Error Spotting Part 2

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If you are preparing for competitive exams of Banking, SSC, 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 Grammar Capsules are aimed at helping you learn a little Grammar every day. Let us start with Error Spotting Capsule 2 which deals with the concept of “Either…Or” and “Neither…Nor”. You can even download Error Spotting Capsule 2 as PDF.

Either… or

Image result for either or

The teacher said, “We have both football and volleyball. But, we cannot play both now. Either we can play football, or we can play volleyball; the choice is yours.

Neither… nor

Image result for negate

The teacher said, “We don’t have a chessboard or a carrom board. We can play neither chess nor carrom, now.


 Rules for “Either… or” and “Neither… nor”

  • Subject – verb agreement: The verb must agree with the last noun/pronoun of the subject part.
    – Either Reena or you are going to be the leader.
    – Neither he nor I am going to talk about this.
  • The subjects in plural form are kept closer to the verb (last noun/pronoun) and the verb must agree with them.
    – Neither she nor her parents are coming.
    – Either the teacher or the students are asked about it.
  • More than two options: Usually, we encounter either/or and neither/nor sentences with two choices. But, more than two choices can be given.
    Either Miya or Ram or Saran will be there.
    Neither you will go out nor you will play inside nor you will watch the TV.


 Spot the error in the following sentences

  1. Neither Siya nor Raj or Priya went there.
  2. Either they or she has to do that.
  3. Neither the teacher nor the students were in the classroom this morning.
  4. Either Ram or I are going to clean the floor.
  5. You can either call me or send me a message.

Here are the answers!!!

Explanation 1: Neither Siya nor Raj or nor Priya went there. When more than two options are given, each extra option must be added with a ‘nor’ before it in the case of neither… nor and with an ‘or’ in the case of either… or.

Explanation 2: Either they or she has she or they have to do that. The plural subject must be kept closer to the verb and the verb must agree with that plural subject (because it is the last noun/pronoun of the subject and the verb always agree with the last one).

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Explanation 3: No error. The plural subject is kept closer to the verb and the verb agrees with the last noun/pronoun of the subject part.

Explanation 4: Either Ram or I are I am going to clean the floor. ‘Ram or I’ may trick you to assume the subject is plural (both Ram and I are mentioned, two persons, and hence, plural! But NOT!!!). ‘Either Ram or I’ means one of us and hence, the subject is singular. The verb must agree with the last one, here, I.

Explanation 5: No error.

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