Common errors in English usage for IBPS, SSC, UPSC, GRE, and other exams.

Tenses      Use of the      simple or perfect     between vs among      not only...but also  
       wander vs wonder about
              know or knowing         were or was






1. Greatly to our surprise  (A) / we find the ring  (B) / leader was lame. (C) / No error (D)

Answer: (B) use found in place of find
Rule:
In a sentence we use one tense whether it is present tense or past tense. Two tenses in one sentence sounds very strange.Some exceptions are also here.
"Greatly to my surprise" was used in old literary English. In modern English it is used as "To my great surprise".


2. Many overseas students (A) / attend colleges  (B) / in the Great Britain. (C) / No error (D)

Answer: (C) write Great Britain without "the"
Rule:
It is not proper to use "the" before Great Britain, we can "the" before United Kingdom as the United Kingdom.

3. They have (A) / played a game (B) / last week. (C) / No error (D)

Answer: (A) use simple past tense in place of present perfect tense (they without have)
Rule:
Here "last week" indicating finished time, that is why with finished time we use simple past tense
Present perfect tense indicates continual actions means it will continue in future also. Here last week indicates finished time it means no action will continue in the future.

4. Having found a piece of cheese (A) / two went to a dog (B) / to divide it among them. (C) / No error (D)

Answer: (C) use between in place of among
Rule: 
For two things or two persons, between is used; among is used for more than two.



5. He is anxious not only (A) / to acquire knowledge (B) / but also eager to display it. (C) / No error (D)

Answer: (A) use not only anxious in place of anxious not only
Rule:
either.  .  . or, neither.  .  . or, both.  .  . and, and not only.  .  .but also are known as correlative conjunctions. Using correlative  conjunctions, you have to follow the rule of parallel construction, make certain each element in the series joined with a conjunction appears in the same grammatical structure and performs the same grammatical function.

6. If we have no definite aim before us (A) / we would only wonder about in aimless pursuits (B) / and achieve nothing. (C) / No error (D)

Answer: (B) use wander in place of wonder about
Rule:
Wonder about means to think about something and try to decide what is true.Wander means move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment

7. Being a holiday (A) / we went out (B) / for a picnic. (C) / No error (D)

Answer: (A) write It being a holiday
Rule: 
Being must verify the subject of a sentence, here being is not verifying the subject "we". Hence, it must need a subject that's why we should place pronoun "It" before being. We sometimes use it being in place of it is or it was.

8. If I was he, (A) / I wouldn'td accept (B) / this project. (C) / No error (D)

Answer: (A) write were in place of was
Rule:
Expression which are unreal or imagined, we use past tenses to describe things in the present, past or future; these expressions sometimes are known as unreal past. Strict and formal English Grammar uses were for all person when talking about unreal and imagined present or future. We can also use was but this is informal or wrong as exams point of view.

9. The teacher advised to (A) / the student to borrow (B) / a book from the library within three days. (C) / No error (D)

Answer: (A) use advised only in place of advised to (delete to)
Rule:
With the word Advise "to" is not used.

10. We have been knowing (A) / each other (B) / since we were children. (C) / No error (D)

Answer: (A) use know in place of knowing
Rule:
The word know is not used in progressive tense. Hence, we should use "we have known" instead of "we have been knowing".  
However we can use the word knowing as an adjective and a noun which means a clear mental apprehension and fully alert eg:  Knowing he was the robber, I gave all my money to him.