ENGLISH COMPREHENSION FOR BOARD EXAM


Q1.A.  Read the following passage and answer the following questions. [9]
When the cousins appeared we excitedly told them about Old Tom. Dad rolled some mince balls and off we set to the stump. The cousins  were  from Mum’s side of the family and were all city-born and bred. They  would almost faint at the sight of cows grazing, let alone a live snake. To them, snakes belonged in jars in a museum.
When we got to the stump, we all peered in and the city cousins were  suitably horrified at the sight of Old Tom. The snake certainly looked  huge.  Dad rolled his sleeve right back of his shoulder with great gusto and wriggled close to the stump to get a good position. We all leaned for a good view.
Then as Dad reached into the stump with the mince ball in his hand,  the snake suddenly coiled up, raised its neck and viciously struck Dad’s arm three or four times in rapid succession. Dad recoiled in shock and  rolled several metres away from the stump. He was white as a ghost  and completely dumbfounded as he looked at the blood-stained puncture  holes in his arm.
I peered into the stump and saw two snake heads entwined in a tight  embrace. In a frenzied delight, I yelled out: “Dad! Dad! Old Tom’s got a girl friend.” Pondering the situation for a moment, I added: “Girl snakes musn’t like being stroked.. Eh, Dad”
Questions :
1.    How did Dad look after he was struck on his arm?
2.    What did the narrator commenton seeing the two snake heads?
3.    What, do you  think,we can learn from this text?
4.    (a)   Dad recoiled in shock and rolled several metres away.
       (Rewrite as a SimpleSentence)
(b)    The snake certainly looked huge. (Rewrite as an ExclamatorySentence)
5.    (i)    Identifya compound word from the passage.                                
(ii)   Frame one sentence usingboth, 'coil up' and 'recoiled'.                
6.    Why does the narrator say that his city cousins were suitably horrified?     

Q1. B. Read the following passage and answer the following questions. (9)

I was tryingto figure out a way to tell this fellow, withoutbeing too blunt, that he just wasn’t what I had in mind at all. I asked him about his  background. He said he had a degree in agriculture from Oklahoma State  University and that he had been a ranch hand in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, for the past few years during the summers. He announced that was all over now, he was ready to be a success in “biness,” and he would just “shoreappreciate a chance.”
We continued to talk. He was so focused on success and how he would shore appreciate a chance” that I decided to give him a chance. I told him that I would spend two days with him. In those two days I would teach him everything I thought he needed to know to sell one type of very small telephone system. At the end of those two days he would be on his own.He asked me how much money I thought he could make.
Itold him, “Lookinglike you look and knowingwhat you know, the best you can do is about $ 1,000 per month.” I went on to explain that the  average commission on the small telephone systems he would be selling was approximately $ 250 per system. I told him if he wouldsee 100 prospects per month, that he would sell four of those a telephone system.  Selling four telephone systems would give him $1,000. I hired him on straight commission with no base salary.
He said that sounded great to him because the most he had evermade was $ 400 per month as a ranch handand he was ready to make some  money. The next morning, I sat him down to cram as muchof the  telephone biness I could into a 22-years-old cowboy with no business  experience, no telephone experience and no sales experience. He looked  like anything but a professional salesperson inthe telecommunications  business. In fact, he had none of the qualities I was looking for in an  employee, except one: He had an incredible focus on being a success.

Questions :
1.    Why was Cowboyfinally hired?
2.    Which essentials did the cowboy lack?
3.    What experiences would have made Cowboy a perfect hand for the company?
4.    (a)   He was ready to be a successin biness.
                         (Change the underlined word to an adjective and rewrite)
            (b)  I hired him on straightcommission with no base salary.
                             (Rewrite as an Affirmative Sentence)
5.    (i)    Write from the passage expressions meaning:
              (a)  to think about            (b)  to be very frank
(ii)  Write the synonyms of : (a)  incredible  (b)  approximately
    6.    What impressed you the most about the cowboy from the passage?


Q1. C. Read the following Poem and answer the following questions.

I have workoutclothes and sweat bands
Evena ‘get-fit’ coffeecup!
Butthat scale hasn’tbudged an inch
So,I’m on the verge of giving up!

I’vejust about convinced myself That it’s true what some folks say…. You have heard it too…….Eat Right! Get Fit? Die  anyway!!

Sofor those who are devoted
Totrying to make me over, PLEASE! If God wanted me to touch my toes
Hewould have put them on my knees!

I believe He loves us as we are
Thatincludes both big AND small So when I reach the gates of Heaven It will be flab and all

Questions :
1.    Whyis the poet convinced that he was not meant to touch his toes ?
2.    Whatare the reasonsthat have made the poet give up exercising?
3.    Whyis the word ‘PLEASE’ in capital letters ?
4.    Giveone example of a figurative language.
5.    Givetwo pairs of rhyming words .

Q1. D, Read the following Poem and answer the following questions. (5 marks)

         And a merchant said, “Speak to us of Buying and Selling.” And he answered and said :
To you the earth yields her fruit, and you shall not want if you but knowhow to fill your hands.
It is in the exchangingthe gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied .
Yet unless the exchange be in love and kindly justice, it will but leadsome to greed and others to hunger.
When in the market place you toilers of the sea and fields and vineyards meet the weavers and the potters and the gatherers of spices,
Invoke then the master spiritof the earth, to come into your midst and  sanctify the scales and the reckoning that weighs value against value.
And suffernot the barren-handed to take part in your transactions who would sell theirwords for your labour.
Questions :
1.    Why should the master spiritof the earth be invoked?
2.    What does The Prophetadvise the merchantsabout the exchange of goods?
3.    What are the views of the poet about buying and selling ?
4.    Pick the odd one out from each of the following sets :
       (i)    toilers, vineyards, weavers, potters.
(ii)  buying, selling, exchanging, reckoning.
    5.    Bring out the antithetical idea contained in the eighth line of the poem.

Q.2.  (A)   Write any one of the following letters :                                        5
Write a letter to the Municipal Commissioner, requesting him for sanctions fora fly-over near the highway close to your place.
OR
Write a letter to your pen friend in Mauritiusasking him to come and participate in your elder brother’s wedding, mentioning some interesting events that will be part of the wedding celebrations.


Q.2.  (B)  Write any one of the following :                                                  5

Prepare a tree diagram to represent the following information :
The word ‘Literature’ is really hard to define. Many interpretations are made about theword. But all are incomplete. Some opine that literature is themirror of life, some others say that it is the criticism of life. Whatever may be the controversy about the word, we may say that literature is that which reflectslife. The branches of literature are poetry, drama, novel and shortstories. Poetry isof two kinds, imaginative and realistic. Drama is either a comedy or a tragedy. Novels are also of many kinds, historical, psychological, realistic, scientific and regional. Short story is that one which stands very close to life inspiteof a little scope.              OR
Prepare a fact file of a tourist place you have visited.

Q.3.  (A)  Write any one of the following:                                               5
Write a speech for the school assemblyon “Tree Plantation”.
OR
Write a dialogue between you and your friend on a popular TV programme.


Q.3.  (B)  Write any one of the following :                                                  5

Write a report on Cleanliness Day organised by the BMC in the city.

OR

Frame 10 questions that you willask to interviewthe Zoo manager when your class visits the zoo. You want information about the problems faced bycaged animals and the authorities.

Q.4.  Expand any one of the followingin about 100 words :                    5

1.    Manners are the ornamentsof a person
2.    Service to man is serviceto God
3.   A bird in hand is worth two in the bush

Q.1. (A) Read the following passage and answer the questions given below :

Maya, a young Tibetan lady, was a frequent visitor to our house. We children would stare at her almost-white skin, dove eyes, little flat nose and two long plaits, in awe. Over time, she became my knitting teacher and a good friend. Her visits meant story sessions, knitting and learning about her life in Tibet. For us, Tibet was a foreign land and Maya would describe her country with great affection. Sometimes she would narrate stories of how Buddhism started in Tibet. “Once upon a time, a King in Tibet was kidnapped. As ransom, his enemies asked for gold equivalent to his weight. But the King sent word to the Prince not to waste gold on getting him back. Instead, spend the money to get Buddhist scholars from the holy and compassionate land of India. Open schools and monasteries for the people so that they can live in peace and knowledge.”
          My acquaintance with Maya was short, but it sowed a seep interest in Tibet. Recently, I visited Tibet and was surprised to see it dominated by Chinese rather than Tibetans. One of the places I visited was a Buddhist temple in the famous Yerlong Valley – the Cradle of Tibetan Civilisation.
Questions :
1. What did Maya’s visits mean to the writer?
2. What did the kidnapped king desire for his countrymen?
3. What kind of a person was the king?
4. (a) Maya would describe her country with great affection. (Rewrite using ‘used to’)
(b) Open schools and monasteries for people so that they can live in peace and knowledge. (Analyse the clauses and state the relation)
5. (i) Write the words from the passage which mean : (a) regular (b) surprise
(ii) Pick out two words from the passage and give their homophones.
6. Why do you think the Tibetan king believed India is a holy and compassionate land?

Q.1. (B) Read the following passage and answer the questions given below :

Knowles stressed that breathing out not only rids the lungs of accumulated impurities but makes breathing in deeply easier if not automatic. One of his exercises calls for breathing into the count of four and out the count of 12, then increasing the count until you are able to breathe into seven out of 21. Each sequence should be repeated three times.
I found myself going around London trying out Knowles’s tricks. They work. Take a deep breath and hold it when you have something heavy to lift and note how much lighter the object becomes. As you go up a staircase, breathe in on two steps and out on two steps. You’ll be less winded at the top. And if you do get out of breath, pant deliberately like a dog for a few minutes and you’ll get your wind back in jiffy. If you’re cold, do the same thing and see how fast you
warm up. These performances demonstrate some of the sources of strength in breath. Athletes know of the second wind that comes during heavy exercise. It is really only the shift from shallow to deep breathing. The aim of deep, rhythmic breathing is to make this energy always available.
Knowles’s teaching was based on his experience. After three years in the navy as a young man, he developed a persistent cough. The doctor he went to in his native Manchester could only suggest a drier climate. Knowles could not afford to go to a southern clime but he went to stay with an aunt in Montreal, who recommended a doctor with the unlikely name of O.Z. Hanish. This doctor suggests that his young patient’s’ breathing might be at fault.
Questions :
1. What is the second wind ?
2. Describe one of Knowles’ exercises.
3. For whom would these breathing exercises be especially useful ? Why ?
4. (a) Knowles stressed that breathing out not only rids the lungs of accumulated impurities but makes breathing in deeply easier. (Rewrite using as well as)
(b) It is really only the shift from shallow to deep breathing. (Rewrite as a Negative Sentence)
5. (i) Give the synonym of : (a) purposely (b) breath
(ii) Give the noun form of : (a) accumulated (b) deeply
6. What is the purpose of this text?
Q.1. (C) Read the following poem and answer the questions given below :
India, my India, where first human eyes awoke to heavenly light!
All Asia’s holy place of pilgrimage, great Motherland of might!
World-mother, first giver to humankind of philosophy and sacred lore,
Knowledge thou gav’st to man, God-love, works, art, religion’s opened door.
O even with all that grandeur dwarfed or turned to bitter loss and
maim, How shall we mourn who are thy children and can vaunt thy
mighty name?
Before us still there floats the ideal of those splendid days of gold;
A new world in our vision wakes, Love’s India we shall rise to mould
India, my India, who dare call thee a thing for pity’s grace today?
Mother of wisdom, worship, works, nurse of the spirit’s inward ray!
Questions :
1. What question does the poet ask mother India?
2. What have we received from Mother India?
3. Does the poet hold mother India in high esteem? Why?
4. Explain : ‘spirit’s’ inward ray’
5. Name and explain the figure of speech that dominates the poem.

Q.1. (D) Read the following poem and answer the questions given below :
Life is a gift to be used every day,
Not to be smothered and hidden away;
It isn’t a thing to be stored in the chest
Where you gather your keepsakes and treasure your best;
It isn’t a joy to be sipped now and then
And promptly put back in a dark place again.
Life is a gift that the humblest may boast of
And one that the humblest may well make the most of,
Get out and live it each hour of the day,
Wear it and use it as much as you may;
Don’t keep it in niches and corners and grooves,
You’ll find that in service its beauty improves.
Questions :
1. What is the attitude of the humblest towards life? OR Who make the most of life ?
2. How does the poet want us to use the gift of life?
3. Who are the 'humblest' ? How do they make the most of life ?
4. Write two pairs of rhyming words .
5. What is the tone of the poem?
SECTION D : WRITING SKILLS
Q.2. (A) Write any one of the following letters :
Write a letter to an NGO requesting support for street children in your locality.
OR
Write a letter to your younger brother who was caught copying in his exams. Advise him on values, and principles in life.

Q.2. (B) Write any one of the following :
Read the following extract and represent information in a tabular form with the following headings:
Title : Bear Facts
Popular Name
Scientific Name
Found in
















Bears or ursines as a class are a relatively new evolutionary development in the animal kingdom. The classification of bears as a group, in literature over the years, has at times been confusing and even controversial. According to Roger A. Caras, most bears are remarkably similar to each other, with the exception of a few species like the Indian sloth bear, the South American spectacled bear and the Arctic polar bear. The following list of genera might make broad classifications. Simpler-Brown bears (Ursus) that inhabit North America and Eurasia; Spectacled bears (Tremarctos) from South America : Sun bears (Helarctos) from South-East Asia; Asiatic black bears (selenarctos), inhabiting the middle to far East of Asia; American black bears (Eurarctos)from the North American continent; Sloth bears (Melursus) of India: and Polar bears (thalarctos) from the Arctic.
OR
Prepare a fact file of a Bird Sanctuary you have visited.

Q.3. (A) Write any one of the following :
Write a speech on "Cruelty towards animals".
OR

Write a dialogue between Rohini and Natasha who meet after a long time. They discuss what they have been doing since they parted.

Q.3. (B) Write any one of the following :

Write a report on the Independence Day Celebration of your school.
OR

Prepare 10 questions to interview a 14-year-old boy who won the Bravery Award.

Q.4. Expand any one of the following in about 100 words :
1. Speech is the gift of all, but thought of few.
2. The fruits of labour are sweeter than the gifts of fortune.
3. Work is worship.

Answers: PAPER 1
Q1. A.
1.     Dad was as white as a ghost and completely dumbfounded.           
2.     The narrator concluded that girl snakesmustn’t like being stroked.        
3.     We can learn that animals are not very frightening and they retaliate only when we harm them.      
4.     (a)  Recoiling in shock, Dad rolled several metres away.               
(b)   How huge the snake looked!                                                     
5.     (i)   blood-stained, city-born.(any one)                                            
(ii)  We recoiled at the sight of a snake whichcoiled up its head. 
6.  The narrator knew that his city cousins would almost faint at the sight of cows grazing, let alone a live snake. They had never seen snakes in the open, so he had expected that the moment they would see Tom they would get very terrified. This is exactly what happend. Thus he says  they were suitably horrified.
Q1. B.
1.     Cowboy was finally hired as the writer decided to give him a chance because of his focus on success.                                                                                     
2.     The cowboy lacked essentials like business experience, telephone experience  and sales experience.                                                                            
3.     Knowledge about telephone systems and experience in some kind of a sales  or a marketing job in any other company would have made Cowboy a perfect hand for the company.                                                                                         
4.     (a)  He was ready to be successful in biness.                                 
(b)   I hired him on straight commission without base salary.         
5.     (i)   (a)  to figureout      (b)      to be blunt                                       
(ii(a)  unbelievable      (b)      roughly                                            
6.     I am impressed about the cowboys incredible focus on being a success despite having none of the required qualification of a salesman. He was mentally prepared to be a success in business and had left his past behind him. His determinationto move ahead with life is very inspiring.
Q1. C.
1.    The poet is convinced that he was not meant to touch his toes, or elseGod would have put them on his knees.    
2.    Thepoet tried jumpingjacks, sit ups, crunches, running, pedalling, but did not reduce even an inch so he decided to give up exercises.    
3.    Theword “PLEASE’ is in capitalletters because the poet wishes to express his fervent request to those who try to make him an exercise freak to stop bothering him about it.
4.    ‘the scale hasn’t budged means he did not lose weight at all and ‘reach the gates of heaven’ meansto die.     
5.    cup- up; say - anyway;please - knees; small - all. (any two)
Q1. D.
1.    The master spirit of the earth should be invoked to sanctify the scales and bless the proceedings of work so that trade is done with honesty.  
2.    The Prophet advises the merchants to exchange the gifts of the earth with love and kindness to avoid injustice.
3.    The poet believes that buying and selling should be done ethically otherwise it will lead to greed and hunger.        
4.    (i)      vineyards     (ii)      reckoning.
5.    ‘Yet unless the exchange be in love and kindly justice, it will but lead some to greed and others to hunger’. The antithetical ideas of greed and hunger are mentioned.


Answers:  PAPER 2
A.1. (A) Read the following passage and answer the questions given below :
1. Maya’s visits meant story sessions, knitting and learning about her life in Tibet.
2. The king wanted his son to open schools and monasteries for his people so that they could live in peace and knowledge.
3. The Tibetan king seems to be a selfless person who cared for knowledge and wanted peace for his countrymen.
4. (a) Maya used to describe her country with great affection.
(b) Open schools and monasteries for people-Main Clause.
so that they can live in peace and knowledge Subordinate Adverb Clause of Purpose modifying the verb ‘open’ in the Main Clause.
5. (i) (a) frequent (b) awe
(ii) would–wood, weight–wait, piece–peace. (any two)
6. The Tibetan king believed that India is a birthplace of many learned men who can spread knowledge and peace wherever they go. Therefore he believed that India is a holy and compassionate land.

A.1. (B) Read the following passage and answer the questions given below :
1. The second wind is the shift from shallow to deep breathing.
2. One of his exercises calls for breathing in to the count of four and out to the count of 12, then increasing the count until you are able to breathe into seven and out to 21 and each sequence should be repeated three times.
3. These exercises would be especially useful for athletes who know about the second wind, which is a shift from shallow to deep breathing to make energy always available.
4. (a) Knowles stressed that breathing rids the lungs of accumulated impurities as well as makes breathing in deeply easier.
(b) It is really nothing except the shift from shallow to deep breathing.
5. (i) deliberately, wind.
(ii) (a) accumulation (b) depth
6. We should avoid eating oily and spicy food and junk food in order to live a healthy life. We should stay away from unhealthy habits like chewing tobacco, drinking or smoking and avoid a sedentary lifestyle as well.

A.1. (C) Read the following poem and answer the questions given below :
1. The poet asks mother India how they shall mourn for her children and boast about her mighty name.
2. We have received philosophy and sacred lore, knowledge, love of God, works, art and secularism from Mother India.
3. Yes, the poet holds mother India in high esteem because it is a holy land and has contributed a lot to the entire world.
4. The inner being or the soul of a person.
5. Apostrophe : The poet directly addresses ‘ India’ - which is an abstract idea.

A.1. (D) Read the following poem and answer the questions given below :
1. The humblest boast of life and make the most of it.
2. The poet wants us to use the gift of life by serving others as pure happiness can be experienced when one does so.
3. The 'humblest' refers to the poor people who make the most of life by living every moment to the fullest without worrying about the future.
4. day – away, chest – best, then – again, day – may and grooves – improves. (any two)
5. The tone of the poem is serious as the poet advises us.

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