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Error Spotting Part 9

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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 9 which deals with the concept of “Relative Pronoun“. You can even download Error Spotting Capsule 9 as PDF.

Definition of a Relative Pronoun:

A relative pronoun is used to connect a clause or phrase to a noun or pronoun: whowhomwhichwhoeverwhomeverwhichever, and that. Sometimes where and when are also used as relative pronouns.
Pronoun Used for
Who People & sometimes pet animals
Which Animals and things
That People, animals & things
Whose For people & animals usually;
sometimes for things in
formal situations possessive
Whom People

Error Spotting Capsule 9 Case 1 – Who Vs. Whom

  1. Who is used to refer to people when the person is the subject of the verb.
    • The woman is my friend. The woman called you.
    • The woman who called you is my friend.
  2. Whom is used to refer to people when the person is the object of the verb.
    • The woman is my friend. You called the woman.
    • The woman whom you called is my friend.

Tip #1 – Substitute ‘he/him’ or ‘she/her’

If it’s either he or she, then it’s who. If it’s him or her, then it’s whom.

  1. The woman is my friend. The woman called you.
    • The woman is my friend. She called you.
    • The woman who called you is my friend.
  2. The woman is my friend. You called the woman.
    • The woman is my friend. You called her.
    • The woman whom you called is my friend.

Error Spotting Capsule 9 Case 2 – Which Vs. That

  1. When the relative pronoun is the object of a preposition, which is used instead of that.
    • This is the house in which I lived when I first came to the United States.
    • The tree under which they had their picnic was the largest and oldest in the park.
  2. In non-identifying relative clauses, which is used instead of that.
    • Water, which is essential for life, must be conserved. Here, the clause ‘which is essential for life’ doesn’t affect the main idea ‘water must be conserved’.
    • The house that/which I bought last year is in Delhi. Here, ‘I bought last year’ helps us to identify about which house is he talking – the one he bought last year. Hence, that and which can be used here.
  3. That is used after superlatives instead of which.
    • This the best apartment that is available.

When is that more appropriate than which?

After the pronouns all, any(thing), every(thing), few, little, many, much, no(thing), none, and some(thing)

  • She had something in her hand that she tried to hide from us.

Spot the error in the following sentences

  1. With who were you talking?
  2. The bill which deals with the land acquisition is passed by Lok Sabha.
  3. Perhaps, this is the best thing that you can do for her.
  4. They told nothing which could help me.

Here are the explanations!

  1. With who whom were you talking?
    When the relative pronoun indicates the object of the verb, whom is used instead of who. Think about an answer to this question: I was talking to him/her. Thus, the relative pronoun indicates an object of the verb (talk).
  2. No error. Because the clause helps us identify the bill, both that and which can be used.
  3. No error. That is used after superlatives.
  4. They told nothing which that could help me.
    Because that is more appropriate after pronouns like all, any(thing), every(thing), few, little, many, much, no(thing), none, and some(thing)

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