If you are preparing for competitive exams of Banking, SSC, etc. like (IBPS Clerk, IBPS PO, SBI Clerk, SBI PO, SSC CGL, SSC CHSL, RRB NTPC, RBI, LIC AAO, etc.) you will encounter English Language and Comprehension sections. One of the most important aspects of the English section, in any exam, is to learn to Spot Errors and Correct Sentences. These Error Spotting and Sentence Correction GrammarCapsules are aimed at helping you learn a little bit of Grammar every day. Let us start with Error Spotting Capsule 10 which deals with the concept of “Subordinating Conjunctions“. You can even download Error Spotting Capsule 12 as PDF.
Error Spotting Capsule 12 in PDF: Subordinating Conjunctions – Part 2
In Error Spotting Capsule 10: Subordinate Conjunctions Part 1, we learned that subordinating conjunctions are the words which connect the main or the independent clause to a subordinate or the dependent clause. Today we will deal with ‘this or that‘ cases of subordinating conjunctions.
Case #1 Conjunctions or subordinating conjunctions
“Are the clauses of equal importance?”
Subordinating conjunctions are used to join the clauses of unequal importance – one clause is more important than the other.
I got dressed and had my breakfast. In this sentence, ‘I had dressed’ and ‘I had my breakfast’ have equal importance as they are joined using ‘and’.
I was walking back to home when Merin met with an accident. ‘What were you doing then?’ ‘I was walking back to home.’ ‘I was walking home’ is important here as it indicates what the speaker was doing when Merin met with an accident.
Merin met with an accident when I was walking back to home. ‘Do you what happened when I was walking back to home?’ ‘What happened?’ ‘Merin met with an accident.’ Here, ‘Merin met with an accident’ is the news and hence, the important clause.
Case #2 While or when
“Longer or shorter events?”
We use when to introduce a single completed event that takes place in the middle of a longer activity or event.We use whileto talk about two longer events or activities happening at the same time.
I was almost there when the phone rang. Here, the speaker didn’t finish his action of traveling and the phone rang (a single, short event).
I was reading a book while waiting for him to come. Reading is a long, incomplete process here and so is the wait. Two longer, incomplete events happening simultaneously (at the same time).
Spot the error in the following sentences
He was shaving, and the earthquake destroyed the city.
He was listening to the music while I reached home.
I was going home when I saw him.
Here are the explanations!
While he was shaving, and the earthquake destroyed the city. The occurrence of the earthquake is of greater importance, it is the news. Remember that we introduce subordinate conjunction in front of the clause of lesser importance and that’s why ‘while’ is inserted at the beginning. So, the options will be like: a) While he was shaving, the earthquake destroyed the city. b) He was shaving while the earthquake destroyed the city. Be careful!
He was listening to the music whilewhen I reached home. ‘He was listening to the music’ – a longer, incomplete event. ‘I reached home’ – a single completed event. And, hence, the conjunction must be ‘when’. ?