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Abolish= annul, cancel, ban prohibit

Abbreviate= abridge, condense, shorten

Abaft=behind, astern, near

Abject= vile, base, despicable, degraded

Accelerate= hasten, speed up, quicken, expedite

Antagonism= enmity, hostility, rancour

Austere= harsh, stern, solemn

Allied= related, connected, associated

Benevolent= generous, kind, charitable, philanthropic

Barbarous= rude, inhuman, uncultured

Barren= unfertile, sterile, worthless

Betray= delude, deceive, cheat, trick

Blemish= flaw, defacement, deformity

Candid= frank, open, sincere, truthful

Calamity= adversity, mishap, misfortune, disaster, catastrophe

Cordial= warm, hearty, friendly, sincere, earnest

Celibacy= bachelorhood, virginity, chastity

Dawn= sunrise, day break

Deceit= falsehood, fraud, trickery

Deliberate= intentional, considered, voluntary

Deficient= inadequate, lacking, wanting

Fragrant= aromatic, redolent, scanted

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Fugitive= refugee, runaway, deserter

Greedy= ambitious, covetous, avaricious

Genial= kind, cordial, warm, hearty

Decay= decline, fade, wither

Heap= pile, gather, collect, amass

Inert= inactive, passive, dormant

Insolent= haughty, arrogant, pretentious

Induce= persuade, urge, move

Juvenile= youthful, immature, underdeveloped

Lethargy= drowsiness, lazy, apathy

Lustre= brightness, glitter, radiance

Meek= mild, submissive, humble

Obsolete= out of date, outworn, antiquated

Obstinate= stubborn, headstrong

Rapture= bliss, ecstasy, gladness, happiness

Reluctance= distaste, aversion, unwillingness

Slender= slim, thin, narrow, lean

Vehement= wild, violent, hot- headed

Wrath= anger, fury, rage, ire

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Antonyms are the negative connotation of a particular word. So, it is a word or phrase that is
opposite in meaning to a particular word or a phrase in the same language.

We must remember the following hints to be quite alert while choosing an antonym to the
given word.

We should bear in mind that an antonym must be in the same part of speech in which
the given word is.
We should note that the answer should be in the same tense form in which the given
word is.
We must pay due attention to the fact that generally the question paper setters include
a synonym in the alternative choices, given for the answer of the key word.
Often the alternative answers are in Active as well as in Passive Voice. The correct
answer is that which is similar in voice to the key word.

An antonym is a word opposite in meaning to another word but similar to it in most other
respects. For example, tall and short are opposite in meaning but both are the same parts of
speech (adjectives) and would take the same position in a sentence (before the noun they
Antonyms tend to be adjectives, adverbs and verbs, with relatively few nouns
qualifying as true antonyms. For example high (an adjective), slowly (an adverb) and to fast
(a verb) all have antonyms, while table (a noun) does not.

Antonyms can be formed in three ways:
1. By adding a prefix like un, non, dis, mis, anti, de, il, im, in, ir, mal
2. By adding a suffix like less, ful,
3. By using a new word

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Idioms and phrases are recognized through experience. Sometimes ordinary words fail to
embody the experience on catch the spirit of the special situation. Idioms and phrases are meant
for such situation; they enrich a language. For example, the expression blue blood does not
mean that blood is blue, but it means to belong to a royal family. Similarly, the apple of
somebodys eye does not imply any real apple; it means a person of thing that is loved more
than any other or Pandoras box means a cause of several problems and does not imply any
real box through it has an association with the box of Pandora.

Let us study the patterns and few examples. The test is usually set in two forms; either in direct
multiple choice or in a sentence form.

A. Direct multiple choices

Choose the exact meaning of the idiomatic expression/phrase given below.
1. To get in hot waters. Ans:A
A) To get into trouble B) To enter waters heated by the sun
C) To be in a confused state of maid D) To drink hot waters

2. Between the devil and the deep sea. Ans:A

A) To be in a dilemma B) To be angry in a temper
C) To choose correctly D) To live dangerously

3. To smell a rat Ans: D

A) To misunderstand B) Bed smell C) To see a hidden meaning D) To suspect

B. In sentence form
Choose the substitute of the underlined phrase/idiom.

4. For the first week, the apprentice felt like fish out of water. Ans: D
A) Frustrated B) Homeless C) Disappointed D) Uncomfortable

5. The company has been handed over to the new masters lock, stock and barrel. Ans: A
A) Completely B) Financially C) administratively D) Partially

6. Our house is within a stones throw of the railway station. Ans: C

A) With a certain radius B) Very far-off C) At a short distance D) Within a definite

One should try to understand the real implication of idioms and phrases and should learn it by
constantly using them in their writing and speech and through continuous practical exercises.

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1. To show white feathers : To show fear

2. A feather in the cap : A very good achievement.
3. A Good Samaritan : A really kind man
4. To rise like a phoenix : To start afresh from a low position
5. To meet ones waterloo : To meet ones defeat.
6. To have cold feet : To be reluctant.
7. To raise a dust : To create confusion.
8. To bring home the bacon : To be successful
9. To carry the day : To win after a long effort.
10. To stick to ones gun : To maintain ones point against all
11. Come cap in hand : Very humble.
12. Man of iron : A man of strong will power.
13. Man of straw : Insignificant.
14. Man of letters : Scholar
15. To have several irons in the fire : So many engagements at a time
16. At a low key : At reducing
17. At crossroads :Be in confusion because of many choices.
18. At stake : In danger.
19. To die a dogs death : Unheroic death.
20. To fine on all cylinders : To exert with all force.
21. To break the duck : To begin
22. To play ducks and drakes : To squander money
23. A big shot : important person.
24. A boon in disguise : A benefit in loss.
25. A cry in the wilderness : An irrelevant effort.
26. To beat about the bush : To talk about unimportant things.
27. To sound a red alert : To make alert.
28. Rise from ashes : To raise high from low.
29. To put the cat among pigeons : To be placed in a wrong situation.
30. Cut the Gordian knot : To perform a difficult task.
31. To talk shop : To talk nonsense.
32. To turn a deaf ear : To disregard.
33. To gain ground : To become more general.
34. Through thick and thin : Under all circumstances.
35. To have finger in the pit : To do something in an affair.
36. To have ones heart in the right place : To be kind.
37. My hands are full : I am busy

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38. To give someone a piece of mind : to scold.
39. To kick up a row : To make great noise and fuss.
40. To bury the hatchet : To make peace.
41. To set the Thames on fire : To do some remarkable or surprising
42. High and dry : Isolated, stranded.
43. To be at the end of ones tether : To have no resources left.
44. Odds and ends : Various articles.
45. A hot line : Direct telephone line between heads of
46. To shoot a line : to exaggerate about ones success.
47. To read between the lines : to understand more than the actual words.
48. To feather ones nest : to provide money even dishonestly.
49. To black ball : prevent from doing something.
50. To be in the black (of ones Money) : to be in the credit
51. A blue book : A government report.
52. To paint the town red : to celebrate noisily in public places.
53. To make no bones about something : to do or say a thing openly if it is unpleasant.
54. Pull the wool over somebodys eyes : to deceive
55. To have several iron in the fire : to have many tasks or many pieces of work.
56. To keep ones fingers crossed : to remain anxious, wishing good for somebody
57. To keep one wolf away from the door : to keep off poverty form oneself
58. A red letter day : an important day.
59. To work like a dog : to work very hard.
60. To foot the bill : to make payment
61. Bone of contention : cause of quarrel.
62. To beggar description : beyond description
63. To play a second fiddle : to act as a subordinate to do the secondary role.
64. Cut no ice : to make no effect.
65. Under a cloud : to be in bad book
66. Once and for all : forever
67. Oily tongue : one who flatters
68. Hand in glove : close friendship
69. Hole and corner policy : improper policy
70. Far and wide : all around.
71. Far and away : certainly.
72. Fair weather friends : friends only in good days.
73. In deed : really
74. Face value : superficially
75. Fancy price : high price.

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76. Stick ones neck out : to take risk.
77. To put a spoke in ones wheel : to disturb.
78. To brown study : in receive
79. Moot point : controversial point
80. To plough a lonely furrow : to do without anybodys help
81. Bring home : to emphasise
82. Make hay while the sun shines : to make best use of the favourable opportunities
83. Rank and file : common man.
84. Talk through ones hat : talk nonsense.
85. To lead one by the nose : to cause to follow blindly
86. To explore every avenue : to try every method
87. At the drop of a hat : for no reason at all.
88. To kick ones heels : to waste time
89. To smell something fishy : to feel that there is something wrong.
90. To get away with : to escape
91. All agog : in a state of excitement.
92. Adams ale : ordinary water.
93. Ones cup of tea : what one likes and can do well.
94. In a flutter : in a state of nervous excitement
95. A chip of the old block : characteristics of ones ancestors.
96. A close shave : a lucky escape.
97. Blow hot and cold : to be inconsistent
98. A bull in the china shop : an awkward, tactless or clumsy person.
99. To have the floor : to make a speech

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The IDIOM means language peculiar to a people for community or a class. It is the
syntactical, grammatical or structural form peculiar to a language. It is an expression in the
usage of a language that is peculiar to itself either grammatically or in having a meaning that
cant be derived from the conjoined meaning of its laments. The command of idiomatic
expression is a must for proper comprehension. You need to work on this element vigorously
because you cannot guess or derive Meaning from the given words.
Phrasal verbs or idioms may consist with prepositions, pairs of adverbs, pairs of verbs/
nouns/ adjectives and many more. It is nearly impossible to deal with them without constant
practice and extensive reading. Given below are some most important idioms indispensable for
any competitive examination. In fact, Idioms are not a separate part of the language, which one
can choose either to use or to omit but them Form an essential part of the vocabulary of English.

EXAMPLE: Let me have a glass of Adams ale --- Adams ale means water

List of Idioms:
1. The bare bones of something : the basic facts of something
Ex: The bare bones of the air cash have not yet come into light.

2. Bare your soul to somebody: to tell somebody your deepest and most private feelings.
Ex: An Ideal husband shouldnt bare his soul especially to his wife.

3. Ad nauseam: to talk about something that it becomes very boring.

Ex: She talks nauseam about how brilliant her children are.

4 Albatross around or round your neck: something that keeps causing your problems and
stops you from being successful
Ex: The air line that he founded is now an albross around his neck making losses of seven
hundreds of Thousands a year.

5. Have an axe to grind: To have a personal: often selfish, reason for being involved in
Ex: I have no axe to grind. I just want to help you.

6. Bark up the wrong tree: to attempt to do the wrong thing in the wrong way form the
wrong direction
Ex: He didnt know that he was barking up the wrong tree when he tried to influence the
judge for bail
7. Full of beans: full of energy and very cheerful
Ex; She has been ill but she is full of beans.

8. At someones beck and call: always ready to carry out someones order or wishes.
Ex: He has always plenty of men at his beck and call (Beck is another form of Backon)

9. A bed of roses: an easy or a comfortable place, job, path etc.

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Ex: The path to success is never a bed of roses.

10. Better off: happier, improved, more successful (goes with with or without)
Ex: He would be better off starting with something simpler.

11. Have a bee in ones bonnet: to have an idea which has become too fixed in ones mind
Ex: He has a bee in his bonnet about going to America.

12. A little bird told me something: to say that you know something but you will not say
how you found out.
Ex: A little told me that you have got engaged.

13. Amiss: wrong, not as it should be.

Ex: She sensed that something was amiss and called the police.

14. What the doctor ordered: the very thing that is needed. To be exactly what is wanted or
Ex: At this moment, a cup of tea is just what the doctor ordered.

15. Be like a dog with a bone: to refuse to stop thinking about or talking about a subject
Ex: On the subject of belt shops, the liquor king is like a dog with a bone

16. The dog days: the hottest day of summer.

Ex: The sale of air coolers rises during the dog days.

17. A doubting Thomas: a person who refuses to believe something without having in
convetorverible proof; a skeptic.
Ex: Being the president of a party, he shouldnt always be a doubting Thomas.

18. Dogs dinner or breakfast: something that has been done very badly. A poor piece of
Ex: To attend a function, I went to a saloon a day before to get my hair cut. The barber made
a real Dogs breakfast (of my hair)

19. Roll up your sleeves: prepare to fight or work

Ex: The M.P.s and M.L.A.s are always ready to roll up their sleeves in the houses
shamelessly and
Senselessly though they are being shot and viewed by the public.

20. Put (or set) your hand to the plough: embark on a task.
Ex: Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit
for the kingdom of God

21. Whats your poison: used to ask someone what alcoholic they would like to drink

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Ex: Its my rounded. Whats your poison?

22. Pop the question: to ask a woman to marry you.

Ex: She said that her boy friend had popped the question as they drove home from the party.

23. Go postal: to become very angry or to suddenly behave in a violent and angry Way,
especially where you work. (This is a very new idiom which started when a post office
worker in
America shot several of the people he with)
Ex: My dad will go postal, if I get home late.

24. Pass the buck: to pass on responsibility to someone else or to blame someone for a
problem that you should deal yourself (often with to)
Ex: Parents often try to pass the buck to teachers when children misbehave in the school.

25. Cross the bring when you come to it: to worry about a problem when it actually
happens and
Not before.
Ex: The power cut problem is really horrible. The government crosses the bridges only when
it comes to it.

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Word No I Meaning Word No II Meaning

Accept Admit Except Excluding
Access Obtain or retrieve from a Excess Going beyond limits
storage device
Insure Providing financial Ensure to make sure
compensation in the event of
Affect Mental state Effect The result of an action
Amend Make improvements to Emend Correct mistake in
Ball Round object that is hit or Bale A large bundle bound
thrown or kicked in games for storage or transport
Born Massive plant grade Borne Cause to be born
Buy Obtain by purchase By A preposition with a
range of meaning s
Calendar A system of timekeeping Colander Bowl-shaped strainer,
used to wash or drain
Cannon A large artillery gun that is Canon A rule or especially
usually on wheels body of rules
Complement a complete number Compliment A remark (or act)
expressing praise and
Council A body serving in an Counsel A lawyer who pleads
administrative capacity cases in court
Currant A Piece of dried fruit Current Moving stream of water
in the sea

Happening Now

Defuse Remove the triggering Diffuse Move outward

Disassemble take apart into its constituent Dissemble Make believe with the
pieces intent to deceive

Factious Dissenting with the majority Fractious Easily irritated or

opinion annoyed
Foreword A short introductory essay Forward Moving forward
preceding the text of a book
Lose Fail to keep Loose Not tight
Prescribe Issue commands or orders Proscribe Command against
Waiver A formal written statement Waver Pause or hold back in
of relinquishment uncertainty or
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Stationery Paper cut to an appropriate Stationary Standing still
size for writing letters
Altar The table in Christian Alter Cause to change
Farther Physical distance Further Abstract differences
More Comparing exactly two Most Comparing more than
things two things
Roll A piece of Paper Role A part in a play
Adverse Harmful Averse Having a strong dislike
Biannual Twice a year Biennial Taking place every two


Stem filling or sentence filler is sentence completion with a variance. In a simple sentence
completion, you fill the blank with one of the words given as choices. In this one of the words
given as choices. In this format. Part of sentence is given which needs to be completed with one
of the various chunks provided as alternatives. The major difference is that now we have a
group of words in place of a single word. This requires an understanding of the spirit of the stem
of the sentence and the filler part is to be matched with it both in terms of structure and
We can find a structural clue or a semantic clue or both in the stem part and match the
stem with the alternatives one after another. Only one choice will match, let us see the SFM
The doctor warns him that unless he gives up smoking___________________
a) Will he be able to recover
b) He will not suffer
c) His health will soon be recovered d) he will not recover
Unless here demands a not in the filler part. Thus A) and C) are wrong. B) and D) are
structurally correct, but according to smoking the expression not suffer is wrong, but not
cover is right. Thus D) is the right answer.

The more we looked at the piece of modern art, __________.
a) It looked better b)The more we like it c) we liked it less
d) The less we liked it e) better we liked it.
In the stem part we have structural clue the more and it is a past tense from. The structural
demand is that the filler part also must have an expression like the more Taking this clue, we
can eliminate alternatives a),c) and e). Now alternative b) has the more and the alternative d)
has the less. These two are correct, but b) is the correct answer because it is in the past tense

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Committee Biscuit Aquarium Recommend Alliance
Accommodation Accelerator Concurrent Satellite Privilege
Admission Competition Pessimism Weapon Accident
Chocolate Condemn Millennium Pleasant Achievements
Omelette Guarantee Petition Archaeology Annual
Kerchief Programme Acquaintance Circumstance Aero plane
Pneumonia Independence Dissertation Excursion Eligible
Lieutenant Cylinder Exhibition Guidance Guarantee
Restaurant Councilor Decision Renaissance Nuisance
Vacuum Column Excellent Spontaneous Quarrel
Separate Omission Occasion Comprehension Sovereignty
Repetition Millionaire Procedure Deceive Fascination
Impossible Athletics Religion Expression Pleasure
Correspondence Bachelor Appreciation Moustache Dimension
Dialogue Calendar Atmosphere Profession Volunteer
Maintenance Ceiling Discipline Pronunciation Miniature
Nuisance Commercial Machinery Suggestion Dialogue
Attendance Cigarette Museum Colleague Noticeable
Brilliant Convenient Submission Compassion Hypocrisy
Catalogue Kerosene Phenomenon Arithmetic Livelihood
Grammar Adolescence Accountancy Concession Immense
Beggar Privilege Colloquial Hypocrisy Military
College Refrigerator Compulsory Thermometer Literature
Champion Abbreviation Immediately Intelligence Permanent
Ambassador Scissors Leisure Permanent Compulsion
Anaemia Accompany Procession Commitment Consciousness
Apostrophe Acquaintance Agreement Accelerate Dictionary
Brilliance Lieutenant Alignment Aggression Allusion

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List of Prepositions

Preposition Use of preposition Example

In months In July
In September
Years In 1985
In 1999
Seasons In the summer
In the summer of 1989
In the morning
In the evening
Duration In a minute
In In two weeks
Location He lives in India
The ice-cream is in refrigerator
It indicates at the end of a period of She will come in week
time in future The car should be here in ten
It is used to indicate something which She was born in 1978
happens during a particular year or He comes here in summer season
month or other period of time We met him in the morning
Places like rooms and books, persons In the dining room
In that place
In Science book
In red colour bottle
In you
Part of the day At night
At midnight
Time of day and Exact time At 6 oclock
Celebrations At Christmas
At Easter
Fixed phrases At the same time
Indicates a location She is at the bank
At Sita should be at the school
When someone reacting to something The reporters were bewildered at
the sudden changes
The chief guest expressed delight
at the performance
Places At Delhi
At that place
At the location
At office
Situations At the situation

Days of the week On Sunday

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On Monday
Date On 25th of December
On the 11th
Special holiday On Good Friday
On Easter
On On Sunday
A special part of the day On my birth day
On the morning of September
We use on when we talk about a He sat on the sofa
place as a surface They put the books on the table
On is used with some words to Heavy taxes are imposed on
indicate what something affects, middle class employees
relates to, or involves, especially He wastes a lot of money on
when talking about actions involving clothes
compulsion, dependence, or emphasis Boss always insists on accuracy
The film was based on a novel
Into This denotes motion towards the She fell into the river
inside of anything He jumped into the well
Please get into the bus
With It is used with the instrument with We broke open the door with a
which the action is done boulder
He writes with a pencil
It is used with adjectives to indicate She is proud of her son
the thing that a feeling or quality She is capable of doing that
relates to He is very conscious of his height
We are very fond of her mother
It is used with verbs to indicate Our principal did not approve of
Of something else involved in the action the decision
He had been informed of the latest
The company boasts of excellent
It is used to indicate the materials or The jersey is made of wool
thing that form something This sweet is nothing but a
mixture of sugar and coconut
He has presented me a statue of
It is used to indicate illness or injury He died of cancer
that caused someones death She died of heart failure
When our words, thoughts or feelings He is talking about his friends
About concern a particular thing We are anxious about our future
To get ready for something like We are about to finish our course
finishing or starting an activity He is about to start from here
After Later than something After school finished

Ago How far something happened (in the 6 years ago

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Something happened earlier than a Before Christmas
time The brushes his teeth before going
Before to bed
If a person or a thing is in front of There is a mirror before you
something Devotees sat before the God
Through whole of a period of time By Thursday
Near He lives in the house by the river
It is used to indicate the agent or doer Discovery of India was written by
By of the action Jawaharlal Nehru
Roads are cleaned by sweepers
Used to show the latest time at which The shop will be closed by 9 p.m.
an action will be finished
It is used to indicate the mode of We travelled by train
travel She came by bus
During Not later than a better time During the holidays
He wrote many stories during his
college days
I like going to Australia
Towards something/somebody Can you come to me?
I have never been to Africa
To is used if someone or something Soldiers went to the city
moves towards a place until they We are going to the church
arrive there
To Used to indicate time and place The timings of the classes are from
9 a.m. To 3 p.m.
They fly from Japan to Singapore
It is used to make someone listen or Many students have complained to
understand what we are saying the principal
They are not speaking to each
He was not able to explain his
views to us
Period of time For three weeks
She has been waiting for 2 hours
It is used to express ones feelings They cannot understand our love
For about someone or something for our children
I was surprised at her hatred for
her brother
It is used to indicate ones wants or We shall hope for the best
requests He is longing for the peace
Our request for money was turned

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From a period From Monday
It is used to indicate the source of He has inherited it from his grand
something father
I bought it from a super market
This is a beautiful gift from our
From colleagues
It is used to indicate something which They were prevented from
is being prevented or forbidden entering the factory
We stopped her from leaving the
The beginning of a period of time The classes are from 9 a.m. To 5
She will be in Japan from July to

Till is used to indicate something They stayed till 6o clock for us

Till which happens and stops at a We will stay here till it stops
particular time or event mentioned raining
Till Wednesday
Till tomorrow
Until Until Wednesday
Until tomorrow
Between Time that separates two points Between Monday and Friday
Past Time of the day 25 minutes past 6 (6:25)
Since Point of time Since Monday
Up To Not more than a special time Up to 6 hours a day
Within During a period of time Within a day

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Prepositions are followed by nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs generally.
When prepositions are with verbs and adverbs they become phrasal verbs.

Abound with Familiar with Blessed with Agree with
Acquainted with Fight with Reward with Meet with
Affected with Furnish with Satisfied with Happy with
Sympathize with Struggle with Reconciled with Cope with
Unite with Disagree with Worked with Patience with
Coincide with Quarrel with Fill with Interfere with
Busy with Popular with Pleased with Disgusted with

Recover from Refrain from Defend form Preserve from
Derive from Differ from Different from Prepared from
Freedom from Hid from Keep from Save from
Absent from Far from Separate from Safe from

Account for Beg for Blame for Call for
Care for Feel for Fight for Fit for
Good for Hope for Labour for Mourn for
Leave for Live for Valid for Qualified for
Ready for Responsible for Search for Wait for
Thankful for Useful for Pray for Hope for
Long for Ready for Desire for Gratitude for
Affection for Liking for Fit for Qualified for
Responsible for Prepared for Sorry for Suitable for
Useful for Eligible for Eager for Send for

Desirous of Despair of Different of Dispose of
Fond of Full of Bold of Greedy of
Accuse of Acquitted of Afraid of Ashamed of
Beg of Boast of Born of Capable of
Beware of Confident of Think of Sense of
Victim of View of Capable of Afraid of
Envious of Conscious of Independent of Proud of
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Full of Fond of Innocent of Sick of

Aim at Amazed at Arrive at Astonished at
Grief at Hint at Horrified at Jeer at
Jest at Laugh at Look at Jump at
Smile at Stare at Wonder at Good at
Amused at Astonished at Surprised at Amazed at

Accede to Adjacent to Abdicated to Agree to
Duty to Equal to Explain to Heir to
Applicable to Accustomed to Condemned to Adhere to
Consent to Contribute to Introduce to Listen to
Married to Yield to Loyal to Limit to
Obedience to Opposition to Contrary to Inferior to
Faithful to Superior to Junior to Prior to
Related to Prefer to Known to Prefer to

Abound in Backward in Believe in Dressed in
Arrive in Blind in Confidence in Deal in
Involve in Indulge in Look in Believe in
Delight in Increase in Succeed in Excel in
Absorb in Confidence in

Aveng on Bestow on Call on Claim on
Confer on Congratulate on Feed on Go on
Decide on Depend on Reflect on Rely on
Spend on Based on Bestow on Congratulate on
Comment on Influence on

Break off Come off Drop off Fall off
Let off Put off Set off Switch off
Take off Throw off Ward off

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Preposition Use of preposition Example

Above Higher than something The picture hangs above my head
Across From one side to other side You must not go across this road here
After One follows the other The cat ran after the dog
Directed towards something The bird flee against the window
Used when if one thing touches I saw him leaning against the wall
another thing There is a ladder against the wall
Used if one thinks that The employees are protesting against poor
something is a bad thing working conditions
Against Most of the members have voted against
the bill
Used if one tries to defeat or It is difficult to win a war against the
harm someone USA
Monica Seles was injured during a match
against New York
Along In a line, from one point to They were walking along the beach
Someone or something is I like being among the people
Among surrounded by a group of
people or things
At back of or near the back of Out house is behind the supermarket
a person or thing
To indicate something which is There is a pond behind the mountains
on the other side of a thing or There is a crche behind the school
Behind person
To mention a person or thing Some anti social elements are behind the
that is responsible for blast
something The Principal tried to explain the reason
behind the cancellation of exam
Below Lower of something British valley is 90 metres below sea level
Beside Next to or by side of Our house is beside the supermarket
In addition to Besides teaching English we teach French
Besides also
He learns Sanskrit besides English
Something /somebody is on Our house is between the supermarket and
each sides or a thing or a person school
is between two things There is a dirty road between his house
and his friends house
When people share something Hari and Ram divided the property
or divide something or they between themselves
Between both do part of that or both use

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To indicate relationship, There is a good friendship between the
interaction, involving two brothers
people, groups or things There is the agreement between the staff
and management
Around In a circular way We are sitting around the campfire
Close to Near Our house is close to the supermarket
Down From high to low He came down the hill
From The place where it starts Do you come from Tokyo?
The part that is in the direction Our house is in front of the supermarket
In front of it faces
In spite of It is used to indicate something In spite of heavy rains, the attendance was
which makes the situation or good
event we are mentioning seem She stood first, in spite of her illness
Inside Opposite to outside You should stay inside the castle
Into Entering something You should not go into the castle
Near Close to Our house is near the supermarket
Next to Beside Our house is next to the supermarket
Off Away from something The cat jumped off the roof
Onto Moving to a place The cat jumped onto the roof
Opposite On the other side Our house is opposite the supermarket
Out of Leaving something The cat jumped out of the window
Outside Opposite of inside Can you wait outside?
Over Above something/somebody The cat jumped over the wall
Round In a circle We are sitting round the campfire
Through Going from one point to the You should not walk through the forest
other point
Towards In the direction of something We ran towards the castle
Under Below something The cat is under the table
Up From low to high He went up the hill

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List of Modal Verbs

Modal Use Examples

Ability/Possibility They can control their own budgets
Can Inability/Impossibility We cant fix it
Asking for permission/request Can I take it?
Can you please help me?
Asking for permission/request Could I borrow your dictionary?
Could you say it again slowly?
Could Future possibility I think we could have another Gulf war
Suggestion He gave up his old job so he could work for us?

Past ability/Past inability I could climb Mount Everest successfully

I could not prepare food for myself
May Asking for permission/request May I have another cup of coffee?
Future possibility China may become a major economic power
Present possibility We would better phone tomorrow, they might
Might be having their dinner now
Future possibility They might give us a 10% discount
Necessity/Obligation We must say good bye now
Must Prohibition They must not disrupt the work more than
Ought Saying what is right or correct We ought to employ a professional writer
Offer Shall I help you with your luggage?
Shall Suggestion Shall we say 2:30 then?
Asking what to do Shall I do that or will you?
Future action We shall go to movie tomorrow
Saying what is right or correct I think we should sort out this problem at once
Should Recommending action We should check everything again
Uncertain prediction Profits should increase next year
Commands/Obligations You should shoot the enemies once you see
Instant decisions I cant see any taxis so ill walk
Will Promise I will do that for you if you like
Certain prediction I will get back to you on Monday
Future action They will attend the party next Sunday
Would Asking for permission Would you mind if I bring a colleague with
Request Would you pass the spoon please?

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The relationship between subject and subject or object and object or subject and object or
object and other words can be denoted by a preposition. Such relationship can be a position,
movement, direction or time.

Position related Movement and direction Time related

prepositions related prepositions prepositions
On To At
In From On
Above Towards In
At Across During
beside Along Since
Below Through For
Over into From
Under Then
Among After
Beyond Within
Outside Before

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We have seen in detail the fill in the blanks which are useful to answer the exercises on
sentence completion in our previous session. By recollecting the clues that have been
suggested in the last session let us practice some exercises.

1. The villagers, the death of their leader by keeping all the shops closed
A) Consoled B) Avenged C) Mourned D) Protested
Here the answer is (C); Mourned because the word in use for expressing sorrows over
the death of someone is Mourn. This is matter of usage.

2. While on a routine flight, the aircraft was hit by a missile and into flames
A) Short B) Burst C) Caught D) Blew
Here the answer is (B), Burst because all other words are not in keeping with into thus
they are eliminated at the first stage- structure.

3. Authority when it is not supported by the moral purity of its users.

A) Empowers B) crumbles C) prevails D) wait
Empower is opposite in meaning. Prevails is also opposite in meaning and waits is not in
accord with the meaning. Thus the only choice left is crumbles.

4. He did not register a to the proposal

A) Dissent B) disfavour C) divergence D) deviation
The answer is (A), dissent, because other alternatives may have similar meanings, but
Dissent. Is the word in use for showing agreement to an idea or a proposal? So other
Alternatives are eliminated at stage 3.

5. No sooner had be entered the room the light went out and everyone started talking loudly
A) But B) than C) if D) and
The answer is (B). Here the rule of grammar operates.

6. When I saw him through the window

A) I have run out to open the door B) I ran out to open the door
C) I am running out to open the door D) I should run out to open the door
The answer is (B). Here the rule of tense operates.

7. He congratulated me my success.
A) On B) for D) at D) in
The answer (A). On. It is a rule of preposition.

8. I prefer drinking Tea Coffee.

A) Than B) to C) over D) as
The answer is (B), to it is rule of preposition

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9. The school festival is always of a very high order because the students have a number
Of before any performance
A) Practices B) exercise C) rehearsals D) repartition
Here the answer is (C), rehearsals, Here the point to remember is common usage, for
Preparations done beforehand for performances in dance, drama and theatre the word in
Common usage is rehearsal

10. I read Trojan War because it was by my friend who said it was very exciting
A) Recommended B) exhorted C) motivated D) commended
Here the answer is (A), recommended the word commonly used in such a context is

11. His German was roughly with my English so communication was rather difficult
A) in accordance with B) at par C) in time D) in tune
Here the answer is (B), at par. The correct phrase with the required meaning is at Par

12. I could not what he wanted to say.

A) Make up B) make out C) make in D) make away
Here the correct phrase is making out and thus the answer is (B).

13. A committee has been set up to on the problem of unemployment in this region.]
A) Investigate b) inquire C) research D) report
Here the answer can be either investigate or report since the connecting word is
On, the choice will be report.

14. We cant eat this food; it is

A) Rotten B) old C) bad D) rancid
Here the answer is (A), rotten, because this word has the required nuance of Meaning.

15. Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were leaders of the same period they were
A) Contemporary B) colleague C) associate D) co-writers
Here the word contemporary stands for the expression of the same period and thus
(A) Is the answer.

16. Ramu has been nominated as the person to settle the dispute between the two warring
Parties he is the
A) Judge B) advocate C) arbitrator D) barrister
Here the answer is (C), arbitrator because this is the substitute word

17. He has been winning the election, by this time his popularity is on the he may not win this
A) Rise B) wane C) ascendance D) increasing

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Here the answer is (B), wane as an antonym is required

18. Do not him: he has done no harm to any of you

A) Accuse B) admire C) discuss D) refer
Here the answer is (A), accuse, as; an antonym is required

19. I him because of his

A) Love, impertinence B) hate, rudeness C) Admire, hypocrisy D) detest,
Here the answer is (B), in the first option one cannot love because of impoliteness, we
Love someone for their good quality not for a bad trait, in the same way in option C
Cannot admire if one has double standards and in the last option to hate someone
Because of generosity is not correct so the answer is B.

20. The influence of the environment on man is revealed by an study

A) Anthropological B) ecological C) epigraphic D) ecumenical
Here the answer is (B). It is a word used to indicate a branch of study,

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1. Generally students hesitate to ask questions. Teachers should discourage such ___ Ans: c
a) hesitant b) hesitating c) hesitation

2. Pranav exhibited his paintings, the ____ was wonderful. Ans: a

a) exhibition b) exhibitionism c) exhibitor

3. Permit me to attend the function, I need your ____ Ans: c

a) permissible b) permissive c) permission

4. Obedience is a good virtue. Students should be ____ to their teachers. Ans: a

a) Obedient b) Obeisance c) Obediently

5. We consult the doctor for our ill health. We pay ____ fee. Ans: b
a) consulting b) consultation c) consultant

6. Be happy and you will find ... in yourself. Ans: c

a) happily b) happy c) happiness

7. The teacher advised him to buy a dictionary. But he didn't follow his ___ Ans:a
a) advice b) advise c) advisory

8. Forests produce food and wood. We have to increase the forest ____ Ans: b
a) Product b) Productivity c) Production

9. Be punctual, ____ develops confidence. Ans: a

a) punctuality b) punctually c) punctuation

10. To be ____ in life, stop worrying about success. Ans: b

a) successive b) successful c) succeed

11. Children are always curious. There ____ is amazing. Ans: a

a) curiosity b) curiously c) curious

12. Kalpana tried to amuse her little sister by telling her an ____ story. Ans: b
a) amusement b) amusing c) amuse

13. He led a luxurious life; His ____ landed him in debts. Ans: c
a) luxuriant b) luxuriate c) luxury

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To transform or convert a sentence is to rewrite it to change its form without change of


Sentences are various types like:

Statements or assertive,
Orders, commands, requests, suggestion and permissions

Transformation of form is not possible in all cases. An assertive sentence or statement can not
be turned in an imperative sentence or optative sentence.
For example, Sin leads to ruin

A statement or assertive sentence can be changed into an interrogative. But an interrogative

which merely asks for information cannot be changed into an assertive sentence.

1) Interrogative into assertive

Can a leopard change his spots?

A leopard cannot change his spots

Who will not help a man in distress?

Everybody will help a man in distress

Is that the way a gentleman should behave?

That is not the way a gentleman should behave

Shall I ever forget those days?

I shall not forget those days

Did you come only to eat and drink?

I did not come here only to eat drink

Why waste time in idle pursuits?

Time should not be wasted in idle pursuits

Is this kind of treatment I deserve?

I never deserve this kind of treatment

Who has not heard of Mandela?

Everybody had heard of Mandela.

2) Assertive into Interrogative

Now here in the world you will find a mountain like Everest

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Where in the world will you find a mountain like Everest?

He saw someone in the house.

Did he see anyone in the house?

There is nothing wrong with me.

Is there anything wrong with me?

We shall never look up him like again

Shall we ever look up him like again?

It does not matter if we lose

Does it matter if we lose?

There is nothing better than a happy life

Is there anything better than happy life?

3) Exclamations and assertives

An exclamation can be converted into an assertive but all assertive cannot be turned into

Was any man immortal!

No man was ever immortal

What a piece of work is man!

Man is wonderful piece of work

What a unhappy life he leads!

He leads a most unhappy life

Ah! What a sight was there!

It was a beautiful sight

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon the bank!

The moonlight very sweetly sleeps upon the bank

Oh! How desirous I am to meet you once more

I am very desirous I am to meet you once more!

What a beautiful scene it is!

It is a beautiful scene.

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3) Affirmatives into negative

He failed to notice me when he came in

He did not notice me when he came in

As soon as he came in he made objections

No sooner did he came than he made objections

Only the evening star has as yet appeared

None but the evening star as yet appeared

He was a man of some intelligence

He was a man of no intelligence

Calcutta is the biggest city in India

There is no other city in India as big as culcutta

I was doubtful whether it was you

I was not sure that it was you

He is greater than I
I am not so great as he

He is too young to join in our group

He is too young that he cannot join

I shall remember you

I shall not forget you

Only the monsoon causes rain in our country

Nothing but the monsoon causes rain in our country

4) Negative into affirmative

I am not a little tired

I am very tired

There is no rose without thorn

Every rose has a thorn

We did not find the road very bad

We found the road good

There could be no smoke without fire

Where ever there is smoke there is fire

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None but Hercules could do this
Only Hercules could do this

A good boy never neglects his lessons

A good boy always minds his lessons

No one could deny that she was pretty

Everybody admits that she was pretty

None loves you more than I

I love you so much

You are not stronger as he

He is much stronger than you

5) Assertive into imperative

You should tell me the truth

Tell me the truth

You should not waste your resources

Dont waste your resources

Rita does not play in sand

Let not Rita play in sand

You should not tell a lie

Never tell a lie

He dances on the stage

Let him dance on the stage

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This has been a very frequently testing block of grammar. It is the fundamental ground for
making an accurate sentence in English.

Every sentence has two essential parts namely a subject and a verb
Subject: It is the part about which the sentence says something. It is either a noun or a noun

Verb: It is the part which says something about the subject. It is the verb that shows the tense
of the sentence and agrees with the subject in number and person.

1. I am a writer (I = subject; am = finite verb)
2. You are a reader (You = subject; are = finite verb)
3. She sells vegetables (She = subject; sells = finite verb)
4. They buy vegetables (They = subject; buy = finite verb)
5. The flower has bloomed (Flower = subject; has bloomed = finite verb)
6. The flowers have bloomed (flowers = subject; have bloomed = finite verb)

Rule 1: A singular subject demands a singular verb; Plural subject takes a plural verb.
Note: The trick is in knowing whether the subject is singular or plural. The next trick is
recognizing a singular or plural verb.

Which one is the singular form? Which word would you use with he? We say, "He talks."
Therefore, talks is singular. We say, "They talk." Therefore, talk is plural.
e.g: 1. The bridge opens every hour
Subject Finite Verb
2. The bridges open every hour
Sub Verb
3. The athletes are active
Sub V
4. The athlete is nervous
5. The hawk soars
6. The hawks swoop down
Observe the matching of singular and plural verbs with their subjects.

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Rule 2: Two singular subjects connected by or (or) nor require a singular verb.
e.g. : According to the letter I have received, my aunt or uncle is arriving by train today.

Rule 3: Two singular subjects connected by either/ or or neither/ nor require a singular verb.
e.g. : Neither Yamuna nor her brother is available at the house .
Either Kiran or Karan is helping today with stage decorations.

Rule 4: When I is one of the two subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor, put it second
and follow it with the singular verb am.
Example: Neither she nor I am going to take up the next project.

Rule 5: When a singular subject is connected by or or nor to a plural subject, put the plural
subject last and use a plural verb.
Example: The serving bowl or the plates go on that shelf.

Rule 6: When singular and plural subjects are connected by either/or or neither/nor, put the
plural subject last and use a plural verb.
Example: Neither Janaki nor the others are at the theatre right now

Rule 7: As a general rule, use a plural verb with two or more subjects when they are connected
by and.
Example: A car and a bike are primarily used as means of transportation

Rule 8: When subjects are combined by linkers such as together with, along with, besides,
with, in addition to, as well as, etc the verb agrees with the earlier subject.
(It means if the earlier subject is singular the verb should be singular and if the subject is plural
the verb should be plural)
e.g: 1) The general (sub 1) along with the soldiers (sub 2) was (V) away from the operation.
Here the earlier subject is the general which is singular and so the verb was (singular) is
2) The supervisors (Sub 1) as well as the captain (Sub 2) have taken (V) an important decision.
The supervisors is plural so have taken is the right form of the verb.
Excitement (sub 1), in addition to nervousness (2), is the cause of her shaking.
The politician (sub1), together with the newsmen (2), is expected shortly.

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1. Some nouns always take a singular verb. Scenery, advice, information, machinery,
stationery, furniture, abuse, fuel, rice, gram, issuer, bedding, repair, news, mischief,
poetry, business, economics, physics, mathematics, classics, ethics, athletics, innings,
A) The scenery of Kashmir are enchanting. (Incorrect)
B) The scenery of Kashmir is enchanting. (Correct)
A) He has given advices. (Incorrect)
B) He has given advice. (Correct)
A) The Indian team defeated the English by innings. (Incorrect)
B) The Indian team defeated the English by an innings. (Correct)
A) Mathematics are a difficult subject (Incorrect)
B) Mathematics is a good subject (Correct)

2. Some nouns are singular in form, but they are used as plural nouns and always take a plural
Cattle, gentry, vermin, peasantry, artillery, people, clergy, company, police.
A) The cattle is grazing in the ground (Incorrect)
B) The cattle are grazing in the ground (Correct)
A) The clergy is in the church (Incorrect)
B) The clergy are in the church. (Correct)

3. Some nouns are always used in a plural form and always take a plural verb.
Trousers, scissors, spectacles, stockings, shorts, measles, goods, alms, premises, thanks,
tidings, annals, chattels, etc.
A) Where is my trouser? (Incorrect)
B) Where are my trousers? (Correct)
A) Spectacles is now a costly item. (Incorrect)
B) Spectacles are now a costly item. (Correct)

4. There are some nouns that indicate length, measure, money, weight of number. When they
are preceded by a numeral, they remain unchanged in form.
Foot, metre, pair, score, dozen, head, head, year, hundred, thousand, million.
A) It is a three-years degree course (Incorrect)
B) It is a three- year degree course. (Correct)
A) I have ten dozens of shoes. (Incorrect)
B) I have ten dozen of shoes. (Correct)

5. Collective nouns such as jury, public, team, committee, government, audience, orchestra,
Company, etc. When these words indicate a unit the verb is singular.
A) The team have not come as yet. (Incorrect)
B) The team has not come as yet. (Correct)

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6. Some nouns have one meaning in the singular and another in the plural :
advice = counsel. advices = information.
air = atmosphere. airs = proud.
authority = command. authorities = persons in power.
good = wise. goods = property.
Iron = metal. Irons = fetters, chains
Force = strength. Forces = army.
Content = satisfaction contents = things contained
Physic = medicine. Physics = physical sciences.
Respect = regards. Respects = compliments.
Work = job. Works = compositions, factories.
Earning = income. Earnings = sowings.
Quarter = one-fourth quarters = houses

A) Air is necessary for human life.
B) It is bad to put on airs.
A) I have eaten one quarter of the cake.
B) I live in the government quarters.

7. People are often confused or they commit mistakes in the use of certain nouns.
A) Lecturer ship is wrong: lectureship is correct.
a) There are twenty candidates for lecturer ship. (Incorrect)
b) There are twenty candidates for lectureship. (Correct)

B) Freeship is wrong; free-studentship is correct.

a) Ramesh has applied for freeship. (Incorrect)
b) Ramesh has applied for free-studentship. (Correct)

C) Boarding is wrong; boarding house is correct.

a) Mohan lives in a boarding. (Incorrect)
b) Mohan lives in a boarding house. (Correct)

D) Family members is wrong; members of the family is correct

a) Vivek and Ramesh are my family members. (Incorrect)
b) Vivek and Ramesh are the members of my family. (Correct)

E) English teacher is wrong; the teacher of English is correct.

a) Dr. Raina is our English teacher. (Incorrect)
b) Dr. Raina is our teacher of English. (Correct)

F) Cousin-brother or sister is wrong; only cousin is correct

a) Geeta is my cousin sister. (Incorrect)
b) Geeta is my cousin. (Correct)

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G) Room in a comapartment or a bench means unoccupied seat.
a) There is no room on this bench. (Correct)

H) Ours, yours, hers, theirs are correct.

a) This house is ours (Incorrect)
b) This house is ours (Correct)

8. Also remember the subtle differences in the usage of these pairs of nouns.

A) The noun habit applies only to an individual whereas custom applies to a society or
a) Poor children often become a victim of bad habits.
b) Tribals in India have many interesting customs.

B) Cause cause produces a result, while reason explains or justifies a cause.

a) Scientists try to find out the cause of a phenomenon.
b) You have a good reason to be pleased with your students.

C) Man used in ordinary sense, while gentleman is a man of character.

a) Man is mortal.
b) He is gentleman at large.

D) Men plural of man; people used for persons.

a) There are five men in the room
b) The people of Bihar are simple.

E) Shade a place sheltered from the sun; shadow the shade of a distinct form or object.
a) The villagers sat under the shade of trees.
b) He is even afraid of this own shadow.

F) Cost amount paid by the shopkeeper; price amount paid by the customer.
a) The cost of production of automobile items has gone up.
b) Sometimes the buyers have to pay higher price for a necessary item.

G) House a building to live in; Home ones native place.

a) Quarters are houses allotted to us for a definite period.
b) My home town is Muzaffarpur.

H) Customer a buyer of goods; Client one who avails oneself of a service.

a) The shopkeepers welcome customers with smiles.
b) The lawyer discusses the cases of his clients.

9. A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in person, number and gender.
For Example:
Every man must bring his luggage.
All students must do their home work,

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Each of the girls must carry her own bag.
Each student must bring their books. (Incorrect)
Each student must bring his books. (Correct)

10. The pronoun one must be followed by ones.

One must finish his task in time. (Incorrect)
One must finish ones task in time. (Correct)

11. Enjoy, apply, resign, acquit, drive, exert, avail, pride, absent, etc.When used as transitive
verbs, always take a reflective pronoun after them.
He absented from the class. (Incorrect)
He absented himself from the class. (Correct)

12. Who denoted the subject and whom is used for the object.
Whom do you think won the award? (Incorrect)
Who do you think won the award? (Correct)
Who are you talking to? (Incorrect)
Whom are you talking to? (Correct)

13. When two or more singular nouns are joined together by either or, neither nor; and or,
the pronoun is singular.
Either Ram or Shyam will give their book. (Incorrect)
Either Ram or Shyam will give his book. (Correct)
Neither Ramesh nor Rajendra has done their work. (Incorrect)
Neither Ramesh nor Rajendra has done his work. (Correct)

14. Whose is used for living persons and which for lifeless objects.
Which book did you select?
Whose photograph is lying there?
What book do you read? (Incorrect)
Which book do you read? (Correct)

15. Some is used in affirmative sentences to express quantity or degree. Any is used in
negative or interrogative sentences.
I shall buy some apples.
I shall not buy any apples.
Have you bought any apples?

But some may be correctly used in interrogative sentences which are, in fact, requests
Will you please give me milk?
I shall read any book. (Incorrect)
I shall read some book. (Correct)
Have you bought some apples? (Incorrect)
Have you bought any apples? (Correct)

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16. The use of Few, a few and the few should be used with care. They denote number.
Few means not many. It is the opposite of many. A few is positive and means some at
least. It is the opposite of none. The few means whatever there is.
A few men are free from fault. (Incorrect)
Few men are free from fault. (Correct)

Here the sense is negative and thus a few is wrong.

Few boys will pass in the examination. (Incorrect)
A few boys will pass in the examination. (Correct)

Here the sense is positive and thus few is incorrect.

I have already read a few books that are on the book shelf. (Incorrect)
I have already read the few books that are on the the book shelf. (Correct)
Here the sense is whatever there is.

17. Normally than is used in the comparative degree, but with words like superior, inferior,
senior, junior, prior, anterior, posterior and prefer to is used.
Shelley is junior than Wordsworth. (Incorrect)
Shelley is junior to Wordsworth. (Correct)
I prefer reading than sleeping. (Incorrect)
I prefer reading to sleeping. (Correct)

18. When a comparison is made by using a comparative followed by than, the word other
must be used to exclude the thing compared from the class of things with which it is compared.
He is stronger than any man. (Incorrect)
He is stronger than any other man. (Correct)
Any man includes the man himself and thus the sentence will be absurd.

19. In some cases, the comparison is subtle and must be given proper attention.
The climate of Ranchi is better than Gaya. (Incorrect)
The climate of Ranchi is better than the climate of Gaya. (Correct)
The climate of Ranchi is better than that of Gaya. (Correct)
That of means the climate of.

If the traits are in plural, it will be those of

The clothes of DCM are better than those of Mafatlal.
The scenery of Kashmir is better than Shimla. (Incorrect)
The scenery of Kashmir is better than that of Shimla. (Correct)

20. Many a is always followed by the singular verb.

Many a man were drowned in the sea. (Incorrect)
Many a man was drowned in the sea. (Correct)

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21. If the subject is the number of the singular verb is used.
The number of students are very small. (Incorrect)
The number of students is very small. (Correct)

If the subject is a number of, the plural verb is used.

A number of books is missing. (Incorrect)
A number of books are missing. (Correct)

22. When as well as, along with, together with, no less than, in addition to and not and
with join two subjects, the verb will be according to the first subject.
Ram, as well as his en friends, are going. (Incorrect)
Ram, as well as his ten friends, is going. (Correct)
The teacher, along with the students, were going. (Incorrect)
The teacher, along with the students, was going. (Correct)

23. A great many is always followed by a plural noun and plural verb.
A great many students thas been declared successful. (Incorrect)
A great many students have been declared successful. (Correct)

24. If two subjects are joined by Either or, neither nor, the verb agrees with the subject that is
Either Ramesh or I are to do this work. (Incorrect)
Either Ramesh or I am to do this work. (Correct)
Neither he nor his friends is reading. (Incorrect)
Neither he nor his friends are reading. (Correct)

25. When two singular nouns joined by and point out the same thing or person, the verb will
be singular.
Bread and butter make a good breakfast. (Incorrect)
Bread and butter makes a good breakfast. (Correct)
The Collector and the District Magistrate are on leave. (Incorrect)
The Collector and District magistrate is on leave. (Correct)

26. One of always takes a plural noun after it.

It is one of the important day in my life. (Incorrect)
It is one of the important days in my life. (Correct)

27. Use of not only and but also : examine the sentences given below.
He not only comes for swimming but also for coaching the learners. (Incorrect)
He comes not only for swimming but also for coaching the learners. (Correct)

Here the error is due to misplacement.

The expression not only must be placed before the right word, otherwise the meaning
Here this expression is mean for swimming and not for coming.

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28. Scarcely and hardly are followed by when and not by than.
I had scarcely entered the room thanthe phone rang. (Incorrect)
I had scarcely entered the room when the phone rang. (Correct)

29. Though is followed by yet and not by but.

Though he is poor but be is honest. (Incorrect)
Though he is poor, yet he is honest. (Correct)

30. Lest must be followed by should.

Read regularly lest you will fail. (Incorrect)
Read regularly lest you should fail. (Correct)

31. Unless and Until express conditions. These are always used in the negative senses. Thus
not is never used with unless and Until.
Unless you do not labour hard, you will not pass. (Incorrect)
Unless you labour hard, you will not pass. (Correct)

Wait here until I do not return. (Incorrect)

Wait here until I return. (Correct)

32. Since indicates a point of time and for stands for the length of time.
He has been reading the book since two hours. (Incorrect)
He has been reading the book for two hours. (Correct)
Two hours is a length of time and thus for is correct.
It has been raining for Monday last. (Incorrect)
It has been raining since Monday last. (Correct)

33. As if is used to convey the sense of pretension. When as if is used in this sense were is
used in all cases, even with third person singular.
He behaves as if he was a king. (Incorrect)
He behaves as if he were a king. (Correct)

34. If two actions in a sentence are shown happening in the past, one after the other; the tense of
the action happening first should be past perfect and that of the second should be past indefinite.
The patient died before the doctor arrived. (Incorrect)
The patient had died before the doctor arrived. (Correct)

35. What to speak of is incorrect; the correct expression is not to speak of.
What to speak of running, he cannot even walk. (Incorrect)
Not to speak of running, he cannot even walk.

36. Cent per cent and word by word are wrong. Hundred per cent and word for word are
correct expression.
You are never cent per cent sure of your success in the examination. (Incorrect)
You are never hundred per cent sure of your success in the examination (Correct)
I can reproduce this lesson word by word. (Incorrect)

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I can reproduce this lesson word for word. (Correct)

37. Since, because, as and for all mean because, but there is a difference in their
degree. Since and because are used for stronger cases and as and for for weak cases.
I respect him as he is my teacher. (Incorrect)
I respect him because he is my teacher. (Correct)
I could not attend the meeting because it was very hot today. (Incorrect)
I could not attend the meeting as it is very hot today. (Correct)

38. Use of when and while: proper attention must be paid to these words. When indicates a
general sense and while implies a time during the process of doing a work.
When learning to swim, one of the most important things is to relax. (Incorrect)
While learning to swim, one of the most important things is to relax. (Correct)

39. Sometimes the error lies in the use of words, Proper attention must, therefore, be given to
appropriateness of words.
Prakash was leading a happy and leisurely life after his retirement. (Incorrect)
Prakash was living a happy and leisurely life after his retirement. (Correct)

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