Sentence Improvement


      13.        Sentence Improvement                                                   

13.1   Sentence Improvement

13.1.1    Strategies for Sentence Improvement


13.1 Sentence Improvement

Questions of sentence improvement are asked in almost every objective English test. This is basically to test the knowledge of English grammar or written English. You are expected to know the basic grammar (such as subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, correct verb, tenses, to recognize dangling participle, use of correct phrasal verb etc.) to solve such question.

Each question will have a sentence with one portion in bold. The bold part may contain a mistake or requires no correction. The answer choices are all different versions of the bold part. We should determine whether any of the answer choices is better than the bold part. If the original is best then we should choose ‘No correction required’ option.

13.1.1 Strategies for Sentence Improvement:

1.  Read the entire sentence.

2. Figure out whether the underlined portion contains a mistake. Look for errors that are Commonly tested in this section.

3. If you have identified an error in the original, immediately eliminate any answer choices that Repeat that error.

4. Read the choices to see what they change about the sentence. Choose the best one.

5. If there is no error in the original sentence then go for ‘No correction required’ option.


1. The minimum eligibility age shall be less to sixty years to allow more senior citizens to avail of the benefits of the scheme.

1. should be lowered

2. should be lower

3. being lesser

4. must be lesson

5. No correction required

Ans: (1)

2. The latest study by Nasscom indicates possibly short of five lakh qualified in the engineers in the IT industry.

1. the possible

2. possibly short by

3. possibility of shortage

4. a possible shortage of

5. No correction required

Ans: (4)

3. China has to be prepared to meet many age-related social and financial challenges in the coming years.

1. is been preparing

2. was prepared

3. have been prepared

4. has preparations

5. No correction required

Ans: (5)

4. It is necessary to ascertain that we can do to attract investment to the manufacturing sector.

1. how we can do

2. what we can do

3. more can be done

4. that has been done

5. No correction required

Ans: (2)

5. Despite all my efforts I could not prevail him to attend next week's conference.

1. was unable to prevail

2. cannot prevail for

3. could not prevail on

4. am not able to prevail with

5. No correction required

Ans: (3)

Exercise for practice

Improve the sentence by choosing the best alternative for the capitalised part of the sentence.

1. The ‘Three Musketeers’ HAVE BEEN WRITTEN by Dumas.

    (a) are written              (b) are being written

    (c) has been written      (d) no improvement 

2. Having had in the Foreign service for a long time, Mr. Verma has met many prominent   personalities.

       (a)   having                (b) he has been

       (c)   having been         (d) no improvement 

3. Mr. Kumar is planning to settle in Chandigarh as soon as he will retire in June next year.

        (a)retires                    (b) is retired

        (c)would retire             (d) no improvement       

4. What does DOES AGONISE ME MOST is not this criticism, but the trivial reason behind it.

      (a) I most agonized           (b) most agonizing me   

      (c) agonizes me most         (d)  no improvement

5. The enthusiastic voters WERE QUEUING UP outside the polling station since morning.

       (a)queued up                    (b) had queued

       (c)had been queuing up       (d) no improvement 

6. The engagement ceremony TOOK PLACE in this very hotel lest Sunday.

       (a)  was took place             (b) did take place

       (c)  was taken place           (d) no improvement   

                              ANSWERS: -

1. (c)         2. (c)         3. (a)         4. (c)           5. (c)        6. (d)

Rearrangement of sentence in paragraph. 

1) 1. Sunbirds are among the smallest of Indian birds.

    P    Though they are functionally similar to the humming birds of the New world, they are totally unrelated.

    Q    They do eat small insects too.

    R    They are also some of the most brilliantly coloured birds.

    S    Sunbirds feed on nectar mostly and help in pollination.

6.   Our common sunbirds are the purple sunbird, the glossy black species and purple-rumped sunbird, the yellow and maroon species.

The proper sequence should be:

     (a)  SQPR                                    (b) RPSQ

     (c)  QPRS                                    (d) QSRP

2) 1.For some time Abraham Lincoln worked as a postmaster at New Salem.

    P     At this time he began to study law.

    Q     He used to read the newspapers before he delivered them.

    R     For this purpose, he used to borrow law books from lawyers who

           were his friend.

    S    He carried the letters and newspapers in his hat for distribution.

6.  By the time he was twenty – eight he became a full-fledged lawyer.

The proper sequence should be:    

     (a)  PSQR                            (b)  SQPR

     (C)  QRSP                            (d)  RQPS

3.) 1. For millions of years the moon has been going round the earth.

     P     As the artificial satellites speed along, they tend to go straight off into Space.

     Q     During this time, the moon has the only satellite of the earth.

     R      Today, however, the earth has many other satellites, all made by men.

     S      The pull of the earth keeps them from doing this.

 6. As a result, they travel in an orbit round the earth.

The proper sequence should be:

     (a) QRPS                                    (b)QPSR

     (c) RPQS                                    (d)RSQP         

4.) 1. In 1945, America faced two powerful enemies in the World War.

     P      America found convention weapons insufficient to crush them.

     Q      These were Germany and Japan, who posed strong opposition to  America.

     R      The result of this was the production of the Atom Bomb.

     S      The government ordered scientists to conduct research and produce a new,  deadly weapon.

 6. This was the weapon that ended the Second World War.

The proper sequence should be:

        (a)QPSR                           (b)PQRS

        (c)QPRS                            (d) PQSR

5.) 1. Advertising is also advantageous to the consumer in that it increases the sale of goods; the industry prospers; and prices may be reduced.     

    P       There is no obvious connection, for example, between a picture of a      

              smiling girl and a certain brand of sweets.

    Q       The advertiser’s assumption is that by looking at such pictures, the

              consumer would be influenced to buy his products.

     R      On the other hand, much of the canvassing of which the consumer is

              the object does not convey information, but Endeavour’s merely to draw the  

              public attention to certain products.

     S       But most people like looking at pictures of pretty girls.

 6. Advertising of this particular kind is planned to stimulate new wants or to induce buyers to change their habits.

The proper sequence should be:

          (a) RQSP                           (b) SPRQ

          (c)  RPSQ                           (d) SQRP 


1. (b),          2. (b),          3. (a),          4. (a),           5. (c),