GRAMMAR - A topic a day ( CAT 2012 )

Let’s just do atleast one topic a day from Grammar. I say VA gives a due weightage to sentence Correction questions. So let’s put a hand together on it…!!! ::

Let's just do atleast one topic a day from Grammar. I say VA gives a due weightage to sentence Correction questions. So let's put a hand together on it....!!!!!

Nouns identify the subjects we are referring to such as: names of places, persons, things, or ideas. The subject(s) can be expressed through the use of common nouns, proper nouns, or pronouns.

1) Noun represents the name of a place, a person, a thing, or an idea.

a) Common Noun refers to any place, person, thing, idea, etc.
car girl city religion mood

b) Proper Noun refers to a particular place, person, thing, idea, etc.

sedan Jane Spokane Christianity depression

2) Pronoun - can take the place of a noun.

What caused the damage?
As the whale was released back into the ocean, it immediately joined its pod.
Sally washed her car and let it dry before she drove it home.

3) Case Personal Pronouns refers to the form that a pronoun takes in its relationship to the other words in the sentence. There are three types of cases:
a) Nominative
he she they we I it

(He) (she) (they) (we) (I) (you) will support this fundraiser.
(He) (she) (they) (we) (I) (you) agreed to organize (it).

** Note: When referring to the first person, the word I is always capitalized, even in mid sentence.

b) Possessive
his hers its their/theirs our/ours my/mine your/yours

That house is (hers) (his) (theirs) (ours) (mine) (yours).
It is (her) (his) (their) (our) (my) (your) house.

c) Objective
him her them us me

Tom asked (him) (her) (them) (us) (me) to arrive early.

4) Compound Personal Pronoun- is used for action when turned back on the subject (reflexive use) and for emphasis (intensive use).
himself herself themselves ourselves
myself yourself yourselves itself

a) Reflexive use

She talked herself into going to the concert.
You could injure yourselves if you dont hold on tightly.

b) Intensive use

The manager himself made those long distant calls
She herself will pay for all those expenses.

5) Relative Pronoun Modifies a noun or pronoun occurring in the sentence and connects it to the rest of the sentence.
that which what who
plus derivatives: whose whosoever whom whomever

The position that she wanted has been offered to someone else.
A container, which held toxic chemicals, exploded in the warehouse today.
They hired John Adams, who has had twenty years sales experience.
What he would have preferred, is the corner office space.
We are offering computer training for whoever needs it.

6) Interrogative Pronoun is used in asking a question.
which what who
plus derivatives: whose whom whomever

Who was at the meeting?
With whom was that report left?
Which customer made this payment?
What did that customer buy?

7) Infinitive Pronoun frequently refers to number and gender.
any either neither all both each
some several everyone one someone none


Rules Related to the Correct use of NOUNS :-

1) A proper noun becomes a common noun when it is used in the plural form, or when an article is placed before it.
Eg:- There are five Gandhis in our College.
Kalidas is the Shakespeare of India

2) A collective noun takes a singular Verb when the whole group is considered as one unit.
Eg:- The committee consists of Five Members.
The family living next door has come from Madras.

3) If we refer to the members of the committee or family separately, the collective noun takes a plural verb, but it (the collective noun) remains singular in form.
eg:- The committee have taken their seats.

4)An abstract noun can also be used in the sense of a collective noun. When an abstract noun is used as a collective noun it takes a plural verb.
eg:- Youth are the pillars of the nation.

5) When a material Noun denotes a mass of matter, it is not used in the plural form.
eg:- Their House is built of bricks and stones. (Incorrect)
Their house is built of brick and stone. (Correct)

Rules Related to the Correct use of NOUNS :-

6) Some nouns have the same form for the plural as well as for the singular. The following are some nouns that belong to this category.
Sheep,Species, Deer, Aircraft, OffSpring, Yoke, Space Craft, Salmon etc.

7) Some nouns are used in the singular only. The following are some nouns that belong to this category.
Advice, Corn, Grain, Justice, Clothing, Information, Poetry, Scenery, Machinery, Hair etc.

Some nouns are apparently plural in form but are singular in use.
News, Economics, Physics, Measles, Mumps, Ethics.
Note :- Summons is singular and summonses is plural.

9)When a plural noun denotes a specific amount, length, weight, quantity etc. considered as a whole, the verb must be in the singular form.
Eg:- Ten Thousand rupees is a large amount.
Six Kilometers is not a long distance for a runner like you.

10) Inanimate Objects (Lifeless Objects) which are remarkable for beauty, gentleness, Gracefulness, tenderness, weakness and so on, are treated as feminine gender.
Eg:- the moon, the earth, the Spring, Virtue, Peace, charity,fame, nature, Hope,truth,victory, defeat, Modesty, liberty etc.

11) Inanimate things which are known for strength,courage,violence,superiority, and so forth, are treated as masculine.
Eg:- the sun, the death, Summer, winter, war, anger, Fear,Thunder etc.

12) The possessive Case of nouns is formed when we put 's to the noun (apostrophe s).
Eg:- The Girl's Dress.
The Boy's Pen.

b) The possessive case is used with the nouns of living things but not with the inanimate objects.
Eg:- Table's Leg. (Incorrect)
Leg of the Table. (Correct)

c) The possessive is used with the names of personified objects.
Eg:- Death's icy hands.

13) When the noun is plural, and ends in s; the possessive case is formed by adding only an apostrophe (After s)
Eg:- Girls' hostel.
Birds' nests.

14) When the noun is plural but does not end in s, the possessive case is formed by adding 's.
Eg:- Men's Club , Children's Park, Women's Day

15)When a noun or a title consists of several words, the possessive case is formed by adding 's to the last word.
Eg:- The Prime Minister of India's Speech.
The King of Bhutan's visit to India.

16) When two or more proper nouns are joined by 'and', and a common possession is meant, the possessive case will be formed by adding 's to the last noun.
Eg:- Amar and Kumar's house is really beautiful.

17) When there are two nouns in apposition, the possessive case will be formed by adding 's to the second noun.
Eg:- Penicillin, Flemming's discovery, has saved the lives of many people.
Mohan, the professor's son, is very Intelligent.

1 The possessive case of a compound noun will be formed by adding 's to the last word.
Eg:- Sister-in-law's house.
Commander-in-chief's Office.

19) If the last syllable of a singular noun ends in '-s' or '-ce' and the noun is followed by the word ''sake'', the possessive case of the noun will be formed by adding (') only.
Eg:- for goodness' sake, for justice' sake.
for conscience' sake, for Jesus' sake.


1) Some important uses of "it" are given with examples.
Eg:- a) To introduce a sentence
It is not certain that the president will come.

b) To give emphasis to the noun or pronoun that follows.
eg:- It was you who began the quarrel with us.

c) As an indefinite nominative of an impersonal verb.
eg:- It rains.

d) In sentences showing distance.
eg:- It is not far to walk

e) In sentences indicating time.
eg:- It is ten O' clock now.

f) To introduce a phrase.
eg:- It is decided to declare a holiday today.

g) In exclamatory sentences.
eg;- What a beautiful book it is!

h) To introduce a that clause.
eg:- It is said that smoking is injurious to health.

i) As a sort of object in order to avoid repetition.
eg:- Let us fight it (the issue) out.

2) While confessing a fault(or expressing a negative idea) the sequence of the personal pronouns should be as follows.
Eg:- I, You and he are in the wrong and will be punished.
First person first, Second person next and third person last.

3) While expressing a positive idea or praise, the sequence of the personal pronouns should be as follows.
Eg:- You, he and I, will get an award for the good work we have done.
Second person, third person and first person.

4) When two singular nouns joined by and denote the same person or thing, the pronoun used for them must be singular in number. The definite article the is placed before the first noun.
Eg:- The accounts officer and treasurer should be careful in his work of keeping accounts.

5) When two singular nouns are by 'and' , and are preceded by each and every, the pronoun must be in singular number.
Eg:- Every Student and every teacher took his/her seat.

6) When a personal pronoun is connected by a conjunction with some other word in the objective case, it must be in the objective or accusative case.
Eg:- These Clothes are for you and me.

7) When a singular noun and a plural noun are combined by or, either....or, neither....nor, the singular noun usually comes first in the sentence, and the pronoun must be in the plural number.
Eg:- Either the manager or his subordinates failed in their duty in sending the official message.

The personal pronouns- yours,ours,hers,theirs and its- are written without apostrophe.
Eg:- Your' Sincerely (Wrong)
Yours Sincerely (Correct)

9) When a personal pronoun is used as a complement to the verb to be, it must be in the nominative case.
Eg:- It was he, who could solve the problem easily.

10) A pronoun should be used in the objective case in a sentence beginning with let.
Eg:- Let him go to his office immediately.
Let her submit the records in time.

11) One can be used to talk about people in general, the pronoun that follows one should be one's ( not his/her)
Eg:- One should do his duty. ( Wrong )
One should do one's duty. ( Correct )

12) A relative pronoun must always be placed as near its antecedent as possible. Also, it must always agree with its antecedent in number, gender and person.
Eg:- This is the manager who abused the clerk.

13) Generally, the relative pronoun in the objective case is omitted.
Eg:- The student (whom is omitted) you wanted to punish is absent today.

14) The pronouns who, whom and whose are generally used for persons.
Who is used in the nominative case.
Whom is used in the objective case.
Whose is used in the possessive case.
Eg:- 1) Sarita is the student who got an award.
2) They are thieves whom the police caught.
3) This is the student whose certificates are lost.

15) When the relative pronoun is in different cases, one in the nominative and the other in the objective, it must be mentioned twice, once for each verb.
Eg:- The girl, who is my daughter and whom you met in the library yesterday, left for mumbai in the morning.


16) Uses of WHICH :-
Which is used in the following ways:
1) For infants, small animals, and objects.
Eg:- This is the baby which was lost in the theatre.
This is the dog which my friend brought from the kennel's club.
2) When selection is expressed.
Eg:- Which of these television sets do you want to purchase?
3) To refer to a sentence.
Eg:- He was said to be drunk, which was not true.

17) Uses of THAT :-
That is used in the following ways :
1) For persons, lifeless things and small animals in the singular or in the plural number.
Eg:- This is the girl that failed in the exam.
This is the radio that i brought yesterday.
2) As a substitute for a singular noun already mentioned.
Eg:- The weather of Hyderabad is far better than Chennai. ( Wrong )
The weather of Hyderabad is far better than that of chennai ( Correct )
3) After a noun phrase used as direct object.
Eg:- I vividly remember the night that she came.


1 'Either' and 'neither' are used in speaking of two persons or places or things etc.
Eg:- Neither Mahesh nor Mohan is intelligent. ( Negative meaning )
Either Mahesh or Mohan is expected to get a prize. ( Positive meaning )

19) Uses of each other and one another
1) Each other is used for two persons or things or places etc.
Eg:- These two students love each other.

2) One another is used for more than two persons or things.
Eg:- Those four countries always disagree with one another.

20) Each can come in three different positions in a sentence.
1) Each of the students got a prize. (initial)
2) The students got a prize each. (end)
3) The students were each given a prize. (middle)

21) ONE is used in the following ways :
1) For people in general.
Eg:- One must try to do One's duty.
One must not be proud of oneself.
2) In place of a noun previously mentioned.
Eg:- Give me bananas which are fresh ones.

22) As regards anybody, everyone, everybody, etc. the pronoun of the masculine or feminine gender should be used according to the context.
Eg:- Everyone of the boys got his hall ticket.

There are two types of articles:
i) The Indefinite Articles ( A, An )
ii) The Definite Article ( The )

1) A or An is used before a singular countable noun.

2) The choice between A and An wholly depends on the pronunciation of the word.

3) 'An' is used before the word, the pronunciation of which starts with a vowel sound.

4) The indefinite article 'a' is used before
a) a word beginning with a letter which has a consonant sound.
Eg:- a book, a man, a pen.
b) a word that begins with a letter (like O) with the sound like 'wa'.
Eg:- a One-rupee note, a One-eye man etc.
c) a word beginning with 'u' or 'eu' giving the consonant sound 'yu'.
Eg;- a university, a European.

5) The indefinite article 'an' is used before:
a) a word beginning with a letter which has a vowel sound.
Eg:- an apple, an egg, an umbrella, etc.
b) a word beginning with 'h' but the pronunciation of which starts with a vowel sound.
Eg:- an heir, an hour, an honest man, etc.
c) an abbreviation, the first letter of which has a vowel sound.
Eg:- an M.L.A, an M.P, an M.Com, an X-mas gift etc.

1) A or An is not used before :
a) Plural nouns : a books, a universities, a dinners etc. (Wrong)
b) Uncountable nouns : an advice, an information etc. (wrong)
c) names of meals :
Let us have dinner (correct )
Let us have a dinner (incorrect)
Note:- An indefinite article can be used before names of meals when these are preceded by an adjective.
Eg:- She gave me a good breakfast at 8 a.m.

2) A or An is used in the following ways:
Before the word 'most' when it is used in the sense of very or much or exceedingly.
Eg:- Sreedhar is a most intelligent student
This is a most unfortunate event.

3) With a noun complement. This includes names of professions.
Eg:- He is an actor.
She is a good dancer.
It was an accident.

4) In certain phrases: a cold, a pain, on an average, make a noise, make an effort, make a mistake, a fever etc.

5) With certain numbers : a hundred, a thousand, a million etc.


6) 'A' can be used before Mr./Miss/Mrs. + name
Eg:- a Mr.Bose, a Mrs. Bose, etc.

7) Before a proper noun to make it a common noun.
Eg:- Mohan is a Newton.
Amaresh is a shakespeare.

Before certain uncountable nouns preceded by nouns + of
Eg:- a piece of advice, a bit of news, a drop of water etc.

9) After the words many, rather, such, quite etc. in certain structures.
Eg:- Many a friend of mine is attending the party.
Such a show cannot be arranged now.
He is rather a fool to take such decisions.

10) In certain expressions of quantity.
Eg:- a lot of, a couple, a great many, a good deal of, a good many, a few, a little etc.

THE is used in the following ways :-

11) Before a noun denoting a hospital, temple, school, college, prison etc. If its purpose or use is not referred to or say if used not in its primary purpose.
Eg:- He has gone to the hospital to visit a friend.

12) Before an adjective in the superlative degree.
Eg:- Michael is the tallest boy in the class.

13) With nouns which refer to the things which is unique.
Eg:- the sun, the moon, the sky, the earth, the equator etc.

14) Before an abstract noun or a material if it is used with an adjunct ( a qualifying clause)
Eg:- The gold you have brought from the U.S.A is of good quality.

15) Before a singular countable noun which picks out one individual, object etc as representative of a class.
Eg:- The tiger is a ferocious animal.

16) The is used before certain adjectives to give a plural meaning.
Eg:- rich,poor,dead,sick,healthy,deaf,blind etc.
the rich = rich people
the poor = poor people

17) With certain adjectives indicating nationality.
Eg:- the Dutch, the Spanish, the Chinese, the Burmese etc.

1 Before 'Only' and original numbers, such as first, second, millionth etc.
Eg:- All the students of the first year are invited .
The second ranker is my son.

19) Before a noun when special emphasis is needed.
Eg:- This is the novel i am talking about.

20) Before a common noun to give it the meaning of an abstract noun.
Eg:- At last the father in him prevailed and excused him.

21) Before an adjective in the comparative degree, when the selection of one out of only two persons, places or things is meant.
Eg:- Nalini is the more beautiful of the two girls in the class.

22) before the adjective in the superlative degree of the comparison.
Eg:- She is the most intelligent of all the candidates in the exam.

23) In special comparatives.
Eg:- The more you earn, the more you spend.
The more, the better.
The higher you go, the cooler you feel.

24) Before Musical instruments.
Eg:- Rajani can play the piano very well.

25) Before the proper names of certain well-known or sacred books.
Eg:- the Mahabharat, the Ramayana, the Gita, the Bible, the Quran.