Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SSC MOCK TEST I

SSC MOCK TEST I
(Model Questions for the English (Pass/Hons-PG) candidates of West Bengal School Service Commission Test))

[ FULL MARKS 10X2 = 20 MARKS EACH QUESTION CARRIES 2 MARKS]

ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS.

  1. ‘Thus Nature spake—The work was done’. What work does the poet refer to here? How did Nature speak?
  2. ‘Take back the hope you give—I claim only the memory of the same.’
    Who is the speaker here? Under what circumstances does he utter these words?
  3. What is meant by ‘the ancient pulse of germ and birth’?
  4. Explain the expression “busy idle diversion”.
  5. ‘ The building is building.’ Change the voice.
  6. Correct the following sentence and explain: In the classroom one of the boy raised the question of the faults inherent in the examination system.
  7. Correct the following sentence and explain the reason: On the way to go to Calcutta I saw an airport.
  8. ‘…I would ne’er have striven
    As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.’
    What does the poet want to mean by ‘sore need’?
  9. ‘ Like a poet
    Hidden in the light of thought,’
    Explain the simile introduced by the poet here.
  10. Explain the phrase ‘empty vaunt’ in Shelley’s To a Skylark.
  11. ‘ But in the lovers ears alone
    What once to me befell.’ What is the incident referred to here?
  12. ‘The land’s sharp features seemed to be
    The Century’s Corpse out leant.’ What does the expression ‘ Century’s corpse’ stand for?
  13. ‘Thou lovest—but ne’er knew love’s sad satiety’. What does the poet want to mean by ‘love’s sad satiety’?
  14. What is the ‘blessed hope’ that the poet speaks of in The Darkling Thrush?
  15. Correct the following sentence: The Macmillan printed Tagore’s Geetanjali on papers first in England.
  16. ‘ ‘Tis past, that melancholy dream!’ What is the ‘melancholy dream’ spoken of here? How did it come to an end?
  17. Correct the following sentence: When the moon comes between the earth and the sun, her shadow causes lunar eclipse.
  18. Correct the following sentence: The practices of the lawyers vary from those of the doctors.
  19. How does Lamb describe the loss of his brother?
  20. Why does Shelley seek inspiration from the West Wind in order to refer to the resurrection in the human society?

Noun, Number, Case, Pronouns,


USE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE CORRECTLY
MODULE I

NOUN
Definition: A noun is a word used as a name of a person, a thing, a place, an action, or a quality.

USAGES:
Usage 1: Proper Noun: proper nouns are written with a capital letter at the beginning.
* The capital of west bengal is calcutta. (Incorrect)
* The capital of West Bengal is Calcutta. (Correct)

Usage 2: A Proper noun may be sometimes used as a common noun.
* Gandhiji is Christ of India. (Inc.)
Here Christ does not mean Jesus Christ, the preacher of Christianity. But the word stands for the possessor of qualities, which Christ is most known for __ non-violence and love. Therefore, Christ here stands for “the man acting on the principles of non-violence and love”. In the correct sentence ‘the’ must be written before ‘Christ’ for this reason.
* Gandhiji is the Christ of India. (Cor.)

Usage 3: Collective Noun: A collective noun (e.g. flock, army, committee, crowd, fleet, parliament, team, mob, herd, band, group etc) goes by a singular verb and should be substituted by a singular pronoun.
* The committee have submitted their report. (Inc.)
* The committee has submitted its report. (Cor.)

Usage 4: A collective noun may, however, go by a plural verb and may be substituted by a plural pronoun when the individual members __ of which it is composed__ are separately thought of, or considered divided among themselves.
* The committee was divided in its opinion. (Inc.)
*The committee were divided in their opinions. (Cor.)

Correct the following sentences: 1. A band of robbers were lurking at a corner of the jungle. 2.The parliament has not come to a unanimous decision. 3. The capital of India is delhi. 4. Shakespeare is called Kalidas of England.
GENDER:
Usage 1: When collective nouns are used to denote living beings as a group, those are considered of the neuter gender.
* Prof. Nilesh Saha runs an N.S.S. unit of fifty boys. He has to look after him. (Inc.)
* Prof. Nilesh Saha runs an N.S.S. unit of fifty boys. He has to look after it. (Cor.)

Usage 2: Young children and lower animals are referred to as of the neuter gender (because perhaps it does not matter to a child or a cow whether it is referred to as a male or female).
* The baby loves his mother. (Inc.)
* The baby loves its mother. (Cor.)


Usage 3: When objects without life are personified, those are considered of
(i) the masculine gender if the object is marked by strength or violence or any masculine quality; e.g. Sun, Summer, Winter, Time, Death etc.
* The Sun came out with all her force from behind the clouds. (Inc.)
* The Sun came out with all his force from behind the clouds. (Cor.)
(ii) the feminine gender if the object is marked by beauty, gentleness, gracefulness or any feminine quality; e.g. Earth, Moon, Spring, Nature, Mercy etc.
* The Earth invites everybody to his world. (Inc.)
· The Earth invites everybody to her world. (Cor.)

Usage 4: If objects without life, however, are not personified, those are considered of the neuter gender.
* The sun is the reservoir of energy. That is why he is so important to us. (Inc.)
* The sun is the reservoir of energy. That is why it is so important to us. (Cor.)

Correct the following sentences: 1. Since you are the teacher of this class of 100 students, you will have to manage them. 2. The child was looking for his mother. 3. The moon is the only satellite of the earth. Do you know her speed? 4. Death lays her cold hand over all. 5. Nature burst out with all his furies!

NUMBER:
Usage 1: Plurals of the words ending in -o are generally made by adding –es to those, e.g. mangoes; but there are some exceptions, e.g. ratios, cantos, mementos, pianos, photos etc.

Usage 2: Plurals of the compound nouns are made by adding –s to the principal words of the compounds, e.g. vice-presidents, sisters-in-law, courts-martial etc.

Usage 3: Some nouns have the same forms for both the singular and plural numbers, e.g. sheep, deer, cod, trout, swine etc.

Usage 4: Plurals of words ending in –f and –fe are made by changing –f and –fe into –ves; e.g. thief (thieves), wife (wives). But there are some exceptions, e.g. belief, brief, dwarf, grief, gulf, safe etc.

Usage 5.When units of counting (dozens, pair, score, gross, hundred, thousand) are used after numbers, those retain the singular forms.
* I want two hundreds rupees. (Inc.)
* I want two hundred rupees. (Cor.)

Usage 6. Certain nouns are used only in the plural forms: scissors, spectacles, measles, mumps, billiards, droughts, cattle, poultry, gentry, people, vermin, annals, thanks, assets, proceeds, nuptials, tidings etc.
* The landed gentry was against the abolition of the Zamindari system. (Inc.)
* The landed gentry were against the abolition of the Zamindari system. (Cor.)

Usage 7.Certain plural forms are generally used in the singular, e.g. innings, physics, mathematics, news, politics etc.
Correct the following sentences: 1.He brought two dozens eggs. 2.His brother-in-laws are all scientists. 3. Every one should respect other people’s religious beliefes. 4. His spectacles was broken. 5. India made 550 runs in the first inning.

CASE
Usage 1.Nominative case: If a noun or pronoun is used as the subject of a verb, it is said to be in the nominative case. Ex. Ram killed Ravana. Here ‘Ram’ is in the nominative case.

Usage 2. Accusative or objective case: If a noun or pronoun is used as the object of a verb, it is said to be in the accusative or objective case. Ex. Ram killed Ravana. Here ‘Ravana’ is in the nom. case.

Usage 3.Possessive or genitive case: If a noun is used to denote possession, authorship, origin, kind etc., it is said to be in the possessive or genitive case. Ex. It is Ram’s book. Possessive cases are made by adding an apostrophe ( ’) or –s or -’s to a noun:
i) An (’s) is added to a singular noun; e.g. Ram’s book, the man’s house etc.
ii) An (’s) is added to plural nouns not ending in s; e.g. children’s park, women’s hostel, men’s club etc.
iii) Only an apostrophe is added if there are too many hissing sounds; e.g. Moses’ commandments, for conscience’ sake, for justice’ sake, for goodness’ sake etc.
iv) Only an apostrophe is added to the classical Greek and Roman names ending in (s) ; e.g. Sophocles’ tragedies, Marcus Aurelias’ book Meditations etc.
v) Only an apostrophe is added to plural nouns ending in (s); e.g. players’ unity, boys’ school etc.

Usage 4: The possessive cases of compound nouns, names having several words, and of nouns in apposition are made by adding (’s) to the last word; e.g. brother-in-law’s house; Monmohan Sing, the Prime Minister’s office; Nimai Sadhan Basu’s book etc.
* We are now going to visit Rabindranath Tagore’s the poet’s house. (Inc.)
* We are now going to visit Rabindranath Tagore the poet’s house. (Cor.)

[N.B. When one follows another to describe it more clearly, the noun, which follows, is called to be in apposition to the noun, which precedes it; e.g. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, will inaugurate the ceremony. ]

Usage 5: When there are two or more separate nouns joined by and , (’s) is added to the last noun if joint possession is meant. For example: Dashsrata was Ram and Lakshman’s father.
* Ram was Bharat’s and Lakshman’s elder brother. (Inc.)
* Ram was Bharat and Lakshman’s elder brother. (Cor.)

Usage 6: When two or more separate nouns are joined by and, (’s) is added to each noun, if separate possessions are meant. For example: We listened to Kishore Kumar’s and Lata Mangeskar’s songs.
* We listened to Kishore Kumar’s and Lata Mangeskar’s songs. (It means that we listened to the different songs sung by the two singers differently.)
* We listened to the Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeskar’s songs. (It means that we listened to the songs (duets) sung together by the two singers.)

Usage 7:Both the forms ‘of’ and (’s) are used, when one possession is meant out of many. For instance,
· I saw a picture of Tendulkar’s. (i.e. There were many pictures of Tendulkar, and I saw one of those.)
· I saw a picture of Tendulkar. (i.e. I saw Tendulkar’s picture bearing his likeness.)



Usage 8: Nouns denoting Inanimate Objects are not generally put in the possessive case.Possessions in such cases are denoted by using the preposition ‘of’.
* I knocked at his house’s door. (Inc.)
* I knocked at the door of his house. (Cor.)

Usage 9: But there are certain exceptional cases, in which we make possessive cases of the inanimate objects by using the possessive inflexion (’s),
i) nouns denoting personified things: Fortune’s favour, Death’s cold hands etc.
ii) nouns denoting time, space and weight: a week’s journey, a stone’s throw, a pound’s weight etc.
iii) nouns denoting dignified objects: the ocean’s cry. The country’s call, the moon’s light etc.
iv) in certain familiar phrases for the sake of shortness: wit’s end, to one’s heart’s content, at arm’s length etc.

Usage 10: The Elliptical or Absolute Possessive: Sometimes nouns denoting house, shop, cathedral etc. are omitted after the possessive case of nouns, e.g. I went Mr. Bose’s (i.e. Mr. Bose’s house or shop). But if similarly the possessive cases of nouns are made, the nouns (words denoting houses or shops or anything) are to be mentioned previously; e.g. This is my book. Where is yours?

Correct the following sentences: i) Puru tried to resist Alexander’s the Great’s advance. ii) I could not remember his car’s number. iii) I have read John Keats’ On Fame. iv) India is Ram’s and Rahim’s motherland. v) For the sake of heaven! Hold your tongue and let me love.
___

A. Point out the errors in the following story and rewrite it correctly: Ram and shyam were very good friends. One day they decided to take a leave of one day to go to a far-off town. When they reached there, the rays of the sun’s were fading. So they decided to spend the night in a hotel, but they had only one hundreds rupees. A crowd of people who were passing by. They approached them. They advised them to spend the night in a Dharmashala. But they had no believes in what they said. So they went along. On their way to finding a shelter, they, however, saw the Governor’s-General office. Suddenly they heard somebody’s voice calling their names’. As they turned around, they found it was Upen, Ram’s and Shyam’s old friend. When he heard that they were now in deep trouble, he told them to come to his room, which was at the distance of the throw of a stone from the place.


MODULE II
SINGULAR AND PLURAL NOUNS WITH DIFFERENT MEANINGS
MEANINGS of certain words sometimes depend on their numbers or the form of the number.
1. Cloth: Kind or pieces of cloth.
Clothes: Garments.
* He wears costly cloths. (Inc.)
In this the word ‘cloths’ means the kind or pieces of cloth. But what the speaker wants to refer to is garments. So the correct sentence is: He wears costly clothes.

2. Air: atmosphere (n), Ventilate (v), declare (v).
Airs: (Affected) manners.
* She gives herself air whenever she goes outside. (Inc.)
* She gives herself airs… (Cor.)

3. Brother: Sons of the same parents.
Brethren: old archaic form of brother: now it means members of a particular society or community.
· Ram and Lakshman were brethren. (Inc.)
· Ram and Lakshman were brothers. (Cor.)

4. Colour: hue (red, green, blue etc.). Ex. The colour of the sky is blue.
Colours: appearance or aspect. Ex. We should see the thing in its true colours.

5. Compass: extent or range. Ex. We were amazed at the compass of the singer’s voice.
Ex. We need to bring modern techniques within the compass of normal teaching.
Compasses: an instrument with two long thin parts joined together at the top, used for drawing circles and measuring distances on a map. Ex. When we draw a circle, we use compasses.

6. Custom: an accepted way of behaving or doing things in a society or community, habit.
Ex. We are now observing the custom of giving presents at Christmas.
Customs: the government department that collects taxes on goods bought and sold and on goods brought into the country, and that checks what is brought in.
Ex. The customs have seized large quantities of smuggled heroin.

7. Die: small cube used in games. (pl.)
Dice: the plural form of die, i.e., small cubes used in games. Ex. We played dice at night.
Dies: stamps for coining. (pl.)

8. Force: strength (Sing.)
Forces: troops (Plu.)

9. Genius: person with great talent (sing.).
Geniuses: persons with great talent (pl.).
Genii: supernatural creatures, spirits (pl.).

10. Ground: earth (sing.).
Grounds: reasons, sediment or dregs in coffee or tea (pl.). Ex. He was dismissed on solid grounds.
11.Iron: a kind of metal (sing.).
Irons: fetters or chains made of iron (pl.).

12. Manner/s: both the singular and plural forms are used in the sense of method.
Manners: only the plural form is used in the sense of behaviour.
· I was amazed at his manner as he did not shake hands. (Inc.)
· I was amazed at his manners… (Cor.)

13. Mean: adj. Meaning average, unkind, poor.
Mean: n. way or method (sing.).
Means: n. ways or methods (pl.). Ex. Internet is an effective means of communication.
Means: n. wealth (pl.). Ex. He does not have the means to support a wife and child.

14. Quarter: fourth part, a person or group of people, especially as a source of help, information or help.
Ex i) Cut the apple into quarters.
ii) It is a quarter to four now – I will meet you at a quarter after.
iii) Support for the plan came from an unexpected quarter.

Quarters: lodgings. Ex. Next month we are moving to more comfortable quarters.

15. Respect: regard (sing.). Ex. In this respect we have been fortunate.
Respects: polite greetings (pl.). Ex. With due respects I would like to draw your attention to the dismal condition of the drinking water supply in our locality.

16. Spectacle/s: When it means sight both forms are applicable.
Spectacles: When it means eyeglasses only the plural form is used.

17. Premise/s: proposition/s.
Premises: buildings (pl.).

18. Advice: counsel
Advices: information
19. Pain: suffering.
Pains: troubles, a lot of effort. Ex. Team India went to great pains to keep its winning record.
20. Sand: the material
Sands: sandy places. Ex. He crossed the sands of Arabia in great distress.

Correct the following sentences:
A. i) He stuck to his ground while arguing against the dispute.
ii) In the Mahabharata Shakuni was expert in the game of dies.
iii) Use your forces of mind whenever you are under pressure.
iv) Do not explain the incident in false colour.
v) We were astonished at the compasses of his knowledge.
vi) Don’t be deceived by the air of a lady.
vii) Loitering in the school premise is prohibited.
viii) In the past iron was attached to the legs and hands of the prisoners.
ix) He was absent-minded and lost his spectacle.
x) Mr. Dutta is a custom official.

MODULE III
Pronouns


USAGE 1: When two or more singular nouns are joined by ‘and’ and refer to separate persons, the pronouns used for them must be plural;
Ex. Both Ram and Shyam show his love for his brother. (Incorrect)
Both Ram and Shyam showed their love for their brother. (Correct)

USAGE 2: When two or more singular nouns are joined by ‘and’ and refer to the same person, the pronoun used for them must be singular:
Ex. The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the university expressed their regret over the theft of the Nobel. (Incor.)
Here the nouns the Prime Minister and Chancellor are used for the same person because we can find the definite article used only once before a noun. If it is written in this way—The Prime Minister and the Chancellor—it will refer to two different persons.
So the correct form of the sentence is:
The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the university expressed his regret over the theft…

USAGE 3. When two or more singular nouns are joined by ‘and’ and are preceded by ‘each’ or ‘every’, the pronoun must be singular.
Ex. Every poet and every singer should show their talent in their works.(Incor.)
Every poet and every singer should show their talent in his/her works. (Cor.)
*To avoid gender discrimination in language use both the masculine and feminine form of the pronoun.

USAGE 4. When two or more nouns are joined by ‘or,’ ‘either…or’, ‘neither…nor’, the pronoun is generally singular.
Ex. Neither Ram nor Shyam has brought their books. (Inc.)
Neither Ram nor Shyam has brought his books. (Cor.)

USAGE 5. When a plural noun and a singular noun are joined by ‘or,’ ‘either…or’, ‘neither…nor’, the pronoun must be plural.
Ex. Either the captain or the players will go to justify his poor performance. (Inc.)
Either the captain or the players will go to justify their poor performance. (Cor.)


USAGE 6. When a pronoun refers to more than one noun or pronoun of different persons, (I) it must be of the first person plural in preference to the second, and (ii) of the second person plural in preference to the third.
Ex. (i) You and I, husband and wife, have to look after your home. (Inc.)
You and I, husband and wife, have to look after our home. (Cor.)

Ex. (ii) you and Hari have done their job. (Inc.)
You and Hari have done your duty. (Cor.)
USAGE 7: When all three persons are taken into account, it has to be first person plural.
Ex. You, he and I have done your duty. (Inc.)
You, he and I have done our duty. (Cor.)
Usage 8. In an a sentence the second person come before the third person, and the third person should come before the first person.
Ex. I, you and he will go there. (Inc.)
You, he and I will go there. (Cor.)
Usage 9: The complement of a verb, when it is expressed by a pronoun should be in the nominative case.
Ex. : It is him whom I am looking for. (Inc.)
It is he whom I am looking for. (Cor).
Usage 10: When a pronoun is used as the object of a verb or of preposition, it should be in the objective case.
VERB: Ex. Let you and I go there. (Inc)
Let you and me go there. (Cor.)
PREPOSITION: Nobody will help you but I. (Inc)
[ because ‘but’ in the construction is not a conjunction. In that case, it would mean—Nobody will help you but I will help. In the above sentence ‘but’ is a preposition and ‘I’ is an object to the preposition ‘but’. So instead of ‘I’ ‘me’ should be used.]
Nobody will help you but me.(Cor)
Ex. He earns more than me. (Inc)
[ In the above sentence ‘than’ is not a preposition, it is a conjunction joining clauses. So it will be followed by nominative ‘I’ . So the correct form of the sentence should be—He earns more than I (earn).]

Test of the English Language for SSC, WBCS, IAS,Banking Service,Railway Service, TOEFL and other competitive Examinations

(For the English (Pass/Hons-PG) candidates of West Bengal School Service Commission Test)
MODULE I

NOUN
Definition: A noun is a word used as a name of a person, a thing, a place, an action, or a quality.

USAGES:
Usage 1: Proper Noun: proper nouns are written with a capital letter at the beginning.
* The capital of west bengal is calcutta. (Incorrect)
* The capital of West Bengal is Calcutta. (Correct)

Usage 2: A Proper noun may be sometimes used as a common noun.
* Gandhiji is Christ of India. (Inc.)
Here Christ does not mean Jesus Christ, the preacher of Christianity. But the word stands for the possessor of qualities, which Christ is most known for __ non-violence and love. Therefore, Christ here stands for “the man acting on the principles of non-violence and love”. In the correct sentence ‘the’ must be written before ‘Christ’ for this reason.
* Gandhiji is the Christ of India. (Cor.)

Usage 3: Collective Noun: A collective noun (e.g. flock, army, committee, crowd, fleet, parliament, team, mob, herd, band, group etc) goes by a singular verb and should be substituted by a singular pronoun.
* The committee have submitted their report. (Inc.)
* The committee has submitted its report. (Cor.)

Usage 4: A collective noun may, however, go by a plural verb and may be substituted by a plural pronoun when the individual members __ of which it is composed__ are separately thought of, or considered divided among themselves.
* The committee was divided in its opinion. (Inc.)
*The committee were divided in their opinions. (Cor.)

Correct the following sentences: 1. A band of robbers were lurking at a corner of the jungle. 2.The parliament has not come to a unanimous decision. 3. The capital of India is delhi. 4. Shakespeare is called Kalidas of England.
GENDER:
Usage 1: When collective nouns are used to denote living beings as a group, those are considered of the neuter gender.
* Prof. Nilesh Saha runs an N.S.S. unit of fifty boys. He has to look after him. (Inc.)
* Prof. Nilesh Saha runs an N.S.S. unit of fifty boys. He has to look after it. (Cor.)

Usage 2: Young children and lower animals are referred to as of the neuter gender (because perhaps it does not matter to a child or a cow whether it is referred to as a male or female).
* The baby loves his mother. (Inc.)
* The baby loves its mother. (Cor.)


Usage 3: When objects without life are personified, those are considered of
(i) the masculine gender if the object is marked by strength or violence or any masculine quality; e.g. Sun, Summer, Winter, Time, Death etc.
* The Sun came out with all her force from behind the clouds. (Inc.)
* The Sun came out with all his force from behind the clouds. (Cor.)
(ii) the feminine gender if the object is marked by beauty, gentleness, gracefulness or any feminine quality; e.g. Earth, Moon, Spring, Nature, Mercy etc.
* The Earth invites everybody to his world. (Inc.)
· The Earth invites everybody to her world. (Cor.)

Usage 4: If objects without life, however, are not personified, those are considered of the neuter gender.
* The sun is the reservoir of energy. That is why he is so important to us. (Inc.)
* The sun is the reservoir of energy. That is why it is so important to us. (Cor.)

Correct the following sentences: 1. Since you are the teacher of this class of 100 students, you will have to manage them. 2. The child was looking for his mother. 3. The moon is the only satellite of the earth. Do you know her speed? 4. Death lays her cold hand over all. 5. Nature burst out with all his furies!

NUMBER:
Usage 1: Plurals of the words ending in -o are generally made by adding –es to those, e.g. mangoes; but there are some exceptions, e.g. ratios, cantos, mementos, pianos, photos etc.

Usage 2: Plurals of the compound nouns are made by adding –s to the principal words of the compounds, e.g. vice-presidents, sisters-in-law, courts-martial etc.

Usage 3: Some nouns have the same forms for both the singular and plural numbers, e.g. sheep, deer, cod, trout, swine etc.

Usage 4: Plurals of words ending in –f and –fe are made by changing –f and –fe into –ves; e.g. thief (thieves), wife (wives). But there are some exceptions, e.g. belief, brief, dwarf, grief, gulf, safe etc.

Usage 5.When units of counting (dozens, pair, score, gross, hundred, thousand) are used after numbers, those retain the singular forms.
* I want two hundreds rupees. (Inc.)
* I want two hundred rupees. (Cor.)

Usage 6. Certain nouns are used only in the plural forms: scissors, spectacles, measles, mumps, billiards, droughts, cattle, poultry, gentry, people, vermin, annals, thanks, assets, proceeds, nuptials, tidings etc.
* The landed gentry was against the abolition of the Zamindari system. (Inc.)
* The landed gentry were against the abolition of the Zamindari system. (Cor.)

Usage 7.Certain plural forms are generally used in the singular, e.g. innings, physics, mathematics, news, politics etc.
Correct the following sentences: 1.He brought two dozens eggs. 2.His brother-in-laws are all scientists. 3. Every one should respect other people’s religious beliefes. 4. His spectacles was broken. 5. India made 550 runs in the first inning.

CASE
Usage 1.Nominative case: If a noun or pronoun is used as the subject of a verb, it is said to be in the nominative case. Ex. Ram killed Ravana. Here ‘Ram’ is in the nominative case.

Usage 2. Accusative or objective case: If a noun or pronoun is used as the object of a verb, it is said to be in the accusative or objective case. Ex. Ram killed Ravana. Here ‘Ravana’ is in the nom. case.

Usage 3.Possessive or genitive case: If a noun is used to denote possession, authorship, origin, kind etc., it is said to be in the possessive or genitive case. Ex. It is Ram’s book. Possessive cases are made by adding an apostrophe ( ’) or –s or -’s to a noun:
i) An (’s) is added to a singular noun; e.g. Ram’s book, the man’s house etc.
ii) An (’s) is added to plural nouns not ending in s; e.g. children’s park, women’s hostel, men’s club etc.
iii) Only an apostrophe is added if there are too many hissing sounds; e.g. Moses’ commandments, for conscience’ sake, for justice’ sake, for goodness’ sake etc.
iv) Only an apostrophe is added to the classical Greek and Roman names ending in (s) ; e.g. Sophocles’ tragedies, Marcus Aurelias’ book Meditations etc.
v) Only an apostrophe is added to plural nouns ending in (s); e.g. players’ unity, boys’ school etc.

Usage 4: The possessive cases of compound nouns, names having several words, and of nouns in apposition are made by adding (’s) to the last word; e.g. brother-in-law’s house; Monmohan Sing, the Prime Minister’s office; Nimai Sadhan Basu’s book etc.
* We are now going to visit Rabindranath Tagore’s the poet’s house. (Inc.)
* We are now going to visit Rabindranath Tagore the poet’s house. (Cor.)

[N.B. When one follows another to describe it more clearly, the noun, which follows, is called to be in apposition to the noun, which precedes it; e.g. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, will inaugurate the ceremony. ]

Usage 5: When there are two or more separate nouns joined by and , (’s) is added to the last noun if joint possession is meant. For example: Dashsrata was Ram and Lakshman’s father.
* Ram was Bharat’s and Lakshman’s elder brother. (Inc.)
* Ram was Bharat and Lakshman’s elder brother. (Cor.)

Usage 6: When two or more separate nouns are joined by and, (’s) is added to each noun, if separate possessions are meant. For example: We listened to Kishore Kumar’s and Lata Mangeskar’s songs.
* We listened to Kishore Kumar’s and Lata Mangeskar’s songs. (It means that we listened to the different songs sung by the two singers differently.)
* We listened to the Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeskar’s songs. (It means that we listened to the songs (duets) sung together by the two singers.)

Usage 7:Both the forms ‘of’ and (’s) are used, when one possession is meant out of many. For instance,
· I saw a picture of Tendulkar’s. (i.e. There were many pictures of Tendulkar, and I saw one of those.)
· I saw a picture of Tendulkar. (i.e. I saw Tendulkar’s picture bearing his likeness.)



Usage 8: Nouns denoting Inanimate Objects are not generally put in the possessive case.Possessions in such cases are denoted by using the preposition ‘of’.
* I knocked at his house’s door. (Inc.)
* I knocked at the door of his house. (Cor.)

Usage 9: But there are certain exceptional cases, in which we make possessive cases of the inanimate objects by using the possessive inflexion (’s),
i) nouns denoting personified things: Fortune’s favour, Death’s cold hands etc.
ii) nouns denoting time, space and weight: a week’s journey, a stone’s throw, a pound’s weight etc.
iii) nouns denoting dignified objects: the ocean’s cry. The country’s call, the moon’s light etc.
iv) in certain familiar phrases for the sake of shortness: wit’s end, to one’s heart’s content, at arm’s length etc.

Usage 10: The Elliptical or Absolute Possessive: Sometimes nouns denoting house, shop, cathedral etc. are omitted after the possessive case of nouns, e.g. I went Mr. Bose’s (i.e. Mr. Bose’s house or shop). But if similarly the possessive cases of nouns are made, the nouns (words denoting houses or shops or anything) are to be mentioned previously; e.g. This is my book. Where is yours?

Correct the following sentences: i) Puru tried to resist Alexander’s the Great’s advance. ii) I could not remember his car’s number. iii) I have read John Keats’ On Fame. iv) India is Ram’s and Rahim’s motherland. v) For the sake of heaven! Hold your tongue and let me love.
___

A. Point out the errors in the following story and rewrite it correctly: Ram and shyam were very good friends. One day they decided to take a leave of one day to go to a far-off town. When they reached there, the rays of the sun’s were fading. So they decided to spend the night in a hotel, but they had only one hundreds rupees. A crowd of people who were passing by. They approached them. They advised them to spend the night in a Dharmashala. But they had no believes in what they said. So they went along. On their way to finding a shelter, they, however, saw the Governor’s-General office. Suddenly they heard somebody’s voice calling their names’. As they turned around, they found it was Upen, Ram’s and Shyam’s old friend. When he heard that they were now in deep trouble, he told them to come to his room, which was at the distance of the throw of a stone from the place.


MODULE II
SINGULAR AND PLURAL NOUNS WITH DIFFERENT MEANINGS
MEANINGS of certain words sometimes depend on their numbers or the form of the number.
1. Cloth: Kind or pieces of cloth.
Clothes: Garments.
* He wears costly cloths. (Inc.)
In this the word ‘cloths’ means the kind or pieces of cloth. But what the speaker wants to refer to is garments. So the correct sentence is: He wears costly clothes.

2. Air: atmosphere (n), Ventilate (v), declare (v).
Airs: (Affected) manners.
* She gives herself air whenever she goes outside. (Inc.)
* She gives herself airs… (Cor.)

3. Brother: Sons of the same parents.
Brethren: old archaic form of brother: now it means members of a particular society or community.
· Ram and Lakshman were brethren. (Inc.)
· Ram and Lakshman were brothers. (Cor.)

4. Colour: hue (red, green, blue etc.). Ex. The colour of the sky is blue.
Colours: appearance or aspect. Ex. We should see the thing in its true colours.

5. Compass: extent or range. Ex. We were amazed at the compass of the singer’s voice.
Ex. We need to bring modern techniques within the compass of normal teaching.
Compasses: an instrument with two long thin parts joined together at the top, used for drawing circles and measuring distances on a map. Ex. When we draw a circle, we use compasses.

6. Custom: an accepted way of behaving or doing things in a society or community, habit.
Ex. We are now observing the custom of giving presents at Christmas.
Customs: the government department that collects taxes on goods bought and sold and on goods brought into the country, and that checks what is brought in.
Ex. The customs have seized large quantities of smuggled heroin.

7. Die: small cube used in games. (pl.)
Dice: the plural form of die, i.e., small cubes used in games. Ex. We played dice at night.
Dies: stamps for coining. (pl.)

8. Force: strength (Sing.)
Forces: troops (Plu.)

9. Genius: person with great talent (sing.).
Geniuses: persons with great talent (pl.).
Genii: supernatural creatures, spirits (pl.).

10. Ground: earth (sing.).
Grounds: reasons, sediment or dregs in coffee or tea (pl.). Ex. He was dismissed on solid grounds.
11.Iron: a kind of metal (sing.).
Irons: fetters or chains made of iron (pl.).

12. Manner/s: both the singular and plural forms are used in the sense of method.
Manners: only the plural form is used in the sense of behaviour.
· I was amazed at his manner as he did not shake hands. (Inc.)
· I was amazed at his manners… (Cor.)

13. Mean: adj. Meaning average, unkind, poor.
Mean: n. way or method (sing.).
Means: n. ways or methods (pl.). Ex. Internet is an effective means of communication.
Means: n. wealth (pl.). Ex. He does not have the means to support a wife and child.

14. Quarter: fourth part, a person or group of people, especially as a source of help, information or help.
Ex i) Cut the apple into quarters.
ii) It is a quarter to four now – I will meet you at a quarter after.
iii) Support for the plan came from an unexpected quarter.

Quarters: lodgings. Ex. Next month we are moving to more comfortable quarters.

15. Respect: regard (sing.). Ex. In this respect we have been fortunate.
Respects: polite greetings (pl.). Ex. With due respects I would like to draw your attention to the dismal condition of the drinking water supply in our locality.

16. Spectacle/s: When it means sight both forms are applicable.
Spectacles: When it means eyeglasses only the plural form is used.

17. Premise/s: proposition/s.
Premises: buildings (pl.).

18. Advice: counsel
Advices: information
19. Pain: suffering.
Pains: troubles, a lot of effort. Ex. Team India went to great pains to keep its winning record.
20. Sand: the material
Sands: sandy places. Ex. He crossed the sands of Arabia in great distress.

Correct the following sentences:
A. i) He stuck to his ground while arguing against the dispute.
ii) In the Mahabharata Shakuni was expert in the game of dies.
iii) Use your forces of mind whenever you are under pressure.
iv) Do not explain the incident in false colour.
v) We were astonished at the compasses of his knowledge.
vi) Don’t be deceived by the air of a lady.
vii) Loitering in the school premise is prohibited.
viii) In the past iron was attached to the legs and hands of the prisoners.
ix) He was absent-minded and lost his spectacle.
x) Mr. Dutta is a custom official.

MODULE III
Pronouns


USAGE 1: When two or more singular nouns are joined by ‘and’ and refer to separate persons, the pronouns used for them must be plural;
Ex. Both Ram and Shyam show his love for his brother. (Incorrect)
Both Ram and Shyam showed their love for their brother. (Correct)

USAGE 2: When two or more singular nouns are joined by ‘and’ and refer to the same person, the pronoun used for them must be singular:
Ex. The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the university expressed their regret over the theft of the Nobel. (Incor.)
Here the nouns the Prime Minister and Chancellor are used for the same person because we can find the definite article used only once before a noun. If it is written in this way—The Prime Minister and the Chancellor—it will refer to two different persons.
So the correct form of the sentence is:
The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the university expressed his regret over the theft…

USAGE 3. When two or more singular nouns are joined by ‘and’ and are preceded by ‘each’ or ‘every’, the pronoun must be singular.
Ex. Every poet and every singer should show their talent in their works.(Incor.)
Every poet and every singer should show their talent in his/her works. (Cor.)
*To avoid gender discrimination in language use both the masculine and feminine form of the pronoun.

USAGE 4. When two or more nouns are joined by ‘or,’ ‘either…or’, ‘neither…nor’, the pronoun is generally singular.
Ex. Neither Ram nor Shyam has brought their books. (Inc.)
Neither Ram nor Shyam has brought his books. (Cor.)

USAGE 5. When a plural noun and a singular noun are joined by ‘or,’ ‘either…or’, ‘neither…nor’, the pronoun must be plural.
Ex. Either the captain or the players will go to justify his poor performance. (Inc.)
Either the captain or the players will go to justify their poor performance. (Cor.)


USAGE 6. When a pronoun refers to more than one noun or pronoun of different persons, (I) it must be of the first person plural in preference to the second, and (ii) of the second person plural in preference to the third.
Ex. (i) You and I, husband and wife, have to look after your home. (Inc.)
You and I, husband and wife, have to look after our home. (Cor.)

Ex. (ii) you and Hari have done their job. (Inc.)
You and Hari have done your duty. (Cor.)
USAGE 7: When all three persons are taken into account, it has to be first person plural.
Ex. You, he and I have done your duty. (Inc.)
You, he and I have done our duty. (Cor.)
Usage 8. In an a sentence the second person come before the third person, and the third person should come before the first person.
Ex. I, you and he will go there. (Inc.)
You, he and I will go there. (Cor.)
Usage 9: The complement of a verb, when it is expressed by a pronoun should be in the nominative case.
Ex. : It is him whom I am looking for. (Inc.)
It is he whom I am looking for. (Cor).
Usage 10: When a pronoun is used as the object of a verb or of preposition, it should be in the objective case.
VERB: Ex. Let you and I go there. (Inc)
Let you and me go there. (Cor.)
PREPOSITION: Nobody will help you but I. (Inc)
[ because ‘but’ in the construction is not a conjunction. In that case, it would mean—Nobody will help you but I will help. In the above sentence ‘but’ is a preposition and ‘I’ is an object to the preposition ‘but’. So instead of ‘I’ ‘me’ should be used.]
Nobody will help you but me.(Cor)
Ex. He earns more than me. (Inc)
[ In the above sentence ‘than’ is not a preposition, it is a conjunction joining clauses. So it will be followed by nominative ‘I’ . So the correct form of the sentence should be—He earns more than I (earn).]

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tintern Abbey

1. What is the full title of the poem Tintern Abbey?
2. What does Wordsworth mean by “a soft inland murmur”?
ANS: Wodrsworth here refers to the soft murmuring sound of the river Wye. The river emerges from the mountains and flows through plain lands.

3. “Five years have past…winters.”(Lines 1-4) Why does Wordsworth here “five…. winters” here?
OR, How many years have elapsed between Wordsworth’s last visit and the present one?
ANS: At the beginning of the poem Tintern Abbey Wordsworth speaks of the years that elapsed between his last and present visit to the Way. Now he finds that there is a great difference between the two experiences.

4. *“Once again…the quiet of the sky.” (4-8) What does W mean by “thoughts of more seclusion” OR, What does W mean by “the quiet of the sky”?
ANS: At the beginning of the poem Tintern Abbey Wordsworth finds that in his present visit to the Wye after five years the landscape appears different to his eyes. Now, the high cliffs, covered with vegetation, on both sides of the river give him a sense of wildness of the place and of tranquillity all around him. As he looks ahead, the landscape seems to merge gently with the quiet sky. He experiences the feeling that the loneliness is deepened by the overhanging silence of the sky, which remains in perfect harmony with the horizon below.

5. *“With some uncertain notice…The Hermit sits alone.” (Lines 20-22) Explain the situation imagined by Wordsworth.
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth looks on the Wye landscape and tallies it with that of his last experience in the poem Tintern Abbey, he finds coils of smoke arising from somewhere out of the trees. This makes him imagine that either some vagabonds have come to stay there temporarily, or there lives a hermit who sits alone in his cave.

6. **“These beauteous forms…a blind man’s eye.” (23-25) What are referred to here as “beauteous forms”? Explain the phrase “a landscape to a blind man’s eye”?
ANS: By “beauteous forms” Wordsworth refers to the beautiful scenes of the Wye landscape—the green cottage grounds, the green orchards overloaded with fruits, the hedgerows spread along the farms, the coils of smoke rising from somewhere, either out of the temporary camps of some vagabonds under the trees or out of the fire made by some lonely hermit. He says that though he had been physically absent from the place for five years, the landscape had been very much present in his mind. He compares his state to that of a blind man: unlike a blind man he could remember the landscape vividly.

7. **“But oft, in lonely rooms…. Felt along the heart.” (26-29) What does the poet mean by “sensations sweet”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he recalls that, whenever he felt exhausted at the cacophonies of town and city life, the memory of the beautiful scenes of the landscape provided him with solace of soothing sensations, which he felt in his blood, heart and finally in mind.

8. “As have no slight or trivial influence… acts/Of kindness and of love.” (31-36) What does Wodrsworth want to mean here?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he recalls that the beautiful scenes of the landscape provided him not only with relief of soothing sensations, which he felt in his blood, heart and finally in mind, but it also exerted an unconscious influence on him by inspiring him to acts of kindness and love.

9. **“To them I may have owed another gift…We see into life of things” (37-50) What is the referred to here as “another gift”?
OR, ** What is the gift referred to here?
OR, **What does W mean here by “blessed mood”?
OR, What does W mean by “the burthen of the mystery”?
OR, What does W mean by “that serene and blessed mood”?
OR, *What does W mean by ‘affections” here?
OR, What is the state in which W thinks, “the breath of this corporal frame…Almost suspended…living soul…the life of things”?
OR, **What does W mean by “We see into the life of things”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he recalls how the beautiful scenes of the landscape provided him not only with relief of soothing sensations, but also created in his mind a mood, which was divine. At that mood he felt that all the insoluble questions regarding life and the world were resolved as all mellow and tender feelings like love, faith, compassion, devotion and piety went on to suspend his breathing and even the movement of his blood. He experienced a dreamlike condition induced by those feelings; he understood that his existence was in perfect harmony with Nature. Wordsworth thinks at that particular moment the functions of our outer eyes are suspended; our inner eyes come into action and we can understand the reality of the physical things around us.

10. * “If this be …turned to thee.” What does W refer to as “a vain belief”?
What does he mean by “many shapes/Of joyless delight”?
OR, What does he mean by “fretful stir/Unprofitable, and the fever of the world”?
OR, Why does he address the Wye as ‘sylvan’?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he recalls how the memories of the landscape provided him not only with relief of soothing sensations, but also created in his mind a mood, which was divine. He emphasises that this cannot be a ‘vain’, that is, false belief since those gave him much needed relief whenever he went through depressed states of the mind. Whenever he became burdened with unhealthy thoughts and anxieties, common to human beings, he turned to the memories of the Wye, which runs through the wild woods and cliffs and has a kind of sylvan identity about her.

11. **“And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought…the picture of the mind revives again”(59-62) What does W refer to as “gleams of half-extinguished thought”?
What does W mean by “picture of the mind”?
OR, Why does he call the ‘recognitions’ “dim and faint”?
OR, What does Wordsworth mean by “sad perplexity” in the poem TA?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, the picture of the landscape, preserved in his mind during his previous visits, comes back to him as if in kaleidoscopic flashes. Though he cannot recapitulate his past experience fully, he seems to capture it in the presence of the original landscape that acts as a kind of mirror to his mind. (Wordsworth here refers to his memory of the landscape preserved in his mind as “picture of the mind”). (Here Wordsworth calls his past ‘recognition’, that is, past experience “dim and faint”.) (But Wordsworth is puzzled by the fact that the present experience does not fully tally his previous ones. An aspect of change in the landscape makes him both perplexed and sad.)

12. What does W mean by “life and food/ For future years”(ll. 65)

13. “…And so I dare to hope… Wherever nature led”(ll. 66-71) Explain how W feel during this period?
OR, **“The coarser pleasure of my boyish days…gone by.” What does W mean by “the coarser pleasure of my boyish days”?
OR, What does W mean by “animal movements”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he understands that, as he has grown in years the appeal of the landscape has changed considerably over the years from what it had been during his first visit. At that time as a mere boy, his delight in the lap of Nature was coarse and animalistic in the sense that his enjoyment of the natural beauties was instinctual and grossly physical. Like a young deer he jumped up and down the valley and the riversides; he now feels that at that time as if he was led by Nature herself.

14. **“…more like a man…the thing he loved.” (71-73) Explain the poet’s experience during the period.
OR, **“The sounding cataract/ Haunted me like a passion.” What does W mean here?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he remembers how he would enjoy the beauties of the Wye landscape during his second visit in 1793. Then his enjoyment of nature had been purely emotional and sensuous. He would seek only the gratifications of the senses in his search for the natural objects like the sounding waterfall, the high rock, the mountain, the mysterious forest. It seems to him now that in his excitement he was running away from something present in Nature rather than seeking that in love.

15. *“…the tall rock…Their colours and forms, were then to me/ An appetite; a feeling and a love” (78-81) What does W mean by “an appetite”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he remembers how he would enjoy the beauties of the Wye landscape during his second visit in 1793. Then his enjoyment of nature had been purely emotional and sensuous. He would seek only the gratifications of the senses in his search for the natural objects like the sounding waterfall, the high rock, the mountain, the mysterious forest. He would love those natural objects passionately as someone seeks the objects of his appetite, that is, desire.

16. “That had no need of a remoter charm…Unborrowed from the eye.” What does W mean by “remoter charm”? **Why does W use the phrase “unborrowed from the eye”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he remembers how he would enjoy the beauties of the Wye landscape during his second visit in 1793. Then his enjoyment of nature had been purely emotional and sensuous. He had not been conscious of the fact that pleasures of the sights and sounds of nature can be obtained through contemplation even being absent from the actual landscape. He would seek only the gratifications of his eyes in his search for the natural objects like the sounding waterfall, the high rock, the mountain and the mysterious forest.

17. **“That time is past…And all its dizzy raptures.” (84-85) What time is referred to here? What does W mean by “aching joys” and “dizzy raptures”

18. “Not for this…other gifts have followed…Abundant recompense…A presence…rolls through all things.”(ll. 86--103)***What are the ‘gifts’ referred to here?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he understands that the appeal of the landscape has changed considerably in the lapse of five years from what it had been during his second visit as a young man. He does not feel ecstatic at the sight of Wye landscape. But he does neither mourn nor complain of the loss. He comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is moved to higher thoughts by its presence in every inanimate and animate thing. He refers to these as “other gifts” of Nature.

19. *What does W mean by “thoughtless youth”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he understands that the appeal of the landscape has changed considerably in the lapse of five years from what it had been during his second visit as a young man. He does not feel ecstatic at the sight of Wye landscape. But he does neither mourn nor complain of the loss, because he feels now that during his youth he enjoyed Nature without the realisation that Nature does have a benevolent influence on man.

20. ***What does W mean by “The still, sad music of humanity”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he understands that the appeal of the landscape has changed considerably in the lapse of five years from what it had been during his second visit as a young man. He does not feel ecstatic at the sight of Wye landscape. But he does neither mourn nor complain of the loss. He is now happy to find that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He understands that the suffering and sorrows of mankind find an echo in the solemn order of Nature. He is also satisfied to find that Nature possesses enough power to purify and soothe the excited or suffering human mind.

21. *What does W mean by “Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he understands that the appeal of the landscape has changed considerably in the lapse of five years from what it had been during his second visit as a young man. But he does neither mourn nor complain of the loss. He is now happy to find that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He understands that the suffering and sorrows of mankind are in harmony with the solemn order of Nature. Those are not in cacophonic relationship with Nature.

22. *What does W mean by “a sense sublime”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is moved to higher thoughts by its presence in every inanimate and animate thing.

23. ***Whose ‘dwelling’ is referred to here?
OR, What does W refer to as “A motion and a spirit”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is moved to higher thoughts by its presence in every inanimate and animate thing—in the light of the setting sun, in the ocean, in the fresh air, in the blue sky and in the human mind. He thinks that this Divine Being is the prime mover of all the animate and inanimate objects in the universe. He calls this Being “a motion and a spirit.”

24. “Therefore I am still …of my moral being”(103--112)
**What makes W declare, “Therefore am I still/ A lover of the meadows and woods”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He realises now that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is moved to higher thoughts by its presence in every inanimate and animate thing—in the light of the setting sun, in the ocean, in the fresh air, in the blue sky and in the human mind. That is why he firmly declares that he still remains a lover of the beautiful of Wye landscape and of the world of Nature.

25. ***What does W mean by “the mighty world/ Of eye, and ear”? (ll.106--107)
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He realises now that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. That is why he firmly declares that he still remains a lover of the beautiful of Wye landscape and of the world of Nature. He is satisfied with power of his senses—eye and ear, which, though unable to capture Nature fully, can recreate this spiritual pattern of the universe in imagination.

26. * What does W mean by “language of the sense”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He realises now that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is satisfied with power of his senses—eye and ear, which, though unable to capture Nature fully, can recreate this spiritual pattern of the universe in imagination. In this the senses become the medium, through which the realisation of the deeper significance of Nature can be understood.

27. **What does Wordsworth refer to as “the anchor of my purest thoughts”?
OR, What does W refer to as “The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul/ Of my moral being”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He realises now that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is satisfied with the power of his senses—eye and ear, which, though unable to capture Nature fully, can recreate this spiritual pattern of the universe in imagination. He is delighted to find that man can remain in perfect harmony with Nature. In this harmony he finds the support for his lofty ideas, the cherisher and guide and protector of his true feelings, and finally it seems to him that his soul has become a part of the harmony, thereby influencing his ethical and moral decisions.

28. “If I were not thus taught…Of thy wild eyes…dear sister.”(114--122) What does W mean by “genial spirits to decay”?
OR, Whom does W address here as “my dearest friend”?
OR, How can he catch “the language of my former heart”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. In the final section of the poem TA, Wordsworth turns to his sister and addresses her as ”my dearest friend”. He declares that if he had not realised that man can remain blissfully by remaining in harmonious relationship with Nature, if he had not found in Nature the support for his lofty ideas, the cherisher and guide and protector of his true feelings and a part of his soul, he would not have been able to enjoy natural sights and sounds cheerfully. In that case, he would have to face melancholia.

29. “…this prayer I make…Is full of blessings.”
30. “Therefore let the moon…For al thy sweet memories…”About whom is all this said and why?
31. “…wilt thou then forget…We stood together.”(150--151)
32. What does W mean by “holier love”?
33. Why does W refer to the Wye as “sylvan”?
(Write the unanswered questions yourself and send to me.)

Spenser: One Day I Wrote Her Name

1. How did the poet try to immortalize the name of his beloved?
Ans. Spenser begins the sonnet No. 65 with a simple yet archetypal and obsessive and symbolic act on the part of a lover. One day in the presence of his beloved he wrote the name of his beloved on the sea-beach in the hope that he would be able to immortalize her name. But he very tragically found it being washed away by the waves. He tried for the second time. But in same way his second attempt was futile.

2. Why did the beloved rebuke the poet?
Ans: One day in the presence of his beloved he wrote the name of his beloved on the sea-beach in the hope that he would be able to immortalize her name. But he very tragically found it being washed away by the waves. He tried for the second time. But in same way his second attempt was futile. Seeing her name thus being repeatedly wiped out, the beloved reminded him that he was trying to immortalize a mortal thing, as like her name she would also one day be wiped out from this world. Unusually for a Renaissance lady, the beloved has been given a voice here, and she seems to understand the symbolic and archetypal significance of the waves leveling the sand. The evidence of the destructive properties of time available in the natural world has been grafted on to the context of the human world by the beloved.

3. How does the poet-lover answer the beloved’s questionings about his attempt at immortalizing her name?
Ans: The speaker starts with a belief of the renaissance alchemy that baser elements naturally perish in the dust. For him, however, “baser things” symbolize the earthly things subject to decay and death. What he seeks to immortalize is not the physical beauty of the beloved, but those spiritual qualities which provide the beloved with spiritual beauty. The poet is hopeful that his verses will be able to eternalise the memory of the spiritual beauty of the beloved and transfigure her into a heavenly being. Thus he will be successful in preserving her name even after the world is destroyed in the Apocalypse. The poet finally wants to use this kind of idealization as a way to preserving and immortalizing their love; for, in accordance with the Platonic belief, realization of the spiritual beauty of the beloved will lead them to the realization of the supreme beauty of God. He hopes further that this will help them to transcend their mundane existence and find a permanent place in the divine scheme of things.

Loving in Truth (Hons/PG)

(For the English (Pass/Hons-PG) candidates of West Bengal School Service Commission Test-westbengalssc)
1. What is a sonnet?
Ans: A sonnet is a succinct fourteen-line poem, divided in two unequal parts; the first eight lines form the ‘octave’, and the last six lines ‘sestet’. Invented about the year 1230 in southern Italy, the form was popularized by Petrarch in his Canzoniere, and during the Renaissance it spread to different parts of Europe.

2. Who introduced sonnet in England? Why did the form appeal to the Elizabethan poets?
Ans: In the early 16th century Sir Thomas Wyatt imitated Petrarch and introduced sonnet in England. The sonnet amply supplied the Elizabethan poets with a form through which they could experiment with their language, English in an effort to bring in refinement, and also with a form which became a suitable medium to express the new kind of emotions, thoughts, feelings and sentiment that came to dominate the mind of a Renaissance European.

3. What was the theme of a conventional Petrarchan sonnet?
Ans: A conventional Petrarchan sonnet deals with a typically unhappy relationship of a man with a woman, who was highly idealised. But sometimes it becomes a demoralised representation of the self, a problem arising out of the nature of secular love in its relation to the spiritual counterpart. For a solution the speaker would seek final refuge in the neo-Platonic theorising of love.

4. What is an Alexandrine?
Ans: An Alexandrine is the iambic hexameter, that is, having six feet and twelve syllables. This kind of line is often seen as the last line of a heroic triplet or of a Spenserian stanza.

5. Who is ‘She’ in Sidney’s Sonnet Loving in Truth? What does “Astrophil and Stella” mean?
Ans. On the fictional level, she refers to Stella, the poet’s beloved. On the autobiographical plane, however, Stella is said to have been modelled on Penelope Devereux, who did not reciprocate Sidney’s love and married Lord Rich. ‘Stella’ in Latin means ‘star’, while ‘Astrophil’ in Greek means ‘Star-lover’.

6. Why did the poet seek “to paint the blackest face of woe”?
Or,
How did the poet co-relate ‘pain’, ‘pleasure’, ‘knowledge’, ‘pity’ and ‘grace’?
Or,
How does the octave deal with the double theme of writing poetry and winning the beloved?
Ans. The poet thinks that the beloved takes pleasure in reading a love-poem that speaks of pain and suffering of the lover. If it be so, she will get interested in his poems, and this will, in turn, provide her information about his sincerity and anguish. This would lead her to pity him. The poet hopes that pity might give birth to love for him in her mind. In this way by writing good poetry the poet plans to win his beloved.

7. Explain the expression, “Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain”.
Ans. The poet in his attempt at winning his beloved through writing poetry feels short of words and expressions poignant enough to convey his suffering and pain. This leads him to look through other poets’ works so as to work out his poem by imitation, a misconception, nonetheless, that does not work. Sidney implies that this was dominant practice during the period.

8. “…if thence flow/ Some fresh…sun-burnt brain”. Why does the poet think that his brain has been burnt by the sun?
Ans. Sidney feels that his intellect or creative faculty has been dried up, as if by the flames of love for his beloved. Just as showers of rain are required to invigorate a perched field, he is seeking some ideas or inspiration that would fertilise his dried up brain.

9. What does the poet want to convey by “Invention; Nature child fled step-dame Study’s blows”?
Or, How does ‘Study’ become “Invention’s stepmother in Sidney’s poetic equation?
Or, What is the literary theory that Sidney implies here?
Ans. Here Sidney poetically introduces Aristotle’s idea of imitation, and distinguishes it from ‘study’, that is, literary imitation. According to Aristotle, art is an imitation of Nature. It follows, therefore, that invention—which is spontaneous artistic creation, is the child of Nature. On the other hand, literary imitation, the product of study, is a secondary derivative activity. Thus study is the step-mother of invention.

10. What is Muse?
Ans. In Greek mythology there were nine goddesses who were considered inspirational forces behind different kinds of fine arts, and they were called Muses. For instance, the muse of poetry was Urania. It was a dominant practice with the Renaissance artists to invoke the aid of the goddess.

11. What does Sidney mean by “blackest face of woe”?
Ans. Here Sidney has personified ‘woe’ in order to convey the sense of extreme unhappiness caused by the love he has for the beloved.

12. Explain the meaning of the word ‘pain’ used by Sidney in the poem.
Ans. The word ‘pain’ has a double meaning here. It refers to the pain felt with out of his love for the beloved, the pangs of a lover. But it also refers to the hardships of creative writing. Sidney implies that writing poetry is not always just inspirational or impulsive but a long struggle with words, emotions and feelings.

13. What does Sidney mean by “Other’s feet still seemed but strangers in my way”?
Or,
Explain the pun used in the word ‘feet’ here.
Ans. The word ‘feet’ has a double meaning here. The word ‘feet’ means either the footsteps pf other poets who are being imitated, or metrical units which constitute a poem. What Sidney wants to emphasise here is that writing poetry in imitation of other poets will not help him in his purpose, and he has to be original in both subject-matter and technique.

14. What does Sidney want to mean by the expression “helpless in my throes”?
Ans. Sidney here compares poetical composition or creative writing to giving birth to a child. Both activities involve struggle, suffering and pain. But Sidney’s condition is more precarious since his poetic endeavour stands on the verge of abortion in the absence of a proper inspirational force.

15. “Fool…look in thy heart and write”. Explain the poet’s sudden enlightenment.
Ans. At the closing line of the sonnet, a sudden realisation dawns upon the poet as he reaches the conclusion about the inspiration required to write poetry. He understands that writing poetry in imitation of other poets will not help him in his purpose, and he has to be original in both subject-matter and technique.


16. Do you find any of Sidney’s critical creeds in the poem?
Or,
How does the sonnet become a poem about poetic inspiration?
Ans. The last line of the sonnet elicits Sidney’s critical conviction that great poetry does not result from imitation of other poets, but from the spontaneous expression of personal passion. This conviction is much similar to that of the Romantic poets Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and others.

(Common Message: Just copy and paste on an MS Word file and order a print-out.)

Syllabus of West Bengal SSC English Pass, 2007

Syllabus for West Bengal School Service Commission Exam: English (Pass/ General)

Poetry
1. Wordsworth.................... Lucy Poems, The World is too Much
2. Shelley.......................... Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark
3. Keats............................ Ode to Nightingale, To Autumn
4. Tennyson........................ Ulysses
5. Browning........................ The Last Ride Together
6. Hardy............................ The Darkling Thrush
7. Yeats............................. The Wild Swans at Coole
8. Owen.............................Strange Meeting
9. Walter de la Mare...............The Listeners


Drama
1. Goldsmith............................... She Stoops to conquer
2. Shaw.................................... Arms and the Man
3. Galsworthy............................. Justice

Short Story
1. Conrad................................. The Lagoon
2. Maugham.............................. The Lotos Eater
3. O Henry............................... The Gift of the Magi
4. H.E. Bates............................ The Ox

Essay
1. Lamb.................................. Dream Children
2. L.A. Hill............................... Principles of Good Writing

Grammar and Usage
Common Errors
Number, Gender, Tense, Voice, Mood
Agreement of Verbs, Use of Articles and prepositions
Sentence Forms
Simple, Compound, Complex, Relative Clauses
Joining and Splitting of Sentences
Narration
Direct and Indirect Speech
Composition
A single paragraph of 50-60 words to be written on a given topic


Syllabus of West Bengal SSC English Hons/PG, 2007

Syllabus of West Bengal School Service Commission English Exam Honours, Postgraduate
Poetry
1. Sidney................................... Loving in Truth
2. Spenser................................. One day I Wrote Her Name
3. Shakespeare........................... Shall I compare thee
4. John Donne............................ The Good Morrow
5. George Herbert....................... Virtue
6. Alexander Pope....................... The Rape of the Lock (Cantos I & II)
7. Blake................................... The Tyger, The Lamb
8. Wordsworth............................ Tintern Abbey
9. Coleridge............................... Christabel; Kubla Khan
10. Shelley.................................. West Wind, To a Skylark
11. Keats.................................... Ode to Nightingale, To Autumn
12. Tennyson................................ Ulysses
13. Browning................................ My Last Duchess
14. Yeats..................................... The Wild Swans at Coole
15. Owen.................................... Strange Meeting
16. Eliot...................................... Hollow Men

Drama
1. Shakespeare............................ Macbeth
2. Goldsmith............................... She Stoops to conquer
3. Shaw.................................... Arms and the Man
4. Synge.................................... Riders to the Sea

Novel
1. Austen.................................. Pride and Prejudice
2. Dickens................................. David Copperfield

Short Story
1. Conrad................................. The Lagoon
2. Joyce................................... Araby
3. Maugham.............................. The Lotos Eater
4. Mansfield.............................. The Fly

Essay
1. Bacon.................................. Of Studies
2. Lamb.................................. Dream Children, The Superannuated Man
3. Shaw.................................. Freedom

Grammar and Usage
Common Errors
Subject Verb Agreement, Tenses, Active and Passive Voices, Articles, Prepositions, Adverbs, Adjective
Sentence Forms
Simple, Compound, Complex, Relative Clauses
Joining and Splitting of Sentences
Narration
Direct and Indirect
Composition
A single paragraph of 50-60 words to be written on a given topic


Literary Devices
Rhetoric and Prosody

Saturday, October 6, 2007

On Browning's The Last Ride Together

Q1: What type of a poem is The Last Ride Together?

DO IT YOURSELF.

Q2: Comment on the title of the poem, The Last Ride Together.

OR, Do you think that the title of the poem is justified?

ANS: The title of the poem, The Last Ride Together is fully justified. It refers to the single theme of the poem, namely the attempt at seeking a resolution out of the greatest crisis of the speaker’s life created by the rejection of his love by his beloved. It is in the last ride together with her that he finds a theological and philosophical solution to his problem.

Q3: “Since now at length ….needs must be—“. Who is the speaker here? What makes him lament thus?

ANS: The rejected lover in Browning’s dramatic lyric is the speaker here. He has tried every means to retain her love, but now he understands that he has reached such point of discord where no reconciliation is possible. Therefore he tries to rationalise his failure and console himself by accepting the fact that the rejection must have been predestined.

Q4: “My whole heart rises up to bless

Your name in pride and thankfulness!” Who is the speaker here? Why does he use the words ‘pride’ and ‘thankfulness’?

ANS: Though he has been rejected, he now takes pride in the fact that she loved him once. Again since she loved him, he thanks her for doing so.

Q5: What does the speaker in Browning’s The Last Ride Together claim from his lady after being rejected by her? Why does he do so?

ANS: When the speaker of Browning’s poem The Last Ride Together understands that his relationship with the ladylove finally has reached such a point where no reconciliation is possible, he claims two things from her: first, he wants to keep the memory of their affair and secondly he proposes to her for a last ride together. He hopes to transform the ride into a journey towards the eternity and find out theological and philosophical resolution to his crisis.

Q6: Explain the expression “Those deep dark eyes …through”.
OR, “Fixed me a breathing-while or two….in balance”. What is the incident referred to here? What does the speaker try to mean by “life or death in the balance”?

ANS: When the lady begins considering whether she should accept the proposal for the last ride together, she goes through mixed emotions (reflected in her bent eyebrows). On the one hand, her pride objects to accepting such a proposal: on the other, she feels pity for him since it is she who has rejected him.


Q7: What does the speaker try to mean by “life or death in the balance”?

ANS: After being rejected by his beloved the speaker proposes to her for a last ride. When she begins considering her proposal, it seems to him as if her pronouncement would determine his death or life as he has invested his sole hope in transforming this journey on earth to heaven and thereby seek salvation.

Q8: “ The blood…again”. What is the incident referred to here?
ANS: When his beloved begins considering his proposal for a last ride together, the speaker remains in utmost suspense as whether she will accept it or not. He becomes so pale at the thought of the rejection of his proposal that it seems to him his blood gets frozen. But as she agrees, he understands that his mission will be fulfilled, and he feels coming back to life again.

*Q9: “So, one day more….end tonight!” Why does the speaker think so?

ANS: As the lady accepts his proposal for a last ride, the speaker feels elated since he considers that in love one experiences the divine and gets transfigured almost into a god-like personality. Again the speaker’s hope is sustained by the impermanence of the present or the earthly existence. If the world ends tonight, he thinks, he will carry forward his last ride to eternity.

*Q10: “…if you saw …heaven was here” (ll. 23-31). What makes the speaker to exclaim in this fashion? What is the lover’s concept of love implied here?
OR, “ Conscious grew, your passion drew….star-shine too”. Explain the how the speaker makes a comparison between the cosmic events and the effects of the touch of his beloved?

ANS: After accepting his proposal for a last ride the beloved leans on his breast for a moment. The touch generates such euphoric sensations in his mind that he feels to experience some divine events happening with him. Just as a breast-shaped cloud looks a little stooping by the load of light shed at a time by the setting sun’s and the rising moon’s and the rising evening star’s light or blessing, the lover feels experiencing the same kind of bliss at the physical contact with his beloved. Nevertheless this makes him forgetful of the fleshly existence, and he experiences love as a spiritual quality.


Q11. Explain the expression “billowy-bosomed”.


Q12: “Thus leant she and lingered—joy and fear!” Why does the speaker use the words ‘joy’ and ‘fear’?


Q13. “My soul/Smoothed…in the wind.” Why does the speaker compare his soul to ‘a long-cramped soul’?

ANS: The rejection of his love by the beloved shattered him mentally. When she agreed to his proposal for a last ride, he felt highly relieved, as he has hoped to transform the journey beyond this temporal world towards eternity. So while riding with his beloved against the wind, he feels his mind now free just as a folded paper gets unfolded and flutters in the wind.

Q14. “Had I done this…/…so might I miss./…the worst befell” Why does the speaker say so? Or, What does the speaker mean by this?

ANS: As the lady has accepted his proposal for a last ride and they are out for a ride now, the speaker in Browning’s dramatic lyric The Last Ride Together rationalizes his rejection by her. He says that it is useless to consider how he might have fared had he said this or that, done this or that. For, in either case she would either love him or hate him. He accepts the present as a blessing since he enjoys the ride with his beloved and hopes to transform it intellectually into one towards eternity.


Q15. “Fail alone I .../ who succeeds?” Who is the speaker here? Why does he think so?

ANS: …As he is now riding with his beloved for the last time, he remembers the past and rationalizes his failure by saying that he is not the sole person in the world, who has failed. In fact, all men try hard for success, but a few succeed. He finds satisfaction in the fact that he has succeeded in realizing the favour of riding with his beloved for the last time.

Q16. “…it seemed my spirit flew/…on either side” Explain.

As the speaker in Browning’s dramatic lyric The Last Ride Together began his last ride together with is beloved, he felt so euphoric that it seemed to him that his soul was on its wings. While the landscape rushed past his eyes, he seemed to have seen new regions and cities never explored before.


Q17. “All labour.../…/…hopeful past.” Explain how the speaker justifies his failure of securing his beloved’s love here.

ANS: In order to justify his failure the speaker in Browning’s dramatic lyric The Last Ride Together refers to the fate of humanity in general. He says that in spite of trying hard for success, men at the end achieve little in the form of success; there always remains wide gap between hope and realization, between ambition and achievement. On the other hand, in his attempt to win his beloved’s love he has at least secured a last ride together, which, according to him, is a no mean achievement.


Q18. “What hand and brain…/…/…/…the fleshly screen?” Where do these line occur? Why does the speaker say so?

OR, Explain how the speaker justifies his failure.


Q19. “Ten lines, a statesman’s life in each!” Where does the line occur? Explain why the speaker exclaims in this way.

ANS: In order to justify his failure the speaker in Browning’s dramatic lyric The Last Ride Together speaks of the reward a statesman gets after the end of his active political career. After his death he is rewarded with a short ten-line obituary. His point is that achievement always falls short of ambition and endeavour.


Q20. “The flag stuck…Abbey-stones…” Explain.


Q21. Explain how the speaker in Last Ride Together draws a comparison between his achievement and that of a poet.

ANS: The rejected lover in Browning’s dramatic lyric The Last Ride Together draws a comparison between his achievement and that of a poet in order to justify his failure. According to him, a poet tries hard to express the feelings and thoughts in rhythm and melody, which others feel but cannot express. The poet holds beauty as the highest ideal and tries all through his life to glorify this in poetry. But the reward he gets in return, according to the speaker, is a trifling: he lives in poverty and becomes sick and prematurely old. The poet expresses but does not experience the sublime bliss of love. On the other hand the rejected lover is now having the bliss of riding with his beloved. In other words, to him life is greater than art.


Q22: “And that’s your Venus—whence …/fords the burn!” Explain the significance of the lines in relation to the speaker’s own personal situation.


Q23: “But in music we know how fashions end.” Where do this line occur? Why does the speaker insert this comment into the poem?


Q24. “…Had fate/ Proposed bliss here should sublimate…bond.” Explain.

ANS: The rejected lover in Browning’s The Last Ride Together justifies his failure of securing his beloved’s love by saying that it is not possible for us to know what is good for us and what is not. Even if he had entered into a contract with fate that he should be given the highest happiness on earth itself, he would still seek some happiness after his death. In other words, the speaker in his failure is sustained by his belief in the life after death, in the existence of life in heaven.


Q25.”This foot once planted…ride.” Explain.

OR, What does the speaker want to mean by “Could I descry such?”
OR, What is the ‘quest’ referred to here? Why does he “sink back shuddering “ from it?
OR,”Earth being so good…seem best?” Explain the significance of this line.

ANS: The rejected speaker in Browning’s The Last Ride Together justifies his failure of securing his beloved’s love by saying that he will be appalled if he finds the highest happiness of life in this temporal world. For, he looks forward to life-after-death or heaven for the fulfilment of his highest ideal. If this world provides the highest happiness, heavenly life then will be meaningless. And that is why, the speaker is content with and values the last ride so much, as he hopes to continue this beyond this earthly existence to heaven.


Q26. “And yet—she has not spoke so long!” Explain what the speaker wants to mean by the line.

Q27.”What if Heaven…so abide?” How does the speaker come to this conclusion?

ANS: Towards the end of his monologue the rejected lover in Browning’s The Last Ride Together projects himself and his beloved—representing the strong and the fair at the prime of their life—as an embodiment of heaven itself. Again he imagines himself and his beloved partaking of the heavenly quality by remaining constant and fixed in their ride together.


Q28. Explain the significance of the line, “Whither life’s flower is first discerned…”
OR, What is here referred to by the speaker as “life’s flower” and why?

The speaker here in Browning’s The Last Ride Together refers to heaven as the “life’s flower”. According to him, heaven is the culminating point of human life. Human beings can realize the highest reward, the heavenly bliss only in heaven.


Q29. “What if we still…eternity…” How does the speaker come to this conclusion?

OR, Explain the speaker’s logic behind this statement.

ANS: Towards the end of his monologue the rejected lover in Browning’s TLRT speculates on the chance of transforming the present ride into an everlasting one by just continuing it from this world to heaven. If it were so, then their old relationship will continue with the difference that the degree of emotional intensity will go on increasing. Thus he hopes to transform the ‘instant’, that is, the present bliss of riding together into an everlasting one in heaven.