An Approach to ICSE English provides a platform to contribute, discuss and comment on the various issues related to the study and practice of English for the students and teachers of ICSE syllabus. Even with its focussed nature, An Approach to ICSE English will be beneficial to everyone involved in the learning the niceties of the English language.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Preposition Exercise

Insert suitable preposition in the following:

1. On Sundays Mr. John stays ….….  home and works …. …. the garden.
2. …….. the daytime the streets are crowded by ….….  night they are quite deserted.
3. Shall we discuss the matter ….….  my room or shall I come ….….  your house?
4. Are you going ….….  train? No, I am going ….….  Rachel’s car.
5. Rajan saw him standing ….….  queue but I do not know whether he got ….….   the bus or not.
6. Hema arrived ….….   Kochi ….….  6.p.m. ….….  a cloudy September day.
7. Henry was leaning ….….  the wall ….….   his hands ….….   pockets.
8. Berna sits ….   her desk all day ….  her head ….  hand and it gets ….  my nerves.
9. This picture was painted ….….  Rembrandt. There is another Rembrandt …… the opposite wall.
10. My parents have lived ….….  this street ….….  ten years.
11. Have you heard ….….  James? Yes, I had a letter ….….  Monday.
12. I was ill ….….  week and ….….  that week my mother never left my side.
13. I am sorry ….….  being late. It was good ….….   you to wait ….….   me.
14. While on their way ….….  the school, ….….   the crossroads they were attacked ….….  the stalker.
15. The officer insisted ….….  seeing the ID card.
16. The children are very ….….   Cricket. During summer they spend most ….….  their time ….….  the playground.
17. Where does these flies come ….….?
18. The Smiths arrived ….….  the morning of the sixth of July.
19. The soldiers were trained in the camp ….….  six months.
20. She has not seen him ….….  he left the school.
21. It snowed all Monday but stopped snowing ….….  the night.
22. He was known to be a troublesome boy ….….  his childhood.
23. ….….  summer, we got to Shimla.
24. The children played football ….….   4.00.p.m. ….….  6.00.p.m
25. They did not get home ….….  seven in the evening.
26. They arrived ….….  hotel ….….  time.
27. We can go ….….  foot or go ….….  a bicycle.
28. The tourists were keen to get ….….  the camels.
29. Raman got ….….  the train ….….  Pune.
30. The kids swam ….….  sea while their mother stood ….….  the sea.
31. The cat jumped ….….  the roof.
32. They climbed ….….  the truck.
33. The helicopter hovered ….….  the accident scene.
34. We put a rug ….….  him.
35. There is a bridge ….….  the river.
36. The delegates discussed the issue ….…. a cup of coffee.
37. There is a Bible ….….  the pillow.
38. The Johnsons live ….….  us. We live ….….  them.
39. The family was annoyed when she married ….….   her.
40. He built a new house ….….  a lake.
41. I was happy to be ….….  my students again.
42. Do not touch the switch ….….   bare hands.
43. I have no money ….….  me.
44. They quarrelled ….….  the treasure.
45. It never occurred ….….  to the miscreants that they would be caught red-handed.
46. The miscreants were charged ….….  burglary.
47. They persisted ….….  their innocence and then they resorted ….….  violence.
48. They were not acquitted ….….   the crime
49. The judge was appreciated ….….  awarding a just judgement.
50. The boxer was knocked ….….  and after a while he came….….  and stood ….….  .

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

ICSE 2017 English Grammar Practice

ICSE 2017 English Grammar Practice 

Question 1
Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions given after each. Make other changes necessary; do not change the meaning of any of the sentence.                              
(a) Sheela was assured of a Scholarship by the Principal.                
(Begin: The Principal…)
(b) Abraham asked Sakshi, “Will you come with me to the dance classes from tomorrow.”            
(Change into Reported Speech)
(c) Rahman fell ill, so he could not run the race.                              
(Begin: Having….)
(d) Ritika could not understand the reason for her mother’s irritation.                (Use: irritated)
(e) The 100m dash is one of the most interesting races in Athletics.                (Begin: Very few…)
(f) Most of the news ……. incredible.            
 (Fill the blank correctly)
(g) Felix said that he had never been to a Chinese restaurant.              
(Change the narration)
(h) As soon as I entered the library, the lights went off.                
(Begin: No sooner…)
(i) Besides being awarded a cash prize, Reena received a trophy too.       (Begin: Not only…)
(j) If the police had not arrived in time, the burglar would have escaped.      (Begin:  Had….)
Question 2
Join each of the following pairs of sentences without using and or but:
(a) He was lazy. He failed.
(b) All the speakers spoke loudly. Ajay was the loudest.
(c) The weather was very bad. We could not go for the concert.
(d) Ruby shows improvement. She will be promoted to the next class.
(e) It was very cloudy. It did not rain.
Question 3
Complete the following sentences suitably:
1. The strong wind blew ….….  the lantern.
2. The students were encouraged ….….   perform well.
3. The judge was fed ….….  with the lawyer’s silly arguments.
4. Afzal won….….  the audience with his pleasing performance.
5. The team was taken….….  by the defeat.
6. He carried …. …. despite the light failure.
7. the police cordoned ….….  the crime site.
8. The plane took ….…. after a short delay.
9. The Judge called ….….  a proper explanation.
10. I ran …… teacher at the supermarket.

Question 1
(a)   The Principal assured Sheela of a Scholarship.
(b)   Abraham asked Sakshi whether she would come with him to the dance classes from the following day.
(c)   Having fallen ill, Rahman could not run the race.
(d)   Ritika could not understand why her mother was irritated.
(e)   Very few races in Athletics are as interesting as the 100m dash.
(f)    Most of the news is incredible.
(g)   Felix said, “I have never been to a Chinese restaurant”.          
(h)   No sooner did I enter the library than the lights went off.
(i)    Not only was Reena awarded a cash prize but also received a trophy.
(j)    Had the police not arrived in time, the burglar would have escaped.
Question 2
(a)   Being lazy, he failed.
Since he was lazy, he failed.
(b)   Ajay was the loudest of all the speakers.
(c)   Since the weather was very bad, we could not go for the concert.
(d)   The weather being very bad, we could not go for the concert.
(e)   Since Ruby shows improvement, she will be promoted to the next class.
(f)    Though it was very cloudy, it did not rain.
Question 3
1.     The strong wind blew out the lantern.
2.     The students were encouraged to perform well.
3.     The judge was fed up with the lawyer’s silly arguments.
4.     Afzal won over the audience with his pleasing performance.
5.     The team was taken aback by the defeat.
6.     He carried on despite the light failure.
7.     the police cordoned off the crime site.
8.     The plane took off after a short delay.
9.     The Judge called for a proper explanation.
10.  I ran into my teacher at the supermarket.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Poetry Study Aid: Where the Mind is Without Fear Rabindranath Tagore Questions and Answers

Where the Mind is Without Fear
Rabindranath Tagore

The poet Rabindranath Tagore delineates a poignant portrait of the nation he wishes his country India to become. The poem was written when India was under the British rule and the Indians were deeply involved in snatching their country’s freedom from the British imperialistic tyranny.  
The poet envisages a country where her people hold their heads high with their pride as their country is a free country and all are liberated and united without any discrimination based on narrow commitments of caste, creed, gender or religion. He desires the Indians to strive for perfection in the clear light of logical reasoning, freed from all sorts of social inequalities and superstitious rituals. 
The poet further conveys his yearning that his country to be roused to a realm where its citizens are truly rational and constantly contemplates of reaching perfection in every facet of life. They will be free from irrational thinking and outdated customs and superstitious conventions.
Finally, the poet implores God to give his countrymen the faculty to enlarge their minds to noble thoughts and actions. Consequently, India will become the country of his dreams “heaven of freedom” liberated from all kinds of ills and evils.
Extract 1
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high.
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out form the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
(a) What form of freedom does the poet envisage?
The poet is Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel Laureate. The poet envisages his country to achieve all kinds of freedom — political, religious, spiritual, moral and intellectual. And only then it will attain the delightful heaven of freedom, a utopia where his countrymen would be able to hold their heads high in self-respect, will not have a hazy and distorted idea built on prejudices and strive determinedly to reach perfection in every domain of life.
(b) What are narrow domestic walls? What are the results of constructing narrow domestic walls?
According to the poet, narrow domestic walls refer to narrow loyalties of caste, creed and religion. Prejudice and superstitions narrow the mind and divide the people. They are called ‘narrow’ by the poet because they are based on ancient customs and traditions and not on the basis of logical thinking. These narrow domestic walls break the nation into pieces and fostering disunity and chaos. These narrow domestic walls have to be pulled down to nurture an unprejudiced and progressive humanity. 
(c) How do people hold their heads high as stated by the poet?
People hold their heads high with pride as their country is a free country and all are liberated and united without any discrimination based on narrow commitments of caste, creed, gender or religion. 
(d) What do you understand of the poet on the basis of the extract?
This extract of the poem ‘Where the mind is without fear’ mirrors the poet’s deep-rooted love for his homeland. He is spiritually inclined and possesses profound humanism. The poem puts forward the poet’s dream of one ideal country where all will relish freedom which is truly desirable and meaningful.
(e) Do you perceive the modern world as broken up in fragments by narrow domestic wall? Explain. 
The modern world that we live in is still a world broken up in fragments by narrow domestic walls. Nowadays we preach about ‘Unity in diversity’ as a core of the Indian culture, but practically, we experience that caste-based oppression and suppression, the subjugation of the poor by rich, the communal riots, the terrorist attacks, the gendered discrimination and war still disturbing not only our noble feelings and values everyday but also the whole humanity is under the menace of terrorism. 
Extract 2
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever- widening thought and action 
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
(a) Explain: ‘Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way?’
Reasoning allows a person to have clarity of thoughts without being restricted by narrow domestic walls such as caste, colour, creed, religion, region and superstitions. Hence it has been compared to a clear stream which is free of all impurities.
(b) What does the poet mean by ‘dead habit’? Why are dead habits likened to a ‘dreary desert’? 
By ‘dead habit’, the poet implies that the worn-out inflexible traditions that are being pursued pointlessly by the Indians. These blind superstitious habits of thought and action have extinguished the light of reason and spread darkness and misery in the society.
The dead habits are compared to a ‘dreary desert’ because in a desert there is no growth. Similarly, dead habits also prevent any progress or advancement and the society is stunted. 
Dreary dessert sand of dead habit is a metaphor- Through this metaphor the poet wants to say that his countrymen should work for perfection in everything and should not be lead astray from their goal in the dry desert of dead habits; that is, a place where obsolete customs and traditions arc practised.
(c) Explain: ‘ever-widening thought and action’.
The idea of ‘ever widening thought and action’ suggests that the thoughts that are broadened are capable of a wider vision and people are able to act embracing a broadened vision that has eschewed the narrow irrational thinking. The poet desires that irrelevant practices and obsolete rituals do not stifle true perception and unbiased judgement.
(d) How does the poem bring out poet’s profound faith in God?
Tagore’s love and faith towards the God Almighty is reflected in his belief that the path of truth is the path to God. Tagore categorically asserts that a nation enjoying divine guidance will certainly progress towards perfection. 
In the concluding line of the poem, Tagore invokes God, the Universal Father and implores Him to bring to fruition his vision of an impartial and truly liberated country. India, his motherland, can achieve her rightful freedom not only by accepting a universal outlook but also by striving, with an everlasting passion, for the fruition of great human ideals. 

Sunday, 11 December 2016

ICSE English Grammar Questions & Answers 2016

ICSE English Grammar Questions 2016
Question 1
(a) Fill in each of the numbered blanks with the correct form of the word given in brackets. Do not copy the passage, but write in correct serial order the word or phrase appropriate to the blank space.
(0) He had been (0) ___ (sit) on the bank of a small irrigation canal        Answer: sitting
He was (1) ___ (gaze) at a couple of heron (2) ____ (fish) in the muddy water, when he (3) ____ (feel) something bump his elbow. (4) ____(look) around, he ___(find) at his side a little goat, jet black and soft as velvet with lovely grey eyes. Neither her owner nor her mother (6)_____(be) around. She continued to (7) ____(nudge) Mukesh, so he (8)_____(look) in his pocket for nourishment. [4]
(b) Fill in each blank with an appropriate word:
(i) There was steep rise …… onion prices.
(ii) Air pollution is responsible for the spread …… bronchitis.
(iii) He was…… pressure to complete the work.
(iv) Joan jumped…… the river to rescue the child.
(v) His teacher is very pleased…… him.
(vi) Ali took…… his cap and wiped his face.
(vii) The old woman could not get…… the shock.
(viii) He should not get…… with such rudeness. [4]
(c) Join the following sentences to make one complete sentence without using and, but or so.
      (i) My grandfather is very old. He is very active.
(ii)     Mala is not in the classroom. Mala is not in the library.
(iii) She was so excited about her performance. She could not sleep at night.
(iv)   Mumbai is densely populated. It is one of the major cities in the country.    [4]
(d) Re-write the following sentences according to the instructions given after each. Make other changes that may be necessary, but do not change the meaning of each sentence.
(i) The book was so interesting that I could not put in down.
                 (Begin: The book was too…………)
(ii) The Principal Said, “All the prizes will be distributed tomorrow.”
(Begin: The principal Said that………..)
(iii) Last night’s dinner was cooked for us by father. 
(Begin: Father………………………….)
(iv) If Mary catches the first bus, she will be on time for school.
(Begin: Unless…………………………)
(v) In spite of having high fever the girl came to school.
(Begin: Despite………………………..)
(vi) I prefer going out with friends to staying alone at home.
(Begin: I would rather………………….)
(vii) Hardly had the teacher left the room, when all the children started making a noise.
(Begin: No sooner ……………………..)
(viii) This is the funniest movie I have ever seen.
(Begin: Never…………………… )  [8]

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

English Paper 1 Grammar and Composition: Test 2017

English Paper 1
Grammar and Composition: Test 2017
Time: One hour                                                                       Maximum Marks: 25
Write a letter to the Municipal Office of your area complaining about the dumping of garbage on roads in your locality.                                                  [10]
Question 2
(a) Join the following sentences without using and, but or so:       
1. Read the questions carefully. You are allotted ten minutes for it.
2. John had met with an accident. He had applied for a month’s leave.
3. The students were in their seats. The Supervisor distributed the papers immediately.
4. Mary was absent yesterday. Martha was also absent yesterday.
5. Sheela went to the bank. She went to the library also.
(b) Rewrite the following sentences as directed without changing the meaning of any of sentence. You can make the necessary changes.             
1. The rain had stopped. Immediately, the children ran to their home.          [Begin: No sooner ...]
2. You should complete the assignment by Monday.    
[Begin: The assignment ...]
3. The task appears to be difficult.                                       [Begin: It…]             4. Jamila said, “May I come a little late tomorrow?”                        
[Change into Indirect Speech]
5. Will the management agree to your proposal?                             [Change the Voice]
6. The wheel came off, and the car skidded into a ditch.                                  [Begin: Had….]
7. Pamela is one of the best doctors in the hospital.            
[Change into Positive Degree]
8. I am to visit the Principal tomorrow.                     
[Provide a Question tag] 

Answers Click here