ENGLISH QUESTION PAPER FOR SSC STUDENTS MAHARASHTRA STATE BOARD



ENGLISH (FIRST LANGUAGE)
SECTION ‘A’
[READING SKILLS, GRAMMAR, VOCABULARY (PROSE)
TIME – 3 HRS.
Q1. A. Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions given below.

            Mr. Robinson looked a trifle disconcerted but asked me how long I would be in London. I told him that I was visiting friends in the country and Scotland and would be back after four weeks or so, for a few days before taking a flight home. He pursed his lips and said, “I’m terribly sorry but much as I would like to help, I can’t do it.” I said, “Is the time too short?” To which he answered, “No it’s not that.”
            “Then what’s the problem?” was my next query. “Well you see ………” At which point. I turned on all my persuasive skills and invoked the name of my father. Mr. Robinson looked at me with half a smile on his face and said, “That’s it precisely. Because you are the son of an old and valued customer of ours, I will not accept your order.”
            He must have seen the look of bewilderment on my face, and quickly went on to explain. “Now – a – days we do not do the tailoring ourselves. We send the order to Hong Kong but the finished product goes under our label. Now you know why I have decided not to sell you the suit.”
            As I prepared to leave, Mr. Robinson shook me warmly by the hand and escorted me to the door. I stepped out on the street with mixed feelings. Disappointment at not getting my suit, but gratitude for the man’s candour.

1.      Choose the correct alternative and write the complete sentence. The writer left the shop with (1)
i.                    mixed feelings            ii. disappointment      iii. Gratitude.
2.      In what words does Mr. Robinson describe the writer’s father? (1)
3.      Why was the writer not disappointed but grateful to the man? (1)
4.      a. Now – a – days we do not do the tailoring ourselves. (Add a question tag) (1)
b. I decided to visit Sarville Row. (make noun form of the underlined word and rewrite the sentence) (1)
5.      a. Give another word for the phrase ‘quality of being truly honest” (1)
b. Match the following nouns in column A with their meanings in Column B and rewrite them. (1)
Column A
Column B
i.                    gratitude
ii.                  bewilderment
a.      confusion
b.      question
c.       thankfulness
6.      The story conveys a message in a very subtle manner. Can you guess the message? (2)








B. Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions given below.

            Dad had a favourite carpet snake that he called Old Tom. Now Old Tom was big and had taken up residence in a large, burnt – out stump near the packing shed. I could climb onto a fallen banana stool and peer into the stump while Dad reached in and fed the snake.
            When we unloaded the banana bunches from the jeep, field mice often scurried out, and sometimes Dad would stand close by and endeavour to stun the mice with the back of his cane knife. Triumphantly, he could then take his offering to Old Tom and watch with great satisfaction as the snake swallowed the mouse whole.
            After several months, Dad and Old Tom got to know each other quite well. So well, in fact, that he could tentatively stroke Old Tom, who seemed to like it. Dad proudly showed Old Tom to passing banana growers and they marveled at the size of the snake and Dad’s ability to stroke it. Dad, of course, did not miss the opportunity to remark on the number of mice Old Tom ate, which raised appropriate envy in the growers and made Dad’s day.

1.      Where had Old Tom taken up residence?
2.      What would Dad watch with great satisfaction/
3.      What liberty could Dad take after he got to know Old Tom quite well?
4.      a. Dad reached in and fed the snake. (Rewrite the sentence using the present participle form of the verb underlined)
b. He could then take his offering to Old Tom. (Pick out the preposition)
5.      Use the following phrases in meaningful sentences of your own.
a.      make one’s day
b.      To get to know
6.      Why snakes are called “the friends of farmers”?

Q2. A. Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions given below.

            She yawned and stretched and headed for the bedroom. She stopped by the desk and wrote a note to the teacher, counted out some cash for the field trip, and pulled a textbook out from hiding under the chair.
            She signed a birthday card for a friend, addressed and stamped the envelope and wrote a quick note for the grocery store. She put both near her purse.
            Mom then washed her face with a 3 – in – 1 cleanser, put on her night solution and age – fighting moisturizer, brushed and flossed her teeth and field her nails.
            Dad called out, “I thought you were going to bed.”
            “I’m on my way,” she said. She put some water into the dog’s dish and put the cat outside, then made sure the doors were locked and the verandah light was on. She looked in on each of the kids and turned out their bedside lamps and TVs, hung up a shirt, threw some dirty socks into the hamper, and bad a brief conversation with the one up still doing homework.
            In her own room, she set the alarm; laid out clothing for the next day, straightened up the shoe rack. She added three things to her six most important things to do list. She said her prayers, and visualized the accomplishment of her goals.

1.      What was the last thing Mother did before retiring to bed?
2.      How did Mother take care of herself?
3.      Why did Mother place the birthday card and the note for the grocery store beside her purse?
4.      a. She stopped by the desk and wrote a note to the teacher. (Begin with ‘No sooner’)
b. The textbook was ­under the chair. (Frame a “Wh” type question with the underlined part as the answer)
5.      a. Form verbs from (i) sure, (ii) brief.
      b. Find words from the passage where the following items may be placed. i. dirty clothes.  ii. shoes.
6.      From the above extract, bring out four qualities that you admire of Mother.

B.  Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions given below.

            Some are afraid to make friends because of the past hurt, and afraid of being taken advantage of. At times we are afraid to reveal our vulnerability. But if we don’t dare to rick, our lives will become meaningless.
            Remember you will never succeed to win a friend without any fault. In psychology, “Long term happy friendship indicates that a person has a strong sense of self – worth and the ability to give him or herself without the fear of becoming depleted.”
            Friendship requires special nourishing. Both persons have to take efforts. We need to realize that we are imperfect human beings; but our love gives us strength. We can also lose our friends by becoming undependable, grumpy, exaggerating, bossy, sarcastic, criticizing and invading others’, privacy.
            How to nourish friendship? Dale Carnegie, the author of How to make friends and influence people says, “You can make friends in two months by becoming interest in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
            Allow your friends to be themselves. Accept them as they are with their individuality and imperfections. Don’t lose your calm if their opinions and tastes differ from yours.

1.      Who is Dale Carnegie? (1)
2.      What does long term friendship indicate? (1)
3.      What are the possible ways of losing friends according to the author? (1)
4.      Do as directed.
                    i.      Both persons have to take efforts. (Change the voice) (1)
                  ii.      Don’t lose your calm if their opinions and tastes differ from yours. (Identify the clauses and state their kinds).  (1)
5.      i. Use ‘sarcastic’ in a Noun form and make a sentence. (1)
ii. Which word in the passage means ‘weakness’? (1)
6.      What, according to you, are the pre – requisites for the choice of a good friend? (2)





Q3. Grmmar
1.      Expand the abbreviations given below.  (2)
                iii.      I.A.S.                       ii. L.L.B.
2.      I like that picture hanging _________ the wall __________ the kitchen. (1)
3.      There is _________ beautiful garden behind _________ house. (Insert suitable articles in the blanks and rewrite the sentence) (1)

SECTION ‘B’
POEM SECTIONS

Q4. A. Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Another took wood
And a saw and some glue,
And put each of them just
In the place that would need it.

So that is the chair
Where I sit with my book
And am so much at ease
As I read it.

I’m forgetting the one
Who read tale after tale
When I was too young
To know letter from letter,
And the other who taught me them,
Till in the end
I could read for myself,
Which was better.

1.      Where does the poet sit with his book? (1)
2.      Who are the people, the poet thinks he has forgotten? (1)
3.      How was the chair for the poet made? (1)
4.      Pick out the two examples of ‘Repetition’ from the given extract. (1)
5.      Pick out one pair of rhyming words from the above extract. (1)

       B. Read the following extract carefully and answer the questions that follow:
When darkness lays the house to sleep
And all the noisy world has stopped,
Shadowed and soft the grey mice creep
To find the crumbs that we have dropped.
Free from alarms, upon the wall
Hid by the kindly dark again,
The frail and bunch – legged spiders sprawl
And spin their threads as fine as rain.
The tender snail that fears the sun
Weaves, where the cold fresh night – dews lie
His shining tract that’s seen by none
But the moon’s shining harmless eye.
Lean – flanked and hungry – eyed, the cat
As stealthy as a wind – blown leaf,
For careless vole or scurrying rat
Lurks in the shadows like a thief.

1.      Who sees the snail’s shining track? (1)
2.      How does the darkness make the night bustle with life? (1)
3.      Quote two examples from the extract to justify that the poet breaks the myth that night is the time for sleep and rest. (1)
4.      From the poem pick out two compound adjectives. (1)
5.      When darkness lays the house to sleep. (Name and explain the figure of speech). (1)

SECTION ‘C’
RAPID READING
Q5. Read the extract and answer the questions given below.
                       We sang our school fight song dozens of times – en route to Arlington National Cemetery, and even on an afternoon cruise down the Potomac River.
                       We visited the Lincoln Memorial twice, once in day – light, the second time at dusk. My classmates and I feel silent as we walked in the shadows of those 36 marble columns, one for every state in the Union that Lincoln labored to preserve. I stood next to Frank at the base of the 19 – foot seated statue. Spotlights made the white Georgian marble seem to glow. Together, we read those famous words from Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg remembering the most bloody battle in the War among the States: “… we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -  that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom…”
                       As Frank motioned me into place to take my picture, I took one last look at Lincoln’s face. He seemed alive and so terribly sad.
                       The next morning I understood a little better why he wasn’t smiling. “Clifton,” a chaperone said, “could I see you for a moment?”.
Questions
1.      When did the boys visit Lincoln Memorial? (1)
2.      What made the Georgian marble glow? (1)
3.      What did the words: “… we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom …” remind them? (1)
4.      Do you believe in building memorials? What kind should they be, if your answer is ‘yes’? If no, give reasons why you do not believe in memorials? (2)

Sections ‘D’
(Writing skills)

Q.    6. A. Write a complaint letter regarding low supply of water in your locality / village.[5]

Or

Letter to your friend explaining him about the importance of Joint family system.

B.     Write a speech to be delivered among your class mates, regarding blood donation. (5)

Or
Frame 10 questions to interview a military captain, who has received an award.

Q7. A.  Write a fact file of a place of your interest keeping in mind the following.  (5)
a.      Name of Place
b.      Conveyance
c.       Distance from Mumbai.
d.      Climate
e.       Things to do
Or
A thief was caught in your neighbourhood. Write a short report about the incident to the local newspaper. (5)

B. You with to open an account in SBI in your area. Write a dialogue between you and the Bank Manager. (5)

Or

Write a dialogue between patient and doctor. (5)

Q8. Expand any one in about 100 words.  (5)
1.      Honesty is the best policy.
2.      As you sow, so shall you reap.
3.      Action speak louder than words.

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