How to teach English to 6, 7, 8 years old students..

The beginners of any language are blank papers in which anything is written. Therefore, the little learners can be introduced the world of language using any effective method. When it comes to learning English as a new language, the same method by which a child learns his/her language can be adopted. How does a child picks up his mother tongue. It is by listening and imitating to his/her parents and relatives. When he joins a schools, the classmates also start influencing them.

It is very important that we must make a passive learning community where the learners learn passively with ease and without much effort. It happens only when teachers, and his or her friends start conversing in English and in a flawless manner. If errors are made by them they are perpetuated. Teachers must bear in mind that language is a skill than a subject to be taught. It should happen effortlessly. Let the little children learn passively. Vocabulary and grammar should thus be learned automatically. Children of this age tend rely largely on teachers. they trust their teachers deeply. They think their teachers are infallible. They never make any mistake.

Therefore, when teachers make some grammatical mistakes in their talk and verbal communication, children learn them and start using them.So each teacher should try to use English carefully.


The Listeners by Walter de la Mare

Walter de la Mare craftily evokes in the reader a sense of mystery and suspense in the poem, “The Listeners”.  The opening question asked by the traveller, “Is there anybody there” with poses a question to every reader a fundamental question- Do we have an awareness of where we are. Instead of using ‘here’, the poet deliberately uses ‘there’ to evoke an indifferent attitude of the listeners. In fact nobody listens and responds. The ghosts just stand in awe but they don’t respond. The questions are again and again reverberated and resounded in the open air which indirectly teases the indifferent attitude of those who encounter the traveler.

The need of doing one’s duty without thinking or worried about the outcome or other’s reaction to it is aptly depicted when the traveller says, ” Tell them  I came, and no one answered that I kept my word”. The every word he uttered echoed through the shadowiness of the still house. Just do our duty and withdraw from the front paving way for others. Life after all a duty and a journey that happens in a wilderness or at a ‘house of ghosts’ where the expected response wouldn’t happen.

Exam tips for those who appear for board exams (CBSE)

Dear students,

Let me begin by asking you the following questions:

  • Are you on the verge of taking one of your most important exams in your lives?
  • Are you tensed?
  • Do prepare with a meticulous plan for the exam?
  • Do your teachers and parents scare you with their predictions and expectations?
  • How much time do you spend to study?
  • Which subject do you find it very difficult and easy?
  • Which learning materials and guides do you use?
  • Do you rely on some guides and other supplementary materials?
  • Are you confused?
  • Do you have exam fever and exam-related stress?

If you say yes to any of these questions, here are some tips for you:-

  • After all, your board exam is not the end of the world. You have a long way to go. Don’t take it so seriously that you spoil your remaining life. In my personal opinion, it is just another exam with some importance. It may be decisive of your career, but not your life. In the present exam pattern you are likely to come up with flying colours. So be cool and composed. Don’t be anxious and tensed up.
  • Make a plan for your study. Study systematically. Divide your time judiciously. Spend more time for difficult subjects like mathematics and science. But never neglect any subject totally. A meticulous plan will boost your confidence and will-power. Your plan should match with your school’s plan so that you may have a smooth run.
  • Spend some time for physical exercise every day. It is not scientific and healthy to spend too much time for study. You need to occasionally rejuvenate your body. Go for a walk. Spend some time talking to your friends. But don’t use smart phones because it will stress your eyes. Listen to good music. It will quieten your mind.Be thoughtless for some time.
  • Try to improve your learning skills through practice. Work on your hand writing. Try to improve your memory through some memory enhancing techniques.Improve your vocabulary through reading. Work also with your listening skills.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t try to live up to the expectation of your parents and teachers. They may have unrealistic dreams and hopes. You know who you are. Be happy with what you have. Stop comparing with others. Stop competing with others. Don’t be jealous of others. There may be some one who is better than you in some subjects. But remember you have your own unique ability which others do not have. Try to work on that instead of being jealous of others. Accept yourself who you are and what you are.

Diary of the grandmother of Sudha Murty.



Today when I touched the feet of my grandmother and when she gifted me the novel, Kashi Yatre, I was in fact elevated to the  heights of satisfaction and glory. I feel free and independent. My teacher has done a good job. I never thought that I could learn Kannada alphabet so soon. At this old age, it is  like a  great dream come true for me. Now I can explore the wonderful world of letters. I get immense pleasure in reading the books. As the novel depicts an old lady who takes after me, it represents the lives of many people. It will take me to different horizons of knowledge. After completing this novel I am going to read a few more books. Thank god before my death I will be able to read enormously. Now I realize the real meaning of freedom and independence. Learning has no barriers of age and gender. Anyone who is determined can learn to read and write. I now regret the days I spent in vain.

The gold frame by R.K Lakshman- humour revealed from anxiety and phobia

The other day, I was assigned with some classes for VIII Standard. I was very happy to glance through the Main Course Book, Buzzward Series. I found some fabulous collection of short stories. The first one, the above mentioned one gave me a great momentum. It seemed that the writer has deliberately used very good vocabulary which adds a lot of hum our aesthetic significance to the story.

The story evolves around Dutta, who runs ‘The Modern Frame Works” shop where the photos are framed.

Modal Verbs: an overview with examples $ links

Must – to have to, or to be highly likely. Must can be used to express 100% certainty, a logical deduction or prohibition depending on the context.

  • It must be hard to work 60-hours a week. (probable)
  • You must listen to the professor during the lecture. (necessity)
  • She must not be late for her appointment. (necessity)
  • It must not be very hard to do. (probable)

Can – to be able to, to be allowed to, or possible. Can is a very common modal verb in English. It’s used to express ability, permission and possibility.

  • It can be done. (possible)
  • She can sleepover at Sara’s house this weekend. (allowed to)
  • The car can drive cross country. (able to)
  • It cannot be done. (impossible)
  • The doctor said he cannot go to work on Monday. (not allowed to)
  • She cannot focus with the car alarm going off outside. (not able to)

Could –to be able to, to be allowed to, or possible. Could is used when talking about an ability in the past or for a more polite way to ask permission.

  • Mark could show up to work today. (possible)
  • Could I come with you? (allowed to)
  • When I was in college I could stay up all night without consequence. (able to)
  • Mark could not come to work today. (possible/allowed)
  • Last night I could not keep my eyes open. (able to)

May – to be allowed to, it is possible or probable

  • May I sit down here? (allowed to)
  • I may have to cancel my plans for Saturday night. (possible/probable)
  • She may not arrive on time due to traffic. (possible)

Might – to be allowed to, possible or probable. Might is used when discussing something that has a slight possibility of happening, or to ask for permission in a more polite way.

  • Chris might show up to the concert tonight. (possible/probable)
  • Might I borrow your computer? (Many people don’t say this in American English, instead they would say Can I borrow your computer? Or May I borrow your computer?)

Need – necessary

  • Need I say more? (necessary)
  • You need not visit him today. (not necessary)

Should – to ask what is the correct thing to do, to suggest an action or to be probable. Should usually implies advice, a logical deduction or a so-so obligation.

  • Should I come with her to the dentist? (permission)
  • Joe should know better. (advice/ability)
  • It should be a very quick drive to the beach today. (possibility)
  • Margaret should not jump to conclusions. (advice)

Had better – to suggest an action or to show necessity

  • Evan had better clean up the mess he made. (necessity)
  • Megan had better get to work on time tomorrow. (necessity)

Will – to suggest an action or to be able to

  • John will go to his second period class tomorrow. (action)
  • It will happen. (action)
  • She will see the difference. (be able to)
  • Eva will not drive the Volkswagen. (not do an action)
  • Joe will not study tonight because he has to work. (not be able to)

Would – to suggest an action, advice or show possibility in some circumstances

  • That would be nice. (advise/possibility/action)
  • She would go to the show, but she has too much homework. (action)
  • Mike would like to know what you think about his presentation. (action)
  • modal auxiliaries

Here are some useful links:-


Three men In a Boat movie

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) published in 1889, is a humorous account by English writer Jerome K. Jerome of a two-week boating holiday on the Thames from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford and back to Kingston. The book was initially intended to be a serious travel guide, with accounts of local history along the route, but the humorous elements took over to the point where the serious and somewhat sentimental passages seem a distraction to the comic novel. One of the most praised things about Three Men in a Boat is how undated it appears to modern readers – the jokes seem fresh and witty even today.

The three men are based on Jerome himself (the narrator Jerome K. Jerome) and two real-life friends, George Wingrave (who would become a senior manager at Barclays Bank) and Carl Hentschel (the founder of a London printing business, called Harris in the book), with whom Jerome often took boating trips. The dog, Montmorency, is entirely fictional but, “as Jerome admits, developed out of that area of inner consciousness which, in all Englishmen, contains an element of the dog.” The trip is a typical boating holiday of the time in aThames camping skiff This was just after commercial boat traffic on the Upper Thames had died out, replaced by the 1880s craze for boating as a leisure activity.

Following the overwhelming success of Three Men in a Boat, Jerome later published a sequel, about a cycling tour in Germany, titledThree Men on the Bummel (also known as Three Men on Wheels, 1900).

The story begins by introducing George, Harris, Jerome (always referred to as “J.”), and Jerome’s dog, a fox terrier called Montmorency. The men are spending an evening in J.’s room, smoking and discussing illnesses from which they fancy they suffer. They conclude that they are all suffering from “overwork” and need a holiday. A stay in the country and a sea trip are both considered. The country stay is rejected because Harris claims that it would be dull, the sea-trip after J. describes bad experiences of his brother-in-law and a friend on sea trips. The three eventually decide on a boating holiday up the River Thames, from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford, during which they will camp, notwithstanding more of J.’s anecdotes about previous mishaps with tents and camping stoves.

They set off the following Saturday. George must go to work that day, so J. and Harris make their way to Kingston by train. They cannot find the right train at Waterloo Station (the station’s confusing layout was a well-known theme of Victorian comedy) so they bribe a train driver to take his train to Kingston, where they collect the hired boat and start the journey. They meet George further up river atWeybridge.

The remainder of the story describes their river journey and the incidents that occur. The book’s original purpose as a guidebook is apparent as J., the narrator, describes passing landmarks and villages such as Hampton Court PalaceHampton ChurchMagna Carta Island and Monkey Island, and muses on historical associations of these places. However, he frequently digresses into humorous anecdotes that range from the unreliability of barometers for weather forecasting to the difficulties encountered when learning to play the Scottish bagpipes. The most frequent topics of J.’s anecdotes are river pastimes such as fishing and boating and the difficulties they present to the inexperienced and unwary and to the three men on previous boating trips.

The book includes classic comedy set pieces, such as the story of two drunken men who slide into the same bed in the dark, the Plaster of Paris trout in chapter 17, and the “Irish stew” in chapter 14 – made by mixing most of the leftovers in the party’s food hamper:

I forget the other ingredients, but I know nothing was wasted; and I remember that, towards the end, Montmorency, who had evinced great interest in the proceedings throughout, strolled away with an earnest and thoughtful air, reappearing, a few minutes afterwards, with a dead water-rat in his mouth, which he evidently wished to present as his contribution to the dinner; whether in a sarcastic spirit, or with a genuine desire to assist, I cannot say.

— Chapter 16

Other memorable sections include chapter 3’s description of the author’s Uncle Podger creating chaos while hanging a picture, and chapter 4’s discussion of “Advantages of cheese as a travelling companion”.



CBSE evaluation criteria for grade XI and XII


Class XI
The academic session is divided into two terms:>
I Term: April to September
II Term: October to March
In each term the students of class XI are assessed on the basis of Cycle Test for each subject followed by Terminal Examinations. The evaluation criteria is as follows:
Examination Weightage
  I Cycle Test 10%
  Half yearly Examination 30%
  II Cycle test 10%
  Comprehensive(Final) Examination 50%
   Class XII

Students of class XII appear for Board Examinations conducted by CBSE in the month of March. However, they also appear for a round of Cycle Tests and Terminal Examination in addition to the Pre Board Examination conducted by the school during the academic session.

Continuous and comprehensive evaluation -CBSE

   Classes I-V

The academic session is divided into three terms.
I Term– April to August
II Term– September to November
III Term– December to March

Scholastic Areas
The students are evaluated on various parameters through oral and written Class tests, Cycle tests, Activity tests and daily class performances throughout the term for all the subjects. Special emphasis is laid to enhance reading, writing and conversation skills in both English and Hindi.
Various competitions such as Hindi and English Calligraphy, Recitations, Creative Writings and Spell Bee Competitions, Maths, Science and General Knowledge Quiz are organized to make the evaluation system more activity oriented.
Co-scholastic Areas
In line with CCE system, General Knowledge, Environmental Education, Physical Education, skills in Art, Music and Dance, Computers and Reading skills are assessed regularly. In addition, Art and Craft competitions, Music and Dance Competitions, Sports activities are also used as an evaluation tool.
Life Skills
The Life skills depicting the personal traits of a student are judged in accordance with CCE system. These consist of qualities such as confidence, obedience, regularity and punctuality, discipline, respect towards others and school property, neatness etc.
The term wise weightage for scholastic areas in an academic session is as follows:

Class I Term
(April  to August)
    II Term
( September  to  November)
       III  Term
( December  to  March)
  I,II & III            30%                   35%                  35%
  IV & V            35%                   35%                  30%
   Classes VI – X

The academic session is divided into two terms:
I Term: April to September
II Term: October to March
Each child is assessed in both scholastic and co-scholastic areas. For the assessment of the scholastic areas, each term will have two formative assessment(FA) and one summative assessment(SA). The weightage  of each assessment in a term for an academic session is as follows:

Period of assessment April-July July-September September October-December December-March March
 Type of assessment  FA  1  FA  2  SA 1  FA  3 FA  4 SA  2
 VI -X  10%  10%   30%  10% 10% 30%

Assessment of Co- scholastic areas is reported once in class IX and class X each. The students are assessed on various parameters for life skills , work education, visual and performing arts, and attitudes and values towards teachers, schoolmates, school programmes and environment.
The students are also assessed for literary and creative skills, scientific skills, information and communication technology and organizational and leadership skills. In addition, the students also participate in various health and physical activities and are assessed by the teachers accordingly.


The Best Christmas Present in the World-Class VIII CBSE English. real episode of love


The Roll-Top: The author found a roll-top desk in a junk shop. He thought that he could restore it. So he bought it and began to work on it on Christmas eve.

The Letter: He pulled out the drawers. He found that these had been badly damaged by fire and water. The last drawer stuck fast. When it opened, it revealed a secret space. In it he found a small tin box. Over it he found a notice which read “Jim’s last letter.” There was a letter inside addressed “12 Copper Beeches, Bridpot. The date was given December 26, 1914.

Jim and Connie: The author read the letter. The owner of the desk might have put it in. The letter had been written by a captain of the English army, Jim McPherson. He had written it to his wife Connie. A wonderful incident had happened on the battlefield on the Christmas eve. Jim McPherson had narrated it in his letter. 
Unforgettable Moments: The English and Germans were at war. The two armies stood in their respective trenches. Suddenly McPherson saw someone waving a white flag from the enemy side and heard Christmas wishes. The English too responded them and wished them from their side. Then, they thought  it was all over. But, to their surprise……

Hans Wolf and Jim chatted about their lands. Hans told that he knew Dorset very well to where Jim belongs to. He has never been to England but he spoke English very well. His favorite writer was Thomas Hardy and favorite book was ‘Far from the madding crowd’. They shared many thoughts and food Hans Wolf and Jim chatted about their lands. Hans told that he knew Dorset very well to where Jim belongs to. He has never been to England but he spoke English very well. His favorite writer was Thomas Hardy and favorite book was ‘Far from the madding crowd’. They shared many thoughts and food War or Football; Then a soldier brought out a football. The soldiers played in the no mans land while the captains clapped and cheered

Hans Wolf suggested that the world would be much better if the problems are solved by football matches rather than wars. Because, in a football match the winner and the loser are chosen without any bloodshed.The Celebration: After the football match, all the drinks and food were consumed. Now it was time to part. Both the armies saluted each other and the Germans walked away slowly. Jim bid farewell to Hans in moist eyes. In the night both the armies were heard singing carols. And, the peaceful celebration  of Christmas came to an end

The Hope: McPherson ended the letter hoping that the war would end soon. He wrote that both the armies longed for peace and he was sure that they would be together again.Having read the letter, the author, put it back in the envelope. He decided to give the letter back to whom it belonged. The address was of Bridpot, Dorset. So he drove to that place.

The Tsunami- CBSE grade VIII English


In tsunami Ignecious , the manager of a cooperative society, lost two of his children, wife and father-in-law as he could not get alarmed by the tremor.
Sanjeev was a policeman. He jumped into the water to rescue his cook’s wife, but they were both swept away.
Both Meghna’s and Almas’ families were washed away. Both of them kept floating in the sea for days. Meghna floated in the sea for two days holding on to a wooden door. She was brought to the shore by a wave. Similarly, Almas climbed on to a log of wood and fainted. She woke up in a hospital. Both the girls were traumatized after the incident. While Meghna was seen walking on the seashore in daze, Almas does not talk about the incident to anyone. Both of them were not noticed by relief helicopters.

Tilly Smith (a British school girl ) was able to save many lives when the tsunami struck Phuket beach in Thailand as she had seen the sea behaving in the same way in a video in her class of a tsunami that had hit the Hawaiian islands in 1946. She had won a number of awards. The tourist thanked Tilly and her geography lesson that had warned her.
Before tsunami in India and Sri Lanka, wild and domestic animals fled to safety, elephants ran for higher grounds; dogs refuse to go outdoors; flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas as seemed to know what was about to happen.
It is believed that animals either posses a sixth sense or have more acute hearing that helps them to hear or feel earth’s vibration. Near about 150,000 people killed in tsunami in a dozen countries but not many animals reported dead.

Answers of Text Book

Q: Say whether the following are true or false

  •  Ignecious lost his wife, two children, his father-in law, and his brother-in-law in the tsunami.
  • Sanjeev made it to safety after the tsunami.
  • Meghna was saved by a relief helicopter.
  •  Almas’s father realised that a tsunami was going to hit the island.
  •  Her mother and aunts were washed away with the tree that they were holding on to.


  • True
  • False(Sanjeev was swept away when he jumped into the water to rescue the wife of the guesthouse cook.)
  • False(Meghna saw relief helicopters overhead, but they did not see her. She was brought to the shore by a wave.)
  •  True
  •  True

 Answer the following in a phrase or sentence.

Q: Why did Tilly’s family come to Thaliand?
A: Tilly’s family came to Thailand to celebrate Christmas at a beach resort.

Q:What were the warning sign that both Tilly and her mother saw?
A: Both Tilly and her mother saw the sea rising and swelling up forming whirlpools.

Q:Do you think Tilly’s mother was alarmed by them?
A: Tilly’s mother could not understand what was happening and only realized that something serious was going to happen when Tilly got frightened and mentioned what a Tsunami was.

Q:Where had Tilly seen the sea behaving in the same strange fashion?
A: Tilly had seen the sea behaving in the same strange fashion in a video of a tsunami (shown in her geography class) which had hit the Hawaiian Islands in 1946.

Q:Where did the Smith family and the others on the beach go to escape from the tsunami?
A: The Smith family and the others on the beach took refuge on the third floor of a hotel.

Q:How do you think her geography teacher felt when he heard about what Tilly had done in Phuket?
A: Tilly’s geography teacher must have felt proud of her as she had made use of what she had learnt in class to help save so many lives.


Q: How did Sanjeev loose his life?
A:  Sanjeev was a policeman. When he heard cries for help from the wife of his cook, he jumped into the water to rescue her. But they were both swept away.

Q: What is Tsunami? How it is caused?
A:. A Tsunami is a very large and powerful wave caused by earthquakes under the sea. It is caused by earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides.

Q: Why was Tilly awarded?
A: Tilly was awarded because she had saved the lives of many tourists after remembering the video of a Tsunami which was shown in her class.

Long answers

Q: When he felt the earthquake, do you think Ignesious immediately worried about a tsunami? Give reasons for your answer. Which sentence in the text tells you that the Ignesious family did not have any time to discuss and plan their course of action after the tsunami struck?

A: No, Ignesious did not suspect a tsunami when he felt the tremors. He put his television set on the ground so that it would not fall and break. This shows that he was not get worried of a tsunami immediately. Otherwise, he would have rushed out of the house immediately. The sentence in the text which shows that the Ignesious family did not have any time to discuss and plan their course of action after the tsunami struck is: ‘in the chaos and confusion, two of his children caught hold of the hands of their mother’s father and mother’s brother, and rushed in the opposite direction.’

Q:How are Meghna and Almas’s stories similar?
A:Both Meghna’s and Almas’ families were washed away. Both of them kept floating in the sea for days. Meghna floated in the sea for two days holding on to a wooden door. She was brought to the shore by a wave. Similarly, Almas climbed on to a log of wood and fainted. She woke up in a hospital. Both the girls were traumatized after the incident. While Meghna was seen walking on the seashore in daze, Almas does not talk about the incident to anyone. Both of them were not noticed by relief helicopters.

Working with the text

Q:Which words in the list below describe Sanjeev, in your opinion?

cheerful, ambitious, brash, brave, careless, heroic, selfless, heartless, humorous

Use words from the list to complete the three sentences below.
(i) I don’t know if Sanjeev was cheerful, ____________ or _____________.
(ii) I think that he was very brave, ______________ and ____________.
(iii) Sanjeev was not heartless, ____________ or _____________.

A:The words that would describe Sanjeev are brave, heroic, and selfless.
(i) I don’t know if Sanjeev was cheerful, ambitious or humorous.
(ii) I think that he was very brave, heroic and selfless.
(iii) Sanjeev was not heartless, brash or careless.

Q: Go through Part – I carefully, and make a list of a many words as you can find that indicate movement of different kinds. (There is one word that occurs repeatedly — count how many times!) Put them into three categories
fast movement,      slow movement,       neither slow nor fast
Can you explain why there are many words in one column and not in the others?
A:Fast movement  :Earthquake, Rushed,Tremors,  Ran, Fell, Climb
Slow movement: Floating , Recede

Neither slow nor fast  : Walking
Q:   Fill in the blanks in the sentences below (the verbs given in brackets will give you a clue).

(i) The earth trembled, but not many people felt the ____________. (tremble)

(ii) When the zoo was flooded, there was a lot of ________and many animals escaped into the countryside. (confuse)

(iii) We heard with _________that the lion had been recaptured. (relieve)

(iv) The zookeeper was stuck in a tree and his _______ was filmed by the TV crew. (rescue)

(v) There was much ____________in the village when the snake charmer came visiting. (excite)

A:(i) The earth trembled, but not many people felt the trembling.

(ii) When the zoo was flooded, there was a lot of confusion and many animals escaped into the countryside.

(iii) We heard with relief that the lion had been recaptured.

(iv) The zookeeper was stuck in a tree and his rescue was filmed by the TV crew.

(v) There was much excitement in the village when the snake charmer came visiting.

Q: Say whether the following sentences are in the Active or the Passive voice. Write A or P after each sentence as shown in the first sentence.

(i) Someone stole my bicycle. ____A____

(ii) The tyres were deflated by the traffic police. _________

(iii) I found it last night in a ditch near my house. __________

(iv) It had been thrown there. __________

(v) My father gave it to the mechanic. ______________

(vi) The mechanic repaired it for me. ______________

A :(i) Someone stole my bicycle. A

(ii) The tyres were deflated by the traffic police. P

(iii) I found it last night in a ditch near my house. A

(iv) It had been thrown there. P


Bishop’s Candlesticks by Norman Mckinnel summary and NCERT Solutions


1.Bishop: He is a very noble and simple person, who always ready to help anyone in distress. He has all the characteristics of a good human being. When he hears the story of the convict, he showed his sympathy for him. He comes to know that the attitude of the convict turned inhuman due to bad treatment in the prison. He treats him like a friend even after the convict stole his candlesticks. He also freed him from the Sergeant by telling a lie. He gives his candlesticks to the convict and helps him to get to Paris. These kind acts of the Bishop prove that he is really a ‘man of god’.

2. Persome: She is the sister of Bishop. She was not generous and kind as her brother and very materialistic. She feels that the simplicity and nobility of the bishop has been misused by the people. She show rude behaviour against oppressed people.

3.  Convict: He was leading a common life before he became a criminal. He had no faith in religion. He had given severe punishment which made him heartless and soulless, but bishop’s noble behaviour changed his mind. He promised Bishop to start his life in a new way.


The play opens with a scene in the kitchen of Bishop’s cottage. Bishop’s younger sister Persome and maid servant, Marie are busy in conversation while soup is being cooked on the stove. Persome is worried that her brother has gone out in extreme cold. When she learns that her brother has gone to see Marie’s ailing mother, she bursts out in anger at the selfishness of the people, who went about troubling him. Persome’s anger is genuine because her brother has already sold off his estate, furniture and other valuables to help the poor and the needy. Persome is shocked to discover further that the Bishop has even sold off his silver salt-cellars to help another ailing lady, to pay her rent.

The Bishop promptly arrives and dispatches Marie to tend to her mother. He gives away his comforter to her to ward off the cold outside. Persome gets furious and says, “You’ll sell your candlesticks next.” The Bishop thanks her for giving him the idea, although he admits that the candlesticks were his proud possessions, a gift from his dying mother and he would not like to part with them. Persome takes leave and the Bishop settles down to read. It is already midnight. A convict enters the room stealthily, seizes the Bishop from behind and demands something to eat. He threatens to kill the Bishop if he raises an alarm. The Bishop is unflustered. He calls the convict ‘son’ and wakes his sister to serve some food and wine to the convict. He also calms down Persome who was frightened to see the knife in the convict’s hand.

The convict pounces on the food greedily. After eating, the convict warms up to the Bishop and relates his sad story. He tells the Bishop that he was once a normal man. He had a wife and a home, but no work. So he stole to feed his sick wife. He was caught and sentenced to serve ten years in prison. He was chained like an animal and beaten mercilessly. The Bishop consoles him and arranges for him to rest there for the night.
The next morning Persome finds that the convict and the silver candlesticks are missing. She raises an alarm and informs the Bishop about the theft. The Bishop is upset, but he refuses to report to the police.

Soon a Sergeant appears with two soldiers and the convict in chains. They had arrested the convict on the suspicion of stealing the Bishop’s candlesticks. The Bishop tells the police that the convict was his friend and he had gifted the candlesticks to him. The police free the convict and go away. The convict is thunderstruck by such kindness. He promises to reform himself and begin his life in a new manner. The Bishop blesses him and gifts the candlesticks to him. He shows him a secret path to Paris, where the convict could lead a safe and respectable life.


Best Seller by O. Henry- hypocricy unfolded!

Best Seller, a short story written by O. Henry offers to the reader many fruitful moments of reflection, meditation, introspection and self-evaluation. The hero of the story, John S. Pescud’s hypocrisy is beautifully manifested by the gradual development of the plot by the writer. Undoubtedly, he has an obvious contempt for  ‘best sellers’ as they project unrealistic incidences of marriage.

The narrator was traveling in a chair-car heading towards Pittsburg on business. He swas a passenger hurling one of the best novels, ” the Rose Lady and Trevelyan” to the foor. He recognized the passenger as his old friend John A Pescud, a traveling salesman for a plate-glass company.

During the journey they discussed about the American Bestsellers. Pescud remarked that the story of Bestsellers was so uninteresting because of its unlikely real life situations and its significant connection with ordinary human beings. He also commented that in the nove, “The Rose Lady and Travelyan” the hero Trevelyan, scenes and characters are not consistent with reality and life.

As they talk further on, he told the narrator about his marriage. His wife was Jessie Allyn, the only daughter of the only daughter of the oldest family in Virginia. Her father, Colonel Allyn possessed the reputation of the biggest man and finest quality in Virginia. Pescud told the narrator how they met in a journey where he had least expected to find his life partner. Pescud narrated the incident how he chased her all the way on their journey from Illinois to Cincinnati. Like an American hero he followed her up till her home and decided to talk. the next morning he visited Allyns and not only ment the Colonel but also impressed him by his honest motives.

Finally, Pescud told that two  evening later he got a chance to meet Allyns alone. Colonel inquired about his family and was convinced that he was right for his daughter and got the two married. Pescud told the narrator that he would get down at Coketown in order to buy Petunias cutting for his wife as she was fond of them.

“The Rose Lady and The Trevelyan” might be unrealistic. But it cannot be universalized. There are instances of many human love stories where this apparent ‘geographical boundaries are broken. When it comes to love, and other strong emotions of man, there is no geographical barriers. They are unconditional. For example, one cannot help admiring the charitable works of Mother Theresa who came to India to serve the poor.She was a foreigner, but she was accepted in Indian society because of her sheer unselfish works.

The universal values and human life has bare similarities through out the world. People are moved by love, jealousy, hatred, sense of superiority, fear, sense of security, estrangement, psychological disturbances every nook and corner of the world. Human  beings have the same plight everywhere. One cannot envisage a totally different live any region. It has no constraints geographical bounds.

Life cannot be defined in strict terms. It differs from individual to individual. Most of the time, ‘truth is stranger than fiction’. The bridge  between  the former and latter is shortened day by day. Dreams have become possibilities. Potentialities have become actualities.

Questions for study.

I. Based on your reading of the story, answer the following questions by choosing the correct option.

(a) The narrator says that John was “______ of the suff that heroes are not often lucky enough to be made of.” His tone is sarcastic because __________.

(i) he hated John

(ii) he felt that John was a threat to him

(iii) John was not particularly good-looking

(iv) nobody liked John

Answer: (iii) John was not particularly good-looking

(b) Pescud felt that best-sellers were not realistic as____________.

(i) American farmers had nothing in common with European princesses

(ii) men generally married girls from a similar background

(iii) American men married girls who studied in America

(iv) American men did not know fencing and were beaten by the Swiss guards

Answer: (ii) men generally married girls from a similar background

(c) “Bully”, said Pescud brightening at once. He means to say that ____________.

(i) he is a bully

(ii) his manager was a bully

(iii) he was being bullied by his co-workers

(iv) he was doing very well at his job

Answer: (iv) he was doing very well at his job

(d) The narrator says that life has no geographical bounds implying that __________.

(i) human beings are essentially the same everywhere

(ii) boundaries exist only on maps

(iii) one should work towards the good of mankind

(iv) he was happy to travel to other countries

Answer: (i) human beings are essentially the same everywhere

II. Answer the following questions briefly.

(a) One day last summer the author was travelling to Pittsburg by chair car. What does he say about his co-passengers?

Answer: The compartment was full of affluent people, men and women, sitting in their chair-cars. Women were fashionably dressed in brown silk dresses with laces and veils. Men appeared to be travelling on account of

(b) Who was the passenger of chair No.9? What did he suddenly do?

Answer: The passenger of Chair No. 9 was a man from Pittsburgh named John, an old friend of writer. He suddenly threw his book between his chair and window. The name of book was the ‘The Rose Lady and Trevelyan’, one of the bestselling novels of the present day.

(c) What was John A. Pescud’s opinion about best sellers? Why?

Answer: Pescud believed that the stories about best-sellers were not realistic. The themes revolved around
romances between royals and commoners, fencing, imaginative encounters and all the stuff that never happens in real life. In real life, one would always select a prospective bride from a similar background.

(d) What does John say about himself since his last meeting with the author?

Answer: John, since his last meeting with the author was on the line of general prosperity. He had his salary doubled twice and had bought “a neat slice of real estate.” His company was to sell him some shares of stock the coming year. Much settled in life, he had even taken some time off to experience some romance of which he tells the author next.

(e) How did John’s first meeting with Jessie’s father go? What did the author tell him?

Answer: John’s first meeting with Jessie’s father was successful, since it set the tone for a possible alliance in
future. John not only made his proposal, stated his intentions in clear terms, but also made Jessie’s father
laugh with his anecdotes and stories.

(f) Why did John get off at Coketown?
Answer : Jessie had fancied some petunias in one of the windows and she wanted to plant them in her new house. So Pescud thought of dropping at Coketown to dig or get some cuttings of flowers for her.
(g) John is a hypocrite. Do you agree with this statement? Substantiate your answer.
Answer : Yes, I believe that John is a hypocrite. The word hypocrite means the person tries to shows what he is not. John is such type of man. He said that he did not believe in the romance portrayed in best sellers. He believed the stories too good to be true. However, his own story was fantastical. His wife, the only daughter of the oldest family in Virginia, met him, an ordinary travel salesman of a plate glass company, in a journey where he would have least expected to find his life partner. Their courtship also was too fantastical, and even after all the episode, the fashion in which Pescud criticised love stories of best sellers proves him to be a hypocrite.

(h) Describe John A. Pescud with reference to the following points:

Physical appearance ………………………………………………………………………………..

His philosophy on behaviour …………………………………………………………………….

His profession …………………………………………………………………………………………

His first impression of his wife …………………………………………………………………

His success …………………………………………………………………………………………….


Physical appearance: John was not particularly good looking

His philosophy on behaviour: A man should be decent and law abiding in her/his hometown

His profession: A travelling salesman for a plate glass company

His first impression of his wife: A very fine girl, whose job was to make this world prettier just by residing in it

His success: Much successful John had had his salary raised twice in the previous year and his company was to give him a few shares as well.

III. Complete the flow chart in the correct sequence as it happens in the story.

Hint: it begins from the time John Pescud first saw Jessie till the time they marry.

(1) Jessie takes a sleeper to Louisville.
(2) Pescud sees a girl (Jessie) reading a book in the train.
(3) Pescud speaks to the girl (Jessie) for the first time.
(4) Pescud follows her but finds it difficult to keep up.
(5) Pescud goes to the village to find out about the mansion.
(6) Jessie arrives at Virginia.
(7) Pescud meets Jessie’s father.
(8) They get married a year later.
(9) Pescud instantly gets attracted to the girl (Jessie)
(10) Jessie informs Pescud that her father would not approve of them meeting.
(11) They meet alone two days later.


(2) Pescud sees a girl (Jessie) reading a book in the train.
(9) Pescud instantly gets attracted to the girl (Jessie)
(1) Jessie takes a sleeper to Louisville.
(4) Pescud follows her but finds it difficult to keep up.
(6) Jessie arrives at Virginia.
(5) Pescud goes to the village to find out about the mansion
(3) Pescud speaks to the girl (Jessie) for the first time.
(10) Jessie informs Pescud that her father would not approve of them meeting.
(7) Pescud meets Jessie’s father.
(11) They meet alone two days later
(8) They get married a year later.

IV. Irony refers to the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of their literal meaning. Working in pairs, bring out the irony in the following:
(a) The title of the story, “The Best seller”.
Answer: The Best Seller is supposed to be most popular and likeable. But John Pescud throws the best seller “The Rose Lady and Trevelyan” to the floor of the chair car. He later says that all bestsellers have the same unrealistic romantic stories.
(b) Pescud’s claim, “When people in real life marry, they generally hunt up somebody in their own station. A fellow usually picks out a girl who went to the same high-school and belonged to the same singing-society that he did.”

Answer: Pescud told the author that unlike the stories of the bestsellers, in real life people marry somebody in their own place. Someone who has been educated in a similar type of school and has grown up in a similar background. Yet the irony behind his claim is seen in his own life history. The moment he saw the unknown girl on the train, he fell in love with her, without much knowledge about her. He followed her to her destination and even after finding out that she lived in Elmcroft, Virginia, in a 50 room mansion, belonged to the oldest family in the state and her father was a descendent of the belted Earls he did not give up his pursuit. In spite of coming from totally different walks of life-he being an ordinary travelling salesman, their paths met and he went on to marry her.

(c) The name Trevelyan.

Answer : Trevelyan is the hero of the bestseller novel “The Rose Lady and Trevelyan.” Pescud condemns such best sellers and makes fun of its unrealistic characters. But at the end of the story, the author calls Pescud a Trevelyan because he had behaved almost like the hero of the bestseller.

Some links and videos


The Best Seller – O Henry




ASL-dos and don’ts

The CBSE has introduced ASL ( ASSESSMENT OF SPEAKING AND LISTENING)  for high school students to assess the speaking and listening skills of students. I feet that it is a good evaluation tool as these two language skills are the two core skills one needs to master English Language. Here are some dos and don’ts


  • Prepare a write up of what you are going to speak during the speaking assessment.
  • Listen to the examiner properly.
  • Speak with ease.
  • Try to initiate discussion in the problem solving task.
  • Be relevant, don’t ramble.
  • Use connectives and conjunctions to join or link your ideas.

Don’t s

  • Don’t be panic.
  • Don’t read from a paper.
  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Don’t ramble.
  • Don’t be artificial, be yourself.
  • Don’t speak too fast or too slow.
  • Don’t assume anything before hearing properly.

These are some important points to be careful of. Ultimately, be confident and all the best for your exam!


Bishop’s candlesticks

Bishop’s Candle Sticks, written by Norman Mckinnell is  a relevant story today. As we hear about terrorist attacks, abuses and atrocities against women through the world, we need to read this drama  thousand times or to enact it in the streets or platforms we could have.

Bishop’s values like compassion, benevolence, generosity, empathy and innocence must be inculcated in every human being. A path of love and not a path of violence would lead to everlasting peace and harmony in the world. Criminals are not born but they are created by the fickle mindedness and vested interests of the society.

People now a days lack the accommodating mentality to accept the odds in life. On the other hand, they tend to think in terms of their name and fame. Self-projection is there everywhere. We need to adopt the humble and simple mental disposition of the bishop in order to create a good mark in the society.

On the grasshopper and the cricket by John Keats

On the grasshopper and the cricket is a poem written by John Keats which deals with the cycle of life and nature. It is a Patriarchal sonnet, as it is divided in an octave and a sestet. Generally these two parts oppose each other. This poem was written on December of 1816 and is based on Aesop’s fable The ant and the Grasshopper. The first octave refers to the grasshopper who jumps “from hedge to hedge”, having a delightful summer. The sestet refers to the cricket beside the stove, in the cold winter, when there is no life and all is static.

The author uses some words such as “hot sun”, “summer luxury”, “pleasant weed”, “delights”, to convey the idea that the octave refers to summer. The voice describes the grasshopper enjoying the summer from beginning to end, “jumping from hedge to hedge”.

We can see that the author alludes to winter in the sestet, by words such as “frost” “lone” “silence” “stove” “drowsiness”  to make winter more delightful by changing the order of the word “never”, to emphasize the fact that in summer everything is dark and sad, but there is something of joy. This inversion is to highlight that there is always cheerfulness in every moment. The creak of the cricket emphasize the idea that life is not over, that it is still alive.

The voice is present in the poem, when it says “one” because that “one” can be anyone. The tone of this poem is reflective
The grasshopper and the cricket symbolize the young part of life and happiness. The cricket symbolizes the last years of life, the “winter”, because during winter there is no life. But there is a “cricket” which makes old people to continue enjoying life.

Text book solutions

1.Discuss with your partner the following definition of a poem.
A poem is made of words arranged in a beautiful order. These words, when read aloud with feeling, have a music and meaning of their own.

Ans. The statement is true. Poetry is really the magic of words and sound. So when these words are read, they give a music of their own. This is there not only in rhythm and rhyme, it is there in the order of the words too.

2.The Poetry of earth’ is not made of words. What is it made of, as suggested in the poem?
Ans. The poetry of earth is made of sounds.

3.Find in the poem lines that match the following.
(i) The grasshopper’s happiness never come to an end.

(ii) The cricket’s song has a warmth that never decreases.
Ans. (i) he has never done with his delights.

(ii) The cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever.

4.Which word in stanza 2 is opposite in meaning to ‘the frost’?
Ans. The word is ‘warmth’.

5.The poetry of earth continues round the year through a cycle of two seasons. Mention each with its representative voice.
Ans. The seasons are summer and winter. The summer’s representative voice is – grasshopper’s.

The winter’s representative voice is – cricket’s.

Error Correction/Spotting Errors/English Communicative

Wrong:        I have visited Niagara Falls  last weekend.

Right :         I visited Niagara Falls last weekend.

Wrong        The woman which works here is from   Japan.

Right           The woman who works here is from     Japan.

Wrong        She’s married with a dentist.

Right           She’s married to a dentist.

Wrong        She was boring in the class.

Right           She was bored in the class.

Wrong        I must to call him immediately.

Right           I must call him immediately.

Wrong        Every students like the teacher.

Right           Every student likes the teacher.

Wrong        Although it was raining, but we had   the picnic.

Right           Although it was raining, we had the  picnic.

Wrong        I enjoyed from the movie.

Right           I enjoyed the movie.

Wrong        I look forward to meet you.

Right           I look forward to meeting you.

Wrong        I like very much ice cream.

Right           I like ice cream very much.

Wrong        She can to drive.

Right           She can drive.

Wrong        Where I can find a bank?

Right           Where can I find a bank?

Wrong        I live in United States.

Right           I live in the United States.

Wrong        When I will arrive, I will call you.

Right           When I arrive, I will call you.

Wrong        I’ve been here since three months.

Right           I’ve been here for three months.

Wrong        My boyfriend has got a new work.

Right           My boyfriend has got a new job.

Wrong        She doesn’t listen me.

Right           She doesn’t listen to me.

Wrong        You speak English good.

Right           You speak English well.

Wrong        The police is coming.

Right           The police are coming.

Wrong        The house isn’t enough big.

Right           The house isn’t big enough.

Wrong        You should not to smoke.

Right           You should not smoke.

Wrong        There is seven girls in the class.

Right           There are seven girls in the class.

Wrong        I didn’t meet nobody.

Right           I didn’t meet anybody.

Wrong        My flight departs in 5:00 am.

Right           My flight departs at 5:00 am.

         Words that are confused.

  • advice–a noun meaning helpful information
  • advise–a verb meaning to give helpful information
  • affect–a verb meaning to influence or to display.  Used as a noun in psychology to mean a feeling, an emotion.
  • effect–a noun meaning result.  Used as a verb to mean to cause or bring about.
  • As a general rule, remember that affect is usually a verb and effect is usually a noun.
  • all ready–an adjective meaning prepared
  • already–an adverb meaning prior to a certain time
  • cite–a verb meaning to quote and refer to
  • sight–a verb meaning to see or to aim; a noun meaning an extraordinary visual perception
  • site–a noun meaning a place or a verb meaning to place
  • its–the possessive form of it
  • it’s–the contracted form of it is
  • knew–the past tense of the verb to know
  • new–an adjective meaning recently created, unused
  • know–a verb meaning to have knowledge of
  • no–the negative.
  • loose–an adjective meaning free, unconnected
  • lose–a verb meaning to misplace, to be defeated
  • principal–an adjective meaning chief or main; a noun meaning the head of a school, a leading performer, or a sum of money
  • principle–a noun meaning theory, concept, rule
  • their–the third person plural possessive pronoun.
  • there–an adverb designating place
  • they’re–the contracted form of they are
  • to–a preposition meaning in the direction of
  • too–an adverb meaning also or excessively
  • two–the number 2.
  • whose–the possessive form of who
  • who’s–the contracted form of who is

Twenty Commonly Misspelled Words

  • existence
  • leisure
  • receive
  • forty
  • lose
  • separate
  • friend
  • misspell
  • studying
  • grammar
  • ninety
  • truly
  • independent
  • noticeable
  • writing
  • indispensable
  • occurrence
  • written
  • led
  • precede

Identify the tense and change into indirect speech

  1. She says “What time will you be home?”
  2. She said “What time will you be home?”
  3. I said “I don’t know!”
  4. John said, “There’s an elephant outside the window.”
  5. She said, “I saw him.”
  6. She said, “Today’s lesson is on presentations.”
  7. She said, “I’m teaching English online.”
  8. She said, “I’ve been on the web since 1999.”
  9. She said, “I’ve been teaching English for seven years.” –
  10. She said, “I taught online yesterday.”
  11. She said, “I was teaching earlier.”
  12. She said, “I’d already been teaching for five minutes.”
  13. She said, “I’ll teach English online tomorrow.”
  14. She said, “I can teach English online.”
  15. He said, “It’s been a real day for expectations. “
  16. He asked, “Where were you? “
  17. I’ve been waiting here for an hour.
  18. He said, “didn’t you leave a note?”
  19. She said, “I wasn’t planning on going anywhere.”
  20. He said, “I can see that.”
  21. He asked, “Where’s your coat?”
  22. She said, “I left the house in a hurry.”
  23. They called me when they couldn’t get you.
  24. He said, “I don’t understand your mother.”
  25. You said, “ I ran out to buy some flowers for her”.
  26. She said, “for three hours you’ve been buying flowers.”
  27. He said, “ And then I drove around.”
  28. He said, “But I’m fine now.”
  29. You didn’t go by the hospital?
  30. He said, “ Look, I’m freezing.”
  31. He said, “Let’s go inside.”
  32. Why did the hospital call?
  33. He asked, “Does the doctor need my signature for more tests?”
  34. He said, “We have to go to the hospital. ‘
  35. She said, “I’ve had a terrible”
  36. They said, “We have to go to the hospital.”
  37. Barra asked Ari, ” are you a doctor?”
  38. The dentist told me, “don’t eat candy too much!”
  39. Lina said, ” I must study now.”
  40. Nina said, “I will be going to Seoul tomorrow.”
  41. Cinta said,” I have studied hard for the final exam”
  42. George said, ” I watched the vampire diaries series yesterday.”
  43. Camille said, ” I went to school on foot yesterday.”
  44. The police told me, “show me your license!”
  45. Esme warned me, “don’t go to the forest by yourself.”
  46. Ridho said, ” I have been studied for TOEFL test.”
  47. ‘Congratulations! You have come first in the exams,’ the principal said to me.
  48. Mohit’s father said, ‘We must not watch TV while having our dinner.’
  49. ‘What an expensive car he drives!’ remarked Rahul’s neighbour.
  50. ‘How well you speak German,’ his teammate remarked.
  51. ‘Hurry up!’ said Viru’s mother. ‘The bus will be here in a minute.’
  52. The policeman ordered the truck driver, ‘Show your licence.’
  53. ‘You will have to surrender your passport,’ the officer said to the passenger.
  54. My grandfather said, ‘May you have a long life!’
  55. Mr Jain said to his colleague, ‘Will you please drop me at the airport?’
  56. ‘Light travels in a straight line,’ the teacher explained.
  57. ‘I saw an interesting film last evening,’ said my friend.
  58. The caller asked, ‘May I speak with Shweta?’
  59. ‘May I know who is on the line?’ her father enquired.
  60. ‘Ouch! The bee stung me!’ the child said.
  61.  ‘What do you want?’ she asked him.
  62.  ‘Are you coming with us?’ he asked me.
  63.  He asked, ‘When do you intend to make the payment?’’
  64.  ‘Do you come from China?’ said the prince to the girl.
  65.  The poor man exclaimed, ‘Will none of you help me?’
  66.  ‘Which way should I go?’ asked the little girl..
  67. Alladin said to the magician, ‘What have I done to deserve so severe a punishment?’
  68.  ‘Don’t you know the way home?”’ I said to her.
  69.  ‘Do you write a good hand?’ the teacher said to the student.
  70.  ‘Have you anything to say on behalf of the accused?’ said the judge finally.
  71.  ‘Have you anything to tell me, little bird?’ asked Ulysses.
  72.  ‘Who are you, sir, and what do you want?’ they asked.
  73.  The king was impressed with the magician and asked, ‘What can I do for you?’
  74. She asked, ‘What is it that makes you stronger and braver than other men?’
  75.  ‘Can you solve this problem?’ he asked me.
  76. “Where is my umbrella?” she asked.
  77. How are you?” Martin asked us.
  78. He asked, “Do I have to do it?”
  79. “Where have you been?” the mother asked her daughter.
  80. “Which dress do you like best?” she asked.
  81. “What are they doing?” she asked.
  82. “Are you going to the cinema?” he asked me.

83. The teacher asked, “Who speaks English?”

Two Gentlemen of Verona (A.J.Cronin)

Two gentlemen of Verona is a touching story of Jacopo and Nicola, two brothers aged 12 and 13, who do odd jobs and live a hard life themselves to sustain and treat their elder sister Lucia who is suffering from tuberculosis of the spine.

A.J Cronin uses the title of William Shakespeare’s famous  play, the Two Gentlemen of Verona in an ironic manner. Cronin’s portrayal of these modern ‘gentlemen’ of Verona redefines the concept of what it means to be a gentleman. Cronin shows us that one may polish boots or sell newspapers, but it is the magnanimity of heart and nobleness of purpose that actually determines whether one is a true gentleman.

The story recounts the hard life chosen by the two young boys so that they could pay for the treatment of the sister afflicted with tuberculosis. The boys exhibit sincerity and devotion to the cause and maturity they display in their actions gives a new hope for humanity.

The writer and his friend are stopped at the outskirts of Verona by two small boys when they drive through lower hills of the Alps. The boys are brothers, Nicola the elder and Jacopo the younger one. They were selling wild strawberries .Next time when they meet the boys, they were polishing shoes in the public square. Interacting with them, the writer comes to know that they do various tasks. One mid night, they see the boys resting on the stone of a footpath. Nicola sat tired with a bundle of unsold newspapers. His brother was sleeping by putting his hand on Nicola’s shoulder. The narrator asks the boys if they save the money for emigration to America, they deny and say that they have other plans. The writer offers them help for which Jacopo asks him to drop them at Poleta by their  car. The writer accepts their request.

The next afternoon they reach the village located on a hill. The two boys are dropped from the car. After sometime, the writer follows them and finds from the nurse about the two boys and their sister. She tells him that their father, a famous singer died in the war. A bomb had destroyed their home. They had a cultured life, but due to the war, they were left alone on road. Lucia was a good singer, but now she is suffering from tuberculosis and the boys are working hard day and night for the treatment of their  sister. Their selfless actions, nobility and devotion touch the writer’s heart and show a greater hope for mankind.

Questions for study

  1. What are the qualities of a “gentleman”? Work with your partner and complete the following web-chart by listing the qualities of a gentleman.

Answer: industrious, courageous, humble, honest, responsible.
2. Based on your discussion above, what do you think the story is about?
Answer: I think the story is about a person who bears amiable nature. The story is based on the theme of human ethics.
3. Based on reading of the story answer the following questions by ticking the correct options.
1. The driver did not approve of the narrator buying fruit from the two boys because
(a) the boys were untidy and poorly dressed
(b) the strawberries were not fresh
(c) they were asking for a heavy price
(d) the driver did not approve of small boys who worked
Answer: (a) the boys were untidy and poorly dressed
2. The narrator was most impressed by the boys’
(a) desire to earn money
(b) willingness to work
(c) ability to perform many tasks
(d) sense of fun
Answer: (b) willingness to work
3. Nicola was not pleased when Jacopo asked the narrator to drive them to Poleta as he
(a) did not want a stranger to become involved with their plans
(b) preferred going to Poleta by train so that he could enjoy the scenery
(c) did not want to ask anyone for favours
(d) did not want to take help from someone he did not know well
Answer: (a) did not want a stranger to become involved with their plans
4. The narrator did not go inside Lucia’s room as
(a) he did not want to intrude into their privacy
(b) he thought that the boys would object
(c) Lucia would not welcome a stranger
(d) the boys would feel he was spying on them
Answer: (a) he did not want to intrude into their privacy
5. The boys were the first to join the resistance movement against the Germans because
(a) the Germans had hurt their sister
(b) the Germans ruled the city
(c) the Germans had ruined their family
(d) the Germans had destroyed their home
Answer: (c) the Germans had ruined their family
6. The author did not speak to the boys on their return journey because
(a) he thought the boys would prefer to keep their secret
(b) he thought the boys were ashamed of their sister’s condition
(c) he thought they wouldn’t tell him the truth
(d) he thought the boys might ask him for money for their sister

: (a) he thought the boys would prefer to keep their secret.

5. What do you understand by the following statements?
(a) “We do many things, sir,” Nicola answered seriously. He glanced at us hopefully.
Answer: This statements shows that the two boys were not ashamed of doing menial jobs such as shoe polish or fruit-vending. When the narrator saw them working as shoe shine boys he was surprised as he had seen them selling wild strawberries the previous day. He asked them about it. Then Nicola, the elder brother spoke that they did many things. Nicola said that they also did a lot of other things for a living. The boys hoped that the narrator would ask for their services and in return would earn some good money.
(b) He coloured deeply under his sunburn, then grew pale
Answer: This statement shows the uneasiness of the speaker, Nicola. The narrator was astonished to see that boys worked hard day and night and yet lived meagerly. He wanted to know what the boys did with the money they earned. When he questioned Nicola, he appeared uncomfortable. Perhaps the boys were not used to anybody questioning them regarding their earnings, and the narrator’s question embarrassed them.
(c) He smiled uncomfortably. “Just plans, sir,” he answered in a low voice.
Answer: When the narrator suggested that the boys were saving to emigrate to the States.
Nicola responded that how much ever they wished to do that, currently they had other plans, which he was unwilling to and uncomfortable sharing with the narrator.
(d) Yet in both these boyish faces there was a seriousness which was far beyond their years.
Answer: This statement reflects that both the boys Nicola and Jacopo were mature enough to face the hardships of life. They were only 13 and 12 years yet they looked and behaved wonderfully remarkable. They were childish and innocent yet they were wise, responsible and mature.
6. Answer the following questions briefly.
(a) Why didn’t Luigi, the driver, approve of the two boys?
Answer: Luigi, the driver didn’t approve of the shabby appearance of Nicola and Jacopo. They were wearing old and worn out clothes.
(b) Why were the narrator and his companion impressed by the two boys?

Answer: They were very impressed by the boys because they were highly committed and devoted towards work at such a young age. They were ready to do all sorts of odd jobs to earn money. They exhibited dedication, determination and sincerity while working.

(c) Why was the author surprised to see Nicola and Jacopo working as shoeshine boys?
Answer: The narrator was surprised to see Nicola and Jacopo shining shoes because he thought that selling fruits was their only occupancy.
(d) How were the boys useful to the author?
Answer: The boys were useful to the author in many ways. They showed them city as guide, heelped them in getting a pack of American cigarettes, bought tickets for the opera for them, told them about good restaurants and ran all their errands.
(e) Why were the boys in the deserted square at night? What character traits do they exhibit?
Answer: The two boys were selling newspapers in the windy, deserted square at night. They were waiting for the last bus from Padua. They would sell their newspapers when it came in.
It shows their sense of hard work and patience. They could work till midnight.
(f) The narrator asks the boys, “Must you work so hard? You both look rather tired.”
The boys reply, “We are not complaining, sir.” What do you learn about the boys from their reply?
Answer: When the narrator saw them selling newspapers till midnight, he asked them if they must do work so hard as they both looked tired. . At this, Nicola replied that they were not complaining about it. It means that both the boys had a lot of courage and patience of working hard. It shows their willingness and readiness to work.
(g) When the narrator asks the boys about their plans, they are evasive. Why don’t they disclose their problems?
Answer: The boys don’t disclose their problems to the narrator when he asked them about their plans because they did not want to loose their dignity and self-respect by asking anyone for sympathy or financial help.
7. Discuss the following questions and write the answers in your notebook.
(a) Appearances are deceptive. Discuss with reference to the two boys.
Answer: ‘Appearances are deceptive’. It is very much true in the case of two boys but in the positive sense. In spite of their appearance, the narrator bought fruit from them. In the following days, the narrator discovered that the boys did a lot of other things apart from selling fruit, they sold newspapers, they were shoeshine boys, tourist guides and ran errands. All this made the narrator think that the boys were working so hard to save money to emigrate to America. However, it is revealed during the course of the story that their only motive was to be able to pay for their sister’s treatment. War had destroyed most of their family and yet it had not filled them with despair. The boys were working day and night to save whatever was left. Behind their shabby appearances were hidden two noble souls whose dedication and selflessness promises a new hope for mankind.
(b) Do you think the boys looked after Lucia willingly? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: The boys loved their sister. She was the only family left after the war was over. When they realized that their sister had tuberculosis of the spine, they got her admitted to a hospital. The ultimate mission of the boys’ life centered on the welfare of their sister Lucia. Day and night, they slogged and starved only to provide for medical expenses for Lucia. This couldn’t have been done without their will and desire.
(c) How does the story ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ promise hope for society?
Answer: Both Nicola and Jacopo show selflessness and reflect great dignity in their behaviour. They are deeply devoted to save their sister. In their earnest endeavour they become role models, epitomes of sacrifice who can enlighten the path for rest of the humanity to follow.
8. Look at the Italic words in the following examples.
(a) We bought their biggest basket, then set off toward town.
(b) One night we came upon them in the windy and deserted square.
(c) He bit his lip, then in a rather put out tone he said, ‘Very well.’
(d) I shook my head and turned away.

Here are a few more. Match the phrases to their meanings.

Phrases Meanings
set up to start on a journey
break down to tolerate a situation or a person
set off to lose control of your feelings and start crying
put up with to enter
put off to be faced with or opposed by
put on to start/ establish a company
come in to refuse/ reject
come across to postpone
come up against to try to get help/advice/ sympathy from someone
turn down to wear
turn in to meet or find by chance
turn to to inform on or deliver up

Now use the phrases given above to complete the following sentences.

  1. The landlord was suspicious of the two men staying in his flat so he called the police and _____________them _____________
    2. Early in the morning we packed our bags and _____________ for a hike over the mountain.
    3. Janvi _____________some photographs of her grandfather in the old trunk.
    4. My father _____________ his own business 10 years ago.
    5. The Bank _____________ Paul’s request for a loan.
    6. The Corporation’s decision to reduce the leave of the employees _____________ a lot of opposition.


Phrases Meanings
Set up to start / establish a company.
Break down to lose control of your feelings and start crying.
Set off to start on a journey.
Put up to tolerate a situation or a person
Put off to postpone
Put on to wear
Come in to enter
Come across to meet or find by chance
Come up against to be faced with or opposed by
Turn down to refuse/ reject
Turn in to to inform or deliver up
Turn to to try to get help/advice/ sympathy from someone


  1. The landlord was suspicious of the two men staying in his flat so he called the police and turned themin
  2. Early in the morning we packed our bags and set off for a hike over the mountain.
  3. Janvi came across some photographs of her grandfather in the old trunk.
  4. My father set up his own business 10 years ago.
  5. The Bank turned downPaul’s request for a loan.
  6. The Corporation’s decision to reduce the leave of the employees come up againsta lot of opposition.
    10. The narrator realises why Nicola and Jacopo work so hard. Yet he does not go in to meet their sister nor does he speak to them about what he learns from the nurse. Working in groups, discuss the following aspects of the story and share your views with the class.
    (a) The love and devotion, and the family values Nicola and Jacopo display.
    Answer: Nicola is only 13 years old and Jacopo is 12. Yet, they have a man’s heart each. They work hard day an night, never mind doing petty jobs like vending strawberries, hawking newspapers, polishing shoes. They show tourists round the town and run errands. They do all this to earn money which is used for the treatment of their sister who has been suffering from tuberculosis of spine. It vividly depicts their love, devotion and the family values.
    (b) Their pride in themselves and their family
    Answer: Nicola and Jacopo are not ashamed of doing petty jobs to earn money for the treatment of their sister, Lucia who is afflicted with tuberculosis. War has not broken thei spirits. They are proud of themselves and their family. Though children, they do not want any help or favour from anyone. It shows their pride in thmslves and their family.
    (c) The trust they place in the narrator
    Answer: Before leaving, the narrator asks if he would be of any help to them, Jacopo requests the narrator to send them to Poleta in their car which they might not have asked anybody. After initial disagreement between the brothers and reassurance from the narrator they agree to go with him. They are very comfortable and trust him completely.(d) The reason the narrator does not disclose to them that he knows their secret.
    Answer: Nicola initially is not comfortable with the narrator driving them to Poleta. After some thinking they agree.The moment they reach their destination they jump out of the car and do not ask the narrator to come with them. On the other hand, they suggest him to spend time at a café in the village. The narrator understands their reluctance to share their purpose of visit with him and, therefore, does not disclose to them that he knows their secret.
    11. As the narrator, write an article on the lesson of love, faith and trust that you have learnt from the two young boys of Verona.



Tragedies and adversities either bring out the best, or the worst, among people. They prove to be great testing times which end up in glory or disaster. The bitter and indomitable struggle of Nicola
and Jacopo, amidst the ravages of war, takes on epic proportions. The two young boys depict great maturity, wisdom and faith in the invincibility of human spirit. The die-hard nature of two boys
changes the nature of people around them, with their vibrant spark of humanity.

The two boys not only create a home to survive from the rubble, but pitch in their best efforts to
sustain their sister Lucia. Their intrinsic vitality encourages them to take up any work that is available i.e. shining shoes, selling newspapers and fruits or escorting the tourists for sightseeing.
They don’t mind eating black bread or figs, or wearing torn clothes because they’re single-mindedly focused on their sister’s treatment. The boys resort to any kind of emotional blackmail or charity to provide for their sister. Their dignity and perseverance show their extreme faith in their own ability to cater to their sister’s medical treatment.
So, the relentless struggle of two boys offers a kaleidoscopic view of love, tenderness, wisdom and trust, which even a catastrophic war failed to crush.

  1. After her brothers’ visit, Lucia writes a page in her diary about her past life and her present situation. As Lucia write the diary entry in about 150 words.



I am very happy today because my brothers Nicola and Jacopo came to see me. They told me that they had come with a kind man by car. Jacopo was chirping. You know, he is as lively as a squirrel. Nicola is mature like a man. He looks after me as parents. How loving and affectionate they are!
I feel very lonely when they are not here. I know, they have to go to city to find some work thee. After all, they have to pay the hospital charges every week.
The demon of war has snatched our comfortable and cultured life. Dear Father, I remember, he was a famous singer. I, myself, had been training as a singer. But the Germans came with their bombs and destroyed our home. We are homeless, starving and suffering. It was a bad winter.
For months, we had to keep ourselves alive in a sort of shelter we built with our own hands amidst the rubble. For three years, the Germans ruled the city. We grew up to hate the Germans. Both of them joined the resistance movement. last year when the war was over, we had peace at lat. they came back. They found me ailing. I was diagnosed suffering from tuberculosis of the spine.
They brought me in the hospital. Now, I am showing steady recovery. One day I will walk and sing again.
This is all due to their efforts. I understand that they at this young age. Normally, an elder siblings looks after the younger ones, takes care of them. In my case, it is opposite. I will be grateful to them for the sacrifice they are making for me. They are embodiments of love, devotion and sincerity. They are my family. Moreover, they are my God on this earth. I am indebted to them for what they are doing forever. I owe them my gratitude.
May God bless these noble souls long and happy life!