language than any other language.
• The easiest way to calculate the economic influence of a language may be to add up Gross Domestic
Products (GDPs) of all the nations where English is spoken.
• People who count English as their mother tongue make up less than 10% of the world’s population, but
possess over 30% of the world’s economic power. Therefore, in terms of the quantity of transmitted
information, English is the leader by far.
• After English, 26 nations in the UN call French their official tongue, 21 Spanish and 17 Arabic. Each of
these three languages forms a sizeable linguistic constituency on the Internet.
• Over 700 million people speak English as a foreign language.
• Of all the world’s languages (over 2,700) English is arguably the richest in vocabulary.
• Three-quarters of the world’s mail, telexes and cables are in English.
• More than half of the world’s technical and scientific periodicals are in English.
• English is the medium for 80% of the information stored in the world’s computers.
• Five of the largest broadcasting companies in the world (CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC and CBC) transmit in English, reaching millions and millions of people all over the world.

Since a working knowledge of English is required in many fields and occupations, education ministries around
the world in general, and India in particular, mandate the teaching and assessing of English to at least a basic
level, the main reason why almost all the entrance and competitive examinations in India assess exam takers
in the area of Functional English.

Still, it is an undaunted fact that English is one of the harder languages to learn. Full of nuances, unexpected pronunciations, odd rules and infuriating exceptions to rules, the language takes dedication and perseverance to reach a good level of fluency. It would not be an exaggeration to say that English grammar is notoriously tricky and irregular. Full of contradictions and odd rules and pronunciations, its idiosyncrasies are what make it interesting and at the same time challenging!

To this end, this book, Common Errors in English, with the help of well-researched content, scientifically proven approach, meticulously designed structure and extensive number of practice questions (2,000 questions), presents a thorough content on how to learn error-free English language that could become your strategic asset to build a successful career.

We sincerely invite suggestions and feedback for further improvement of this book.

Dr. Shalini Verma



Common Errors in English: An Introduction
Chapter 1: Parts of Speech (Part I)

  • Noun
  • Pronoun
  • Adjective
  • Verb
  • Infinitives
  • Participles
  • Gerund

Chapter 2: Parts of Speech (Part II)

  • Adverb
  • Preposition
  • Conjunction
  • Interjection

Chapter 3: Determiners, Quantifiers and Articles

Chapter 4: Tenses

  • Present Tense
  • Past Tense
  • Future Tense

Chapter 5: Syntax

  • Phrase and Clause and their Types
  • Sentence and its Types
  • Assertive or Declarative Sentence –Affirmatives & Negatives
  • Interrogative Sentence
  • Imperative Sentence
  • Exclamatory Sentence
  • Transformation of Sentences
  • Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences
  • Direct and Indirect Speech
  • Transformation of Direct to Indirect Speech and Vice-versa
  • Active and Passive Voice
  • Transformation of Active to Passive Voice and Vice versa
  • Conditional Sentence
  • Subject – Verb Agreement
  • Pronoun – Antecedent Agreement

Chapter 6: Idiomatic Expressions and Phrasal Verbs

  • Idiomatic Expressions
  • Phrasal Verbs

Chapter 7: Some Confusing Words and Phrases

  • Homonyms
  • Homographs
  • Homophones
  • Capitonyms
  • Paronyms
  • Heteronyms

Chapter 8: Spelling Rules

  • Plurals of Nouns
  • Using ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’
  • Dropping the final‘-e’
  • Dropping the final ‘-y’
  • Forming comparative and superlative adjectives
  • Forming adverbs
  • Adding ‘-ful’ or ‘-fully’
  • Using -ize, -ise, or -yse
  • Adding endings to words that end in ‘-our’
  • Adding endings to words that end in ‘-y’
  • Adding endings to words that end in a double ‘l’
  • Verb tenses: adding ‘-ed’ and ‘-ing’
  • Verbs ending with a silent ‘e’
  • Verbs ending with a vowel plus -l
  • Verbs ending with a single vowel plus a consonant
  • Verbs ending with two vowels plus a consonant
  • Verbs ending in ‘-c’
  • English words with two ‘u’s’ in a row
  • Words ending in ‘-able’ or ‘-ible’
  • Nouns ending in ‘-acy’ and ‘-asy’
  • Words ending in ‘-ance’ and ‘-ence’
  • Words ending in ‘-ancy’ and ‘-ency’
  • Words ending in ‘-ant’ and ‘-ent’
  • Words to watch
  • Words ending in ‘-ary’, ‘-ory’, and ‘-ery’
  • Words ending in ‘-efy’ and ‘-ify’
  • Words ending in ‘-ious’ and ‘-eous’
  • Words ending in ‘-sion’, ‘-tion’, and ‘-cion’
  • What to use: fore- or for- ?
  • Common misspellings
  • Spelling rules of adding/deleting prefixes and suffixes
  • Words that are written as one word
  • Words that are written separately
  • British and American Spellings
  • Things to Remember

Chapter 9: Punctuation and Capitalization

  • Full stop (period)
  • Question mark
  • Exclamation mark
  • Comma
  • Semicolon
  • Colon
  • Apostrophe
  • Quotation mark
  • Ellipses
  • Parentheses
  • Brackets
  • Dashes
  • Hyphen
  • Slash
  • Italics and Underlining
  • Capitalization

Chapter 10: Miscellaneous Errors in English Usage

  • Abbreviations and Acronyms
  • Auxiliary verbs (Helping verbs)
  • Compound Words
  • Redundancies
  • Parallelism
  • Dangling Modifier, or Dangler

Self-Assessment Tests

  • Self-assessment Test-1
  • Self-assessment Test-2
  • Self-assessment Test-3
  • Self-assessment Test-4
  • Self-assessment Test-5

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