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.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

ICSE 2019: Model Paper English 1 English Language

(Two hours)
Answers to this Paper must be written on the paper provided separately.
You will not be allowed to write during the first 15 minutes.
This time is to be spent in reading the question paper.
The time given at the head of this Paper is the time allowed for writing the answers.
Attempt all five questions.
The intended marks for questions or parts of questions are given in brackets [].
You are advised to spend not more than 30 minutes in answering Question 1
and 20 minutes in answering Question 2.

Question 1
(Do not spend more than 30 minutes on this question.)
Write a composition (300 – 350 words) on any one of the following:                         [20]

(a)   Write an original story entitled ‘The Mansion of Mystery’.
(b)   “Success depends not on luck but on hard work”. Express your views either for or against this statement.
(c)   Narrate an incident from your own experience when you took care of your younger siblings in the absence of your parents. Explain what you did and what you gained from the experience.
(d)   You have lived in your home village for many years and are very much attached to it. Nevertheless, because of some unforeseen circumstances, you are going to sell your house in the village and move to the city. Narrate the circumstances that made you take this tough decision and describe your feelings about leaving your native village.
(e)   Study the picture given below. Write a story or a description or an account of what it suggests to you. Your composition may be about the subject of the picture or you may take suggestions from it; however, there must be a clear connection between the picture and your composition.

Question 2
(Do not spend more than 20 minutes on this question.)                                                              [10]
Select any one of the following:
(a)   Your uncle had promised to give you a present of your choice if you achieved the first rank in the Half -Yearly Examinations. Write a letter to your uncle informing him that you have got the first rank, and tell him what you would like to have as present and give reasons for your choice.
(b)  Write a letter to the Chief Medical Officer of your area pointing out the deplorable condition of the PHC (The Primary Health Centre) in your village and requesting him/her to take necessary actions to renovate the Centre and provide it with enough medical equipment and other essential amenities.
(c)   Question 3                                                                                                                          [5+5]
(a)   You are the Secretary of the Literary Association of your school. Draft a notice for the school Notice Board, inviting students of Classes VIII to X to give their names for the Poetry Recitation competition to be held on Children`s Day in your school. pointing out
(b)  Write an email to two teachers of English of a neighbouring school, requesting them to be judges at the Poetry Recitation competition mentioned in  the above notice.
Question 4
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

The Peckham murder case hit the headlines of the newspaper as Mrs Parker, an old woman living in a villa in Northwood Street, was found dead in her house. She had been brutally battered to death with a hammer.
Mr. Adams, the murderer, was a heavy, stout man with bulging, bloodshot eyes. He stood no chance of acquittal as there were four witnesses to testify against him.
Mrs.Salmon, the first eyewitness, had seen Adams come out of Mrs Parker`s house with a hammer in his hand and drop it into the bushes. When he looked up at her window, she saw his face in the light of the street lamp. She could never forget his facial features.
Henry Macdougall, another eyewitness, who had been driving home, had nearly run down Adams who was walking in the middle of the road, looking dazed.  Mr.Wheeler who lived next door to Mrs.Parker had also seen through the window Adam`s bulging eyes. In Laurel Avenue, he had been seen by yet another witness.
When the Counsel for the Crown outlined the case in court, everybody believed that the man in the dock would get the death penalty.
After the formal evidence had been given by the policeman who had found the body and the surgeon who examined it, Mrs.Salmon was called by the Counsel for the Crown. She spoke very firmly. There was no malice in her. She said that she had seen him and rung up the police station.
After the Crown Counsel, Counsel for the defence rose to cross-examine.
“Now, Mrs.Salmon, you must remember that a man`s life may depend on your evidence.”
“I do remember it, sir.”
“Is your eyesight good?”
“I have never had to wear spectacles, sir.”
“You are a woman of fifty-five?”
“Fifty-six, sir.”
“And the man you saw was on another side of the road?”
“Yes, sir.”
“And it was two o`clock in the morning? You must have remarkable eyes, Mrs.Salmon!”
“No, sir. There was moonlight, and when the man looked up, he had the lamplight on his face.”
“And you have no doubt whatsoever that the man you saw is the prisoner?”
“None whatever, sir. It isn`t a face one forgets.”
Counsel took a look round the court for a moment. Then he said, “Do you mind, Mrs.Salmon, re-examining the people in court? No, not the prisoner. Stand up, please, Mr.Adams.”
There at the back of the court, with a thick, stout body and muscular legs and a pair of bulging eyes, was the exact image of the man in the dock. He was even dressed the same – tight, blue suit and stripped tie.
“Now think very carefully, Mrs. Salmon. Can you still swear that the man you saw drop the hammer in Mrs Parker`s garden was the prisoner – and not this man, who is his twin brother.
Of course, she couldn`t. She looked from one to the other and didn`t say a word.
There wasn`t a witness prepared to swear that it was the prisoner he had seen. Both the twins had alibis that each was with his wife at two on the night of murder. So the man was acquitted for want of evidence.
As the brothers came out of the court, they were surrounded by the crowd waiting to see them. The police tried to drive the crowd away, but all they could do was to keep the roadway clear for traffic. The crowd moved and one of the twins got pushed on to the road, right in front of a bus. He gave a squeal like a rabbit and that was all. He was dead, his skull smashed just as Mrs Parker`s had been.
(a)   Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage:                                                [3]
(i)              battered
(ii)            swear
(iii)          acquitted

(b)   Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.
(i)    Why was it said that the murderer had no chance of escape from punishment?                       [2]
(ii)   What was the incriminating evidence Mrs Salmon had against the culprit?                          [2]
(iii)                 Where did the second witness see the murderer? In what danger was the murderer then? [2]
(iv)  Quote a sentence from the passage which shows that Mrs Salmon did not want to harm anyone.                                                                                                                                    [1]                                                                                                                                      
(v)   What happened to one of the twin brothers at the end?                                                          [2]
(c)   In not more than 50 words, describe how Mrs Salmon was cross-examined.                              [8]
Question 5
(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.                                                                                                                                   [4]
 I _______ (inform) of the possible side effects of this drug yesterday. Answer: was informed

William Pearl did not leave a great deal of money when he (1) _______ (die), and his will was a simple one. With the exception of a few small bequests to relatives, he (2) _______ (leave) all his property to his wife. The solicitor and Mrs Pearl went over it together in the solicitor's office,
and when the business (3) _______ (complete), the widow got up to leave. At that point, the solicitor (4) _______ (take) a sealed envelope from the folder on his desk and held it out to his client. "I have been (5) _______ (instruct) to give you this," he said. "Your husband (6) _______ (send) it to us shortly before he passed away." The solicitor (7) _______  (be) pale and prim, and out of respect for a widow he kept his head on one side as he spoke, (8) _______  (look) downward.
(b)   Fill in each blank with an appropriate word:                                                                                 [4]
(i)              Diana set the alarm clock _______ 6 o`clock.
(ii)            Please welcome them to the office _______ their arrival.
(iii)          The children laughed _______ my jokes.
(iv)            He was charged _______ drunken driving.
(v)             Sofia is looking _______ a job to support her family.
(vi)            Anna earns her living _______ selling flowers.
(vii)         Martin is bad _______ managing time.
(viii)       They are clamouring for a total ban _______ alcohol.
(c)   Join the following sentences to make one complete sentence without using and, but or so.    [4]         
(i)  Susan apologised to the Manager. She had made a mistake in the application form.
(ii)            He was in the police department. He would take vigorous exercise then.
(iii)          This is the restaurant. They first met here.
(iv)             They promised to improve the emergency services. Nothing was done.
(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.                     [8]
(i)    Alan prefers reading books to watching films.
(Begin: Alan would rather ...................................)
(ii)  Alex said to Martin, “What will you do if you miss the train?”
(Rewrite in indirect speech.)
(iii)                     Rocky is too young to be appointed to the committee.
(Use: so....that)
(iv)  For further details, contact Customer Service.
(Begin: Should ...................................)
(v)   If she is not interrupted, she can finish her homework by evening.
(Begin: Unless ...................................)
(vi) The Opposition leaders welcomed the President`s decision to resign.
    (End: ................................... the Opposition leaders.)
(vii)                       As soon as I realized that he was a fugitive, I called the police.
   (Begin: Scarcely....................................)
(viii)                 Although I rang the doorbell many times, no one answered.
   (Begin: Despite ...................................)

Grammar Bytes: Was or Were

Was or Were

Consider these sentences:
1.     If he was stronger, Richard could win the race.
2.     If I were a rich man, I would donate some money to the poor.
These sentences use the verb were because they state things that are not true but wish to be true.  These sentences state possibilities if things were other than what they really are or, in other words, they express wishful thinking.
These possibilities can be easily recognised since they are almost always introduced by an if and are linked to another clause containing a would or could.
The phrase "I were" is called the Subjunctive Mood, and is used when you're are talking about something that isn't true or when you wish something was true.
A helpful pointer that we should use the Subjunctive Mood is when the word wish is used.
A wish is the desire or hope for something that cannot or possibly will not occur.
  1. I wish I could find a better job.
  2. I wish I were running for the presidency.
  3. If I were you, I would consult a doctor.
Always use were to express wishful or imagined or hypothetical conditions.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Grammar Bytes: Such as

Such as
Usually, such as is used to present an example or examples of something we have referred to. When we introduce a list of examples, we use a comma before such as. However, if we present only one example, the coma is not used before such as.
1.     Junk foods, such as Pizza and Burger, are not good for health.
2.     We are planning to visit a historic monument such as Charminar this summer.
We can use like instead of such as to present examples; but in formal contexts such as is always preferred.
Ú Nota bene
1.     Do not use only as to present examples:
People like tearjerker dramas, such as The Lady with the Broom and The Weeping Widow.
Not: as The Lady with the Broom and The Weeping Widow
2.     Do not use such as to compare things:
The school children wore Khaki coloured uniforms like the military uniforms.
Not:  such as the military uniforms.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Grammar Bytes: Prepositions:

¢ Annoyed
1.     He was extremely annoyed about the damage to his car.
2.     He was annoyed at me for coming late.
3.     The passengers were annoyed by the baby’s continual coughing.
4.     Rama annoys everyone in temple by praying loudly.
5.     The boy was annoying the teacher with his continuous questions.
6.     My father was annoyed with me for failing in Geography.

¢ upset
1.     The children were feeling upset by the disturbing situation.
2.     Do not get upset about it.
3.     Do not let the situation upset you.
4.     John was too upset to speak to her.
5.     My mother was upset that I didn't call.
6.     Juliet was so upset with Romeo, she didn't talk to him for a month.

Grammar Bytes : which / that

which / that
 Many get confused in the right use of which and that. We find that changing which to that can totally change the meaning of a sentence.
Consider the following examples.
1.     My car, which is red, goes very fast.
2.     My car that is red goes very fast.
The first sentence tells us that I have just one car, and it is red. The clause which is red provides extra information, but it doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence.
The second sentence indicates that I have more than one car, and among my cars the red-coloured car goes very fast.
The phrase that is red is called a Restrictive Clause because another part of the sentence (My car) depends on it. We cannot remove that clause without changing the meaning of the sentence.
The first sentence using which just informs that my car is red. We can remove the clause which is red without missing any important information. The phrase which is red is called a Non- Restrictive Clause.
My car, which is red, goes very fast.
My car goes very fast.