Directions (1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words have been given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
One day Nandu rode his horse to the village fair. On his way back he met Somendra, the merchant. The merchant was a crafty man, ready to do anything to earn some money. The villagers knew this. In fact no one knew what trick he would be up to next. Now, Nandu was poor and had no one in the world to call his own except a beautiful, white horse. He loved it more than anything else in the world. The merchant had his eye on the horse for a long time and tried to think of a way to get it for himself. Seeing Nandu, the merchant thought, “Nandu is a simpleton. Let me see if I can trick him out of his horse. “So he said to Nandu, “You live all alone. How do you manage? What does a young boy like you need with a horse? Sell it to me and I shall make you rich in return.” Nandu replied, “No I don’t want to sell my horse.”
But the merchant refused to give up so easily. He offered Nandu more money. Finally, when the offer reached five hundred gold coins, Nandu paused and said, “Five hundred gold coins seems like a good price. But I have a condition. If you agree to it, I shall give you my horse.” What is it?” The merchant asked impatiently. “Give me the money right now and I shall give you my horse when I have given you ten lashes,” said Nandu. “Is that all?” asked the merchant. He could easily bear ten lashes. After all he would resell the horse for over a thousand gold coins in the market. He would take twenty lashes for such a gain. He agreed instantly. He ran home and got the money for Nandu and brought along his whip as well. Nandu counted the money carefully. He then took the whip and the lashes fell on the merchant’s back in quick succession. By the eighth lash the merchant was almost in tears but he told himself that there were only two lashes to go and the horse would be his. The merchant held his breath waiting for the final lash. But Nandu had mounted his horse and was riding off. “Wait!” shouted the merchant in anger. “What about the tenth lash? Where are you going with the horse? We had a deal.”
Nandu stopped and said, “I agreed to give you the horse only after I had given you ten lashes. But it is upsetting my horse. I’ll give you the last lash later. Till then goodbye.” “Come back you cheat!” the merchant shouted. But the crowd that had gathered around agreed with Nandu. A deal was a deal. Till the last lash was given the horse could not belong to the merchant. Nandu rode away richer by five hundred gold coins and Somendra waited in vain for several days for the final lash which never came.
Q1. Why did the merchant offer to buy Nandu’s horse ?
(a) He was very fond of horses and Nandu’s horse was rare breed.
(b) It was his way of helping Nandu who was poor.
(c) The horse would be useful for carrying goods to the market.
(d) He hated Nandu and wanted to deprive him of something he loved.
(e) None of these
Q2. Which of the following is TRUE in the context of the passage ?
(A) Nandu was an orphan.
(B) The merchant was very persevering.
(C) The merchant was founder of Nandu’s horse than Nandu was
(b) Only (A)
(c) Both (A) & (B)
(d) All (A),(B) & (C)
(e) None of these
Q3. Why did Nandu set the condition of giving the merchant ten lashes ?
(a) To discourage the merchant from buying his horse
(b) To demonstrate how painful a whipping was so that the merchant would never hit the horse
(c) To bargain with the merchant to offer more money
(d) To outwit the merchant who was trying to cheat him
(e) None of these
Q4. Why did the bystanders take Nandu’s side in the argument ?
(A) They hoped that Nandu would give them a reward from the five hundred gold coins he had earned.
(B) They were sure that the merchant would ill treat the horse and wanted to prevent that from happening.
(C) They knew that Nandu would be miserable without his horse whom he was very fond of.
(b) Only (A)
(c) Both (A) & (C)
(d) Only (C)
(e) All (A), (B) & (C)
Q5. What reason did Nandu cite for not giving the merchant the final lash ?
(a) He was tired and not in the mood
(b) He realised that the merchant was in great pain and took pity on him
(c) He was following the advice of the people around
(d) His horse was distressed by the whipping
(e) He had changed his mind about selling his horse
Q6. Which of the following can be said about Nandu ?
(A) He was very cunning.
(B) He needed money.
(C) He was cruel to people but loved animals.
(a) Only (A)
(b) Both (A) & (B)
(c) Both (B) & (C)
(d) All (A), (B) & (C)
(e) None of these
Q7. Which of the following best describes the merchant’s reputation in the village ?
(a) He was enterprising and had made a lot of money.
(b) He was dishonest and would do anything to get what he wanted.
(c) He would squander his money on things he liked.
(d) He was generous and helped the less fortunate.
(e) He was successful because he was courageous and stubborn.
Q8. Choose the word which is most similar in meaning to the word given in bold as used in the passage.
Q9. Choose the word which is most similar in meaning to the word given in bold as used in the passage.
Q10. Choose the word which is opposite in meaning to the word given in bold as used in the passage.
Directions (11-15): 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.
Twenty years (1) now, nearly 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. The impact of urbanization might not all be positive on India as urban expansion is happening at a much (12) rate than infrastructure expansion. Sustainability issues need to be (13) so that economic development is not at the (14) of public health. Some urban services that ought to be in (15) in a city like water, electricity, transport etc need special consideration.
Practice More Questions of English for Competitive Exams:
S1. Ans. (e)
Sol. The first paragraph of the passage states that the merchant had an eye on Nandu’s horse and wanted to get it for himself. None of the given options explains this idea.
Sol. The first paragraph of the passage states that Nandu had no one in the world to call his own except his horse. Therefore, we can say that he was an ‘orphan’. Also, we know that the merchant was ready to bear ten lashes for the horse, so we can say that he was ‘persevering’.
S3. Ans. (d)
Sol. The second paragraph of the passage states that Nandu set the condition of giving ten lashes to the merchant because he wanted to outwit the merchant who was trying to cheat him.
S4. Ans. (a)
Sol. The last paragraph of the passage states that the crowd that had gathered agreed with Nandu because the deal was not yet complete. The final lash was still pending. None of the options bring out this idea.
S5. Ans. (d)
Sol. The last paragraph of the passage states that Nandu refused to give the final lash to the merchant as it was upsetting his horse.
S6. Ans. (a)
Sol. The story in the given passage highlights that Nandu was clever and ingenious. He thought of a deceptive way to outwit the merchant who tried to cheat him. Therefore, we can say that he was ‘cunning’.
S7. Ans. (b)
Sol. The first paragraph of the passage states that the villagers were aware of merchant’s crafty and persevering attitude. He would do anything to get what he wanted.
S8. Ans. (e)
S9. Ans. (a)
S10. Ans. (c)
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