Test of English Language : Combined Defence Services Examination

Spotting errors


Each sentence given below is divided into three parts labeled as (a), (b) and (c). One of these three parts may contain an error. If the error is in the part labeled as (a), then that is your answer. If you feel that there are no errors, then mark (d) as your answer. Errors may be in grammar, word usage or idioms.

Note that you are not required to correct the mistake. You just need to indicate the part that contains the error.

1. Thinking that he has finally found (a) / someone with similar interests (b), the traveler tried to strike up a conversation. (c) / No error. (d)

2. Earlier this year, (a) / the absconding general made headlines when his video-taped interview (b) / was telecasted by a commercial television channel. (c) / No error (d)

3. If you permit me to speak the truth (a) / I shall say without hesitation that (b) / you have done a mistake. (c) / No error (d)

4. My friend is so rich that (a) / he is owning four houses (b) / and a fleet of cabs. (c) / No error (d)

5. He asked me (a) / if I am happy and (b) / I replied that I was not. (c) / No error. (d)

6. They always said I would go to places (a) / but they never told me (b) / how boring the places would be. (c) / No error (d)

7. If you caught the ten o’clock train tomorrow (a) / you could be in Kolkata by evening, (b) / unless the train is delayed. (c) / No error (d)

8. General Cary, who had commanded (a) / a parachute regiment for many years (b) / is now living in retirement. (c) / No error (d)

9. The French revolution has influenced (a) / every popular radical movements in Europe (b) / since 1800. (c) / No error. (d)

10. I had a long talk with Mary (a) / explaining why I don’t want (b) / the children to play together. (c) / No error. (d)

11. With Rahul working in Mumbai, (a) / and Maya travelling most of the week, (b) / the house seems pretty empty. (c) / No error. (d)

12. Looking out of the window of our hotel room (a) / there was a wonderful (b) / range of mountains. (c) / No error (d).

13. He, like (a) / his companions, (b) / were deceived. (c) / No error. (d)

14. He told me that (a) / you had finished your studies (b) / and looking for a job. (c). No error. (d)

15. They decided to arrange a grand party on the eve of her retirement (a) / especially because she had been working for them (b) / since almost twenty-five years. (c) / No error. (d)


1. a Part (a) should be 'Thinking that he had finally found'.

2. c. Part (c) should be 'was telecast by a commercial television channel'.

3. c. Part (c) should be 'you have made / committed a mistake'. We make mistakes, we don't do mistakes.

4. b. Part (b) should be 'he owns four houses'.

5. b. Part (b) should be 'if I was happy and'.

6. a. Part (a) should be 'They always said that I would go places'. To go places is to become successful.

7. c. Part (c) should be 'unless the train was delayed'.

8. a. Part (a) should be 'General Cary, who commanded'. We do not use the past perfect tense to simply state that something happened some time ago.

9. b. Part (b) should be 'every radical movement in Europe'.

10. b. Part (b) should be 'explaining why I didn't want'

11. d. No error

12. b. Part (b) should be 'we could see'. The given sentence could sound as if the mountains were looking out of the window.

13. c. Part (c) should be 'was deceived'.

14. c. Part (c) should be 'and were looking for a job'

15. c. Part (c) should be 'for almost twenty-five years'.

Sections in this article

The simple present tense
The present progressive tense
The present perfect tense
The present perfect progressive tense
Present tenses to talk about the future
The simple past tense
The past progressive tense
The past perfect tense
The past perfect progressive tense
Past verb forms with present or future meaning
The simple future tense
The future progressive tense
The future perfect tense
Tenses in subordinate clauses

See also

Adverb clauses
Adjective clauses
Noun clauses
Transformation of sentences

See also

Common mistakes in the use of nouns
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 1
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 2
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 3

More CBSE English Grammar worksheets

Passive voice worksheet | Simple past tense
Passive voice worksheet | Past continuous tense
Passive voice worksheet | Simple future tense
Passive voice worksheet | Future perfect tense


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