Verbal Ability - Spotting Errors - Discussion

Discussion :: Spotting Errors - Section 1 (Q.No.19)

Read each sentence to find out whether there is any grammatical error in it. The error, if any will be in one part of the sentence. The letter of that part is the answer. If there is no error, the answer is 'D'. (Ignore the errors of punctuation, if any).


(solve as per the direction given above)

[A]. It is the duty of every citizen to do his utmost
[B]. to defend the hardly-won
[C]. freedom of the country.
[D]. No error.

Answer: Option B


to defend the hard-won

Raj said: (Jan 18, 2011)  
Why it can't be option A, citizen is a neutral gender so instead of his we can use "its" also

Sonu said: (Mar 7, 2011)  
Nice doubt yaar!!!!!

Jit Saha said: (Mar 8, 2011)  
What is wrong in 'hardly-won'?

Suman Kumari said: (Apr 5, 2011)  
Why cant we use hardly instead of hard. ?

Kumar said: (May 28, 2011)  
I am also asking why can't we use hardly.

Chennaiah said: (Jun 27, 2011)  
What is difference between Hardly and hard? Can any one help.

Sundar said: (Jun 28, 2011)  
Hardly (Adverb)

1. Only a very short time before (eg. we hardly knew them)

2. Almost not (eg. he hardly ever goes fishing; he was hardly more than sixteen years old)

Hard (Adjective)

1. Not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure (eg. why is it so hard for you to keep a secret?)

Sanjay said: (Jul 15, 2011)  
Agree with sundar.

Vertika said: (Aug 1, 2011)  
@raj and @sonu

Yes its correct that "citizen" is a neutral gender but "his" is used when we say something in general. and "its" is never used in case of human beings. "its" is used for animals like.... This is a cat. It's colour is brown. Got it?

Vertika said: (Aug 2, 2011)  
For animals, we never use "he" or "she". We use "it's".

Giriraj said: (Sep 5, 2011)  
Thanks vertika and sudar you are just rocking.

Ankit said: (Nov 22, 2011)  
Thanks for the peace of information vratika, was very help full.

Dan-1 Of Pandemonium said: (Jan 28, 2012)  
Hardly = almost not.

Hard = tough enough to get something.

Hardly, barely are one and the same.

Maniratnam said: (Feb 29, 2012)  
@ Vertika,thanks for the help.

Spity said: (Mar 30, 2012)  
Why can't we use their instead of his?

Gwen said: (Sep 4, 2012)  
We always use first form of verb after "the" !
So hard is correct !

Tarun said: (Sep 15, 2012)  
What about question of Spity?

Janaki said: (Mar 11, 2013)  
Hardly means 'almostnot'. So, the use of hardly in this sentence will be inappropriate.

Pinky said: (Nov 25, 2013)  
Hardly indicates a negative word. Defend itself is a negative word we can't use double negative words in one statement.

Neha said: (Apr 1, 2014)  
Why we didn't use their instead of his?

Abhiram said: (Apr 29, 2014)  
Every citizen here represents a single citizen, so it is better to use his instead of their.

Boopathi R.M.R. said: (Jun 4, 2014)  
"Citizen" is a common noun referring to both male and female. It is not a neuter gender. B is the right answer because "hardly" in English gives negative sense. If one says "I work hardly", it means the person does not work. The word "hard" gives the positive / affirmative meaning. "Every citizen" is a singular subject, which needs a singular pronoun --- his or her.

Sumanth Geras said: (Jul 17, 2014)  
I worked hard so I got first rank.

Here hardly refers that I worked hard isn't.

Roma said: (Aug 9, 2014)  
I remember just a glimpse that we used to separate word means which word is masculinity or femininity don't know exactly but it was there really so maybe citizen is a masculine word so his may have been used.

Manish said: (Dec 21, 2014)  
Here it is used for duty not for citizen. Am I right or not?

Avlon Frost said: (Jun 6, 2015)  
Hardly won gives the sentence a different meaning. But it still makes sense.

Sravani said: (Jul 11, 2015)  
Thank you everyone for clearing my doubt.

Sayantan said: (Aug 16, 2015)  
Can't we say, it is the utmost duty of every citizen to defend the hardly-won freedom of the country.

Mohammed said: (Aug 22, 2015)  
Why not only "to do utmost"?

Debajyoti said: (Aug 24, 2015)  
Hardly is used in the sense of negative so it is adjective it should be hard-won.

Vishal said: (Jan 17, 2016)  

It is and (its are same). So option A cannot be wrong.

Vamsi said: (Apr 4, 2016)  
Hardly is negative, hard is used for positive.

Vignesh said: (May 21, 2016)  
Is freedom of the country (OR) freedom for the country.

Which one is correct?

Bulupadhee said: (Jun 8, 2016)  
Hardly means rarely which is negative and here the sentence speaks about the earned tough/with lot of efforts.

Roopa said: (Jul 7, 2016)  
I think hardly takes negative sense.

So, generally we use hard.

Ashish Shukla said: (Jul 24, 2016)  
Instead of his use "their".

Inm said: (Sep 6, 2016)  
There is no word like "hardly-won" but "hard-won" exist in the dictionary, which is an adjective.

According to Cambridge dictionary:

If something is hard-won, it was only achieved after a lot of effort.

Example: A hard-won battle.

Anand said: (Oct 8, 2016)  
Freedom is a noun so we should use an adjective to modify this not an adverb. "Hard-won" is adjective and "Hardly-won" is an adverb.

Ashish said: (Jun 1, 2017)  
"It is the duty of every citizen to do his utmost".

When gender is not mentioned for the noun, one should always use the pronoun 'he'. Preference is always given for the male pronouns when the Gender of the Noun is not mentioned in the sentence.

Sidhu said: (Jul 7, 2017)  
Someplace where gender not clear genrally we pretend as masculine.

Ashish said: (Sep 3, 2017)  
Hardly is adverb and hard is verb.

Aadesh said: (Oct 5, 2017)  
The word hard has the relation with freedom which is a noun. If we write hardly then we are connecting it with the verb.

Samudhata said: (Nov 7, 2017)  
When gender is not mentioned, here citizen, we can use her, his or both (his or her) but when we write like this, it appears poor constructions so it is advisable to rewrite the sentence.

Divi said: (Jan 18, 2018)  
They are natural genders, In English we don't use gender pronouns like in French but we address soft and natural things for example for motherland, ship and nature we use feminine terms.

Alok said: (Feb 14, 2018)  
Hardly won means it wasn't won.

Dravid_R said: (Nov 10, 2018)  
Thanks for the explanation @Vertika.

Raja said: (Jan 18, 2019)  
By the way, Instead of his we can use their.

Nandhini said: (Jan 18, 2019)  
I can't understand this. Please, anyone explain me.

Himanshu Pal said: (May 13, 2019)  
'hardly-won' is correct. Isn't it?

Rohit said: (Jul 9, 2019)  
Why don't we use adverb form? Explain me.

Ramita Ruhil said: (Apr 30, 2020)  
Hard won is used for freedom which is a noun so we can't use an adverb there. Hardly is clearly an adverb.

Naveen said: (Apr 10, 2021)  
Hard is used in the phrase Working Hard to indicate that a person is working a lot. In this case, "hard" is an adverb that tells us that the person working is focused and doing a good job. Hardly Working indicates that the person is doing almost nothing! "Hardly" is used as an adverb to mean almost not at all. Hope you got it.

Aish said: (Aug 4, 2021)  
Even A is wrong, because his should not come.

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