English Grammar rules for IBPS PO

English grammar rules for IBPS PO
A detailed blog on English grammar rules for IBPS PO and their usage

IBPS PO 2018 is just around the corner. With less than 50 days under the belt, it is time to use your time judiciously. English section proves to be a nightmare for many students. In this blog, let us look at some of the basic and advanced English grammar rules for IBPS PO.

Aspirants can check out previous year papers of IBPS PO to know about the questions. The questions are of the individual type and hence, can save a considerable amount of time. Try IBPS PO online preparation to maximise your chances.

After mastering concepts, take IBPS PO mock tests to benchmark yourself and to fill your knowledge gaps. Taking mock tests will help you master test taking skill which is as important as knowing the concepts, if not more.

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Basic English grammar rules for IBPS PO:

Usually, 5 questions are from sentence correction, and another 5 are from spotting the errors. Hence, knowing the English grammar rules for IBPS PO is a prerequisite for solving these questions. Aspirants can answer these questions quickly leaving ample time to use productively elsewhere.

Subject-verb agreement:

Easily, the single most important English grammar rule for IBPS PO, or for that matter, any competitive exam. Hence, to spot the errors due to subject verb disagreement, candidates must be well versed with singular/plural subjects and the verb forms that they take.

Eg) Everyone in my locality have a car.

Everyone is a singular subject. Hence, ‘has a car’ will be the right form.

Either Ravi or Usha top the exam, usually.

Though the sentence has 2 subjects Ravi and Usha, it deals with them one at a time. Hence, ‘tops the exam’ will be the right form.

When 2 or more subjects are used, the verb will take the form corresponding to the nearest subject.

Eg) Raghu and his parents was invited to the function.
Here, ‘parents’ is the closest subject to the verb. Hence, ‘were’ must be used.

Raghu and his parents were invited to the function will be the correct form.

Adjunct -Subject confusion:

Had the previous sentence been ‘Raghu along with his parents was invited to the function’, it would have been correct.

Why is the verb not taking the form corresponding to the nearest subject?

Simply because ‘along with his parents’ is an adjunct, not subject. It can be added anywhere in the sentence.

Eg) Ravi was invited to the function along with his parents

The same point is conveyed without replacing a single word. An adjunct is something that adds some information about the subject and can be placed at multiple positions.

Collective nouns:

This is also an important English grammar rule for IBPS PO. Collective nouns act as singular subjects.

Eg) A bouquet of flowers was given to me by Hari.
A bunch of keys is on the table.

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Complements and related questions:

A complement is a part of a sentence that cannot be cut. Let us look at a few examples to understand this concept better.

Ravi flies aeroplanes.
Ravi is a pilot.

In the first sentence, Ravi is the subject, flies is the verb and aeroplanes is an object.

We can remove the word ‘aeroplanes’ from the sentence. “Ravi flies” will still be a meaningful sentence, albeit with a very different meaning.

In the second sentence, we cannot remove the word ‘ a pilot’. ‘Ravi is’ will be a meaningless sentence and ‘pilot’ is an important attribute that defines what Ravi is.

Balu, who is a doctor, is Meera’s father.

What is Meera’s father?

For those who are unfamiliar with the language, this might look like an error. ‘What is a person?’ means ‘What is the profession of the person?’. Hence, the answer to the question is ‘Meera’s father is a doctor’.

Error in parallel structure:

When comparing two items, the words must be correctly constructed. This is akin to dimensional homogeneity in physics and maths.

Brinda’s keyboard is better than that of Ravi.

Here, Brinda’s keyboard is being compared to Ravi (the person). Hence, the comparison is incorrect.

’Brinda’s keyboard is better than that of Ravi’s keyboard’ will be the correct form.

Advanced English grammar rules for IBPS PO:

Though it is unlikely for questions involving advanced rules to appear, aspirants can learn these rules to be on the safer side. The rules discussed below are not hard and fast. They can be followed to enhance the sentence.

Split infinitives:

To + verb is called an infinitive. Experts do not recommend insertion of adverbs between ‘to’ and ‘verb’.

Eg) Arun decided to quickly deliver the speech.

Though there is nothing wrong in this sentence, experts usually prefer ‘Arun decided to deliver the speech quickly’ over the sentence given above.

Hypothetical statements:

’ If I were a bird, I will fly’.
The above sentence might seem to contain a subject-verb disagreement. But, it is perfectly fine. This is a form of expressing a hypothetical situation using If clause.

However, the same sentence can also be expressed as “Had I been a bird, I would have flown” without using the ‘if clause’ and hence, avoiding the ambiguity.

Oxford Comma:

In certain cases, a comma must be placed before the ‘and’ separating the last 2 items in the list.

Sentence 1: Workers get paid Rs. 25 an hour for activities such as packaging, shipping and delivering.
Sentence 2: Workers get paid Rs. 25 an hour for activities such as packaging, shipping, and delivering.

In the first sentence, shipping and delivering together is considered a single activity. Whereas, in the second sentence, shipping and delivering are 2 separate activities.

Oxford comma cost Maine company dearly and was in the news recently.

Advanced grammar rules do not appear usually. Hence, being strong with basic English grammar rules for IBPS PO will suffice.

IBPS PO Previous papers

IBPS PO 2018 Syllabus PDF

To know more about the English language section, try reading strategy for reading comprehension for IBPS PO and 8 tips to improve English for IBPS PO.


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