English is one of the sections in the IBPS CWE for Clerical, Probationary Officer and Specialist Officer recruitment exams. Some of our reader complain that we do not post enough material to practice English. Here we are with some sample questions in English.
You should try and answer these questions in less than 30 minutes. The solutions have been given at the end so that you may evaluate yourself.
Directions (Q. 1–15) Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
Once upon a time, there lived an old lion. The lion, the king of the forest had grown old. He became frail and due to this, he could not hunt for food. With each passing day he became more and more weak. He realized that he would not live for long if it continued like that. He thought how could he arrange for his food? After pondering over it for quite some time, he decided that he should have an assistant.
The lion thought that a fox would be the best person to handle this position as he was intelligent and clever. He summoned the fox and said, “Dear friend, I have always liked you because you are smart. I want to appoint you as my minister and advise me on all the affairs of the forest”. The old lion also asked the fox, that since he was the king of the forest, he should not have to hunt for his food. With respect to this, the fox’s first duty as minister was to bring him an animal to eat every day. The fox could not refuse the king and accepted the offer.
After the conversation, the fox went out to find an animal for the lion. On the way, he met a fat donkey. He said “My friend, I have got good news for you. You are very lucky. Our king, the lion has chosen you to be his chief minister. He asked me to meet you and inform you about his decision.” The donkey was scared of the lion and said, “I am afraid of the lion. He might kill me and eat me up. Why has he chosen me as his chief minsiter? I am not even fit enough to be a minster as I am not as intelligent as other animals.” The clever fox laughed and, said, “Dear, you don’t know your great qualities. Our king is dying to meet you. He has chosen you because you are wise, gentle, and hard working. By serving the king, you will be the second most powerful animal of our forest. Imagine, all the other animals will respect you and seek favours from you.” “You must not lose your greatest chance in life.” So, the poor donkey was convinced and got ready to go along with the fox.
In this way, the fox managed to attract the donkey to the lion’s den. When the fox and the donkey approached, the lion was hungrier than ever. But he kept a smiling face and said, “Welcome, my dear friend. Come near me. You are my chief minister.” As the donkey came closer, the lion pounced on him and killed him instantly. The lion thanked the clever fox and was happy to get the food. As the lion sat down to take his meal, the fox said, “Your Majesty, I know you are very hungry but a king must take a bath before his meal”. The lion thought it was a good idea and told the fox to keep a watch on the carcass of the donkey”. The fox silently sat down to keep a watch of the donkey and thought to himslef, “I took all the trouble of getting the donkey here. It is I who deserve the best portion of the meal”. Thus, the fox cut open the head of the donkey and ate up the whole brain. When the lion returned he shouted, “What happened to the donkey’s brain? I wanted to eat the brain first.” The fox smilingly replied, “Your majesty, donkeys have no brains. If he had any, he would not have come near a lion at all”.
1. Why did the lion decide to have an assistant for him?
(a) He was too lazy to hunt for himself
(b) He was old and weak and could not hunt any more
(c) He wanted someone to help him kill the fat donkey
(d) He could not handle the affairs of the forest alone
(e) None of these
2. Why did the lion select the fox as his assistant?
(a) He had heard that the fox had good hunting skills
(b) He wanted the fox to take over as the king of the forest
(c) The fox had offered to let the lion have his leftovers
(d) He had planned to eat the fox after luring him to become his assistant
(e) None of these
3. Why did the fox say ‘our king is dying to meet you’ to the donkey?
(a) The king would have died of hunger if the donkey did not meet him
(b) The king desperately wanted the donkey to be his chief minister as he was gentle and hard working
(c) The fox wanted to convince the donkey to come with him to the lion so that the lion could eat him
(d) The king wanted to meet the doneky since all other animals respected the donkey more than the king
(e) None of these
4. Which of the following best describes the donkey?
5. Which one of the phrases given below the following statement should be placed in the blank space provided so as to make a meaningfully correct sentence in the context of the passage?
When the lion did not see any brain in the donkey’s head ______
(a) he spared his life and let him go
(b) he got upset with the fox for having selected such a donkey
(c) he took his decision to make him the chief minister back
(d) the fox explained to him that donekys do not have any brains
(e) None of these
6. What, according to the lion, was the fox’s primary duty as a minister?
(a) To force all animals to respect their king and seek favours from him
(b) To convince the donkey to become his chief minister
(c) To take over as the king of the forest since the lion had grown too old
(d) To bring him an animal to eat every day
(e) None of these
7. What did the fox do when the lion went to take a bath before having his meal?
(a) He secretly told the donkey to run away as the lion had planned to kill him
(b) He ate up the donkey’s brain as he had done all the hard work of bringing him to the lion’s den
(c) He held himself responsible for the death of the poor donkey and did not let the lion eat the donkey
(d) He killed the lion with the help of the donkey and became the king of the forest
(e) None of these
8. Which of the following is TRUE in context of the passage?
(a) Finally, the fox got the best part of the meal
(b) The donkey was appointed as chief minister to the king
(c) The donkey which the fox had brought for the king did not have any brain in his head
(d) The donkey was very intelligent and clever
(e) None is true
9. What did the lion do when he saw the donkey in his den?
(a) He was impressed by the donkey and made him his chief minister
(b) He ordered the fox to kill him and eat his brain
(c) He went to take a bath before meeting the donkey
(d) He immediately noticed that the donkey did not have any brain
(e) None of these
10. Which of the following is the moral of the story?
(a) An idle brain is the devil’s workshop
(b) Fools are deaf to wise words
(c) Never believe an enemy’s sweet talks
(d) Morality can be best tested while one has power
(e) One can only lead a horse to water, but not make him drink it
Directions (Q. 11–13) Choose the word which is most similar in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
Directions (Q. 14–15) Choose the word which is most opposite in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
Directions (Q. 16–25) Read each sentence to find out whether there is any grammatical error or idiomatic error in it. The error, if any, will be in one part of the sentence. The letter of that part is the answer. If there is ‘No error’, the answer is (e). (Ignore errors of punctuation, if any.)
16. When I called him yesterday, (a) / he offered to donate (b) / a handsome sum to (c) / the flood relief fund. (d) No error (e)
17. The student which (a) / you had thought (b) / so highly of has (c) / failed to pass the examination. (d) No error (e)
18. Government took strict action (a) / against the doctors on strike (b) / but they refused to (c) / resume to work. (d) No error (e)
19. If a person has been given (a) / diplomatic immunity then he (b) / cannot be arrested on a (c) / foreign land under any circumstance. (d) No error (e)
20. A group of birds (a) / migrate from southern part (b) / of the country to the (c) / Northern part during summer. (d) No error (e)
21. The constable said that (a) / the prisoner seize a (b) / fully loaded gun from a policeman (c) / and shot the prosecutor. (d) No error (e)
22. It will not be possible for you (a) / to catch the train on time (b) / because the nearest railway station (c) / is at ten kilometres away. (d) No error (e)
23. Each of the survivors of the Tsunami (a) (b) / have been offered free (c) / psychological consultation to ease their trauma, / by some of the top consultants. (d) No error (e)
24. Considering about her good credentials, (a) / the manager offered her a job (b) / in his organization (c) / despite the lack of experience. (d) No error (e)
25. Although he has been (a) / winning the elections (b) / all years, this year his popularity (c) / has substantially reduced. (d) No error (e)
Directions (Q. 26–30) Rearrange the following six sentences (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) in the proper sequence to form a meaningful paragraph; then answer the questions given below them.
(a) To their surprise, however, the reward went to a beggar who had contributed only a Rupee instead of a wealthy donor.
(b) He received funds from many people as rich and poor donated generously to his trust.
(c) The man explained that the one Rupee given by the beggar was worth millions of Rupees as that was all the money he possessed and that he had made a much greater sacrifice than others.
(d) During the function everyone waited with bated breath to hear who had made the maximum contribution.
(e) A man went from town to town to collect money for his charitable trust.
(f) On returning he decided to hold a function and reward the person whose contribution had been maximum.
26. Which of the following should be the SECOND sentence after rearrangement?
27. Which of the following should be the LAST (SIXTH) sentence after rearrangement?
28. Which of the following should be the FOURTH sentence after rearrangement?
29. Which of the following should be the THIRD sentence after rearrangement?
30. Which of the following should be the FIRST sentence after rearrangement?
Directions (Q. 31–35) In each of the following questions six words are given which are denoted by (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f). By using all the six words, each only once, you have to frame a meaningful and grammatically correct sentence. The correct order of words is the answer. Choose from the five alternatives, the one having the correct order of words and mark it as your answer on the answer-sheet.
31. (a) OTHERS
32. (a) FINALISE
33. (a) UV-RAYS
34. (a) PRACTISING
35. (a) TO
Directions (Q. 36–40) In each question below a sentence with four words printed in bold type is given. These are lettered as (a), (b), (c) and (d). One of these four words printed in bold may be either wrongly spelt or inappropriate in the context of the sentence. Find out the word, if any, which is wrongly spelt or inappropriate. The letter of that word is your answer. If all the words printed in bold are correctly spelt and also appropriate in the context of the sentence, mark (e), i.e., ‘All correct’ as your answer.
36. A large number of celebrities (a) have joined an NGO involved (b) in the movement for protection (c) of animal writes. (d) All correct (e)
37. The teacher liked the poem (a) so much that she requested (b) Saba to read it allowed (c) to the whole (d) class. All correct (e)
38. Breathe (a) deeply and inhale the sents (b) of Roses and Daisies in the landscaped gardens (c) surrounding (d) my house. All correct (e)
39. As the wind blue (a) harder every minute, (b) people got a fairly (c) good idea that a storm was approaching (d) the town. All correct (e)
40. The family had to bear (a) a leaky sealing (b) throughout the rainy season (c) as they could not afford (d) to get it repaired. All correct (e)
Directions (Q. 41–50) In the following passage there are blanks, each of which has been numbered. These numbers are printed below the passage and against each, five words are suggested, one of which fits the blank appropriately. Find out the appropriate word in each case.
Once upon a time, there lived a sparrow on a banyan tree. She laid her eggs in the nest. One afternoon, a wild elephant came under the tree and in a fit of rage, broke a branch of the tree on which the nest was …( 41 )…. Unfortunately, all the eggs of the sparrow …( 42 )… after falling down though the sparrow was saved. The sparrow was full of grief and began weeping for her eggs.
A woodpecker, a close friend of the sparrow, heard her crying and asked her, “Why are you crying, my friend?” The sparrow said, “The …( 43 )… elephant has killed my offspring. If you are a true friend of mine, suggest a way-to kill him”. The woodpecker …( 44 )… her and told her that he knew a fly and she would definitely help them kill the elephant.
Both of them went to seek the help of the fly. The woodpecker said, “A wild elephant has crushed my friend’s eggs. We need your help in killing him.” the fly replied, “One of my friends is a frog. Let us go to him and take his help too”. They went to the frog and …( 45 )… the whole incident. The frog said, “What can an elephant do before a united crowd like us? Do what I tell you. Dear Fly, you go to the elephant and hum a sweet tune into his ears. When he closes his eyes in delight, the woodpecker will poke his eyes. This way, he will become …( 46 )…. When he gets thirsty, he will …( 47 )… for water. I will go to a marshy land and begin croaking there. …( 48 )… that there is water, the elephant will come there. He will sink into the marshy area and …( 49 )….
The next day in the noon, all of them played out the plan and the elephant was killed, as he drowned into a marshy area after being blinded by the woodpecker, when he closed his eyes in response to the music. Thus, the smartness of all the animals enabled the sparrow in taking her …( 50 )… on the elephant.
41. (a) Born
42. (a) Fell
43. (a) Defective
44. (a) Ignored
45. (a) Said
46. (a) Blind
47. (a) Need
48. (a) Recalling
49. (a) Hurt
50. (a) Help