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11th English Guide Lesson 4 Prose Tight Corners

11th English Guide Lesson 4 Prose Tight Corners

11th English Solutions Prose Chapter 4 Tight Corners

11th English Guide Lesson 4 Prose Tight Corners Book Back Answers. 11th Standard Samacheer kalvi guide English All Unit Book Back Question and answers. 11th TN Text Book Download PDF All Subject. Class 11 English Book Back and additional question and answers. 11th Free Online Test


Tight Corners Summary Warm Up

Many of us have unused, old but valuable items at home. If we wish to get rid of them, we can sell them at an auction. Items like paintings, jewels, household articles, vehicles, even houses can be auctioned.

The flowchart below will help you understand how an auction is conducted.

(a) Describe the activity that was going on in the sale – room at King Street.


  • Christie Auction house was full. The auction house was selling Barbizon pictures and getting tremendous sums for each. Some were sold for two thousand and some for three thousand pounds. It was surprising to observe that all the sold items were little bit of things like forest scenes, pools at evening, shepherdesses and the regular subjects.

(b) What can you say about the author’s attitude when he high-handedly participated in the auction?


  • The author behaved like a gambler. He risked high banking on serendipity alone. In reality, he should have a minimum balance of 500 pounds in his bank account to be eligible to be a bidder in the auction. But he had only sixty three pounds. He didn’t have rich acquaintances or relatives who could bail him out-of a financial crisis of such a serious nature at a short notice. So, the author’s participation in the auction in a high handed manner demonstrates his audacity combined with absurdity.

(c) Why was the author sure he would not be caught?


  • The author decided to bid safely by just raising the stake a little bit and leave it for real millionaires to go ahead. Thus he was sure that he would not be caught.

(d) What made the author ignore his friend’s warning?


  • The author was confident that he couldn’t run any risks by a playful participation in the auction. So, he ignored his friend’s warning.

(e) How had the author managed the auction without getting involved in the deal?


  • Although many bids ended up in four figures, they were started with a modest price of fifty to hundred guineas only. He ventured till the figures reached.only upto three digits. Thus he managed the auction without getting involved in the deal.

(f) What came as a shock to the author?


  • Unlike previous lots, one painting’s launch price was four thousand pounds. When, the millionaires were too stunned to react, the author had sheepishly said “and fifty”. The auctioneer clinched the deal in the author’s favour. This was a rude shock to the author because he did not wish to buy any painting.” .

(g) What did the falling of the hammer indicate?


  • The falling of the hammer indicated “closure of the bid” and it mandated the highest bidder to pay and collect his purchase.

(h) What made the friend laugh heartily?


  • The author’s friend realized that he had got into a pickle and there was no possible escape. the crisis from outside made him laugh heartily.

(i) What kind of excuses did the narrator think he could make?


  • The author speculated on the possibility of confessing his poverty to one of Christie ’s staff and request to put up the picture for sale once again.

(j) Why did the friend desert the narrator, a second time?


  • The author’s friend was so much tickled by the comedy of the situation that he deserted the author for a second time to have a hearty laugh alone.

(k) How does the narrator describe the man who approached him?


  • The man who approached the author wore a green baize apron and spoke in a husky cockney tones. He had come to find out if he would accept the offer of fifty guineas for his expression of interest for Daubigny.

(l) How does the Narrator show presence of mind in the sudden turn of events?


  • The author should have been grateful for the stranger’s offer to bail him out of potential insolvency. He could have embraced him and even accepted fifty farthings for restoring him from a mental agony. But he asked the mediator if that was the most he could offer. This was . nothing but wordly guile. The man offered to find out saying there was no harm trying for a bit more. The author gave his ultimatum that he would take a hundred. He got a cheque for hundred guineas.

(m) The narrator would not forget two things about his friend. What are they?


  • The author’s friend only persuaded him to go to Christie’s auction. Secondly, he was the only witness to the author ’s mental agony in trying to get out of the crisis.

1. Choose the most appropriate answer for the following questions:

Question (a)

‘Tight Comer’ means a

(i) difficult situation

(ii) crowded comer

(iii) tragic incident

(iv) fierce fight

Answer:(i) difficult situation

Question (b)

Barbizon refers to a

(i) kind of paint

(ii) type of architecture

(iii) a region in Britain

(iv) a French school of painting

Answer:(iv) a French school of painting

Question (c)

The narrator visited the sale-room as he

(i) wished to see an auction

(ii) had a painting to sell

(iii) was persuaded by his friend

(iv) wanted to buy a painting

Answer:(iii) was persuaded by his friend

Question (d)

The narrator had been a safe contributor at the auction, as

(i) there were bidders quoting higher prices

(ii) he had a sound financial background

(iii) his friend had lent him money

(iv) he did not make any bidding

Answer:(i) there were bidders quoting higher prices

Question (e)

‘And I got it.’ Here‘it’refers to the’

(i) the picture

(ii) the price

(iii) an award

(iv) the card

Answer:(iv) the card

2. Answer the following questions:

(a) What is a tight corner? What happens when one finds oneself in a tight corner?


  • Tight comer is a difficult situation. When one finds oneself in a tight comer, one worries and thinks seriously about the ways of getting out of it.

(b) What is the difference between a physical and mental tight corner?


  • Physical tight comers are those situations which threaten the lives of an individual. Mental tight comers are worries for which no solution is in sight. It upsets the individuals and confounds them. .

(c) Why did the narrator visit Christie’s?


  • The narrator visited Christie’s to watch the process of auctioning.

(d) The narrator heard his own voice saying, ‘and fifty’. What does this suggest?


  • The narrator heard his voice saying “and fifty”. This suggested that he offered to buy the painting by paying four thousand fifty guineas.

(e) What was the narrator’s financial condition?


  • The narrator had just sixty three pounds in his bank account. The tragic fact was that he did not even have 500 pounds which was the security deposit to be eligible to bid for the paintings.

(h) The narrator could not pretend to have made a mistake in bidding. Why?


  • The narrator had made bids for many paintings. Now he could not confess his poverty. So, he could not pretend tahave made a genuine mistake.

Question (g)

What could have been the best way for the narrator, to get himself out of the tight corner?


  • The author could have confessed his poverty and requested the auctioned picture to be put up again for “sale” again to get himself freed from the auction.

(h) Why did the narrator feel he could have welcomed a firing party?


  • The author had made many bids in a low margin and got escaped. But he got trapped by saying “and fifty” when a picture was put up for sale with a starting price of 4000 guineas. No one else raised the stake. The auctioner rang the bell and the author realized with alarm how on earth he could ever raise that much money. He thought he could find a firing party to shoot him down. Death is better than public disgrace.

(i) What was the bidder’s offer to the narrator?


  • The bidder offered 50 guineas to the narrator to give up his claim of the painting.

(j) How did the narrator take advantage of the situation?


  • The author asked the mediator of the bidder if that was the most he could offer. The mediator said that there was no harm in asking for a little more. Then the narrator gave his ultimatum that he would take hundred. This showed how guile the narrator was though the stranger was inadvertently rescuing him from a tight comer.

3. Form a meaningful summary of the lesson by rewriting the numbers in the correct sequence:

  • (a) The narrator had only 63 pounds with him and did not know how to manage the situation. [ ]
  • (b) The narrator thought of ail his relations from whom he could borrow. [ ]
  • (c) Unfortunately he had made the highest bid. [ ]
  • (d) The narrator entered Christie’s as his friend persuaded him to visit the sale room. [ ]
  • (e) Every time someone else made a higher bid and hence the narrator was not caught. [ ]
  • (f) The narrator on a sudden impulse added 50 more guineas, to the amount offered. [ ]
  • (g) His friend joined him then but left immediately unable to control his laughter. [ ]
  • (h) He even thought of borrowing from money lenders and considered the possibility of confessing the truth to the staff at Christie’s. [ ]
  • (i) The picture was declared sold to the narrator. [ ]
  • (j) After sometime a picture was put up and a bid for 4000 guineas was raised. [ ]
  • (k) A sudden stroke of luck befell the narrator when he heard that the gentleman who had made the bid of 4000 guineas would offer him the additional 50 guineas and buy the picture. [ ]
  • (l) The narrator kept bidding just for fun. [ ]
  • (m) The picture was given away to the other bidder and the narrator was saved from humiliation. [ ]
  • (n) His friend had left the place roaring with laughter at the narrator’s predicament. [ ]
  • (o) The narrator was too happy at the offer but demanded 100 guineas instead of the 50. Now there was no need for him to make any payment. [ ]


  1. The narrator entered Christie’s as his friend persuaded him to visit the sale room.
  2. The narrator kept bidding just for fun.
  3. Every time someone else made a higher bid and hence the narrator was not caught.
  4. After sometime a picture was put up and a bid for 4000 guineas was raised.
  5. The narrator on a sudden impulse added 50 more guineas, to the amount offered.
  6. Unfortunately he had made the highest bid.
  7. The picture was declared sold to the narrator.
  8. The narrator had only 63 pounds with him and did not know how to manage the situation.
  9. The narrator thought of all his relations from whom he could borrow.
  10. He even thought of borrowing from moneylenders and considered the possibility of confessing the truth to the staff at Christie’s,
  11. His friend had left the place roaring with laughter at the narrator’s predicament. .
  12. A sudden stroke of luck befell the narrator when he heard that the gent who had made the bid of 4000 guineas would offer him the additional 50 guineas and buy the picture.
  13. The narrator was too happy at the offer but demanded 100 guineas instead of the 50. Now there was no need for him to make any payment.
  14. The picture was given away to the other bidder and the narrator was saved from humiliation.
  15. His friend joined him then but left immediately unable to control his laughter.

4. Answer the following questions in a paragraph of about 100 – 150 words.

(a) Narrate the circumstances that led to the narrator getting into a tight corner, by his own folly.


  • Lucas learnt that an auction was in progress. His friend suggested that they peeped in, to watch the fun. Despite the caution from his friend, he started bidding at moderate rates. He had only 63 pounds in his account. A bidder was supposed to have a minimum of 500 pounds to take part in the bid. As bidding for most of the paintings were started with two or three digits in guineas, the author sailed through raising the stakes of many paintings and staying behind watching millionaires bid with higher prices. But one painting viz big Daubigny was launched at an offer price of 4000 Guineas.
  • Only one bidder showed interest. The rest were in silence. The author heard himself say “and fifty”. After seconds of uncomfortable silence, the dealer banged the hammer indicating the acceptance of the narrator’s offer of 4050 guineas for the painting. It was only then the narrator realized that he was in a tight comer. He wished a firing squad would be welcomed to eliminate him and put an end to his mental agony. He had no friend or relative or even money lenders who could extend him a loan to raise the money. He had got into a mess of his own choice.
  • “Auction houses run a rigged game. They know exactly how many people will be bidding on a work and exactly who they are. In a gallery, works of art just needs on to pay. ”

(b) Trace the thoughts that went on in the mind of the narrator when picture after picture was put up and sold at the auction.


  • The author was enthusiastically participating in the bid at Christie with very little money on him. He sailed smooth for a long time raising the stakes on many paintings and carefully staying behind other competitors. It was fun watching till he got trapped in a net, set by his own tongue. When one particular painting was offered for 4000 guineas, the bidders maintained an uncomfortable silence when the author heard himself foolishly saying “and fifty”. The auctioner banged the hammer finalizing the deal in the narrator’s favour.
  • It was then the narrator realized with alarm that he had no money on him. Suddenly he lost interest in fun bidding. He started thinking fast for a way out of the tight comer he had created for himself. Many small and big paintings were offered and sold out fast. The Barbizon pictures were selling fast like hot cakes for 2000 to 3000 guineas. The author was running over the names of friends, relatives and even money lenders who might bail him out of the tight comer. He even speculated on the possibility of confessing his poverty to the staff of Christie and request them to put up the picture again for sale. Such a genuine mistake could have been rectified at the early stages of auction. As he had enthusiastically participated in the bid for many paintings,
  • the auctioners wouldn’t buy his justification for the “genuine mistake”. As bidders stood in a queue to hand in their cheques/cash to collect their paintings, the narrator stood deliberately at the end. He never felt such a fool or had colder feet all his life.
  • “People do not wish to appear foolish; to avoid the appearance of foolishness, they are will to
  • remain actually fools but wait in patience for the right time

 (c)Explain how the narrator got out of the tight corner that he was in.


  • When the author was perplexed beyond measure and was even ready to welcome a firing squad to bail him out of the current crisis, a divine chance presented itself to the narrator. The narrator had stupidly given an open bid to buy “big Daubigny” for 4050 guineas when he had only 63 pounds in his bank account. However hard he tried, he could not recall a name of an “uncle” or a friend who could extend him a loan to cover the price of the painting. To delay disgrace, he was standing at the end of the queue of the successful bidders. Like a providential intervention, a mediator from the starting bidder who was ready to take the same painting for 4000 guineas enquired the narrator in a husky cockney tone if he was the gentleman who had bought, “big Daubigny”.
  • The narrator admitted it. To the narrator’s great relief, the mediator said the first bidder wanted to know if he would take 50 guineas for his interest. The author should have embraced him and wept for joy for bailing him out of a potential disgrace. But he made the best use of the opportunity exhibiting his guile, by asking him if that was the most he could offer. The mediator said that there was no harm in asking for some more. The narrator said he would take hundred guineas. When the man left to find out the possibility both the author and his friend laughed.
  • But when the author saw the cheque for hundred guineas, he became serious. He said with joy and shock, “of all the luck! well, I’m hanged”. Thus the narrator had a narrow escape from a tight comer. One could even say that the narrator escaped by the skin of his teeth.
  • “Call it a narrow escape, maybe it’s your lucky day. ”

(d) As the narrator, make a diary entry about the tight corner you faced at Christie’s and how you were saved from the dire situation.


Thursday, 17th Nov. 20xx

I was lunching at a club in King James’s street. While passing along Kingstreet later, my friend suggested that we peeped in at Christie’s where an auction of Barbizon pictures was going on. The prices of the paintings were pertaining to forest scenes, pools at evening, shepherdesses, and the regular subjects were tremendous for each ranging from two to three thousand guineas each. The remarkable thing was that nothing was sold at three figures. After watching the auction for fun for a while I found myself bidding.

I had exactly sixty three pounds in my account in the bank. I knew that any bidder must have a minimum of five hundred pounds in the bank to stand as security to bid for the artistic works. I enthusiastically participated in many bids as the starting price for each paining was a modest fifty to hundred guineas. Things went on well for me for quite sometime. But a cruel fate awaited me. A short red-faced man electrified the room by fixing the starting price at 4000 guineas. There was a rustle of excitement followed by terrible silence. But I found myself saying “and fifty”. The dealer looked at the opener and at the company. To my surprise and horror, the dealer shot his bolt.

My heart stopped and my blood congealed. I was in possession of the picture I did not want to buy. I was the top purchaser in the auction with just 63 pounds in the bank account. I turned to my friend for some moral support but he had deserted me to have a hearty laugh at a distance. With great alarm, I saw many other Barbizon pictures being put up and sold. The auction came to an end. The bidders stood in a queue to pay the price and collect the pictures. I stayed behind at the end of the queue as I could not recall the name of any uncle, aunt or even a relative who could offer me 4050 guineas to buy the painting. I wished that a firing squad could give me a welcome relief by shooting me down. I preferred death to public disgrace. But something divine turned my tragedy into a comedy.

Just then one gentleman enquired if I was the gentlemen who bought “big Daubigny”. I admitted. The mediator asked if 1 could take 50 guineas for my interest and give up my claim. I would have hugged him and wept for joy of relief from the tight comer. But I had the guile/presence of mind to ask, “Is that the most he would offer?” The mediator said that there was no harm in trying for a bit more. I said, “Tell him I will take hundred” myself and my friend started laughing. But when I saw the cheque for hundred guineas, I became grave, My friend said to me that it was he who brought me to Christie. I admitted, “I shall never forget it. It is indelibly branded in letters of fire on my heart”

Additional Questions

(e) Describe the activity that was going on in the sale-room at King street. What can you say about the author’s attitude when he high handedly participated in the auction?


  • The sale-room at Christie’s was full. Billionaire’s and millionaires who wished to showcase their taste in art had assembled there. The dealer was offering Barbizon pictures on sale. The paintings had mainly forest scenes, pools at evening, shepherdesses and the regular subjects. But each of the little paintings was sold at tremendous prices ranging from two to three thousand guineas. Nothing was sold at three digits. The narrator had just 63 pounds in his bank. The auctioneer had made it mandatory that each bidder should have a minimum of 500 pounds in the bank to stand as security for the bid.
  • Being aware of this condition, the narrator’s friend cautioned him against participating in the auction for fun. But the narrator ignored his friend’s caution and started bidding for many paintings. He promised his friend that he was not going to run any risk. As most of the paintings were offered with the initial modest price of either 50 or 100 guineas, he carefully hiked the price a little and derived great pleasure in the hot bidding that ensued among millionaires. His over confidence and high handed participation did land him in trouble.
  • “Life is not a competition. Each one is on their own journey. Live according to your choices,capacity, values and principles. ”


(i) Auction House Puzzler

You have come across many terms associated with auction, in the lesson. Now solve the crossword puzzle with words from the lesson. Make use of the clues given


  1. conducts
  2. a protective garment
  3. strip with numbers
  4. offer
  5. painter
  6. school of painting
  7. auction houses
  8. painting Answers



  1. Auctioneer
  2. Apron
  3. Card
  4. Bid


  1. Daubigny
  2. Barbizon
  3. Christie
  4. Art

A. Here are some more idioms taken from the lesson. Find out their meanings and use them in sentences of your own.

Question 1.

Tight corners – difficult situations.


Those who act on impulse find themselves in tight comers.

Question 2.

Shoot one’s bolt – exhaust one’s effort


Mithali Raj had shot her bolt and made 54 runs to help India win the World Cup Cricket title.

Question 3.

In a nice pickle – in a mess


Boney Kapoor is in a nice pickle unable to explain Sridevi’s sudden death to media personal and to film Industry friends.

Question 4.

Have a cold feet – be frightened

The hotel staff had a cold feet when Dubai police enquired him about Sridevi’s death.

B. Match the following idioms related to difficult situations with their meanings.


A                                                          B

  1. alarm bells ringing (a)          abandoning one who is in difficulty
  2. back to the wall (b)          try any method to overcome a crisis
  3. grasp /clutch at straws (c)           sign of something going wrong
  4. save by the bell (d)          in serious difficulty

5-.          hang out to dry                 (e)          help at the last moment rescuing one from a difficult situation







C. We use a variety of idioms in our daily life to describe various situations. Describethe narrator’s situation in your own words, making use of some of the new idiomsyou have just learnt.

Question 1.

Saved by the bell – saved from being counted out by the ringing of bell at the end of a round of boxing.


The batsman was tired and was saved by the bell otherwise he would have lost his wicket.

Question 2.

Hang out to dry – leave some one in a difficult situation.


When Lucas was in dire straits after bidding the highest price, he found that his friend had hung him out to dry. ‘

Question 3.

Grasp/clutch at straw’s try any method to overcome a crisis.


The man who got suspended from his job like a drowning man clutching at straw, sought the advice of his door peon to come out of the crisis.

Question 4.

Back to the wall – in a serious difficulty.


The narrator had little money to buy the painting and was back to the wall.

Question 5.

Alarm bells ringing – sign of something going wrong.


Seeing the policeman round the comer, the chain snatcher heard alarm bells ringing in his head.

Question 6.

Run the risk – exposure to injury or loss


If you tell her the truth, you may run the risk of hurting.

Question 7.

Escape by the skin of one’s teeth – have a narrow escape


Lucas escaped by the skin of his teeth when a gentleman offered him 100 guineas to buy the painting for which he had made the highest bid.

Question 8.

At one’s wit’s end – desperate


I am unable to send a mail due to poor connectivity all day long. I am at my wit’s end.

Question 9.

Catch 22 situation – a situation in which it’s impossible to succeed because of conflicting conditions or rules.


Getting one’s first job is a catch-22 because companies want to hire experienced candidates. But how could one get experience before being hired?

Question 10.

Dodge a bullet – barely escaped from a disastrous situation


Jaswanth’s girl friend told the press that she was glad she broke up with him. She had infact dodged a bullet.

Question 11.

In dire straits – in a serious, bad situation


Sunitha’s husband abandoned her. She is really in dire straits as she had stupidly resigned her job soon after marriage.

Question 12.

You’ve got your work cut out for you – you have a large and difficult job to perform


If you wish to complete a degree course in a single sitting, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Question 13.

Last resort – last option


Politics is the last resort of the scoundrels.

Question 14.

The tip of the iceberg – the biggest part of the problem is hidden


Common men are apprehensive that Nirav Modi’s scam and Rotomac pen owner’s scam which are just a tip of the ice berg. Many scams may still be untraced or untraceable.

Question 15.

Vicious cycle – chain like issues


Poverty causes a vicious cycle as it prevents education and thus it perpetuates poverty.

Question 16.

To be in double bind – to choose between two unsatisfactory alternatives


Kamala was in a double bind as she had to choose a low paying job or an early marriage with a rogue neither of which she liked.

Phrasal Verbs

(iii) Use the following phrasal verbs in sentences of your own. The first one has been done for you: stand

(i) up – Your statement will not stand up as proof in the court of law.

(ii) for – My father always stands for truth and honesty.

(iii) by – Come what may, I will stand by you.

Question 1.


(i) into : __________

(ii) at : __________

(iii) through : __________


(i) The principal promised to look into his application.

(ii) She was looking at the painting for a long time.

(iii) Don’t look through your poor relatives.

Question 2.


(i) over : __________

(ii) away : __________

(iii) into : __________


(i) The tortoise was run over by a speeding lorry.

(ii) The run away slave was caught

(iii) She’ advised her son not to fall into bad company.

Question 3.


(i) on : __________

(ii) up : __________

(iii) off : __________


(i) Do not put on airs

(ii) She had to put up with her rude husband.

(iii) The match was put off due to rains.

Additional Questions

Question 1.

Question (a)

back down – with draw one’s position in a fight


It’s too late to backed down now.

Question (b)

back up – help or support


You can back up the contacts stored on your device or SIM card.

Question (c)

back off – retreat / withdraw


He refused to back off from his earlier statement.

Question 2.

(a) Ask for – demand/request for something


Oliver should ask for a hike in salary.

Question (b)

Ask after – enquire some one’s health


Did she ask after me in her letter?

Question (c)

Ask out – invite some one to begin a relationship


I heard Murugesh ask out Sonia.

Question 3.

Question (a)

Blow up – destroy something


They used 10 tonnes of dynamite to blow up the rock.

Question (b)

Blow out – extinguish


Blow out the candles before they bum out.

Question (c)

Blow off – decide not do what is expected of someone


Moorthy bunked the classes when the last exam was scheduled. He deliberately blew it off.

Question 4.

Question (a)

break down – divide something in small units


It is easier to leam a big lesson if you break it down into many small segments. [OR] The car broke down on the way to Chennai.

Question (b)

break into – to get into a building stealthily by force


Generally, the burglars break into a bank and rob in the nights.

Question (c)

break off – suddenly stop speaking .


Nayanthara, while sharing her grief over, the death of Sridevi, had to break off in the middle of her speech.

Question (d)

break out – some unpleasant beginning


The civil war broke out in China.

Question (e)

break through – force one’s way through barriers


The protesters will break through the barriers and storm into the office.


Question (f)

break up – to get separated


Money problem often result in a marital break up.

Question 5.

Question (a)

bring over – bring someone to a place


I should bring over Mala for dinner.

Question (b)

bring up – raise some one.


The aged couple will bring up the children with values.

Question (c)

bring back – to return something


He asked Ramesh to bring back his pony.

Question 6.

Question (a)

burn down – destroy something with fire


Hate not only bums down buildings but also the relationship between countries.

Question (b)

burn out – nothing left to bum


As she did not get her promotion for long, she became a bum out.

Question (c)

burn up – destroy with fire .


The lab burnt up and got reduced to ashes due to the negligence of the watchman.

Question 7.

Question (a)

call in – request some one to help


Dr. Amar was called in to revive the dying lady.

Question (b)

call off – cancel a planned programme


The strike was called off as the boss agreed to most of their demands.

Question (c)

call up – chosen to be a part of military service


Young ones waste away their adult life jobless as they are not called up in military.

Question 8.

Question (a)

carry away – do something out of the ordinary due to strong feelings


She was carried away by his flattery and regretted her decision to marry him.

Question (b)

carry on – continue to do something


You must carry on your work

Question (c)

carry out – do


The workers carried out their duties without grumbling.

Question 9.

Question (a)

come about – when something occurs


Ram was happy to see that things came about as expected.

Question (b)

come across – meet


I came across a strange bird in the jungle.

Question (c)

come down – move from higher to lower position


He came down because of his arrogance.

Question (d)

come down with – experience symptoms of illness


Chitra came down with flu

Question 10.

Question (a)

cut back – spendless


If young ones don’t learn to cutback their expenses now, they will regret later.

Question (b)

cut down – reduced expense


Mother cut down domestic expenses to support her child’s education.

Question (c)

cut off – completely remove


The village was cut off from electricity and water due to Tsunami

Question 11.

Question (a)

drop in – visit


I dropped into Hari’s home last evening.

Question (b)

drop off – decline


The price of gold has dropped off a little

Question (c)

dropout – quit school


She dropped out of school for her teacher was very rude.

Question 12.

Question (a)

fall for – get attracted to


He fell for her beauty.

Question (b)

fall behind – move slower


Ram has fallen behind others in studies because he stayed away for a month.

Question (c)

face through – collapse of a plan


The project of converting sea water into drinking water fell through as the money got

diverted to freebies.

Question 13.

Question (a)

Get over – move past an obstacle


You must learn to get over small problems to achieve great things in life.

Question (b)

get behind – progress slowly


The minister’s car got behind due to a traffic jam.

Question (c)

get through – pass


Priya will get through NEET because she is preparing smartly for it.

Question 14.

Question (a)

give away – distribute freely .


Give away your surplus wealth to poor relatives.

Question (b)

give in – surrender


The terrorists gavein when they could not fight Indian jawans any more.

Question (c)

give up – stop doing something


Never give up hope.

Question 15.

Question (a)

go through – read


I went through the book “Three cups of tea”.

Question (b)

go up – extend to a higher level


The price of rice, is going up everyday but the farmers are starving.

Question (c)

go over – visit a place


I went over Agra last week with my school teacher.

Listening Activity

(A) Listen to the announcement made by your teacher and answer the questions that follow.

(For listening to the passage refer to our website www.fullcircleeducation.iri)

The Department of School Education has organized a one-day seminar on ‘Career Guidance and Counselling’ for the students appearing for the oncoming Public Examination. The programme is scheduled at 3 p.m. today, at Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Auditorium, in our School campus. You are to assemble at the venue at 2.45 p.m. sharp, with a notebook and a pen. The main purpose of the programme is to create awareness among students on the numerous career options available and the various institutions that offer relevant courses.

The other objective is to boost their self-confidence and prepare them to face the challenges they encounter from time to time with courage. You are expected to be attentive throughout the programme, actively participate in discussions and get all your doubts clarified without any hesitation. The second session will be conducted in the first week of next month. Those who are interested in attending the next session can register your names with the School Pupil Leader within two days.

Complete the following sentences based on your listening.

  1. The programme is organized by the Department of ______
  2. The topic of the seminar is ______
  3. The programme is to be held at ______ p.m. at .
  4. Students are instructed to carry and a to the programme hall.
  5. Students who wish to attend the second session should register within
  6. The main purpose of the programme is to provide information on options and the that offer relevant courses.


  1. School Education
  2. Career Guidance and Counselling
  3. 45, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Auditorium
  4. notebook, pen
  5. two days
  6. career, institutions

Speaking Activity

(a) Work with a partner: Your friend has lost his books just before the annual examination and he/she is depressed. How will you help him / her? Share it with the class and enact.


Vinod, why are you upset?

I have lost my books

In a couple of days, we have the Board examination.

Yes, that is why I am upset.

Don’t worry. I shall mail you the pdf version of the books. You can just open them in your laptop. Read them at your own pace.

Thank you for the excellent idea.

You are most welcome.

(b) You have recently shifted to a new locality. You cannot find your way home. Your uncle spots you and takes you home. Narrate the incident to the class.


My dear friends we shifted our home from Gandhi Nagar to Ambedkar Nagar last week. My I mom asked me to buy something in the grocery shop. There was no grocery shop in my street. I just wandered into the third street. After purchasing the items I realized with alarm that It had forgotten the road I had taken to reach the market. When I had wasted half on hour trying to find my way back home. I met my uncle Dr. Sukumar. He took me back home in just five minutes. I can never forget the helplessness I felt last week.

(c) As a friend of the narrator, describe how you would have behaved at the auction.


As an author’s friend, I would have dissuaded him from continuing the risk he was taking by idding. I would have reasoned with him that bidding without even the security deposit of 500 pounds in the bank had the potential threat of facing public-disgrace. If I insisted, he would

definitely give up bidding. Friendship is a heavy responsibility. One can’t permit a friend to go towards a tight comer unthinkingly.


Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

The Stationmaster’s supreme sacrifice by Sanchari Pal (Adapted)

  1. Thirty-three years ago, on the night of December 2,1984, Bhopal was hit by a catastrophe that had no parallel in the world’s industrial history. An accident at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal had released almost 30 tons of a highly toxic gas called methyl isocyanate, turning the city into a vast gas chamber. The result was a nightmare; more than 600,000 people were exposed to the, deadly gas cloud that left thousands dead and many more breathless, blind and in agonizing pain. Few people know that during the Bhopal gas tragedy a heroic stationmaster risked his own life to save others.
  2. On the evening of December 3, 1984,Ghulam Dastagir was settling down in his office to

complete some pending paper work. This work kept him in his office till 1 am in the night, when he emerged to check the arrival of the Gorakhpur Mumbai Express. As he stepped on to the platform, the deputy station master felt his eyes bum and a queer itching sensation in his throat. He did not know that poisonous fumes leaking from Union Carbide’s pesticide factory were stealthily enveloping the railway station. .

  1. Beginning to choke, Dastagir did not know then, that twenty-three of his railway colleagues, including his boss, station superintendent Harish Dhurve, had already died. It was later reported that Dhurve had heard about the deadly gas and had immediately tried stopping the movement of trains passing through Bhopal before collapsing in his office chamber. His suddenly worsening health and years of experience told Dastagir that something was very wrong.

Though he did not fully comprehend what was happening, he decided to act immediately when he did not get any response from the station master. He alerted the senior staff at nearby stations, like Vidisha and Itarsi, to suspend all train traffic to Bhopal.

  1. However, the jam-packed Gorakhpur-Kanpur Express was already standing at the platform . and its departure time was 20 minutes away. Listening to his gut instinct, Dastagir summoned his staff and told them to immediately clear the train for departure. When they asked if they should wait until the order to do so came from the head office, Dastagir replied that he would take complete responsibility for the train’s early departure. He wanted to ensure that the train left immediately,without any delay. His colleagues later recalled that Dastagir could barely stand and breathe as he spoke to them. Breaking all rules and without taking permission from anyone, he and his brave staff personally flagged off the train.
  2. But Dastagir’s work was not done. The railway station was filling up with people, desperate to flee the fumes. Some were gasping, others were vomiting,and most were weeping. Dastagir chose to remain on duty, running from one platform to another, attending, helping and consoling victims. He also sent an SOS to all the nearby’railway offices,asking for immediate medical help. As a result, four ambulances with paramedics and railway doctors arrived at the station.

It was winter and the gas was staying low to the ground, a thick haze poisoning everything in its path. Besieged by hordes of suffering people, the station soon resembled the emergency room of a large hospital. Dastagir stayed at the station, steadfastly doing his duty, knowing that his family was out there in the ill-fated city. That day all he had for his protection was a wet handkerchief on his mouth.

  1. Ghulatti Dastagir’s devotion to duty saved the lives of hundreds of people. However, the catastrophe didn’t leave him unscathed. One of his sons died on the night of the tragedy and another developed a lifelong skin infection. Dastagir himself spent his last 19 years shuttling n and out of hospitals; he developed a painful growth in the throat due to prolonged exposure to toxic fumes. When he passed away in 2003, his death certificate mentioned that he was suffering from diseases caused as a direct result of exposure to MIC (Methyl Isocyanate) gas.

A memorial has been built at platform No. 1 to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty on the fateful night of December 3, 1984. However, Ghulam Dastagir, who died later, is not one of them. A forgotten hero whose sense of duty and commitment saved countless lives, Dastagir’s story deserves to be recognized and remembered by our fellow countrymen.

(i) Why was the accident at Union Carbide unparalleled in the world’s industrial history?


  • The union carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal had released almost 30 tons of a highly toxic gas called methyl isocyanate. It had turned the city into a gas chamber. It left thousands dead. Six lakh persons suffered due to exposure to the toxic gas. So, the Bhopal tragedy was unparalleled in the world’s industrial history.

(ii) How was Dastagir affected by the poisonous gas?


  • One of his sons died. Another developed a life long infection. Ghulam Dastagir himself spent his last 19 years in and out of hospitals. He developed a painful growth in his throat. He was suffering from diseases caused by direct exposure to toxic fumes.

(iii) What was the action taken by the station superintendent?


  • Dastagir alerted senior staff members at the nearby railways station like vidhisha and Itarsi to suspend all train traffic to Bhopal. Against rule he alerted his staff to clear the train immediately for departure. He got medical help. Four ambulances with para medics arrived to attend the suffering people at the station.

(iv) How did Dastagir and his staff break rules?


  • A train can’t be flagged off before its stipulated time without getting permission from top level officers. Dastagir gives orders to release the train
  • immediately after it reached the station. They flagged off the train even before it stopped. Traffic to Bhopal from other stations was blocked by his timely orders. Thus Dastagir and his staff broke the rules.

(v) What was the cause of Dastagir’s death?


  • Dastagir died after 19 years of suffering of diseases caused by direct result of exposure to MIC (methyl ISO cyanate) gas.

(vi) Find words from the passage which mean the opposite of the following.

(a) safeguard x risk

(b) common x queer

(c) prompt x delay

(d) cause x result


(i) Complete the following with appropriate conditional clauses.

  • (a) We will miss our train, ______
  • (b) Jayashree would travel to France, ______
  • (c) People get sun-burnt, ______
  • (d) Vicky would have passed, ______
  • (e) I wouldn’t refuse, ______
  • (f) Sundar would have waited, ______
  • (g) Vijayshree will be busy, ______
  • (h) Adhvika will not go to play, ______


  • (a) if we don’t go fast
  • (b) if she had money
  • (c) if they move about in hot sunlight
  • (d) if he had worked hard
  • (e) if I were you
  • (f) if he had been informed
  • (g) if you go to meet her after 10 a.m.
  • (h) if it rains


(i) Complete the following with appropriate conditional clauses.

  • (a) We will miss our train, _____
  • (b) Jayashree would travel to France, _____
  • (c) People get sun-burnt, _____
  • (d) Vicky would have passed, _____
  • (e) I wouldn’t refuse, _____
  • (f) Sundar would have waited, _____
  • (g) Vijayshree will be busy, _____
  • (h) Adhvika will not go to play, _____


  • (a) if we don’t go fast
  • (b) if she had money
  • (c) if they move about in hot sunlight
  • (d) if he had worked hard
  • (e) if I were you
  • (f) if he had been informed
  • (g) if you go to meet her after 10 a.m.
  • (h) if it rains

(ii) Complete the following paragraph.

Did you hear about that boy who won one crore in a game show? If I (1) ________ (win) that much money, I (2) ________ (quit) my job the next day. I ……(3) ________ (travel) round the world and (4) (stay) in the most luxurious hotels. If I (5) (want) anything, I (6) ________ (buy) it. If I (7) ________ (see) a Mercedes that I wanted, I (8) ________ (buy) it. I (9) ________ (can) do anything in the world if I had one crore rupees, I am starting to sound a little materialistic. Well, I (10) ________ (do) good things with the money as well. If anybody (11) ________ (need) help, I (12) (take) care of their needs. I (13) ________ (donate) money to charities. I (14) ________ (give) money to help support the arts. If I (15) ________ (win) that much money, I wouldn’t keep it all for myself. I (16) ________ (help) as many people as possible.


  1. won
  2. would quit
  3. will travel
  4. stay
  5. wanted
  6. would buy
  7. saw
  8. would buy
  9. can
  10. will do
  11. needs
  12. will take
  13. will donate
  14. will give
  15. won
  16. will help

(iii) Fill in the blanks in the following dialogue.

Gopal : What’s wrong, Muthu? You look terrible!

Muthu : Well, you (1) ______ (look) terrible today, too, if you (2) ______ (have) a day like mine yesterday. My car slid into a tree, because the roads were slippery.

Gopal : Oh! I was driving on the slippery roads yesterday, and I didn’t have such trouble. What happened?

Muthu : Well, I think if I (3) ______ (drive not) so fast, I . (4) ______ (slide, not) into the tree.

Gopal : Slippery roads and speed don’t mix. If drivers (5) ______ (speed) on wet roads, they’re likely to spin their car in circles.

Muthu : I know. But I have one more problem. I didn’t have my driver’s license with me. If I (6) ______ (have) it, I (7) ______ (have to, not) pay an extra fine in the court next week.

Gopal : Why were you driving without your license?

Muthu : Well, I lost my wallet some days ago. It slipped out of my pocket, while I was riding the bus to work.

Gopal : Oh, Muthu! If you (8) ______ (take, not) that bus, you ,(9) ______ (lose, not) your wallet. If you (10) ______ (lose, not) your wallet, you (11) ______ (have) your driver’s license with you when you hit the tree. If you (12) ______ (have) your. driver’s license with you, you ;(13) ______ (have to pay, not) a big fine when you go to court next week. And of course, if you .(14) ______ (drive, not) too fast, you.(15) ______ (run into, not) a tree, and you (16) ______ (be, not) in this mess now. If I (17) ______ (be) you, I (18) ______ (take) it easy for a while and just .(19) ______ (stay) home where you are safe.

Muthu : Enough about me! How about you?

Gopal : Well, things are really looking up for me. I’m planning to take off for Goa as soon as I finish my finals. I’m sick of all this old, rainy weather we’ve been having.

Muthu : I wish I (20) ______ (go) with you. How are you planning on getting there?

Gopal : If I! (21) ______ (have) enough money, I (22) ______ (fly). Otherwise, I (23) ______ (take) the bus. I wish (24) ______ (drive) my own car because it (25) ______ . (be)

nice to drive there, but it’s such a long trip. I’ve been looking for a friend to go with me and share the driving.

Muthu : I have a super idea! Why don’t I go with you? I can share the driving. I’m a great driver!

Gopal : Oh, Muthu! I can’t believe it.


  1. would look
  2. had
  3. had not driven
  4. would not have slid
  5. speed
  6. had
  7. would not have had to
  8. had not taken the bus
  9. would not have lost
  10. had not lost
  11. you would have had
  12. had
  13. would not have had to pay
  14. had not driven
  15. would not have run into
  16. would not be
  17. were
  18. would take
  19. stay
  20. go/went
  21. had
  22. would fly
  23. would take
  24. i could drive
  25. would be

A. Seema goes to a hotel for lunch. The waiter explains to her the different items available at that time. Here is the conversation between them. Complete the dialogue. You may use modals to frame questions.

Seema: Could I get something to eat immediately?

Waiter: Yes Ma’am. We have , (1) ______

Seema: (2) ______

Waiter: Yes Ma’am. It is available.

Seema: (3) _______

Waiter: It should not take long (4) _______

Seema: Yes bring that too (5) _______

Waiter: (6) _______

Seema: I prefer it cold, (7) ________

Waiter: Sorry Ma’am we don’t have ice creams served here. But you can get it in the outlet next door.

Seema: Oh that’s fine. Okay, please get these quickly.

Waiter: Sure Ma’am.


  1. Mini meals
  2. Is Veg fried rice available?
  3. Can you give it to me quickly?
  4. We do have Kushbu Idli too.
  5. Do you give ginger oil and spicy chilli powder for Idly?
  6. We have filter coffee mam.
  7. or else can you give me Gulfi Ice cream?

B. Read the following story and do the exercises that follow.

Last night somebody broke into our neighbour’s house. He stole everything he found. The neighbours, Mr. and Mrs. Umar saw him while he was running away but they couldn’t catch him. This morning an inspector arrived to make an inquiry.

The Inspector posed certain questions to Mr. Umar.

The Inspector: The thief broke into the house at around IQ p.m. What were you doing then?

Mr. Umar: I was watching a movie with my wife. Then I went to the kitchen to prepare tea. .

The Inspector: How many minutes did you spend in the kitchen?

Mr. Umar: I think 10 or 15 minutes… I’m not sure….

The Inspector: Did you prepare only tea?

Mr. Umar: Yes.

The Inspector: Okay. Thanks.

The Inspector also asked Mi’s. Umar some questions:

The Inspector: What were you doing at around 10 p.m. yesterday?

Mrs. Umar: I was watching a movie while drinking my coffee.

The Inspector: Coffee? But your husband has prepared tea.

Mrs. Umar: Tea? No… We didn’t drink tea last night.

The Inspector: Okay. What was he doing in the kitchen?

Mrs. Umar: He was thirsty. He wanted to drink water. ‘

The Inspector: Hmmm. What happened then?

Mrs.Umar: A friend of his called him and he went out to help him.

The Inspector: So, you were alone at home, weren’t you?

Mrs.Umar: Yes, I was. I called him immediately but he didn’t answer.

The inspector was suspicious about Mr.Umar and so he asked him to Come to the station for further questioning.

The Inspector: You weren’t at home when the thief broke into your neighbour’s house. Where were you?

Mr.Umar: I went out to help a friend of mine.

The Inspector: Who is that friend?

Mr.Umar: Ehhhh… he is just a friend. ’

The Inspector: Hmmm. Who is that friend?

Mr.Umar: I told you already. He is just a friend.

If you cannot prove that you were with a friend, we can arrest you.

At the end of the questioning session, Mr.Umar told the inspector the truth.

“Last night, somebody called me, but he wasn’t my friend. I had borrowed some money from him and he had given me time till last night to return it. But I did not do so. So, he called home asking me to meet him outside the house. That’s why I went out. I did not tell my wife as I did not want her to know about it. When I went out, I saw a stranger entering my neighbour’s house but I did not stop as I was in a hurry to meet the moneylender.

Answer the questions after reading the story.

Question 1.

Did Mrs. Umar see the thief?


No, Mrs. Umar did not see the thief.

Question 2.

What was Mrs. Umar doing when the thief broke into the house?


Mrs. Umar was drinking coffee and watching TV.

Question 3.

Was Mr. Umar watching movie with his wife when the thief broke into the house?


No, Mr. Umar had gone out of the house to meet a friend when the thief broke into a neighbour’s house.

Question 4.

What was Mr. Umar doing in the kitchen?


He was drinking water in the kitchen.

Frame Questions:

Question 1.

Mr. Umar was at home when the event occurred.


Where was Mr. Umar when the event occurred?

Question 2.

Yes, Mr. Umar saw the thief entering the neighbour’s house.


Did Mr. Umar see the thief entering the neighbour’s house?

Question 3.

Mrs. Umar was watching the movie while her husband was drinking water.


What was Mrs. Umar doing when her husband was drinking water?

Question 4.

The thief broke into the house while they were watching a movie.


When did the thief break into the house?

A. Add appropriate question tags to the following sentences.

  1. Cities are increasingly becoming urbanised.
  2. They experiment with ways to improve air quality.
  3. The aim should be to reduce congestion.
  4. There is an urgent need to provide clean, reliable and affordable energy to their growing populations.
  5. Automation and shared mobility will play a key role in this transformation.
  6. It changes the way people commute in cities.
  7. Before long, a fleet of electric autonomous vehicles (AVs) could drive people to their destinations.
  8. These shared AVs will run at higher utilization rates.
  9. They can substantially reduce the cost of mobility and congestion.
  10. These should not be thought of as luxury but as necessity. .

Answers :

  1. aren’t they?
  2. don’t they?
  3. shouldn’t it be?
  4. isn’t it?
  5. won’t they?
  6. doesn’t it?
  7. couldn’t they?
  8. won’t they?
  9. can’t they?
  10. should they?

B. Add appropriate question tags and role play the dialogue with your friend.

Jeyanth : Hello, Anish! It’s your Physics exam today, isn’t it?

Anish : Yes. They have set a very long paper. Yet, I managed to finish the paper 1 ______

Jeyanth True. My maths paper too was very long. I couldn’t finish it, 2 ______

Anish : I could not solve my paper properly, 3 ______

Jeyanth : Ok. Actually, my question paper was very easy, 4 ______

Anish : Mine wasn’t easy. I made a silly mistake, 5 ______

Jeyanth : Tell me about your English paper, 6 ______

Anish : The story comprehension was very easy. I am sure to score more than ten marks

on fifteen. I wrote it very well. There wouldn’t be any mistake, 7 ______

Jeyanth : For me, my letter- writing was the best. I didn’t make a single mistake, 8 ______

Anish : Ok. I’ve got lots to study for tomorrow’s exam, 9 ______

Jeyanth : Me too. So, see you later. All the best, bye. .

Anish : Thank you. Wish you the same, bye.


  1. didn’t?
  2. could I?
  3. could I?
  4. wasn’t it?
  5. didn’t I?
  6. won’t you?
  7. will there be?
  8. did I?
  9. haven’t I?


A. Read the information in the table below and answer the following questions.

SI. No.



Affected Area




Bhuj, Gujarat




Coastline TN, Kerala, C.P., A & N Islands, Pondicherry



July 2005









North Bihar




Tamil Nadu




Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka




Tamil Nadu / Cuddalore


Flash floods

June 2013





Coastline of Orissa & Jharkhand



Dec. 2015

Tamil Nadu / Chennai



Dec. 2016

Tamil Nadu / Chennai

1. What kinds of natural disasters have occurred before 2005?


  • Earth quake and Tsunami have occured before 2005.

2. Name the disasters that are common in India.


  • Floods and cyclones are common in India.

3. Mention the states often affected by disasters.


  • Tamil Nadu and Andhra are often affected by disasters.

4. List out the disasters that are common in North India.


  • Earth quake, floods and flash floods are common in North India.

5. Write three sentences on your inference about the data given.


  • Coastal towns in Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Orissa are often plagued with cyclone and floods. Kashmir and Gujarat were affected by earthquake about 15 years ago. Cyclones and floods happen often in the South India in the coastal belt.

(B) Study the pie-chart carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Percentage of people who speak each language as their first language.

Use expressions such as…


A majority….

Most of the….

Some of the….

Minority of….

In conclusion….

1. Which language is spoken by most people?


  • Mandarin is spoken by most people.

2. What are the Indian languages that rank among the top five spoken languages?


  • Hindi and Bengali rank among the top five languages spoken in the world.

3. Which are the languages that are spoken by less than three percent of people?


  • Hindi, Bengali, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, German and Javanese are the languages spoken by less than 3% people of the world.

4. With the help of the questions and answers, draw your own conclusions from the pie chart. Then, write a paragraph on the popular.spoken languages.


  • A majority of people in China speak Mandarin. It constitutes 12.44$ of the world population. Spanish is spoken more than English (i.e) 0.2% more people in the world speak Sopanish (i.e) (4.85%). Hindi, Bengali and Portuguese are spoken by a minority of around 2.7% of world population. A minority of just 1.25% of world population speaks Javanese, Russian language is spoken only by a minority of 2.12% people, in the world. As low as 1.8% of people speak Japanese language. Many other languages are little known in the world or spoken by other people in the world for which exact statistics is not available. There are many fast disappearing languages which have no writter script. Along with a language, a culture also disappears.

Write conversations on the following situations.

(i) Between two friends about uses and abuses of mobile phone

A : Mobile phone has made our lives comfortable.

B : How?

A : Well, for any project related queries, I just google. I get a variety of solved projects, I get an opportunity to refer to any information in Science.

B : Well deosn’t it have its abuses too?

A : Of course yes, any technology has its own advantages or disadvantages.

B : Most of the elders are really worried about facebook and what’s app addiction and squandering of time in social websites.

A : I agree with you absolutely. Moderation is necessary in the use of mobile phones,

(ii) Between two friends about planting trees

A : A country without trees has a hopeless future

B : What a strong statement? Who said it?

A : Theodore Roosevelt said it.

B : Can you tell me about living legends who plant trees and protect them?

A : Have you heard of Jamuna Tudu? What has she done? Where is she?

B : She is in Jharkhand. She has fought against timber mafia and saved fifty hectare of forests with the help of women volunteers.

A : How did she achieve such a feat?

B : In 1998, she formed “Vana Suraksha Smitit” (i.e) Forest safety committee.

A : Didn’t she get opposition from villagers and Timber mafia?

B : Yes of course the villagers protested because they needed fire wood. She persuaded them to use small twigs and leave the main tree. The timber mafia looted their home and pelted stones at her husband who was critically wounded.

A : How strong is her committee now?

B : She has created 300 groups of women volunteers who roam the forest with bow and, arrows to protect the trees.

(iii) Between two friends about the importance of reading newspapers

A : Do we need newspapers? We have different sources of news. Even an android phone gives one access different kinds of news.

B : Well, the question is how important is reading of news papers?

A : My contention was that one can read the e.version.

B : Read any version, brother. Newspapers must be read.

A : Why do you advise it so strongly?

B : I advocate reading of newspaper strongly because, most of the students focus only on their Board exam or class tests. If they cultivate the habit of reading newspapers, , their knowledge of the world will expand. In future, they will be in a comfortable position to prepare for any competitive examination including IAS examination.

A : We will tell all our friends about this.

B : That’s nice.

(iv) Between two friends about the uses of the internet

A : Where are you going?

B : To Sakthi Browsing Centre.

A : Why?

B : To browse internet for my school project.

A : Why don’t you visit the district library?

B : Well, the internet section in the library is always crowded.

A : Well, I meant why don’t you refer to books? How is internet useful?

B : Everyday knowledge is being added on. Continuous updation of data is done in internet. I have an easy access to e.profiles and projects of children. Besides, I can select video lectures of eminent personalities. When I feel low, I listen to the inspirational lectures of Suki Sivam and Jayantha Sree Balakrishnan. All subject references are available at a click of a button. Last week, I read prize winning essays on various topics. If you don’t wander into toxic Face book or What’s app, you could always use internet to your own maximum advantage. Through skype, we can talk to people around the world, share ideas and strengthen cultural bondages too.

(v) Between a father and a son on choice of a career

Father : Why don’t you take up B.E Information Technology.

Son ; Dad I am interested in music.

Father : It is good for entertainment. Will it give you a steady income?

Sun : Dad, let me master music. I passionately love people. I may become a good musician.

Father : All can’t become like A.R. Rehman or Ilayara Raja.

Son : Dad, let me be myself.

Father : You are my only son. Will I suggest something bad for you.

Sun : Dad, please suggest the dress in which I will look better. Suggest the food item which would suit me better. But, career option, please leave it to me.

Father : Do you really believe you can shine in the field of music?

Son : Dad, faith is life. Music is just not an entertainment.

Father : OK. It is your life. Go to music college.

Son : Thanks Dad.

(vi) Between you and a bookseller on buying books

Bookseller : What do you want sir?

Boy : I want a dictionary.

Bookseller : Hindi – English, Tamil – English, English -English which brand?

Boy : I want a good dictionary to last till I do my Graduation.

Bookseller : Then please take Oxford Advanced learners dictionary by A.S. Hornby and Daniel Jones.

Boy : How much is it?

Bookseller : After discount it is Rs. 640/

Boy : Take the money sir, thank you.

(vii) Between two friends on the benefits of early rising

A : Why are you late today?

B : Yesterday I had been to movies. I overslept.

A : You must practise early rising.

B : Why?

A : Early to bed and early to rise makes you a healthy person.

B : Tell me why I should get up early?

A : If you get up early, you will be brisk. The morning walk will provide you extra energy, you will bathe in time and be celebrated for being punctual. An early bird catches its prey. Similarly early risers achieve a lot in life.

B : Thank you. I will rise early from tomorrow.


(viii) Between two friends on an exciting cricket match

A : Did you watch T20 cricket between India and Bangladesh last night?

B : No, I slept when the Bangladesh was making inroads into our bowling attack.

A : Bangladesh was chasing 177 runs.

B : Who bowled well?

A : Washington Sundar did a wonderful job. He bowled and took wickets giving minimum runs.

B : Shikar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma did excellently well.

A : Who scored high?

B : Skipper Rohit Sharma scored 89 runs leading the team from the front.

A : Who else did well?

B : Suresh Raina scored 47 and Shikar Dhawans 35. They both contributed handsomely to India’s victory over Bangladesh.

A : We shall see another sensational game soon.

B : Yes.

(ix) Between two friends on the importance of punctuality

Varun : Karun, you are alwasy ahead of us. How?

Kanin : Varun, my dad insists that I must be always punctual.

Varun : Are they going to reward you?

Karun : No, virtue can’t ask for a reward because it is a reward by itself.

Varun : How does punctuality help us?

Karun : Punctuality makes others believe that you value their time.

Varun : What can I do to be punctual?

Karun : It is simple. Have a calendar for your daily activities. Fix time for everything. You will reap the fruits soon.

Vanin : Thank you

(x) Between two friends on a picnic they enjoyed recently

A : Wasn’t our picnic-to Mahabalipuram wonderful?

B : Yes, I enjoyed the stroll on the beach.

A : I liked the monolithic structures. How beautifully they have frozen beauty on stones!

B : The five Rathas reminded me of Pandavas.

A : I like the games we played as a team sitting in a circle.

B : The Anthakshari we played was very interesting.

A : The riddles were also challenging.

B : I liked the Kabaddi game played by our friends on the beach.

A : Infact, I can’t forget the picnic we ha

Tight Corners About the author

Edward Vcrral Lucas (1868-1938) was an English humorist, essayist, play wright. biographer, publisher, poet novelist and short story writer. His contribution to the humorous magazine Punch started in 1904 and lasted till his death.

Tight Corners Summary

In this humorous prose piece, the writer confesses how he was bailed out of a humiliating experience by a sudden stroke of luck and thus got relieved from a tight comer he had foolishly walked into.

The author’s friends quoted incidents such as

  1. a man caught by the tide in Brittany and escaped by the skin of his teeth
  2. a man was on an elephant when a wounded tiger attacked it
  3. a man was on the top storey of a burning house
  4. a man was torpedoed in a war. All these incidents talk of physical problems which are claimed to be tight comers. But the author cites from his personal experience an example of a mental tight comer which almost took him to the brink of public disgrace at an auction house at Christie’s.

An auction was in progress at Christie’s. The author and his friend were passing along King Street after having lunch at a club. He persuaded the author to peep into the auction room where Barbizon pictures were on sale. Each picture was sold at two to three thousand pounds.

The author had only sixty-three pounds in the bank. He realized that it was not enough to borrow securities to the tune of five hundred pounds, which is the minimum required deposit to be eligible to bid. Yet, the author found himself bidding just for fun.

The author’s friend cautioned him that he may get caught. But he was overconfident and asserted that he was not going to run any risks. Things moved on well till some well-known dealer put up a picture for a price a little higher than any picture had reached in that auction so far. All the previous bids had been started with the most moderate sum of fifty guineas or a hundred guineas. One particular picture was started with an astounding sum of4000 pounds.

There was an uncomfortable silence in the auction hall. There was a hushed excitement expressing surprise at the sudden hike in the opening bid amount. But foolishly the author had his own voice saying “and fifty”. He expected competitors to hike the price and save him from trouble. But there was a stunned silence. The auctioner after waiting for a few minutes of silence clinched the deal with a hammer saying “four thousand and fifty guineas offered”. The author ’s blood congealed in obvious horror. The auctioner asked for an advance for the bid.

The author, despite the warning of his friend, had foolishly got into a mess. He had to pay four thousand and fifty guineas, the top price of that day. His friend had deserted him to have a hearty laugh.

Not exhibiting the inner turmoil and alarm, the author non-chalantly gave his visiting card. Whoever had bid came and paid for the picture and collected the painting. The author stayed behind at the end of the queue feverishly thinking of the next steps. He was trying to recall uncles and aunts who might lend him the required money. But deep within he realized that his contacts and relatives would not give him money but promises future support. The only open course of action was to confess his poor financial status. But he was scared of the reaction of the auctioning agents, about the credibility he had established by bidding for many ‘prized’ collections. He had created such an impression that anyone would ever treat his behaviour as a “genuine mistake”.

Someone came and politely asked the author if he was the gentleman who had made a bid for big Daubigny. The author confirmed it. He asked the author if he would take fifty guineas from the man who had made a bid for four thousand guineas.

Instead of weeping for joy for getting such an opportunity to be relieved from a predicament or a tight comer with a bonus of fifty guineas, the author asked, “Is that the most he would offer?”. The mediator said that there was no harm in asking for a little bit more. Cashing in on the opportunity the author said, “Tell him I will take a hundred”.

The author and his friend started laughing at the sudden turn of the events like O. Henry twist. But when the author saw the cheque for 100 guineas, he became suddenly serious and said that of all the luck, he was hanged. The author ’s friend reminded him that he would not have been at Christie had it not been for him. The author agreed that it was indelibly written on his heart with letters of fire and promised that he would never forget it.

People who take calculated risks may get away. But those who take high risks usually find themselves in tight comers. The author was lucky but every one may not have similar luck.

Tight Corners Glossary


  • baize – coarse woollen material
  • bloatocrat – bloated + aristocrat (a term coined by E.V. Lucas to mean a bloated (fat) and wealthy person) y
  • Brittany – a region in the coast of North – West France
  • congealed – thickened as if frozen (through fear etc.)
  • cresendo – progress towards a climax
  • electrified – shocked by something unexpected
  • farthing – as low as paise
  • glibly – smoothly but not sincerely
  • guile – cunning, deceit
  • indelible – cannot be rubbed out or removed
  • nonchalantly – unconcernedly, coolly
  • note of hand – promissory note,
  • rectitude – honesty, good behaviour
  • smothered – suppressed
  • St. James – Street, King
  • Street – well-known commercial streets in London


  • auction – a public event of selling things to the highest bidder
  • cautioned – warned
  • enough – adequate
  • excitement – thrill
  • inquiringly – inquisitively
  • modestly – moderately
  • persuaded – induced
  • purchaser – buyer
  • remote – isolated
  • torpedoed – bombed

Tight Corners Synonyms

Choose the most appropriate synonyms for the underlined words.

Question 1.

The talk was running on critical situations.

(a) electrical

(b) extremely ill

(c) serious

(d) ready for chain reaction

Answer:(c) serious

Question 2.

A wounded tiger charged at it.

(a) complained

(b) attacked

(c) gave power

(d) reported

Answer:(b) attacked

Question 3.

A fourth was torpedoed in the war.

(a) rescued

(b) bombed

(c) lifted

(d) arrested

Answer:(b) bombed

Question 4.

He persuaded me to look in at the sale-room.

(a) discouraged

(b) criticised

(c) induced

(d) dissuaded

Answer:(c) induced

Question 5.

I found myself bidding just for fun.

(a) offering

(b) with drawing

(c) neglecting

(d) accepting

Answer:(a) offering

Question 6.

And not enough securities to borrow five hundred on

(a) surplus

(b) efficient

(c) adequate

(d) excess

Answer:(c) adequate

Question 7.

I was nodding away to the auctioneer like a bloated aristocrat.

(a) bloated autocrat

(b) bloatocrat

(c) bloated artist

(d) bloated

Answer:(b) bloatocrat

Question 8.

A dealer electrified the room by starting the bid with a huge figure.

(a) pleased

(b) shocked

(c) electrocuted

(d) provoked

Answer:(b) shocked

Question 9.

The previous lots had run into four figures but they had all been modestly started at fifty or a hundred guineas.

(a) immodestly

(b) politely

(c) moderately

(d) exorbitantly

Answer:(c) moderately

Question 10.

The dealer made his sensational bid.

(a) dull

(b) insipid

(c) exciting

(d) timid

Answer:(c) exciting

Question 11.

The narrator was contributing safely to the gradual crescendo.

(a) climax

(b) anti-climax

(c) denouement

(d) excitement

Answer:(a) climax

Question 12.

There was a rustle of excitement.

(a) sensation/thrill

(b) reason

(c) argument

(d) appeasement

Answer:(a) sensation/thrill

Question 13.

The auctioneer looked inquiringly first at the opener and then at the company.

(a) ignorantly

(b) innocently

(c) inquisitively

(d) incessantly

Answer:(c) inquisitively

Question 14.

Mv blood congealed arround the cut.

(a) thawed

(b) thickened

(c) boiled

(d) showed down

Answer:(b) thickened

Question 15.

There was a curious smothered noise from my friend.

(a) expressed

(b) articulated

(c) hidden

(d) suppressed

Answer:(d) suppressed

Question 16.

That was a nice pickle to be in.

(a) comfort

(b) mess

(c) canteen

(d) cafeterial

Answer:(b) mess

Question 17.

I had become a purchaser of a picture I didn’t want to own.

(a) seller

(b) auctioneer

(c) buyer

(d) antic-dealer

Answer:(c) buyer

Question 18.

He had left me not out of baseness as I discovered later.

(a) foundation

(b) meanness

(c) sanctity

(d) holiness

Answer:(b) meanness

Question 19.

He deserted me to find a remote place to laugh.

(a) nearby

(b) neighbouring

(c) isolated

(d) irritated

Answer:(c) isolated

Question 20.

The narrator wondered if money lenders who talk so glibly about “note of hand” really mean it.

(a) rudely

(b) sincerely

(c) honestly

(d) insincerely

Answer:(d) insincerely

Question 21.

He started speculating on the possibility of confessing his poverty.

(a) believing

(b) hypothesize

(c) distrusts

(d) doubting

Answer:(b) hypothesize

Question 22.

I pulled myself together sufficiently to hand my card nonchalantly.

(a) devotedly

(b) enthusiastically

(c) coolly / unconcernedly

(d) with concern

Answer:(c) coolly / unconcernedly

Question 23.

The stafflooked prosperous.

(a) poor

(b) dirty

(c) rich

(d) stingly

Answer:(c) rich

Question 24.

A genuine mistake could have been rectified.

(a) fake

(b) false

(c) real

(d) feigned

Answer:(c) real

Question 25.

A career of rectitude has rewards.

(a) disloyalty

(b) dishonesty

(c) contentment

(d) honesty

Answer:(d) honesty

Question 26.

The rewards are beyond the consciousness of virtue.

(a) sin

(b) crime

(c) vice

(d) morality

Answer:(d) morality

Question 27.

Even among the best of us there is wordly guile.

(a) wisdom

(b) cunningness

(c) virtue

(d) morality

Answer:(d) morality

Question 28.

He became suddenly grave.

(a) light hearted

(b) humorous

(c) serious

(d) critical

Answer:(c) serious

Question 29.

It is indelibly branded on letters of fire on my heart.

(a) unforgettable

(b) inerasable

(c) misunderstood

(d) ineligible

Answer:(b) inerasable


11th English Guide Lesson 4 Prose Tight Corners

Tight Corners Antonyms

Choose the most appropriate antonyms for the underlined words.

Question 1.

The talk was on critical situations.

(a) important

(b) precious

(c) unimportant / trivial

(d) furious

Answer:(c) unimportant / trivial

Question 2.

Someone talked as if tight comers were always physical affairs.

(a) fiscal

(b) bodily

(c) concrete

(d) mental

Answer:(d) mental

Question 3.

He persuaded me to look in at the sale.

(a) led

(b) followed

(c) dissuaded

(d) made

Answer:(c) dissuaded

Question 4.

Each picture was getting tremendous sums.

(a) poor / meagre

(b) impressive

(c) excellent

(d) huge

Answer:(a) poor / meagre

Question 5.

I had not enough money for securities.

(a) adequate

(b) sufficient

(c) surplus

(d) limited

Answer:(c) surplus

Question 6. was full.

(a) crowded

(b) empty

(c) overflowing

(d) congested

Answer:(b) empty

Question 7.

I had to borrow five hundred pounds.

(a) receive.

(b) raise

(c) lend

(d) land

Answer:(c) lend

Question 8.

Then I found myself.

(a) gained

(b) discovered

(c) established

(d) lost

Answer:(d) lost

Question 9.

I had often been safely contributing to the hike in auction.

(a) calmly

(b) harmlessly

(c) innocently

(d) dangerously

Answer:(d) dangerously

Question 10.

The dealer made his sensational bid.

(a) exciting

(b) remarkable

(c) extraordinary

(d) ordinary

Answer:(d) ordinary

Question 11.

The auctioneer built up the crescendo gradually.

(a) climax

(b) bottom

(c) peak

(d) zenith

Answer:(b) bottom

Question 12.

There was a rustle of excitement.

(a) sensation

(b) calmness

(c) fun

(d) activity

Answer:(b) calmness

Question 13.

To my horror, the red faced dealer gave no sign of life. .

(a) antipathy

(b) hate

(c) dread

(d) delight

Answer:(d) delight

Question 14.

Four thousand and fifty guineas offered.

(a) presented

(b) withdrew

(c) provided

(d) tendered

Answer:(b) withdrew

Question 15.

There was no sound but a curious smothered noise from my friend.

(a) suffocated

(b) stifled

(c) expressed

(d) suppressed

Answer:(c) expressed

Question 16.

I was the purchaser of a picture.

(a) consumer

(b) client

(c) seller

(d) bidder

Answer:(c) seller

Question 17.

My blood congealed.

(a) froze

(b) solidified

(c) thickened

(d) thinned

Answer:(d) thinned

Question 18.

My friend had left me not because of baseness.

(a) depravity

(b) mobility

(c) vileness

(d) wickdenss

Answer:(b) mobility

Question 19.

He had left to find a remote place to laugh.

(a) distant

(b) aloof

(c) isolated

(d) nearby

Answer:(d) nearby

Question 20.

I was stunned and dazed.

(a) astounded

(b) astonised

(c) amazed

(d) cool hedede

Answer:(d) cool hedede

Question 21.

I handed in my card non-chalantlv.

(a) indifferently

(b) eagerly/mindfull

(c) coolly

(d) careless

Answer:(b) eagerly/mindfull

Question 22.

I set to pondering oil the problem.

(a) ignoring

(b) reflecting

(c) consider

(d) contemplating

Answer:(a) ignoring

Question 23.

They talk so glibly.

(a) smoothly

(b) effortlessly

(c) dismissively

(d) rudely

Answer:(d) rudely

Question 24.

A career of rectitude has its rewards.

(a) honesty

(b) good behaviour

(c) depravity

(d) uprightness

Answer:(c) depravity

Question 25.

The rewards are beyond the mere consciousness of virtue.

(a) nobility

(b) dignity

(c) morality

(d) vice

Answer:(d) vice

Question 26.

I admitted it.

(a) confessed

(b) acknowledged

(c) denied

(d) accepted

Answer:(c) denied

Question 27.

The staff looked prosperous

(a) affluent

(b) rich

(c) proud

(d) poor

Answer:(d) poor

Question 28.

A genuine mistake could have been rectified.

(a) Teal

(b) sincere

(c) loyal

(d) false

Answer:(d) false

Question 29.

Will you take fifty guineas for your bid?

(a) order

(b) offer

(c) tender

(d) rejection

Answer:(d) rejection

Question 30.

In the best of us, there is worldly guile.

(a) artistic

(b) clever

(c) cunning

(d) honesty

Answer:(d) honesty

Question 31.

He became grave.

(a) cheerful

(b) serious

(c) severe

(d) solemn

Answer:(c) severe

Question 32.

It is indelibly branded in letters of fire on my heart.

(a) permanently

(b) unerasably

(c) erasable

(d) fixed

Answer:(c) erasable

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