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MP Board Class 12th English The Spectrum Workbook Solutions Chapter 16 The English Language

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Word Power

Match the following and find out what the jokes are:

‘A’ – ‘B’

1. What did the big chimney say to the little chimney? – (a) because it’s got a tender behind.
2. What did one lift say to the other lift? – (b) a nervous wreck.
3. What did the south wind say to the north wind? – (c) He wanted to draw a curtain.
4. Why did the man take his pencil to bed? – (d) I think I am going down with something.
5. Why is history the sweetest lesson? – (e) Let’s play draughts.
6. Why can’t a steam engine sit down? – (f) You are too young to smoke.
7. What’s pale and trembles at the bottom of the sea? – (g) Because it’s full of dates.
1. – (f), 2. -. (d), 3. -. (e), 4. – (c), 5. – (g), 6. – (a), 7. -(b).


Write down the words from the poem which mean:

  • a utensil – copper
  • a dress – jumper
  • an insect – cricket
  • a snake – adder
  • a journey – trip

Speaking Time

Read out these sentences twice. Listen carefully and mark each sentence with the correct stress and intonation.

  • Don’t ‘ask ‘foolish ‘questions?
  • Did you ‘have a ‘good’ holiday?
  •  What a ‘brilliant ‘idea!
  • ‘That’s the ‘one I ‘meant.
  • ‘When will they ‘return ?
  • Do you ‘mind if I ‘open the ‘window ?
  • You must ‘learn how to ’do it.
  • ‘Put it ‘back when you’ve ‘finished.
  • You ought to be ‘more ‘careful.
  • Don’t ‘disturb the ‘baby.

Reading Time

Read following poem carefully :


Some words are happy and some words are sad.
Some words are scented and others smell bad.

Some words are open and some words are sly.
Some words are slimy and others are dry.

Some words are cold and some words are hot.
Some words are tender and others are not.

Some words are honest but other words cheat.
Some words are bitter and others are sweet.

Some words move quickly, some words are slow.
Some words are shrinking, while some others grow.

Some words are remembered, some words forgot.
Some words we use little and some quite a lot. —Carl Sandburg

Now answer the questions given below :

Question 1.
Find out the words from the passage for the following meanings :

  • muddy – sling
  • soft – tender
  • spiteful – hot
  • diminishing – slow

Question 2.
Give a few examples of words that are ‘happy’ and words that are ‘sad’.
happy – sad
enjoy, bright, sunny, strenous – gloomy, depression

Question 3.
How will you distinguish between ‘open’ and ‘sly’ words ?
Open words are those that are used by a simple and honest man. Sly words are used by cunning and cheating persons.

Question 4.
What does the poet mean by ‘honest’ and ‘cheat’ ?
By honest words he means words that have single and straight meaning. By cheat words he means those which have double meaning.

Question 5.
How can words move quickly or slowly ? Give a few examples.
A talkative man’s words move quickly. An ignorant and simple person’s words move slowly.

Question 6.
Give a few examples of ‘shrinking’ and ‘growing’ words.
Examples of ‘shrinking’ words—grief, defeat.
Examples of ‘growing’ words—sunshine, victory.

Question 7.
Do you agree with the poet’s classification of words.
Yes, we do agree.

Question 8.
Summarise the poem in about 80 words.
The poet has classified the words in several groups. Sad, scented and bad smelling words. Words are open, sly, slimy and dry. They are also cold, hot, tender and hard. There are also honest, cheat, bitter and sweet words. You will find some words moving quickly, some slow. Shrinking and growing words are also there. Some words we remember some we forget. Some are used a lot and some little.

Writing Time

Question 1.
Write a speech on the importance of English in everyday life.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad, our first President has said, “The English language is an advanced and flexible language.” In spite of the irregularities in grammar, spelling and pronunciation, English is one of the most effective instruments of expression. It is a language which is rich, subtle and capable of expressing minute shades of meaning. There is no language in the world which has a richer vocabulary than English. It is said that every year ten thousand words are added to the English dictionary.

Great poets, dramatists, novelists and critics have enriched the English language beyond measure. It throps with new life. Besides this it is used in every field of study, science, technology, medicine and other daily useful arts.

Another fact which makes English a necessity is that it possesses the unrivaled position being a world language, not merely of trade and commerce but for social intercourse and diplomacy. It also gives us the key to modem scientific knowledge and learning.Pearl Buck has said that Indians have put to good use the benefits of English. Their pronunciation of English is pure, exquisite.

Question 2.
Write an article on the Importance of Co-curricular Activities in shaping the personality of students.
In a school, several co-curricular activities are arranged. It is very important for students to take part in these activities, as they help in shaping and developing their personality and ability. Mere study of the subjects taught in the school is not sufficient. They merely give bookish knowledge. Activities like essay-competition, debates and discussions, science and arts exhibitions etc.

support the minds of the students. It is said that reading makes a full man, writing an exact man and conference a ready man. If one has great knowledge, but he cannot express it, then he will not get any appreciation from the public. What talent you possess comes out in these activities. Further it increases the knowledge you have got from books. It also helps to gain practical knowledge.

Your personality is shaped and appreciated. Even if you are not one of those who speaks or expresses his knowledge in the activities, if you attend these activities as listeners or spectators you are benefited by it. Other extra-curricular activities too teach the students. Hence it is necessary to participate in these activities.

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