English for BBA | BBM | BBS Entrance

Mandatory Pairs : Students preparing for BBA | BBS | BMS entrance can expect question from this segment. A mandatory pair is a sequence that you know cannot exist in any other order. In other words, two or more statements that have to be grouped together, if we are following the rules of the language, constitute a mandatory pair. 

The best way to solve a para jumble is to try and identify Mandatory Pairs. There are many types of mandatory pairs. But there is only one basic tool to identify them. Look at para jumbles like a detective and search for clues that the thief or in this case paper-setter has left for you. (keywords). Then, just like a detective, use these clues to form a sequence or connection and complete the chain!


Types of mandatory pairs

Names, proper nouns, pronouns

Sometimes, we can identify mandatory pairs or a longer sequence with the help of the names, proper nouns and pronouns used. Also, keep in mind that English demands the presence of an antecedent for a pronoun, that is, if a pronoun has been used; it needs to refer to a noun or another pronoun. Identifying the antecedent can also help identify the mandatory pair. The use of personal pronouns (I, me, you, us, he, they, it etc…) and demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those) is extremely helpful in resolving para jumbles.

Example 1

Look at the statements given below:

  1. Mr. Kumar checked the quality of food and asked flood victims about the help from the government.
  2. He also instructed officials to focus more on the quality of food, and sanitation for women, at the camps.
  3. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Minister for Water Resources Rajiv Ranjan Singh and other officials inspected several relief camps in Patna district, from Maner to Athamalgola.

Solution: What, according to you, should be the sequence of the statements given? Obviously, the answer is CAB. Let us understand why: Statement c contains the full name of the person – Nitish Kumar. Statement a contains the surname – Mr. Kumar, while statement b introduces the personal pronoun – he. Thus, the correct sequence is CAB


Let us look at another example:

Example 2

  1. Trump (70) also confirmed that he would be addressing an Indian-American event in New Jersey next month, the proceeds of which will benefit global victims of Islamic terror.
  2. “The Hindu community has made fantastic contributions to world civilisation and to American culture and we look forward to celebrating our shared values of free enterprise, hard work, family values, and a strong American foreign policy,” Mr. Trump said in a statement.
  3. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has praised Hindu community’s “fantastic” contributions to world civilization and American culture.
  4. He issued a short 24-second video message inviting Indian-Americans to attend the “incredible” event on October 15.

(a) ABCD (b) ABDC (c) CABD (d) BCAD

Solution: Using the concept of identifying mandatory pairs based on noun/pronoun usage, we can easily identify the sequence of sentences. The full name of the speaker appears in the third sentence, followed by his surname in statement A. The pronoun appears in the last statement making option (c) CABD the correct sequence.

Cause and effect

There are instances where a cause and effect relationship can be identified. Such a relationship may exist in the form of a mandatory pair or run through the paragraph. There are some cause-effect indicators (refer the table) that can help one establish a cause and effect relationship.

CAUSE For, Because …, Due to (the fact that), In order to …, Resulting from …., Since…

EFFECT So, Accordingly, As a result, Consequently, Hence, Therefore,

Look at the statements given below:


Example 3

  1. Scientists and wildlife conservationists are seeing red over the threat posed to Gangetic river dolphins by the National Waterways project.
  2. The development of the Ganga for shipping is seen by wildlife conservationists as the single-largest threat to the survival of the species, whose numbers are declining in most parts of their natural habitat.
  3. India has a huge untapped potential of inland waterways and the Centre plans to develop a 1600 km waterway between Allahabad and Haldia for inland transportation
  4. This is mainly due to construction of dams and barrages on the river.

(a) ABCD (b) ABDC (c) CBDA (d) BCAD


Solution: In the above set of statements, it can easily be ascertained that statement d is describing the reasons for the phenomenon described in statement b. Thus, BD becomes a mandatory pair. Statement a has to be the opening line as it is introducing the idea that is elucidated in the passage. Hence, option b becomes the correct answer.



At times you can see a logical chain of events in the para jumble. It could also be in the form of a set of instructions to be followed in a certain order. If you look for keywords associated with the sequence, you can easily figure out the right order .Also, some questions have a statement that refers to a point in time. The reference may be in the past, present or future. Accordingly you can decide its place in the sequence. In such situations—the past will always come first, followed by the present and then the future.

Example 4

  1. The second time, he remembered was when Shima fell into the river while dancing on the Yamuna pontoon bridge during another outing and Joe once again saved her.
  2. This was the third time he had saved Shima’s life.
  3. The first one was when she slipped during an office Christmas Day picnic to the Taj Mahal
  4. Two days after the office fire incident Shima’s father called him up with the request that he should make it convenient to visit his place on the coming Sunday evening.

(a) DCBA (b) BCAD (c) BACD (d) ABCD

Solution: In the above set of statements, you can easily identify the order of the statements by paying attention to the sequence of events. Thus, BCAD becomes the only order in which the statements can exist in order to form a coherent flow of ideas.

Transition words:

Transition words make the shift from one idea to another very smooth. They organize and connect the sentences logically. These may be of two types:

Extending words (also, again, as well as, furthermore, in addition, likewise, moreover, similarly,

consequently, hence, subsequently, therefore, thus…)

Contrasting words (yet, but, however, still, nevertheless…)

Observing the transition words shall provide you clues with respect to the connected sentences. Consider the examples below (please note that the words provided herein are not exhaustive, merely indicative)

Time (Beginning, During, Ending) : First/second/next/last time, When, Whenever, While, By the time, Till, Until, Afterward(s), At first, Initially, Meanwhile, Meantime, Simultaneously, Eventually, Finally….

Sequence: And, After, Following, Later, Next, Subsequently, Then,

Conclusion: So, In all, In summation, In conclusion, To conclude

Contrast: But, Either … or, Yet, Although, Despite, Though, Whereas, While, However, In contrast, Instead, Nevertheless, Nonetheless, On the contrary, On the other hand, Otherwise

Similarity:  Neither … nor, Either … or, In other words, Likewise, Similarly

Additional Information: And, Additionally, Also, Besides, Further, Furthermore, In addition, moreover:


Example 5

  1. Hence, more and more administrators are becoming aware of the critical need to keep parents apprised of the newer methods used in schools.
  2. Therefore, the great influence of parents cannot be ignored or discounted by the teacher.
  3. However important we may regard school life to be, there is no gain saying the fact that children spend more time at home than in the classroom.
  4. They can become strong allies of the school personnel or they can consciously or unconsciously hinder and thwart curricular objects.

(a) BADC (b) CDBA (c) CBDA (d) CDAB


Solution: In the above-mentioned para jumble, we can identify two transition words – Hence and Therefore. Both these keywords are used to explain the consequence of something. Upon perusal of the text, it is apparent that statement b is the explanation for statement c while statement a concludes the passage, Thus, CB become a mandatory pair making option c the correct response.

General to specific : In case one is stuck between two statements that appear to form a mandatory pair but one cannot decide the sequence of the statements, that is which one should come first, we follow the principle of general to specific.

Example 6 Let us elucidate the concept with an example:

  1. He made an interesting comment about our store’s pricing policy.
  2. He said that we could offer discounts and incentives to encourage people to buy in lesser quantities but more frequently
  3. Discounts could be given ranging from 15 – 20 percent on every purchase made.
  4. The lesser the quantity, the more frequently the customers will have to visit the store. The more frequent the visits, the more incentives they can earn.

(a) ABCD (b) ABDC (c) BDCA (d) ABCD

Solution: In the jumble given above, there can be some confusion between BCD and BDC. In such a scenario, we follow the general to specific rule. Statement c is a specific example of the proposal outlined in statement d. Hence the correct sequence is ABDC, making answer option b the correct response.

Some other ways in which mandatory pairs can be identified are through the use of:

Obvious Openers: You may sometimes come across statements that are obvious openers, that is, it is clear that the paragraph begins with them. They could either be introducing the idea or contain all the relevant terms/definitions. These statements can be definitions, universal truths or philosophical statements.

Obvious Conclusions: Sometimes, you can easily figure out the concluding line of the paragraph. Keywords might also be available to help narrow your choices.

Use of Acronyms: The rule is that if both full form as well as short form is present in different sentences, then the sentence containing full form will come before the sentence containing short form.

Definition and Example: In any sentence is working as an example, place it after the sentence it is explaining. It might not necessarily form a mandatory pair but the example has to follow the idea/hypothesis/theory it is elucidating.

Use of Articles: By their very definition, when the author uses ‘a/an’— he wants to make a general statement – wants to introduce the noun followed by a/an for the first time but when he uses ‘the’ he wants to refer back to some previously discussed noun. It means having ‘the’ is very unlikely in the opening sentence. If ‘a/an’ and ‘the’ both are used for the same noun then the sentence containing ‘the’ will come after the sentence containing a/an.

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