On account of the disruption in education due to the corona pandemic, we're are providing a 7-day Free trial of our platform to teachers. Know More →

SSC

Explore popular questions from English Comprehension for SSC. This collection covers English Comprehension previous year SSC questions hand picked by experienced teachers.

Select Subject

General Awareness

General Intelligence and Reasoning

Quantitative Aptitude

English Comprehension

Statistics

Finance and Economics

English Comprehension

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 1. Directions (81-90) : You have two brief passages with five questions following each passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives.
PASSAGE-I Power and possession have been central pursuits of modern civilisation for a long time. They blocked out or distorted other features of the western renaissance (revival) which promised so much for humanity. What people have been and are still being taught to prize are money, success, control over the lives of others, acquisition of more and more objects. Modern social, political, and economic systems, whether capitalist, fascist or communist, reject in their working the basic principle that the free and creative unfoldment of every man, woman and child is the true measure of the worth of any society. Such unfoldment requires understanding and imagination, integrity and compassion, cooperation among people and harmony between the human species and the rest of nature. Acquisitiveness and the pursuit of power have made the modern man an aggressor against everything that is non-human; an exploiter and oppressor of those who are poor, meek and unorganised; a pathological type which hates and distrusts the world and suffers from both acute loneliness and false pride.
The author appears to be advocating which of the following approaches to be adopted by society.

A

Capitalistic

B

Communists

Humanistic

D

Authoritarian

Explanation

Humanistic

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 2. Read the passage carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives.
I don’t know whether the Madras Photographic Society has anything to do with the recently-publicised Chennai Photo Biennales, the first last year and the next scheduled for 2018, but participant or not, it certainly deserves a bow for being the country’s first photographic society. Its founder was an Army doctor, Alexander Hunter. The Society was founded in 1857, shortly after Lord Canning arrived as Governor-General. Canning and Lady Canning, both photography enthusiasts, were responsible for creating the famed Government series, The People of India. Hunter had still earlier, in 1850, privately started the Madras School of Arts. The School, taken over by Government in 1852, moved from Popham’s Broadway to Poonamallee High Road. There, he and an eight-member committee revised the syllabus, offering two streams, Industrial and Artistic. Hunter was put in charge of the institution, renamed the Government School of Industrial Arts, in 1855. It was the first formal school of Art in the country. In it, Hunter introduced Photography.
Hunter retired in 1868, to be succeeded by Robert Chisholm. No mean photographer, Hunter encouraged the School, it is now the Government College of Arts and Crafts to build up a photographic collection. Unfortunately, little is left of his work, especially the monuments of South India captured by Government photographer Linnaeus Tripe and his assistant C Iyahsawmi. Hunter himself did a series of pictures of the ‘Seven Pagodas’ (Mahabalipuram) and worked with his wards on photographs of the five hill tribes of the Nilgiris. It was at a prize-giving of the School that Hunter urged the Governor to provide it more suitable premises. They came up on the PH Road site in Chisholm’s time and to his design — and remain there.

Government College of Arts and Crafts shifted to which place during the tenure of Robert Chisholm?

A

Nilgiri Hills

B

Popham’s Broadway

Poonamallee High Road

D

Government quarters

Explanation

Refer to, “Hunter had still earlier, in 1850, privately started the Madras School of Arts. The School, taken over by Government in 1852, moved from Popham’s Broadway to Poonamallee High Road.”

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 3. In the following passage, some of the words have been left out. Read the passage carefully and select the correct answer for the given blank out of the four alternatives.

Everyone needs to find the leadership style that works ______ for them and their subordinates. What works for your ______ may not work for you and your team. However, if you take some time and ______ different leadership styles and how they work for different ______ types, you place a much better ______ of success as a leader.

style that works ______ for them

A

worst

best

C

hardly

D

rarely

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 4. Select the most appropriate idiom (in the context) to fill in the sentence.
Physical distractions are numerous for beginners so it's best to eliminate them from ___________.

A

the let-go

B

the ending

C

the body

the get-go

Explanation

From the get-go: from the beginning; from the very start.

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 5. In the following question/questions, you have brief passages with 5/10 question/questions following each passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives and mark it as your correct answer.
As my train was not due to leave for another hour, I had plenty of time to spare. After buying some magazines to read on the journey, I made my way to the luggage office to collect the heavy suitcase I had left there three days before. There were only a few people waiting, and I took out my wallet to find the receipt for my case. The receipt did not seem to be where I had left it. I emptied the contents of the wallet, and the railway tickets, money, scraps of paper, and photographs tumbled out of it; but no matter how hard I searched, the receipt was nowhere to be found.
I explained the situation sorrowfully to the assistant. The man looked at me suspiciously as if to say he had heard this type of story many times and asked me to describe the case. I told him that it was an old, brown looking object no different from the many suitcases I could see on the shelves. The assistant then gave me form and told me to make a list of the contents of the case. If they were correct, he said, I could take the case away. I tried to remember all the articles I had hurriedly packed and wrote them down.
After I had done this, I went to look among the shelves. There were hundreds of cases there and for one dreadful moment, it occurred to me that if someone had picked the receipt up, he could easily have claimed the case already. Fortunately, this had not happened, for after a time, I found the case lying on its side high up in the corner. After examining the articles insides, the assistant gave me the case.
I took out my wallet to pay him. I pulled out a ten shilling note and out slipped my ‘lost’ receipt with it! I could not help blushing. The assistant nodded his head knowingly, as if to say that he had often seen this happen too!!
The writer felt foolish because

A

he could not find his receipt

he hadn’t really lost his receipt at all.

C

he had to fill in a form

D

the assistant eyed him suspiciously

Explanation

Refer to, “The receipt did not seem to be where I had left it. I emptied the contents of the wallet, and the railway tickets, money, scraps of paper, and photographs tumbled out of it; but no matter how hard I searched, the receipt was nowhere to be found.”

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 6. In the following passage, some of the words have been left out. Read the passage carefully and select the correct answer for the given blank out of the four alternatives.

Everyone needs to find the leadership style that works ______ for them and their subordinates. What works for your ______ may not work for you and your team. However, if you take some time and ______ different leadership styles and how they work for different ______ types, you place a much better ______ of success as a leader.

What works for your ______ may not work

A

juniors

superiors

C

subordinate

D

companions

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 7. In the following question/questions, you have brief passages with 5/10 question/questions following each passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives and mark it as your correct answer.
We all know that Eskimos have 50 different words for ‘snow’. Or is it 500? Anyway, an awful lot. It is one of those interesting little facts that say something about the amazing ingenuity of humans. Whereas we see snow, the Eskimos perceive endlessly varying realm of white textures and possibilities. Except that is not true. Talk to the average Eskimo and you’ll find he has about the same number of words for snow as we do. I discovered this when I took a sledge-dog team through the Russian Arctic and asked the locals. And it gets worse: the Eskimo-Inuit do not live in igloos. They do not even rub their noses together! Hearing this I began wondering what other myths surround the world’s far flung places.
Shelters made out of snow are indeed constructed and fashioned from snowy bricks, just as we like to imagine. Except the Eskimo-Inuit rarely lived in them for long periods and disappointingly, the elders that I met had never heard of them. In truth, these are coastal peoples who traditionally foraged for driftwood, whalebones, stones and turf to construct their camps, saving snow-houses for hunting excursions or migrations.
Chameleons also attract numerous myths. While many of them change colour, this is often less to do with camouflage and more to do with their mood and temperature. A chameleon might, if too cold, turn a darker shade to absorb more heat. Or it might turn a lighter colour to reflect the sun and so cool down. Moreover, chameleons often change colour as a signalling device — some such as the panther chameleon, transform into a vivid orange to scare off predators, while others flash bright colours to attract a mate. The brighter the colour a mate is able to display, the more dominant. Thus, the act of standing out can be more important than that of blending in.
The author was surprised by the fact that

A

Eskimos have 500 words for ‘snow’.

the ingenuity of humans.

C

the Eskimo-Inuit do not live in igloos.

D

the Eskimo-Inuit rub their noses together.

Explanation

Refer to, “It is one of those interesting little facts that say something about the amazing ingenuity of humans.”

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 8. The question below consists of a set of labelled sentences. These sentences, when properly sequenced form a coherent paragraph. Select the most logical order of sentences from among the options.

P: In this world there is no such thing as a human saviour.
Q: If we follow just another human for his idea, I am sure we will end up fighting another civil war and a new generation will suffer as we suffer.
R: There is only a stable system.
S: A man always changes after a while because they are human just like you.

A

RSQP

PRSQ

C

SQRP

D

QRSP

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 9. In the following question/questions, some part of the sentence may have errors. Find out which part of the sentence has an error and select the appropriate option. If a sentence is free from error, select 'No Error'.
During an election, the front-runner is whichever candidate currently has the most votes.

A

During an election, the front-runner

B

is whichever candidate currently

C

has the most votes

No Error

Explanation

No Error

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 10. In the following question/questions, you have brief passages with 5/10 question/questions following each passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives and mark it as your correct answer.
We all know that Eskimos have 50 different words for ‘snow’. Or is it 500? Anyway, an awful lot. It is one of those interesting little facts that say something about the amazing ingenuity of humans. Whereas we see snow, the Eskimos perceive endlessly varying realm of white textures and possibilities. Except that is not true. Talk to the average Eskimo and you’ll find he has about the same number of words for snow as we do. I discovered this when I took a sledge-dog team through the Russian Arctic and asked the locals. And it gets worse: the Eskimo-Inuit do not live in igloos. They do not even rub their noses together! Hearing this I began wondering what other myths surround the world’s far flung places.
Shelters made out of snow are indeed constructed and fashioned from snowy bricks, just as we like to imagine. Except the Eskimo-Inuit rarely lived in them for long periods and disappointingly, the elders that I met had never heard of them. In truth, these are coastal peoples who traditionally foraged for driftwood, whalebones, stones and turf to construct their camps, saving snow-houses for hunting excursions or migrations.
Chameleons also attract numerous myths. While many of them change colour, this is often less to do with camouflage and more to do with their mood and temperature. A chameleon might, if too cold, turn a darker shade to absorb more heat. Or it might turn a lighter colour to reflect the sun and so cool down. Moreover, chameleons often change colour as a signalling device — some such as the panther chameleon, transform into a vivid orange to scare off predators, while others flash bright colours to attract a mate. The brighter the colour a mate is able to display, the more dominant. Thus, the act of standing out can be more important than that of blending in.
The author discovered that

A

igloos are not fashioned from snowy bricks.

B

only the Eskimo-Inuit elders live in igloos.

snow houses are reserved for hunting.

D

the coastal people foraged for firewood.

Explanation

Refer to, “In truth, these are coastal peoples who traditionally foraged for driftwood, whalebones, stones and turf to construct their camps, saving snow-houses for hunting excursions or migrations.”

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 11. The question below consists of a set of labelled sentences. These sentences, when properly sequenced form a coherent paragraph. Select the most logical order of sentences from among the options.

P: Most learners have a huge discrepancy between their verbal skills and their writing ability.
Q: As a result, many Learners do not write what is actually in their mind, but dumb-downed versions so they do not make mistakes.
R: But in school, correct spelling is valued more than getting one's true vocabulary on the page.
S: They have words in their minds that they could never spell.

PSRQ

B

SRQP

C

RQPS

D

PQSR

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 12. In the following question/questions, some part of the sentence may have errors. Find out which part of the sentence has an error and select the appropriate option. If a sentence is free from error, select 'No Error'.
Reena gave her friend no money nor she did help her in any way.

A

Reena gave her friend

no money nor she did help her

C

in any way

D

No Error

Explanation

Replace ‘nor she did help’ with ‘nor did she help’. ‘Hardly’, ‘Scarcely’, ‘Neither….nor’ etc. take inverse form of sentence structure i.e. Helping Verb + Subject + Main Verb.

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 13. In the following question/questions, you have brief passages with 5/10 question/questions following each passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives and mark it as your correct answer.
We all know that Eskimos have 50 different words for ‘snow’. Or is it 500? Anyway, an awful lot. It is one of those interesting little facts that say something about the amazing ingenuity of humans. Whereas we see snow, the Eskimos perceive endlessly varying realm of white textures and possibilities. Except that is not true. Talk to the average Eskimo and you’ll find he has about the same number of words for snow as we do. I discovered this when I took a sledge-dog team through the Russian Arctic and asked the locals. And it gets worse: the Eskimo-Inuit do not live in igloos. They do not even rub their noses together! Hearing this I began wondering what other myths surround the world’s far flung places.
Shelters made out of snow are indeed constructed and fashioned from snowy bricks, just as we like to imagine. Except the Eskimo-Inuit rarely lived in them for long periods and disappointingly, the elders that I met had never heard of them. In truth, these are coastal peoples who traditionally foraged for driftwood, whalebones, stones and turf to construct their camps, saving snow-houses for hunting excursions or migrations.
Chameleons also attract numerous myths. While many of them change colour, this is often less to do with camouflage and more to do with their mood and temperature. A chameleon might, if too cold, turn a darker shade to absorb more heat. Or it might turn a lighter colour to reflect the sun and so cool down. Moreover, chameleons often change colour as a signalling device — some such as the panther chameleon, transform into a vivid orange to scare off predators, while others flash bright colours to attract a mate. The brighter the colour a mate is able to display, the more dominant. Thus, the act of standing out can be more important than that of blending in.
The changing colour of a chameleon is more to do with

A

camouflage

mood and temperature

C

transformation

D

protection

Explanation

Refer to, “Chameleons also attract numerous myths. While many of them change colour, this is often less to do with camouflage and more to do with their mood and temperature.”

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 14. The question below consists of a set of labelled sentences. These sentences, when properly sequenced form a coherent paragraph. Select the most logical order of sentences from among the options.

P: On those days when nothing in our life seems to be going right, it can be really tough to see the silver lining among all those clouds.
Q: Is our glass half-full or half-empty?
R: A positive attitude benefits not only our mental health, but your physical well-being as well.
S: However, it's during these times when the ability to see the good in even the worst situations is so important.

A

PSRQ

B

SRQP

C

PQRS

QPSR

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 15. In the following question/questions, you have brief passages with 5/10 question/questions following each passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives and mark it as your correct answer.
We all know that Eskimos have 50 different words for ‘snow’. Or is it 500? Anyway, an awful lot. It is one of those interesting little facts that say something about the amazing ingenuity of humans. Whereas we see snow, the Eskimos perceive endlessly varying realm of white textures and possibilities. Except that is not true. Talk to the average Eskimo and you’ll find he has about the same number of words for snow as we do. I discovered this when I took a sledge-dog team through the Russian Arctic and asked the locals. And it gets worse: the Eskimo-Inuit do not live in igloos. They do not even rub their noses together! Hearing this I began wondering what other myths surround the world’s far flung places.
Shelters made out of snow are indeed constructed and fashioned from snowy bricks, just as we like to imagine. Except the Eskimo-Inuit rarely lived in them for long periods and disappointingly, the elders that I met had never heard of them. In truth, these are coastal peoples who traditionally foraged for driftwood, whalebones, stones and turf to construct their camps, saving snow-houses for hunting excursions or migrations.
Chameleons also attract numerous myths. While many of them change colour, this is often less to do with camouflage and more to do with their mood and temperature. A chameleon might, if too cold, turn a darker shade to absorb more heat. Or it might turn a lighter colour to reflect the sun and so cool down. Moreover, chameleons often change colour as a signalling device — some such as the panther chameleon, transform into a vivid orange to scare off predators, while others flash bright colours to attract a mate. The brighter the colour a mate is able to display, the more dominant. Thus, the act of standing out can be more important than that of blending in.
A chameleon warms itself by

A

residing in bright areas

turning a darker colour to absorb more heat

C

matching its colour with the environment

D

adjusting its body temperature with that of the environment

Explanation

Refer to, “A chameleon might, if too cold, turn a darker shade to absorb more heat. Or it might turn a lighter colour to reflect the sun and so cool down.”

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 16. In the following question/questions, some part of the sentence may have errors. Find out which part of the sentence has an error and select the appropriate option. If a sentence is free from error, select 'No Error'.
Radar equipments that is to be used for ships must be installed carefully.

Radar equipments

B

that is to be

C

used for ships must

D

be installed carefully

Explanation

Equipment is an ‘uncountable noun’ which doesn’t take plural form. Hence replace ‘equipments’ with ‘equipment’.

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 17. In the following question/questions, you have brief passages with 5/10 question/questions following each passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives and mark it as your correct answer.
The world’s largest living organism is not the blue whale — which still is the world’s largest living mammal — but Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, one of the country’s prime living animals and prime tourist attraction. Sadly, size notwithstanding, it is slowly succumbing to the killer ‘white syndrome’, a bleaching disease which has invaded 33 of its 48 reefs.
Otherwise brilliantly multi coloured and teeming with a kaleidoscope of life, the affected reefs have acquired a deathly white pallor, the result of dying tissues. The bleaching of the reef happened following the recording of the warmest ever sea water temperature in the area here. Scientists fear that the naturally gorgeous reefs are endangered and the as yet undiscovered animal and plant species would soon suffer irreplaceable damage. This is only because of the rising of water temperature.
Scientists’ main worry is that

A

there will be a fall in tourism with the reefs gone.

B

the bleaching will make the water warmer.

other endangered and undiscovered flora and fauna will also be damaged.

D

future research on ‘white syndrome’ will stop.

Explanation

Refer to, “Scientists fear that the naturally gorgeous reefs are endangered and the as yet undiscovered animal and plant species would soon suffer irreplaceable damage.”

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 18. In the following question/questions, a sentence has been given in Direct/Indirect speech. Out of the four alternatives suggested, select the one which best expresses the same sentence in Indirect/Direct speech.
Teacher says to me, “You have to participate in the dancing competition.

A

Teacher said to me that I have to participate in the dancing competition.

B

Teacher says to me that I had to participate in the dancing competition.

C

Teacher told me that I had to participate in the dancing competition.

Teacher tells me that I have to participate in the dancing competition.

Explanation

Since reporting verb is in present tense reporting speech will not change.

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 19. In the following question/questions, you have brief passages with 5/10 question/questions following each passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives and mark it as your correct answer.
The Wright brothers did not have to look far for ideas when building their airplane, they studied birds. The act of copying from nature to address a design problem is not new, but over the last decade the practice has moved from obscure scientific journals to the mainstream. The term ‘biomimicry’, popularized by American natural-sciences writer Janine Benyus in the late 199os, refers to innovations that take their inspiration from flora and fauna. Biomimicry advocates argue that with 3.8 billion years of research and development, evolution has already solved many of the challenges humans now encounter. Although we often see nature as something we mine for resources, biomimicry views nature as a mentor. From all around the globe, there are countless instances where natural sources have served as inspiration for inventions that promise to transform every sector of society. One such instance occurred in 1941 when Swiss engineer, George de Mestral was out hunting with his dog one day when he noticed sticky burrs, with their hundreds tiny hooks, had attached themselves to his pants and his dog’s fur. These were his inspiration for Velcro.
Biomimicry views the natural world as a

A

mine for resources

B

mine field of ideas

mentor

D

source of perspiration

Explanation

Refer to, “Although we often see nature as something we mine for resources, biomimicry views nature as a mentor.”

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 20. Improve the bracketed part of the sentence.

His policies (were seen by much as) crimping investment at a time slumping copper prices were weighing on the economy.

A

were seen by mostly as

were seen by many as

C

were seen by majorly as

D

No improvement

Explanation

option (b) is correct as “many” should be used to indicate many people. “mostly and majorly” is an adverb which cannot come without any adjective thus option (a) and (c) will be incorrect.

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 21. Improve the bracketed part of the sentence.

After months of aggressive planning, the former president brandished his business success and first term in office (as a proofs of competence).

A

as a prove of competence

B

as proof of competence

as proofs of competence

D

No improvement

Explanation

as “proofs” given is plural thus indefinite article need not be used before it. “prove” cannot be used as it is a verb thus it cannot take any article before it and option (b) cannot be used because as article is missing before a singular countable noun.

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 22. In the following question/questions, a sentence has been given in Direct/Indirect speech. Out of the four alternatives suggested, select the one which best expresses the same sentence in Indirect/Direct speech.
He said to me, “I am going to tuition just now.”

A

He told me that he was going to tuition just now.

B

He asked that he was going to tuition just then.

He told me that he was going to tuition just then.

D

He told to me that he was going to tuition just then.

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 23. In the following question/questions, you have brief passages with 5/10 question/questions following each passage. Read the passages carefully and choose the best answer to each question out of the four alternatives and mark it as your correct answer.
The Wright brothers did not have to look far for ideas when building their airplane, they studied birds. The act of copying from nature to address a design problem is not new, but over the last decade the practice has moved from obscure scientific journals to the mainstream. The term ‘biomimicry’, popularized by American natural-sciences writer Janine Benyus in the late 199os, refers to innovations that take their inspiration from flora and fauna. Biomimicry advocates argue that with 3.8 billion years of research and development, evolution has already solved many of the challenges humans now encounter. Although we often see nature as something we mine for resources, biomimicry views nature as a mentor. From all around the globe, there are countless instances where natural sources have served as inspiration for inventions that promise to transform every sector of society. One such instance occurred in 1941 when Swiss engineer, George de Mestral was out hunting with his dog one day when he noticed sticky burrs, with their hundreds tiny hooks, had attached themselves to his pants and his dog’s fur. These were his inspiration for Velcro.
What has helped solve many of the challenges encountered by man?

A

Biomimicry

Evolution

C

Innovation

D

Invention

Explanation

Refer to, “Biomimicry advocates argue that with 3.8 billion years of research and development, evolution has already solved many of the challenges humans now encounter.”

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 24. Improve the bracketed part of the sentence.

The company released a statement on Saturday paying tribute to its founder, praising his philanthropic efforts and his (vision to health care).

vision for health care

B

vision on health care

C

vision at health care

D

No improvement

Explanation

“vision” takes “for” preposition with it.

Correct Marks 2

Incorrectly Marks -0.5

Q 25. In the following question/questions, a sentence has been given in Direct/Indirect speech. Out of the four alternatives suggested, select the one which best expresses the same sentence in Indirect/Direct speech.
Teacher said to parents, “When I met him, he was crying.”

A

Teacher told to parents that when he had met him he was crying.

B

Teacher told parents that when he had met him he had been crying.

C

Teacher told to parents that when he met him he was being crying.

Teacher told parents that when he met him he was crying.

Explanation

When time clause is used in reported speech, Past continuous remains unchanged.