GSEB Class 11 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

   

Gujarat Board GSEB Class 11 English Textbook Solutions Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages Questions and Answers, Notes Pdf.

GSEB Class 11 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

Comprehension is one way to assess a student’s progress in language. It requires a complete understanding of the given passage. The passage set for comprehension is supported by questions to test the student’s grasp of the passage.

How to Proceed?
Before directly giving answers to questions, read carefully through the passage, more than once if necessary. Make sure you have grasped its exact meaning, as a whole and in detail. You may experience difficulty in understanding certain words or phrases, the sentence structure, or the underlying idea.

As regards the vocabulary, you may not know a word or a phrase, but it is fairly easy to guess its meaning from the passage. Even when you take recourse to dictionary for looking up the meaning of an unfamiliar word or phrase, you must relate the dictionary meaning to the context and see if it agrees with the general sense of the passage.

When the sentence structure creates difficulty, recognise the ‘key’ to the sentence and work out its meaning; then reconstruct the argument around this central point. Sometimes the answer to a question may not be found in direct form in the passage. In that case, you should make sure that you understand the words in the original which supply answers and then express in your own words as clearly as you can what they mean.

The following points may also be noted in this connection:
1. Give answers in complete sentences.

2. Each of your answers should give the required information, and no more. There is no merit in giving more information than you are asked for. Your answers should show that you have fully understood the question and its answer.

3. In the question on vocabulary expansion relate all explanations of words and phrases to their meaning as used in the passage.

4. Sometimes you are asked to state the main theme of the passage. In a question like this, you are not supposed to summarise the whole passage. You are merely to state what the passage is about, and you can do so only – if you understand the whole passage thoroughly.

GSEB Class 11 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

Specimens of Prose Comprehension
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below them:

Question 1.
There is a myth. There is something magical about computers and those who run them. The legend has got about that the computers are electronic brains and that programmers are some sort of supermen. The facts are that computers are very stupid and that people who programme them are normal human beings. Anyone who can count from 0 to 7 on his or her fingers and make eight can learn to be a programmer. The business is not difficult, just tricky.

It is very misleading to imagine that computers can think like people. They cannot. They have no more a mind of their own than a lawn-mower. However, they make it possible for people to bottle thought. You work out how to do a particular job or solve a problem, write a programme and the computer will apply your thinking to that job or problem as long and as often as you like. In this sense, computers are half alive because they perpetuate the thinking of their creators.
Questions:
(1) What is the myth about computers and those who run them?
(2) What are the facts about computers and their programmers, according to the writer?
(3) Why does the writer say that being a computer programmer is not difficult?
(4) Why are computers said to be half alive?
Answers:
1. The myth says that computers are electronic brains and that programmers are some sort of supermen.
2. The facts are that computers are very stupid and that people who programme them are normal human beings.
3. According to the writer, anyone who can count from 0 to 7 on his or her fingers and make eight can learn to be a programmer. The learning is not difficult, but just tricky.
4. Computers are said to be half alive because computers themselves cannot think; they simply apply our thinking to a job or problem. They perpetuate the thinking of their creators.

Question 2.
It is a curious and significant fact that, in spite of all modern scientific progress and talk of internationalism, racialism and other separating factors are at least as much in evidence today, if not more so, than at any previous time in history.

There is something lacking in all this progress, which can neither produce harmony between nations nor within the spirit of man. Perhaps more synthesis and a little humility towards the wisdom of the past, which after all is the accumulated experience of the human race, would help us to gain a new perspective and greater harmony.

That is especially needed by those people who live a fevered life in the present only and have almost forgotten the past. But for countries like India, a different emphasis is necessary, for we have too much of the past about us and have ignored the present.

We have to get rid of that narrowing religious outlook, the obsession with the supernatural and metaphysical speculations, that loosening of the mind’s discipline in religious, ceremonial and mystical emotionalism, which come in the way of our understanding ourselves and the world. We have to come to grips with the present, this life, this world, this nature which surrounds us in its infinite variety.
Questions:
(1) What is the curious and significant fact that the writer refers to?
(2) What is lacking in all the progress?
(3) What are we obsessed with today?
(4) What, according to the writer, can ensure true progress?
Answers:
1. The writer refers to the curious and significant fact that in spite of all modern scientific progress and talk of internationalism, racialism and other separating factors are at least as much in evidence today as they were at any previous time in history.

2. More synthesis and a little humility towards the wisdom of the past is lacking in all the progress.

3. Today we are obsessed with the supernatural and metaphysical speculations.

4. Getting rid of narrowing religious outlook and the obsession with the supernatural and metaphysical speculations can ensure the progress.

GSEB Class 11 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

Question 3.
Biologists in New Zealand are baffled by the sudden death of a large number of the world’s rarest species of penguins. At least a third of the 400 yellow-eyed penguins that live on the Otago Peninsula, in New Zealand’s South Island have died since December.

The loss represents around 60 per cent of all yellow-eyed penguins and threatens to extinguish the mainland population. The disappearance of this group of penguins is particularly serious for the species because the birds are genetically distinct from those on the Auckland Island and Campbell Island. Their disappearance would narrow the species’ gene pool considerably.

The first penguins died in December and by February the population had crashed. Postmortem examinations showed no sign of poisoning by heavy metals or pesticides, nor was there any sign of a virus.

Whatever killed the birds acted very quickly in the eight hours they were at sea feeding on the day they died-and most of the corpses recovered were near their home beaches. “Whatever it seems to make them sick, then head for home and collapse on the beach,” said one of the scientists.

Suggestions of a cause range from a change in food supply caused by climatic change, to poisoning by a biological toxin – perhaps from an algal bloom. The sea has been particularly warm this summer, but temperature alone would not kill the penguins, nor had the unusual climate conditions interfered with the birds’ feeding. None of the dead birds showed any signs of disease.
Questions:
(1) Why were the Biologists in New Zealand baffled?
(2) Where in the world do yellow-eyed penguins live?
(3) Why is the disappearance of the yellow-eye group of penguins serious for the species?
(4) What did life postmortem examination show?
Answers:
1. The Biologists in New Zealand were baffled by the sudden death of a large number of the world’s rarest species of penguins.

2. At least a third of the 400 yellow-eyed penguins live on the Otago Peninsula, in New Zealand’s South Island.

3. The disappearance of the yellow-eyed group of penguins is serious for the species because it would narrow the species’ gene pool considerably.

4. The postmortem examination showed that something affected them quickly and they died in the eight hours they were at sea feeding on the day they died.

GSEB Class 11 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

Question 4.
A proper consideration of the value of time will inspire the habit of punctuality. Punctuality is the politeness of kings, the duty of gentlemen, and necessity of men of business. Nothing begets confidence in a man sooner than the practice of this virtue, and nothing shakes confidence sooner than the want of it. He who holds to his appointment, and does not keep you waiting for him, shows that he has regard for your time as well as his own.

Thus punctuality is one of the ways in which we show our personal respect for those whom we are called upon to meet in the business of life. It is also conscientiousness in a manner, for an appointment, is a contract, and he who does not keep it is guilty of breaking faith as well as of dishonestly wasting other people’s time.

We naturally come to the conclusion that the person who is careless about time will be careless about business, and he is not to be trusted with the transaction of matters of importance. When Washington’s Secretary excused himself for attending the office late and laid the blame on his watch, his master quietly said, “Then you must have another watch, or I another secretary.”
Questions:
(1) What will a proper consideration of the value of time inspire?
(2) What is punctuality?
(3) Who has regard for your time as well as his own?
(4) Which person is not to be trusted with the transaction of matters of importance?
Answers:
1. A proper consideration of the value of time will inspire the habit of punctuality.

2. Punctuality is the politeness of kings, the duty of gentleman, and necessity of men of business.

3. The person who holds to his appointment, and does not keep you waiting for him, shows that he has regard for your time as well as his own.

4. The person who is careless about time will be careless about business and he is not to be trusted with the transaction of matters of importance.

Question 5.
A man without education is like a man locked in a room. Such a man lives in darkness, trying to pass his days with whatever he manages to find available around him. On the other hand, the educated man lives in a room with all its windows open to the world. He can take ideas from anywhere and make his living more useful and comfortable. When a window is open, breeze comes in and goes out. There is a free exchange of air. So it is with an educated man. He can take from the world as well as give to it.

More than two centuries ago, the French revolutionary Dalton said, “After bread, education.” In other words, he considered education as a basic necessity – even more vital than clothing or shelter. The educationist, Mr Glenn Jones, has said, “Education is the great hope for the survival of humankind and for the forward progress of civilization.” It is learning and knowledge alone that have helped man to come this far and to achieve high levels of civilization.

It is when people stop thinking reasonably that warring groups are formed and much of what we have built we destroy. It is only when we stop thinking rationally that we lose our levels of civilization and do things that only make the lot of the poor even poorer. Hence if we are to survive as a race, we should educate ourselves and use the wisdom and good sense that comes with it. As Lyndon Johnson said during the War on Poverty in the 1960s, “Poverty has many roots, but the taproot is ignorance.”
Questions:
(1) How does the educated man live in a room with all its windows open to the world?
(2) Explain Glenn Jones’ view about education.
(3) Write from the passage one word for :
(i) a person who tries to cause an important change in the way that people do things
(ii) a person who has a special knowledge of the principles or methods of teaching.
(4) Why, do you think, is education necessary?
Answers:
1. When a window is open, there is a free exchange of air. So it is with an educated man. He can take from the world as well as give to it.

2. According to Glenn Jones, it is learning and knowledge alone that have helped man to come this far and to achieve high levels of civilization and if we are to survive and to avoid war and poverty, education is very necessary.

(3)

  • revolutionary
  • educationist.

4. I think education is necessary for progress in life. Without education, nobody can go forward in today’s world.

GSEB Class 11 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

Question 6.
The earth upon which we live is one of the known planets that circle the sun. In ancient times men who studied the stars noticed that while certain heavenly bodies seemed fixed in the sky, others seemed to move about. The latter they named as planets or wanderers.

Modern astronomers tell us that the four planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, which are much bigger than the others, are surrounded by poisonous gases and are so cold that any living thing attempting to land on them would immediately be frozen to death.

Of the remaining planets, Venus most closely resembles the earth in size, but it is a world devoid of moisture, swept unceasingly by storms and lacking in its atmosphere the life-giving oxygen by which all life is made possible on its nearest neighbour in space-the Earth. Mars is the only planet on which there is any sign of life.

Most of Mars is desert but there are green areas on its surface, which change according to the seasons, suggesting that some form of plant life is possible. It is known that the surface temperature of Mercury, the hottest and nearest planet to the sun, is sufficient to melt lead.
Questions:
(1) Mention the characteristics of the planet Jupiter.
(2) Write the order of the planets in the solar system.
(3) Write from the passage phrases that are the opposite of:
(i) abundant with
(ii) coldest.
(4) Which is the planet you find most interesting? Give your reasons.
Answers :
1. Jupiter is a large planet. It is surrounded by poisonous gases. It is very cold. Any living thing attempting to land on it would immediately be frozen to death.
2. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune
3.

  • devoid of
  • hottest

4. I find Mars the most interesting. This is because the green areas indicate that there could be life on it.

Question 7.
He sat completely covering the top and went on shooting his paws in my direction. He would have scooped portions out of me for his use, but fortunately, I sat right in the corner, a hair’s-breadth out of his reach on any side. He made vicious sounds and wriggled over my head.

He could have knocked the chair to one side and dragged me out if he had come down, but somehow the sight of the chair seemed to worry him for a time. He preferred to be out of its reach. This battle went on for a while, I cannot say how long: Time had come to a dead stop in my world.

He jumped down and walked about the table, looking for a gap: I rattled the chair a couple of times, but very soon it lost all its terror for him; he patted the chair and found that it was inoffensive. At this discovery, he tried to hurl it aside. But I was too quick for him.

I swiftly drew it towards me and wedged it tight into the arch of the table, and the stool protected me on another side. I was more or less in a stockade made of the legs of furniture. He sat upon his haunches in front of me, wondering how best to get me.
Questions :
(1) Explain why the comment is made… ‘Time had come to a dead stop in my world.’
(2) At this discovery he tried to hurl it aside. What was the ‘discovery’?
(3) Describe the stockade that the narrator had made for himself.
(4) Give words from the paragraph which mean – ‘wall’ and ‘cruel’
Answers:
1. The narrator felt time was no longer important for him. He was in a situation where the tiger was just waiting for a chance to finish him off.

2. The narrator rattled the chair a couple of times to terrify the tiger but very soon it lost all its terror for him. Then the tiger patted the chair and discovered that it was not at all offensive so he tried to hurl it aside.

GSEB Class 11 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

3. The narrator was sitting under the table which was near the wall. He swiftly drew the chair towards him and wedged it tight into the arch of the table and the stool protected him on another side so he was more or less in a stockade made of the legs of furniture.

4.  wall – stockade, cruel – vicious

Question 8.
Over 400 years ago English was spoken by only one out of every hundred persons in the world, all of them living in a small part of Great Britain. Today, roughly one out of every eight persons speak English. English is the mother tongue of roughly 300 million people worldwide. It is the official language of the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, besides England and Ireland.

Amongst other countries, India has given English the status of second official language. The number of people who use English as their second language equals the number of the native speakers of English. Terms from English are used throughout the world in science, commerce, politics, scholarship, science, aviation and music.

Over 10 per cent of the world’s mail is written in English and more than 60 per cent of the world’s radio and TV programmes are in English. Where possible, nearly every student of higher education worldwide is required to learn some English, and knowledge of English is absolutely a necessary condition for working in many fields and occupations. English has thus come a long way to becoming the world’s most common language for communication.
Questions :
(1) Which is the world’s leading international language?
(2) Which country mentioned in the passage recognizes English as the second official language?
(3) What does the number of people who use English as their second language equal to?
(4) What is knowledge of English a necessary condition for?
Answers:
1. The world’s leading international language is English.

2. India recognizes English as the second official language.

3. The number of people who use English as their second language equals the number of the native speakers of English.

4. Knowledge of English is absolutely a necessary condition for working in many fields and occupations.

Question 9.
Hariya busily scrambled amongst the mud and stones and wrapped all our tools and vessels in one large cloth. When packed it looked like a swollen pillow that he expertly loaded onto his head. “Let’s go, master,” he said, “The air doesn’t smell good to me. Looks like thunder and storms. We’d better be home before they strike.”

I nodded and pulled at the rope attached to the neck of our bullock. “If it rains,” I was thinking, “the fields are not ploughed, and the mud Mil become sticky.”

“Hariya,” I said, “Did you and Mauliya milk the cow this morning?”
“Oh, yes,” said Hariya. “We woke up before dawn. You were snoring away and got up just in time for tea. You had a tiring day yesterday.”

“Yes,” I admitted. I could still feel my shoulders aching with the effort spent in building the mud bunds all around the field. I was grateful to the Reddy boys who had come to help me in the work. Alone I would never have been able to put up the mud embankment all around the field in just one day. “At least that is done, and I ought to be grateful,” I thought to myself. “Even if it rains, they will protect the good soil of the farmland.”
Questions:
(1) Who were working in the field?
(2) Why did they get ready to go home so suddenly?
(3) Why was the writer tired?
(4) Which works done by a farmer are mentioned in this extract?
Answers:
1. The writer and his servant, Hariya, were working in the field.

2. A storm seemed to be approaching, and so the two got ready to go home.

3. The writer was tired working with the Reddy boys the previous day, putting up a mud embankment all around the field.

4. The works done by a farmer mentioned in this extract are – ploughing the field, milking the cow and putting up a mud embankment all around the field.

GSEB Class 11 English Reading Comprehension Unseen Passages

Question 10.
The king addressed his assembled court: “I am sure that you are all dying to know Who the old man is. He introduced himself as my cousin, and in a sense he is my cousin. Prosperity and Adversity are two sisters. I am the son of Prosperity and the poor old man is the son of Adversity. The old man said that the house he lives in has become old and is falling into decay. By this remark, he meant his body.

The thirty-two servants, who one by one left his services, were the complete set of his teeth. For work outside his home, the old man depends on three instead of two. By this, he meant his two legs and his staff. His two friends who were near, but now have gone far away are his ears. Thus, he informed me that he has become hard of hearing. His other two friends who were far away, but have now come nearer, are his two eyes. By this, he meant that his eyesight has become dim, and he cannot see objects at a distance.”
The courtiers were amazed and said to the king, “It is indeed remarkable that Your Majesty understood the hidden remarks of the old man.”
Questions:
(1) What did the old man introduce himself as?
(2) Who were the two friends who had gone far and the other two who had come close?
(3) Would you say the king was wise? Give your reasons.
(4) Write from the passage two words that are opposite in meaning.
(5) Why, do you think, did the old man make ‘hidden remarks’?
Answers:
1. The old man introduced himself as the king’s cousin.

2. The two friends who had gone far were the’ old man’s ears and the other two who had come close were his eyes.

3. Yes, the king was wise because he was able to interpret the old man’s hidden meanings.

4. prosperity, adversity

5. The old man must have done so to catch the king’s interest and to show a connection between him and the king, probably to gain a reward.

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