NCERT English Question Paper (Class - 10)
Chapter 1 A Letter to God
Question 1: What did Lencho hope for?
Question 2: Why did Lencho say the raindrops were like
Question 3: How did the rain change? What happened to
Question 4: What were Lencho’s feelings when the hail
Question 5: Who or what did Lencho have faith in? What
did he do?
Question 6: Who read the letter?
Question 7: What did the postmaster do then?
Question 8: Who does Lencho have complete faith in?
Which sentences in the story tell you this?
Question 9: Why does the postmaster send money to
Lencho? Why does he sign the letter ‘God’?
Question 10: Did Lencho try to find out who had sent
the money to him? Why/Why not?
Question 11: Who does Lencho think has taken the rest
of the money? What is the irony in the situation? [Remember that the irony of a
situation is an unexpected aspect of it. An ironic situation is strange or
amusing because it is the opposite of what is expected.]
Question 12: Are there people like Lencho in the real
world? What kind of a person would you say he is? You may select appropriate
words from the box to answer the question.
Question 13: There are two kinds of conflict in the
story: between humans and nature, and between humans themselves. How are these
Question 14: Was Lencho surprised to find a letter for
him with money in it?
Question 15: What made him angry?
Question 16: There are different names in different
parts of the world for storms,depending on their nature. Can you match the names
in the box with theirdescriptions below, and fill in the blanks? You may use a
dictionary to help
Question 17: Match the sentences in Column A with the
meanings of ‘hope’ in Column B.
Question 18: Relative Clauses Join the sentences given
below using who, whom, whose, which as suggested.
Question 19: Find sentences in the story with negative
words, which express the following ideas emphatically.
Question 20: In pairs, find metaphors from the story
to complete the table below. Try to say what qualities are being compared. One
has been done for you.
Chapter 2 Long Walk to Freedom
Oral Comprehension Check
Question 1: Where did the ceremonies take place? Can
you name any public buildings in India that are made of sandstone?
Question 2: Can you say how 10 May is an ‘autumn day’
in South Africa?
Question 3: At the beginning of his speech, Madela
mentions “an extraordinary human disaster”. What does he mean by this? What is
the “glorious … human achievement” he speaks of at the end?
Question 4: What does Mandela thank the international
Question 5: What ideals does he set out for the future
of South Africa?
Question 6: What do the military generals do? How has
their attitude changed, and why?
Question 7: Why were two national anthems sung?
Question 8: How does Mandela describe the systems of
government in his country (i) in the first decade, and (ii) in the final decade,
of the twentieth century?
Question 9: What does courage mean to Mandela?
Question 10: Which does he think is natural, to love
or to hate?
Thinking About the Text
Question 1: Why did such a large number of
international leaders attend the inauguration? Whatdid it signify the triumph
Question 2: What does Mandela mean when he says he is
“simply the sum of all those Africanpatriots” who had gone before him?
Question 3: Would you agree that the “depths of
oppression” create “heights of character? How does Mandela illustrate this? Can
you add your own examples to this argument?
Question 4: How did Mandela’s understanding of freedom
change with age and experience?
Question 5: How did Mandela’s ‘hunger for freedom’
change his life?
Thinking About Language
Question 1: There are nouns in the text (formation,
government) which are formed from the corresponding verbs (form, govern) by
suffixing − (at)ion or ment. There may be change in the spelling of some verb −
noun pairs: such as rebel, rebellion; constitute, constitution.
Question 2: Here are some more examples of ‘the’ used
with proper names. Try to say what these sentences mean. (You may consult a
dictionary if you wish. Look at the entry for ‘the’)
Question 3: Match, the italicised phrases in Column A
with the phrase nearest meaning in Column B. (Hint: First look for the sentence
in the text which the phrase in column A occurs.)
Oral Comprehension Check
Question 4: What “twin obligations” does Mandela
Question 5: What did being free mean to Mandela as a
boy, and as a student? How does he contrast these “transitory freedoms” with
“the basic and honourable freedoms”?
Question 6: Does Mandela think the oppressor is free?
Chapter 3 Two Stories About Flying
Question 1: Why was the young seagull afraid to fly?
Do you think all young birds are afraid to make their first flight, or are some
birds more timid than others? Do you think a human baby also finds it a
challenge to take its first steps?
Question 2: “The sight of the food maddened him.” What does this suggest?
What compelled the young seagull to finally fly?
Question 3: “They were beckoning to him, calling
shrilly. “Why did the seagull’s father and mother threaten him and cajole him to
Question 4: Have you ever had a similar experience,
where your parents encouraged you to do something that you were too scared to
try? Discuss this in pairs or groups.
Question 5: In the case of a bird flying, it seems a
natural act, and a foregone conclusion that it should succeed. In the examples
you have given in answer to the previous question, was your success guaranteed,
or was it important for you to try, regardless of a possibility of failure?
Question 6: “I’ll take the risk.” What is the risk?
Why does the narrator take it?
Question 7: Describe the narrator’s experience as he
flew the aeroplane into the storm.
Question 8: Why does the narrator say, “I landed and
was not sorry to walk away from the old Dakota…”?
Question 9: What made the woman in the control centre
look at the narrator strangely?
Question 10: Who do you think helped the narrator to
reach safely? Discuss this among yourselves and give reasons for your answer.
Question 11: Try to guess the meanings of the word
‘black’ in the sentences given below. Check the meanings in the dictionary and
find out whether you have guessed right.
1. Go and have a bath; your hands and face are absolutely
2. The taxi-driver gave Ratan a black look as he crossed the road when the
traffic light was green. __________
3. The bombardment of Hiroshima is one of the blackest crimes against humanity.
4. Very few people enjoy Harold Pinter’s black comedy. __________
5. Sometimes shopkeepers store essential goods to create false scarcity and then
sell these in black. __________
6. Villagers had beaten the criminal black and blue. __________
Question 12: Match the phrases given under Column A with their meanings
given under Column B:
Question 13: We know that the word ‘fly’ (of
birds/insects) means to move through air using wings. Tick the words which have
the same or nearly the same meaning.
Chapter 4 From the Diary of Anne Frank
Question 1: Do you keep a diary? Given below under ‘A’
are some terms we use to describe a written record of personal experience. Can
you match them with their descriptions under ‘B’? (You may look up the terms in
a dictionary if you wish.)
Question 2: Here are some entries from personal
records. Use the definitions above to decide which of the entries might be from
a diary, a journal, a log or a memoir. (i) I woke up very late today and
promptly got a scolding from Mum! I can’t help it − how can I miss the FIFA
World Cup matches?
Question 3: Why does Anne provide a brief sketch of her life?
Question 4: What tells you that Anne loved her
Question 5: Was Anne right when she said that the
world would not be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old girl?
Question 6: There are some examples of diary or
journal entries in the ‘Before You Read’ section. Compare these with what Anne
writes in her diary. What language was the diary originally written in? In what
way is Anne’s dairy different?
Question 7: Why does Anne need to give a brief sketch
about her family? Does she treat ‘Kitty’ as an insider or an outsider?
Question 8: How does Anne feel about her father, her
grandmother, Mrs Kuperus and Mr Keesing? What do these tell you about her?
Question 9: What does Anne write in her first essay?
Question 10: Anne says teachers are most
unpredictable. Is Mr Keesing unpredictable? How?
Question 11: What do these statements tell you about
Anne Frank as a person?
(i) We don’t seem to be able to get any closer, and that’s
the problem. Maybe it’s my fault that we don’t confide in each other.
(ii) I don’t want to jot down the facts in this diary the way most people would,
but I want the diary to be my friend.
(iii) Margot went to Holland in December, and I followed in February, when I was
plunked down on the table as a birthday present for Margot.
(iv) If you ask me, there are so many dummies that about a quarter of the class
should be kept back, but teachers are the most unpredictable creatures on earth.
(v) Anyone could ramble on and leave big spaces between the words, but the trick
was to come up with convincing arguments to prove the necessity of taking.
Question 12: Why was Mr Keesing annoyed with Anne?
What did he ask her to do?
Question 13: How did Anne justify her being a
chatterbox in her essay?
Question 14: Do you think Mr Keesing was a strict
Question 15: What made Mr Keesing allow Anne to talk
Question 16: Match the compound words under ‘A’ with
their meanings under ‘B’. Use each in sentence.
Question 17: Phrasal Verbs Find the sentences in the
lesson that have the phrasal verbs given below. Match them with their meanings.
Question 18: Idioms
1. Here are a few sentences from the text which have idiomatic expressions.
Can you say what each means? (You might want to consult a dictionary first.)
Question 19: You have read the expression ‘not to lose
heart’ in this text. Now find out the meanings of the following expressions
using the word ‘heart’. Use each of them in a sentence of your own.
Question 20: Contracted Forms 1. Make a list of the
contracted forms in the text. Rewrite them as full forms of two words.
Chapter Chapter 5 The Hundred Dresses
Question 1: Where in the classroom does Wanda sit and
Question 2: Where does Wanda live? What kind of a
place do you think it is?
Question 3: When and why do Peggy and Maddie notice Wanda’s absence?
Question 4: What do you think “to have fun with
Question 5: In what way was Wanda different from the
Question 6: Did Wanda have a hundred dresses? Why do
you think she said she did?
Question 7: Why is Maddie embarrassed by the questions
Peggy asks Wanda? Is she also like Wanda, or is she different?
Question 8: How is Wanda seen as different by the
other girls? How do they treat her?
Question 9: How does Wanda feel about the dresses
game? Why does she say that she has a hundred dresses?
Question 10: Why does Maddie stand by and not do
anything? How is she different from Peggy? (Was Peggy’s friendship important to
Maddie? Why? Which lines in the text tell you this?)
Question 11: What does Miss Mason think of Wanda’s
drawings? What do the children think of them? How do you know?
Question 12: Why didn’t Maddie ask Peggie to stop
teasing Wanda? What was she afraid of?
Question 13: Who did Maddie think would win the
drawing contest? Why?
Question 14: Who won the drawing contest? What had the
Question 15: Combine the following to make sentences
like those above.
1. This is the bus (what kind of bus?) It goes to Agra. (use
which or that)
2. I would like to buy (a) shirt (which shirt?). (The) shirt is in the shop
window. (use which or that)
3. You must break your fast at a particular time (when?). You see the moon in
the sky. (use when)
4. Find a word (what kind of word?). It begins with the letter Z. (use which or
5. Now find a person (what kind of person). His or her name begins with the
letter Z. (use whose)
6. Then go to a place (what place?). There are no people whose name begins with
Z in that place. (use where)
Question 16: 1. Can you say whose point of view
the italicised words express?
(i) But on Wednesday, Peggy and Maddie, who sat down front
with other children who got good marks and who didn’t track in a whole lot of
mud, did notice that Wanda wasn’t there.
(ii) Wands Petronski. Most of the children in Room Thirteen didn’t have names
like that. They had names easy to say, like Thomas, Smith or Allen.
Question 17: Look at this sentence. The italicised adverb expresses an
opinion or point of view. Obviously, the only dress Wanda had was the blue one
she wore every day. (This was obvious to the speaker.)
Chapter 6 The Hundred Dresses(2)
Question 1: What did Mr Petronski’s letter say?
Question 2: Is Miss Mason angry with the class, or is she unhappy and
Question 3: How does Maddie feel after listening to the note from Wanda’s
Question 4: What does Maddie want to do?
Question 5: What excuses does Peggy think up for her
Question 6: What are Maddie’s thoughts as they go to Boggins Heights?
Question 7: Why does Wanda’s house remind Maddie of
Wanda’s blue dress?
Question 8: What does Maddie think hard about? What
important decision does she come to?
Question 9: Why do you think Wanda’s family moved to a
different city? Do you think life there was going to be different for their
Question 10: Maddie thought her silence was as bad as
Peggy’s teasing. Was she right?
Question 11: Peggy says, “I never thought she had the sense to know we
were making fun of her anyway. I thought she was too dumb. And gee, look how she
can draw!” What led Peggy to believe that Wanda was dumb? Did she change her
Question 12: What did the girls write to Wanda?
Question 13: Did they get a reply? Who was more anxious for a reply,
Peggy or Maddie? How do
Question 14: How did the girls know that Wanda liked
them even though they had teased her?
Question 15: What important decision did Maddie make?
Why did she have to think hard to do so?
Question 16: Why do you think Wanda gave Maddie and
Peggy the drawings of the dresses? Why are they surprised?
Question 17: Do you think Wanda really thought the
girls were teasing her? Why or why not?
Question 18: Here are thirty adjectives describing human qualities.
Discuss them with your partner and put them in the two word webs (given below)
according to whether you think they show positive or negative qualities. You can
consult a dictionary if you are not sure of the meanings of some of the words.
You may also add to the list the positive or negative ‘pair’ of a given words.
Question 19: What adjectives can we use to describe
Peggy, Wanda and Maddie? You can choose adjectives from the list above. You can
also add some of your own.
Question 20: 1.Find the sentences in the story with
the following phrasal verbs.
Question 21: Colours are used to describe feelings,
moods and emotions. Match the following ‘colour expressions’ with a suggested
Chapter 7 Glimpses of India
Question 1: What are the elders in Goa nostalgic
Question 2: Is bread-making still popular in Goa? How
do you know?
Question 3: What is the baker called?
Question 4: When would the baker come everyday? Why
did the children run to meet him?
Question 5: Match the following. What is a must
Question 6: What did the bakers wear:
(i) in the Portuguese days?
(ii) when the author was young?
Question 7: Who invites the comment − “he is dressed
like a pader”? Why?
Question 8: Where were the monthly accounts of the
Question 9: What does a ‘jackfruit-like appearance’
Question 10: Which of these statements are correct?
Question 11: Is bread an important part of Goan
life? How do you know this?
Question 12: Tick the right answer. What is the tone
of the author when he says the following?
(i) The thud and the jingle of the traditional baker’s bamboo
can still be heard in some places. (nostalgic, hopeful, sad)
(ii) Maybe the father is not alive but the son still carries on the family
profession. (nostalgic, hopeful, sad)
(iii) I still recall the typical fragrance of those loaves. (nostalgic, hopeful,
(iv) The tiger never brushed his teeth. Hot tea could wash and clean up
everything so nicely, after all. (naughty, angry, funny)
(v) Cakes and bolinhas are a must for Christmas as well as other festivals.
(sad, hopeful, matter-of-fact)
(vi) The baker and his family never starved. They always looked happy and
prosperous. (matter-of-fact, hopeful, sad)
Question 13: Where is Coorg?
Question 14: What is the story about the Kodavu
Question 15: What are some of the things you now know
(i) the people of Coorg?
(ii) the main crop of Coorg?
(iii) the sports it offers to tourists?
(iv) the animals you are likely to see in Coorg?
(v) its distance from Bangalore, and how to get there?
Question 16: Here are six sentences with some words
in italics. Find phrases from the text that have the same meaning. (Look in the
(i) During monsoons it rains so heavily that tourists do not
visit Coorg. (para 2)
(ii) Some people say that Alexander’s army moved south along the coast and
settled there. (para 3)
(iii) The Coorg people are always ready to tell stories of their sons’ and
fathers’ valour. (para 4)
(iv) Even people who normally lead an easy and slow life get smitten by the
highenergy adventure sports of Coorg. (para 6)
(v)The theory of the Arab origin is supported by the long coat with embroidered
waist-belt they wear. (para 3)
(vi) Macaques, Malabar squirrels observe you carefully from the tree canopy. (para
Question 17: Here are some nouns from the text. culture monks
surprise experience weather tradition Work with a partner and discuss which of
the nouns can collocate with which of the adjectives given below. The first one
has been done for you.
Question 18: Complete the following phrases from the
text. For each phrase, can you find at least one other word that would fit into
Question 19: 1. Look at these words: upkeep, downpour,
undergo, dropout, walk-in. They are built up from a verb (keep, pour, go, drop,
walk) and an adverb or a particle (up, down, under, out, in). Use these words
appropriately in the sentences below. You may consult a dictionary.
1. Think of suitable −ing or −ed adjectives to answer the
following questions. How would you describe
Chapter 8 Mijbil the Otter
Question 1: What ‘experiment’ did Maxwell think
Camusfearna would be suitable for?
Question 2: hy does he go to Basra? How long does he wait there, and why?
Question 3: How does he get the otter? Does he like it? Pick out the words
that tell you this.
Question 4: Why was the otter named ‘Maxwell’s otter’?
Question 5: Tick the right answer. In the beginning,
the otter was aloof and indifferent, friendly and hostile
Question 6: What happened when Maxwell took Mijbil to
the bathroom? What did it do two days after that?
Question 7: How was Mij to be transported to England?
Question 8: What did Mij do to the box?
Question 9: Why did Maxwell put the otter back in the
box? How do you think he felt when he did this?
Question 10: Why does Maxwell say the airhostess was
“the very queen of her kind”?
Question 11: What happened when the box was opened?
Question 12: What things does Mij do which tell you
that he is an intelligent, friendly and funloving animal who needs love?
Question 13: What are some of the things we come to know about otters
from this text?
Question 14: Why is Mij’s species now known to the
world as Maxwell’s otter?
Question 15: Maxwell in the story speaks for the
otter, Mij. He tells us what the otter feels and thinks on different occasions.
Given below are some things the otter does. Complete the column on the right to
say what Maxwell says about what Mij feels and thinks.
Question 16: What game had Mij invented?
Question 18: What are ‘compulsive habits’? What does
Maxwell say are the compulsive habits of (i) school children (ii) Mij?
Question 19: What group of animals do otters belong
Question 20: What guesses did the Londoners make about
what Mij was?
Question 21: Read the story and find the sentences
where Maxwell describes his pet otter. Thenchoose and arrange your sentences to
illustrate those statements below that youthink are true.
Question 22: From the table below, make as many
correct sentences as you can using would and/or used to, as appropriate. (Hint:
First decide whether the words in italics show an action, or a state or
situation, in the past.) Then add two or three sentences of your own to it.
Question 23: II. Noun Modifiers
1. Look at these examples from the text, and say whether the modifiers (in
italics) are nouns, proper nouns, or adjective plus noun.
Question 24: 1. Match the words on the left with
a word on the right. Some words on the left can go with more than one word on
2. Use a bit of/a piece of/a bunch of/a cloud of/a lump of with the italicised
nouns ithe following sentences. The first has been done for you as an example.
Chapter 9 Madam Rides the Bus
Question 1: What was Valli’s favourite pastime?
Question 2: What was a source of unending joy for Valli? What was her
Question 3: What did Valli find out about the bus journey? How did she
find out these details?
Question 4: What do you think Valli was planning to
Question 5: How do you usually understand the idea of
‘selfishness’? Do you agree with Kisa Gotami that she was being ‘selfish in her
Question 6: Why does the conductor call Valli ‘madam’?
Question 7: Why does Valli stand up on the seat? What does she see now?
Question 8: What does Valli tell the elderly man when
he calls her a child?
Question 9: Why didn’t Valli want to make
friends with the elderly woman?
Question 10: How did Valli save up money for her first journey? Was it
easy for her?
Question 11: What did Valli see on her way that made her laugh?
Question 12: Why didn’t she get off the bus at the bus
Question 13: Why didn’t Valli want to go to the stall
and have a drink? What does this tell youabout her?
Question 14: What was Valli’s deepest desire? Find the words and phrases
in the story that tell you this.
Question 15: How did Valli plan her bus ride? What did she find out about
the bus, and how did she save up the fare?
Question 16: What kind of a person is Valli? To
answer this question, pick out the following sentences from the text and fill in
the blanks. The words you fill in are the clues to your answer.]
(i) “Stop the bus! Stop the bus!” And a tiny hand was raised
(ii) “Yes, I ____________ go to town,” said Valli, still standing outside the
(iii) “There’s nobody here ____________,” she said haughtily. “I’ve paid my
thirty paise like everyone else.”
(iv) “Never mind,” she said, “I can ___________. You don’t have to help me. “I’m
not a child, I tell you,” she said, _____________.
(v) “You needn’t bother about me. I _____________,” Valli said, turning her face
toward the window and staring out.
(vi) Then she turned to the conductor and said, “Well, sir, I hope
Question 17: Why does the conductor refer to Valli as
Question 18: Find the lines in the text which tell you
that Valli was enjoying her ride on the bus.
Question 19: Why does Valli refuse to look out of the
window on her way back?
Question 20: What does Valli mean when she says, “I was just agreeing
with what you said about things happening without our knowledge.”
Question 21: The author describes the things that Valii sees from an
eight-year-old’s point of view. Can you find evidence from the text for this
Chapter 10 The Sermon at Benares
Question 1: When her son dies, Kisa Gotami goes from
house to house. What does she ask for? Does she get it? Why not?
Question 2: Kisa Gotami again goes from house to house after she speaks
with the Buddha. What does she ask for, the second time around? Does she get it?
Question 3: What does Kisa Gotami understand the
second time that she failed to understand the first time? Was this what the
Buddha wanted her to understand
Question 4: Why do you think Kisa Gotami understood
this only the second time? In what way did the Buddha change her understanding?
Question 5: This text is written in an old-fashioned
style, for it reports an incident more than two millennia old. Look for the
following words and phrases in the text, and try to rephrase them in more
current language, based on how you understand them.
Question 6 You know that we can combine
sentences using words like and, or, but, yet and then. But sometimes no such
word seems appropriate. In such a case was can use a semicolon (;) or a dash (−)
to combine two clauses. She has no interest in music; I doubt she will become a
singer like her mother. The second clause here gives the speaker’s opinion on
the first clause. Here is a sentence from the text that uses semicolons to
combine clauses. Break up the sentence into three simple sentences. Can you then
say which has a better rhythm when you read it, the single sentence using
semicolons, or the three simple sentences? For there is not any means by which
those who have been born can avoid dying; after reaching old age there is death;
of such a nature are living beings.
Chapter 11 The Proposa
Question 1: 1. This play has been translated into
English from the Russian original. Are there any expressions or ways of speaking
that strike you as more Russian than English? For example, would an adult man be
addressed by an older man as my darling or my treasure in an English play?
Read through the play carefully, and find expressions that
you think are not used in contemporary English, and contrast these with
idiomatic modern English expressions that also occur in the play.
3. Look up the following phrases in a dictionary to find
out their meaning, and then use each in a sentence of your own.
(i) You may take it that
(ii) He seems to be coming round
(iii) My foot’s gone to sleep
Question 2: What does Chubukov at first suspect that Lomov has come for? Is
he sincere when he later says “And I’ve always loved you, my angel, as if you
were my own son”? Find reasons for your answer from the play.
Question 3: Chubukov says of Natalya: “... as if she won’t consent! She’s
in love; egad, she’s like a lovesick cat…” Would you agree? Find reasons for
Question 4: (i) Find all the words and expressions in
the play that the characters use to speak about each other, and the accusations
and insults they hurl at each other. (For example, Lomov in the end calls
Chubukov an intriguer; but earlier, Chubukov has himself called Lomov a
“malicious, double faced intriguer.” Again, Lomov begins bydescribing Nayalya as
“ an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated.”)
Question 5: You mush have noticed that when we report
someone’s exact words, we have to make some changes in the sentence structure.
In the following sentences fill in the blanks to list the changes that have
occurred in the above pairs of sentences. One has been done for you.
1. To report a question, we use the reporting verb asked (as
in Sentence Set 1).
2. To report a declaration, we use the reporting verb __________.
3. The adverb of place here changes to ___________.
4. When the verb in direct speech is in the present tense, the verb in reported
speech is in the ______________ tense (as in Sentence Set 3).
5. If the verb in direct speech is in the present continuous tense, the verb in
reported speech changes to ______________tense. For example, ____________
changes to was getting.
6. When the sentence in direct speech contains a word denoting respect, we add
the adverb _______________in the reporting clause (as in Sentence Set 1).
7. The pronouns I, me, our and mine, which are used in the first person in
direct speech, change to third person pronouns such as____________, ___________,
___________ or __________in reported speech.
Question 6: Here is an excerpt from an article
from the Times of India dated 27 August 2006. Rewrite it, changing the sentences
in direct speech into reported speech. Leave the other sentences unchanged. “Why
do you want to know my age? If people know I am so old, I won’t get work!”
laughs 90-year-old A. K. Hangal, one of Hindi cinema’s most famous character
actors. For his age, he is rather energetic. “What’s the secret?” we ask. “My
intake of everything is in small quantities. And I walk a lot,” he replies. “I
joined the industry when people retire. I was in my 40s. So I don’t miss being
called a star. I am still respected and given work, when actors of my age are
living in poverty and without work. I don’t have any complaints,” he says,
adding, “but yes, I have always been underpaid.” Recipient of the Padma Bhushan,
Hangal never hankered after money or materialistic gains. “No doubt I am content
today, but money is important. I was a fool not to understand the value of money
earlier,” he regrets.