CAT Calling : Part IV


There are three types of tenses
1. Present
2. Past and
3. Future

1. Present Tense

Present Indefinite

Rules :

  • Permanent truths and Habits
The sun rises in the east.
  • Events that will take place in future but have been planned beforehand
The train leaves at 8 pm in the evening.
  • In Exclamatory sentences beginning with ‘here’ and ‘there’
Here comes Mr Sharma.
There goes the shuttlecock.
  • Official Announcements
PM arrives on Sunday.
  • In Affirmative(Declaring) Sentences with the first and second person, and third person plurals
we use first or basic form of the verb For eg I go to Switzerland during vacations.
  • But with third person singulars we use s or es with the basic form of verb
He goes to Switzerland during vacations
  • Negative Sentences : Do not and Does not(third person singular)
  • Interrogative Sentences : Do + subject + first form of verb
Present Continuous
For actions going on at the time of speaking 
  • Affirmative: Is, am are + present participle
He is going to the shopping mall
  • In negative sentences, not is inserted between the auxiliary and main verb
He is not singing the song
  • Interrogative Sentences
Is, am, are + (not) + first form of verb + ing
Aren’t you studying ?
Present Perfect Tense(has/have, just)
For events completed in recent past or whose effect is felt in present
The keyword JUST or its essence is compulsory
I have          They have    You have
He has          We have
Present Perfect Continuous (has been/have been, for/since)
For events that started in past and has continued up until now
I have been   They have been     You have been
He has been   We have been
Past Tense
Past Indefinite
For a completed action in the past
He watched a movie yesterday.
  • Affirmative Sentences : Always use first or second form of the verb. It rained heavily throughout the night.
  • Negative Sentences : Did not + first form of verb. It did not work properly yesterday.
  • Interrogative Sentences : Did + subject + first form of verb.Did the guard wake you up last night. 
Past Continuous Tense (was/were+ present participle)
To denote an action going on some time in the past.
We were roaming around in the mall throughout the evening.
Always follow was/were + present participle
Past Perfect Tense (Before/When,had + past participle)
Can’t be complete without mentioning two events and specifying which of them occurred earlier.
                       1                              2
When I got married                  I had taught English.
So completion of english teaching before an event.
Past Perfect Continuous Tense(had been+ present participle, since/for)
It shows an action that began in the past before a certain point and also has continued up to that 
I had been writing for 2 years.
Future Tense
Future Indefinite Tense(shall/will)
To express the future as a fact or something expected to happen in the future
I shall be 25 next month.
I think India will win the Samsung Series.
Can is the word of ability.
May is the word of permission.
Future Continuous 
For actions taking place at some time in future
I will be playing cricket in the evening.
  • Will/Shall be + Present participle
  • Affirmative : I shall be going.
  • Negative : I shall not be going.
  • Interrogative : Shall I be going ?
Future Perfect (By, shall/will have)
To show completion of an action by a certain time in future.
By the month end, we shall have completed the process.
  • Negative : She will not have played. Will she have played ?
Future Perfect Continuous(By Specific date, shall/will have been)
For an action that will be in progress over a period of time and will continue in the future.
By next March, we shall have been studying here for one year.
Tense should remain same throughout the sentence.
Remove otiose words from sentences 
Follow Parallelism.

No Action Mean No Tenses

  1. Fact Based – I am a student
  2. Imperative Sentences – 
  • Requests
  • Wishes God Bless You
  • Commands Get Out
     3. Subjunctive Sentences (Hypothetical)
If I were Barack Obama, I would have spoken.

CAT Calling : Part III


Two types of verbs are there :
Transitive Verbs and Intransitive Verbs
Transitive Verbs have subjects or objects that are receivers of action
Intransitive Verbs have none.

These are just some of the freaking definitions one should know but not very helpful while attempting sentence correction.

Verbals is a word form used as some other part of speech. They are of three types :
1. Gerunds : These are verb + ing form used as a noun.
2.Participles : A participle is used as an adjective and can be of two types
Present Participle : Ending in ing
Past Participle : Ends in ed, n, or irregularly.

Regular and Irregular Verbs
Regular Verbs are those that can be conjugated easily to learn the rules
For eg past tense of look id looked

Irregular Verbs have no rules for conjugation
Base Form                 Past Tense                  Past Participle
arise                             arose                            arisen

and the like everybody mugs up in the primary.

3. Infinitives are another form of verbals which can be used as nouns adjectives and adverbs.
to +  verb form

Typical Rules

  1. Subject should not be left without a verb For
For eg He who has suffered most in the cause, let him speak.(wrong)
Let him who has suffered most in the cause speak.(correct)
      2. Verb should agree with the subject not the complement as
What is wanted is(not are) not large houses with modern conveniences but small cottages.
       3. An infinitive(to + verb – noun, adjective, or an adverb) should be in the present tense unless it
represents action prior to that of governing verb.
I should have liked to go.
He seems to have enjoyed his stay at Delhi.
     4. Use of make
Active : She made the boy do whole work.
Passive : The boy was made to do whole work.
So to not used in active voice.
      5. Verbs to be used only with gerunds not infinitives.
        Wrong                           Right
      to swim                           swimming
      to enjoy                           enjoying
       to postpone                    postponing
     to miss                              missing
      to avoid                           avoiding
     to suggest                          suggesting
    to see                                  seeing
 Technique to remember- Code SEPMASS
So the use in sentences would be as follows :
He enjoys swimming (not to swim)
She avoids meeting people (not to meet )
We missed seeing the Prime Minister( not to see)
Abstract verbs do not have an ing form 
Abstract Verbs : love, like, hate, reject, accept, hear, doubt, approve
So loving, liking, rejecting, accepting, hearing, doubting, and approving are wrong forms of verbs.

CAT Calling: Part II

Nouns and Pronouns

Noun as we all know is a word used to name a person, animal, place, thing and abstract idea.
Pronoun is a word used in the place of a noun.
Some pronouns are aliases for nouns used as subjects – called subjective
…………………………………………………………..objects – called objective
……………………………………………….that show possessiveness – called possessives
John threw a stone. Here John is the subject and stone is the object
Possessive Case : Rama’s play, Children’s Playground

              Subjective                   Objective               Possessive

                 He                              Him                        His
                 She                             Her                         Her

                 It                                  It                      Its(not It’s which is It is)

               They                            Them                    Their, Theirs      

                 I                                 Me                          Mine

              You                              You                   Your, Yours

              We                               Us                      Our, Ours

              Who                           Whom                    Whose

Rules for nouns

  • a/an can be used only with singular countable nouns and you cannot use singular countable nouns alone.
The sea, a girl, a suitcase
I went to see the movie (Correct)
I went to see movie.(Incorrect)
  • You cannot use a/an with uncountable nouns

a bag of gravel

an oxygen cylinder
Use with
                  Plural Countable Nouns                                                          Uncountable Nouns
                    Some, any                                                                            Some, any
We bought some CDs                                                                    We bought some coffee
Are there any pencils in the box?                                            Can you get some syrup for me ?
               Many, few                                                                                 Much, Little
There were many people in the bookshop.                             The boys were looking a little off colour
I have a few pictures in my album.                                          There wasn’t much to do.
Rules for Possessive Case 
  • To be confined to names of living beings & personified objects
A governor’s bodygaurds
the lion’s mane
Nature’s laws Fortune’s favorite
  • few stereotyped phrases
For conscience’s sake, for god’s sake, at his finger’s ends, the boat’s crew
  • When one noun is qualified by 2 possessive nouns both must have possessive sign unless joint possession is indicated.
Joint Possession – Charles Dickens the novelist’s penchant for the poignant portrayal of human emotions has earned him immense respect in the literary world.
Here portrayal of human emotions is jointly qualified by Charles Dickens and novelist so the apostrophe comes with the last one.
Had the two been different entities both would have had an apostrophe.
Object should be in objective case and subject in subjective case
  • Object of a verb or preposition when it is pronoun should be in objective form.
Her(objective case, not she), who had been the apple of his eye, he now began to regard with something like distinct.
Him(objective case, not He), who had always inspired in her a respect which almost overcame her affection, she now saw the object of open pleasantry.
  • In definite pronoun ‘one’ should be used throughout if used at all
One cannot be too careful about what one says.
Some uncountable nouns are
Accommodation, permission, scenery, traffic, behavior, weather, work, information, travel, chaos, luck
bread, advice, baggage, damage……\
He gave me an advice (wrong).
He gave me a piece of advice(correct)
As we had discussed above , uncountable nouns may or may not take an article.
But a/an are used only for singular countable nouns and nothing else.
Collective Nouns They refer to a single unit,(single word nouns like family, army, jury etc)
Collective Noun take the same type of persons or things and regard them as one entity.
Inanimate collective nouns take singular verb only
People : A faculty of academicians, A babble of barbers, A bench of bishops, A shuffle of bureaucrats
A conjunction of grammarians, A worship of writers
Reptiles : A quiver of cobras, A bask of crocodiles, A nest of vipers
Fish : A flock of dolphins, A hover of trout, A swarm of eels, A shiver of sharks, A troop of dogfish,
Insects : An intrusion of cockroaches, A plague of locusts, A clutter of spiders, A flight of butterflies
Birds : A murder of crows, A wake of buzzards, A parliament of owls, A run of poultry, A descent of woodpeckers
Rules for pronouns
  1. Check whether the pronoun used is correct in terms of being subjective, objective and possessive
  2. Check for the precedent noun pronoun is referring, Is the pronoun correct in gender, number, tense et al
  3. After ‘than’ or ‘as’ we use objective case. X is better than him
  4. Gerunds(verb + ing) always take possessive case.
I hope you don’t mind my/ me asking ?
It should be my asking (see table at the top) Gerunds always take possessives.
You doing or Your doing ? should be your, as it it the possessive case
Who/Whom and Whoever or Whomever ?
Who is used as a subject and whom as an object 
When in doubt try to answer the question.
Who do you think is the most promising candidate ?
I think he(subjective since who is subjective) is
Whom do you consider the most promising candidate ?
I consider him ( Objective case since whom is objective)

CAT Calling: Part I

This post is for all my friends preparing for the CAT 2012 window for which is to start from 11th Oct 2012. In this and subsequent posts I ll be sharing important study material for all serious takers.
1. Articles
a, an and the are the three articles
  • a is used with singular nouns when noun is general. a rat
  • when general noun is plural some is used. some rats
  • an is used with singular noun beginning with a vowel. an elephant
  • the is used with more specific nouns.THE CAR in the garage. that particular car.
Rules for the :
Do not use the before :
  • names of countries except the Netherlands, the US, the United Kingdom etc
  • names of cities, towns, states and streets (the Hague being an exception)
  • names of lakes and bays(Lake Chilika, Lake Mahakam) except with a group of lakes like the Great Lakes
  • names of mountains(Mount Everest, Mount Fuji) except the Andes, the Rockies, the Wular
  • names of continents
  • names of islands except the Andamans
Use the before
  • names of rivers, oceans, and seas(the Nile, the Pacific)
  • points on Globe(the Equator, the North Pole)
  • geographical areas(the Middle East, the East)
  • deserts, forests, gulfs, and peninsulas (the Sahara, the Persian Gulf, the Black Forest)
  • names of countries that include republic or kingdom. the UK, the US, the Irish Republic, 
  • names of great books and epics. the Ramayana, the Illiad
  • names of things unique of their kind. the sun, the moon etc
  • As an adverb with comparatives. the bigger, the better

Indefinite article is used in the vague sense of a certain.

    A Sushil Kumar was declared the winner of the fight(Not the boxer Sushil Kumar)
    Omission of Articles :
    • before names of substance and abstract nouns used in general sense. Sugar is bad for teeth, Honesty is the best virtue.
    • before plural countable nouns used in general sense. Girls like chocolates.
    • before names of meals used in general sense. lunch, dinner
    • words like schools, colleges, universities, prisons, etc, places that are used for primary purposes, such as ; People go to church on Sundays.
    • names of relations, like father, mother, brother etc

    Difference between a little and little, a few and few

    A little means some but little means negligible 
    Similarly for few

    2. Demonstratives Used to tell location (spatial, temporal or discourse)
    these, those, this, that
    Used to modify nouns. This cake is excellent, Those paintings look beautiful

    3. Quantifiers Include cardinals, ordinals, and fraction numbers
    In formal academic writing it is better to use many and much rather than phrases such as a lot of, lots of and plenty of
    Most of must include definite article the when it modifies a specific noun whether it is a count or a non count
    Most of the students at this college have a car

    First v/s Subsequent Mention

    When the noun is not specific a/an is used, and thereafter the is used.

    A boy was out on a ramble in Chicago. While he was going around in his rhythm, a speeding car hit THE BOY but he was miraculously saved.