Monday, March 14, 2011


The story Karma illustrates the famous proverb "Pride Cross Before a Fall". It is the story of an arrogant person who feels bad about his culture, lifestyle etc. He is reluctant to his wife because she is an ordinary woman who is unable to impart foreign culture into her life.
Mohan Lal was a middle aged man who worked in the British Raj. He was ashamed to be an Indian and hence he tried to speak in English or in Anglicized Hindustani and to dress as if a high ranked British official. He used to fill the cross word puzzles of newspapers, which he did for showing his immense knowledge in English. His wife Lachmi was a traditional Indian woman and due to these differences they were not having a sweet married life.
The important event occurs in a journey of Mohan Lal and Lachmi in a train. Mohan Lal made her sit in the general compartment and arranged his seat in first class compartment which was meant for British. There he saw two British soldiers who tried to abuse him. When the arrogant Mohan Lal tried to oppose, he was thrown out of the train. He could only look through the rails on the moving train.
Sir Mohan Lal - An arrogant middle aged man
Lachmi - An ordinary Indian woman. She’s the wife of Mohan Lal
A bearer
A porter
Two British soldiers.
Tone and style of narration
Karma presents a relevant topic in the typical humorous way of Khushwant Singh. Style of narration used by the author is third person which add to the beauty of the story.

In the story Karma i.e. fate the discomfiture (defeat) of the Anglicised Sir Mohan Lal is skilfully brought out .He is culturally enslaved by the British way of life; travels in first class; looks forward to talk with the English in the Oxford accent. Whereas his uneducated wife Lakshmi, who lives world apart, travels by interclass. Sir Mohan Lal occupies his first class reserve berth but too uncivilized British soldiers call him ‘nigger’ and throw him out of the compartment .The irony of the situation is skillfully presented and also the uncivilized way in which the British treated the Indians in pre-independent India. The title Karma is symbolical. It means you will get the fruits of yours deeds. The author ridicules the slavish imitation of English manners, which has led to snobbery in a class of people in our country. 
If he has his own vice, he has its correlative virtue. Every mind should be allowed to make its own statement in action, and its balance will appear. It may be true that moral-seekers are apt to find Khushwant Singh's "Karma" a little too predictable, even simplistic.(1) For them, Sir Mohan Lal's is just another story of pride that goes before a fall. In its widely understood sense, "karma" is "the sum total of the ethical consequences of a person's good and bad actions . . . that is held in Hinduism and Buddhism to determine his specific destiny in his next existence" ("Karma"). On this count, Lal's sin of pride is punished when two British soldiers throw him out of a first-class compartment. His wife's karma, it would seem, enables her to have a safe and comfortable journey in a ladies' compartment. The nemesis itself is part of [Lal's] "Karma," the unexpected turn of his fate and, is also the inevitable outcome of his actions and thoughts. The title "Karma" has thus a double meaning: the inevitable nemesis and also the ironical turn of the wheel of fate.
Words such as "inevitable" and "fate" not only oversimplify but misconstrue the Law of Karma in Indian thought. Karma brings its own reward, which may not, after all, be particularly destructive or unhappy for the sufferer. For Mohan Lal is no mere victim of his karma; he is also its agent. His karma, like ours, implies both freedom and necessity.
If Lal's karma counts for anything, it ought to bring him this realization, the first necessary step toward self-realization. His "education," in this sense, begins as two British soldiers confront him in the first-class compartment with rudeness and abuse. Bill and Jim now become his tutors in necessity, in his own land. They speak both English and Hindustani, the languages of Lal's past freedom and present necessity. And, for once, Jim speaks more than he knows when he switches codes for the benefit of this "native" before him: "Janta -- Reserved. Army -- Fauz . . . ". Literally, Janta would be, "Do you know/realize [what you are doing]?' Who else but a "Tommy" would dare ask Sir Mohan from Oxford whether he "knows"? But what do they know? The British soldiers, we are told, "knew better than to trust their inebriated ears”. Out go Lal's "possessions" and the pride that holds them all: his suitcase, thermos flask, briefcase, bedding, The Times, and, finally, himself Lal finds this "preposterous" , the original meaning of which he must have known even in his calamity. He is not likely to have realized, however, that his karma decides the order in divesting him of his possessions, the order, that is, of what should go before and what after. Bill and Jim, mere players in this karmic farce, pause again: "It did sound like English, but it was too much of the King's for them". The truth of it, or rather the pity of the truth of it all, as nearly always in Khushwant Singh, breaks past the discipline of irony.
Poor learner that he is, Lal protests in English. Was it, again, his "well-bred manners" that prevented him from giving it back to them in Hindustani? One can't tell. Sir Mohan's Oxford accent notwithstanding, karma has its way. As Lal lands miserably on the platform, his "feet . . . glued to the earth", and at a loss for words, his real education might well have begun and ended at once.


"The Solitary Reaper" is a ballad by English Romantic poet William Wordsworth, and one of his best-known works in English literature. In it, Wordsworth describes in the first person, present tense, how he is amazed and moved by a Scottish Highlands girl who sings as she reaps grain in a solitary field. Composed in 1805, the poem was first published in Poems, in Two Volumes (1807). Each of its four stanzas is eight lines long and written in iambic tetrameter, with a rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b-c-c-d-d, though in the first and last stanzas the "A" rhyme is off.
'"The Solitary Reaper" is one of Wordsworth's most famous poems.  The words of the reaper's song are incomprehensible to the speaker, so his attention is free to focus on the tone, expressive beauty, and the blissful mood it creates in him. The poem functions to 'praise the beauty of music and its fluid expressive beauty, the "spontaneous overflow of powerful emotion" that Wordsworth identified at the heart of poetry.'
"The Solitary Reaper" begins with the speaker instructing us to look upon "Yon solitary Highland Lass" who is "Reaping and singing by herself". Thrilled by her song, the speaker compares the girl to a nightingale whose "melancholy strain" welcomes "weary bands / Of travellers" to "some shady haunt, / Among Arabian sands". Yet he does not understand the words of her song (presumably they are in the Scottish Gaelic language, and impatiently cries, "Will no one tell me what she sings?" He wonders if the subject is of "battles long ago" or of commonplace and universal things ("familiar matters of to-day"), perhaps "some natural sorrow, loss, or pain."
Then he dismisses his own musings -- "Whatever the theme," he says, "the Maiden sang / As if her song could have no ending" -and refocuses his attention on the song. He listens, "motionless and still", before finally mounting the hill and leaving the solitary reaper, still singing, behind. Though his ears cannot hear the song anymore, the sound of the Highland Lass's music will forever be a fresh and evocative memory in his heart.

"The Solitary Reaper"
In the first stanza the speaker comes across a beautiful girl working alone in the fields of Scotland (the Highland). She is "Reaping and singing by herself." He tells the reader not to interrupt her, and then mentions that the valley is full of song.
Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.
The second stanza is a list of things that cannot equal the beauty of the girl's singing:
No Nightingale did ever chant
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.
In the third stanza the reader learns that the speaker cannot understand the words being sung. He can only guess at what she might be singing about:
Will no one tell me what she sings?--
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?
In the fourth and final stanza the speaker tells the reader that even though he did not know what she was singing about, the music stayed in his heart as he continued up the hill:
Whatever the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o'er the sickle bending;--
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

This poem is unique in Wordsworth's composition because while most of his work is based closely on his own experiences, "The Solitary Reaper" is based on the experience of someone else: Thomas Wilkinson, as described in his Tours to the British Mountains. The passage that inspired Wordsworth is the following: "Passed a female who was reaping alone: she sung in Erse [the Gaelic language of Scotland] as she bended over her sickle; the sweetest human voice I ever heard: her strains were tenderly melancholy, and felt delicious, long after they were heard no more".
Part of what makes this poem so intriguing is the fact that the speaker does not understand the words being sung by the beautiful young lady. In the third stanza, he is forced to imagine what she might be singing about. He supposes that she may be singing about history and things that happened long ago, or some sadness that has happened in her own time and will happen again.
As the speaker moves on, he carries the music of the young lady with him in his heart. This is a prevalent theme in much of Wordsworth's poetry. For instance, the same idea is used in "I wandered lonely as a cloud" when the speaker takes the memory of the field of daffodils with him to cheer him up on bad days.

The poet orders his listener to behold a “solitary Highland lass” reaping and singing by herself in a field. He says that anyone passing by should either stop here, or “gently pass” so as not to disturb her. As she “cuts and binds the grain” she “sings a melancholy strain,” and the valley overflows with the beautiful, sad sound. The speaker says that the sound is more welcome than any chant of the nightingale to weary travellers in the desert, and that the cuckoo-bird in spring never sang with a voice so thrilling.
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Impatient, the poet asks, “Will no one tell me what she sings?” He speculates that her song might be about “old, unhappy, far-off things, / And battles long ago,” or that it might be humbler, a simple song about “matter of today.” Whatever she sings about, he says, he listened “motionless and still,” and as he travelled up the hill, he carried her song with him in his heart long after he could no longer hear it.

The Solitary Reaper\" is a delightful lyric by William Wordsworth. Wordsworth is known as a great lover and preacher of nature. He impresses us by the imaginative and philosophical quality of his thoughts.
This poem is a result of his visit to Scotland where he came across a lovely maiden in the fields all alone. Her lovely person and her sweet song had a deep impression on the poet and moved him to compose these verses. The lovely singer appeared to be a part of that beautiful scene of nature.
A highland girl was reaping grain in the field and singing a song at the same time. The poet did not understand the contents of the song as it was in a foreign language. He guessed that it was the tale of old and tragic events of the past. It could also be an account of some recent calamity or mishap. Whatever the theme of the song, it was sung in a beautiful, rich voice. The song seemed to be endless. The poet was bewitched by the thrilling notes of the lonely reaper. The whole valley was ringing with her silvery sound. Even the spring bird Cuckoo could not produce such a magical effect as the maiden\'s song cost on the poet.
The poet stood still and listened to that golden voice for some time. After words, when he was climbing the hill he could not hear that song any longer. But he was still feeling the sweet vibrations of that music in his heart. The sweet memory of that song had become a permanent source of joy.

Once when the poet was in Scotland, he was walking past the highlands. He came across highland lass who was reaping the harvest and binding the grains all by herself. Along with her work she was singing a song. The poet was highly impressed by her singing and stopped to hear her song. Her voice was so enchanting that it seemed to the poet that she was more melodious than the nightingale. The poet could not understand the meaning of her song as she was singing in a hilly dialect. But it seemed to him to be related to some far off happening or natural sorrow or loss or parting from the near ones. Whatever was the theme of the girl’s song, it affected the poet greatly. Even when he walked away, he carried the music along with him. Thus the song of the reaper provided him a rich emotional experience.


Twelfth Night Summary

Twelfth Night Summary provides a quick review of the play's plot including every important action in the play. 
Act I.
Orsino, The Duke of Illyria reveals his great love for the rich Countess Olivia who we learn has decided to veil herself for seven years to honour her recently deceased brother's memory. Profoundly impressed by this, the Duke continues his pursuit of Olivia undeterred...
Viola is introduced to us as a survivor of a shipwreck. Her brother was lost at sea but may not be dead. Viola learns from the Sea Captain of their doomed ship that they are now in Illyria, which is ruled by Orsino. The Sea Captain explains to Viola that The Duke of Illyria is pursuing the fair Olivia, a woman who like Viola has lost a brother.
Identifying with Olivia's grief, Viola wishes to serve Olivia but when she learns this will be impossible, Viola instead has the Sea Captain disguise her as a boy so she can serve Orsino, The Duke of Illyria.
Sir Toby, Olivia's cousin is introduced. We quickly discover that he drinks a great deal, keeps late hours and is generally rowdy by nature. Maria, Lady Olivia's maid makes this clear to us in her unsuccessful attempts to quieten Sir Toby down. Maria also reveals Olivia's annoyance that Sir Toby has encouraged Sir Andrew Aguecheek to court her.
Sir Andrew Aguecheek is now introduced, quickly revealing himself to be rich but rather dim (unintelligent). Sir Toby has manipulated Sir Andrew into pursuing Olivia so Sir Toby can continue benefiting from Sir Andrew's great wealth.
Realizing Olivia will not be courted by him, Sir Andrew makes preparations to leave but Sir Toby convinces Sir Andrew to stay a month longer, no doubt so Sir Toby can use Sir Andrew and his great wealth further...
Viola has successfully disguised herself as a man named Cesario. Her success with Orsino has been so great that she is now a favorite with Orsino who believes Viola to be the man named Cesario. As such, Orsino entrusts Cesario (Viola) to express his love for Olivia. Cesario, (Viola) deeply divided by her own love for Orsino, nonetheless dutifully represents Orsino.
Olivia's maid is angry with Feste, Olivia's Clown. Feste redeems himself with Lady Olivia by telling her she should not mourn her brother since he is in a better place, namely heaven. Olivia is pleased, but Olivia's uptight steward, Malvolio is not, regarding Feste as old and lacking in wit.
Olivia gives us an insight into Malvolio's character by saying that he suffers from self-love or is arrogant and vain.
Cesario (Viola) petitions Lady Olivia, eventually gaining her audience. Olivia is quite taken by Cesario but tells him, she cannot return Orsino's affections for her.
Olivia would however like to see Cesario (Viola) again, asking him to come back to report to her how Orsino took the news.
Intrigued by Cesario, Olivia sends Malvolio after him to give back a ring Cesario left behind as an excuse to express her affection for him...
Act II.
Sebastian, the twin brother Viola feared had died at sea, has also survived the shipwreck. Like Viola he mourns the loss of his sibling, believing his sister Viola to be dead.
Antonio, the man who saved Sebastian's life is touched by Sebastian's loss and decides to follow Sebastian to the Duke of Orsino's court even though he has many enemies there. Sebastian nobly tries to talk Antonio out of this, but Antonio is eventually accepted by Sebastian to travel with him to the Duke's court.
Malvolio catches up with Cesario (Viola), rudely returning Cesario's ring to him. Cesario is confused, he left no such ring at Lady Olivia's house. Malvolio also conveys Olivia's desire that Cesario return to confirm that Orsino has accepted the fact that she does not love him.
Cesario now realizes that the ring is a ploy by Olivia to express her affections for him. Realizing she has charmed Olivia, Cesario remarks that Olivia would do better chasing a dream than a man who really is a woman (Viola) in disguise. Cesario is distressed by this mess and hopes time will undo this tangled web.
Late at night, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and later Feste the Clown are enjoying some late night drinking and singing. This gets Maria's attention who warns all three men to quieten down lest Malvolio notices.
The three men ignore Maria. Malvolio arrives, warning the men that he will speak to Olivia about this noise. The three men ignore him as they did Maria and now Malvolio threatens to make Maria look disrespectful in Olivia's eyes if she does not quieten these three men down.
Maria, resenting Malvolio's heavy-handed arrogance hatches a plan to write a letter, which will convince Malvolio that Olivia loves him. This news quietens down all three men, who each dislikes Malvolio but now are all enthusiastic accomplices in his downfall. Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Feste will hide near where Malvolio will discover the letter so they can all enjoy what in their eyes is Malvolio's rightly deserved humiliation...
Orsino notices that Cesario (Viola) is in love. Cesario describes this person in terms that precisely describe Orsino but Orsino does not realize this. Cesario warns the Duke that Lady Olivia may not love him but Orsino refuses to even accept such a possibility.
Cesario (Viola) remarks on the unreliability of men in relationships. Cesario starts to reveal "his" own past but quickly becomes vague when Orsino becomes too curious.
Orsino sends Cesario once more to Lady Olivia with a large jewel as a token of his love for her... Maria tells Fabian, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew, all of whom hate Malvolio, that she has penned the letter that will convince Malvolio that Lady Olivia loves him.
Malvolio, meanwhile having not yet found the letter, starts entertaining the idea that Olivia could love him and that he could marry her.
Malvolio picks up Maria's counterfeit letter with its instructions that Malvolio be rude to kinsman like Sir Toby. It also suggests that he wear yellow stockings and be cross-gartered to win Olivia's love.
Maria explains to Sir Toby and company, that Lady Olivia hates yellow stockings and cross-gartered fashion and so Malvolio will be humiliated before Lady Olivia.
Act III.
Cesario has another private meeting with Lady Olivia on Duke Orsino's behalf.
Sir Toby and Sir Andrew meet Cesario (Viola) and Sir Toby learns from Cesario that he will soon speak with Lady Olivia. In private, Lady Olivia admits to Cesario that she used the ring she sent after him to lure him back to her.
Cesario (Viola) tries to put Olivia off him but she is smitten, ignoring all Cesario's attempts to diminish her enthusiasm for "him"...
Knowing Lady Olivia will never love him, Sir Andrew prepares to head for home. The sight of Olivia showing more affection to a youth (Cesario) than him was the last straw.
Fabian and Sir Toby don't deny the affectionate display but argue Olivia did it to spur Sir Andrew to woo her and regain her respect. Sir Toby and Fabian manipulate Sir Andrew into writing a challenge to the youth (Cesario) even though they know a fight between two cowards (Cesario and Sir Andrew) is unlikely.
Maria enters, telling Sir Toby and Fabian to watch the spectacle that is Malvolio wearing yellow stockings and being cross-gartered.
Sebastian has now reluctantly accepted Antonio as his companion in the streets of Illyria.
Antonio explains that his offence in Illyria, which was theft, was one the rest of his city have repaid but he has not and so he is still wanted in Illyria. Sebastian decides to look around, but Antonio fearful of his enemies, decides to head for lodging at a place called "the Elephant." Antonio gives Sebastian his purse (wallet) and directions to this lodging and the two part their separate ways...
Olivia makes plans to once more woo Cesario (Viola). Olivia sees Malvolio with yellow stockings and cross-gartered and considers him mad since he continues to smile no matter what the situation and makes crude, lustful interpretations of Olivia's words.
Malvolio makes his famous "'Some are born great,'-" speech.
Learning that Cesario has returned, Lady Olivia has Malvolio put into the care of her servants since in her eyes, Malvolio's behavior is some "midsummer madness."
Sir Toby, Maria and Fabian plot to have Malvolio placed in a "dark room," so they can have some fun with him. Sir Andrew arrives with his completed letter challenging Cesario. Sir Toby decides to verbally scare Cesario and Sir Andrew about their opponents instead of sending the letter.
Alone with Cesario once more, Lady Olivia makes no progress with Cesario who will not requit (return) her love. Olivia is undaunted by this. Sir Toby scares both Sir Andrew and Cesario into drawing their weapons on each other.
Antonio arrives, pledging to fight Sir Andrew on Cesario's (Viola's) behalf who he thinks is Sebastian since Viola disguised as a man now looks like her twin brother Sebastian.
The fight is stopped but Officers recognizing Antonio, capture him. Antonio asks Cesario (Viola) for his purse back but Cesario not recognizing him does not oblige.
Antonio thinks Sebastian has betrayed him, not realizing he has asked Cesario (Viola) for his purse, not Sebastian.
Act IV.
Confusion reigns as Sebastian is now mistaken for Cesario when Feste insists Sebastian sent for him and Sebastian is certain he did not (Cesario obviously did).
Sir Andrew finds Sebastian and thinking it is Cesario from the earlier "fight" that did not happen, hits Sebastian. Sebastian unlike Cesario is not afraid to return the favor and a fight is only stopped by Sir Toby's intervention. Sir Andrew decides to have Sebastian punished by the law of Illyria despite the fact that he started the fight.
Sir Toby and Sebastian are just about to fight when Olivia screams for her uncle, Sir Toby to stop. Olivia now scolds Sir Toby, hoping Sebastian, whom she thinks is Cesario (Viola), will forgive her uncle and not be displeased with her.
Sebastian, amazed that this beautiful woman he does not know, loves him, replies to Olivia that he will be ruled by her and the two set off to marry immediately...
In Olivia's house, Malvolio in a darkened room is teased mercilessly by Feste who tries unsuccessfully to convince Malvolio that he is mad.
Sir Toby, fearing that his fight with Cesario (actually Sebastian) has put him on thin ice with Olivia, wants Feste's teasing of Malvolio to stop. Feste has other ideas but eventually lets Malvolio write a letter to Olivia proclaiming his sanity...
Sebastian can barely believe his luck, a beautiful woman (Olivia) loves him and has given him a pearl. Sebastian briefly wonders if he is dreaming before he marries Olivia in a private chapel. Olivia explains that their now secret marriage will be revealed later...
Act V.
In the final scene, chaos ensues as the identical appearing Cesario (Viola) and Sebastian are each blamed for the other's actions. First Feste blames Sebastian for beckoning him, not realizing it was Cesario who called for him.
Cesario spots Antonio the man who saved him from fighting Sir Andrew but was taken prisoner by Orsino's officers in Act III. Antonio again asks Cesario for his wallet back thinking he is Sebastian. Cesario (Viola), who does not know Antonio, does not and so Antonio curses him for his betrayal, not realizing he is talking to Cesario not Sebastian whom he lent his wallet to.
We learn that Antonio is an enemy of Illyria and especially of Orsino for plundering his ships as a pirate in the past.
Now a prisoner, Antonio baffles Orsino by telling him that he and Cesario (Viola) have been together night and day for three weeks when who Antonio is really thinking of is Sebastian. Orsino cannot believe this; Cesario has been with him for three weeks.
Olivia arrives and we see that Orsino still loves her. The feeling is not mutual... Olivia scolds Cesario (Viola) for neglecting her, revealing that "he" is her husband.
Cesario (Viola) amazed by this, pleads "his" innocence to Orsino who "he" truly loves and Orsino thinking his servant betrayed him by taking Olivia for himself, prepares to punish Cesario.
Olivia meanwhile despairs that her husband Cesario who really is Sebastian, would leave willingly with Orsino to be punished rather than be with his wife and she too claims betrayal by Cesario (Viola).
Sebastian arrives, apologizing for attacking Sir Toby and Sir Andrew. Orsino seeing both Cesario and Sebastian together is amazed that he sees two copies of the same man. Olivia too is amazed.
Sebastian and Cesario compare notes on how they arrived in Illyria each claiming that their sibling had drowned.
Eventually they realize that since they knew the same father they are indeed brother and sister, Cesario revealing "his" real identity as the woman named Viola.
Malvolio storms in and the cruel prank against him is revealed by Fabian who confesses.
Orsino calls Olivia his sister, and Orsino takes Cesario for his mistress and we presume later his wife with Feste ending the play in song.
The play opens in the Duke's palace.
As his musicians play,  the Duke speaks of  love and says if music is the food that sustains love he wants to hear enough to make him sick of it, so he will no longer want to hear any and no longer be in love. ( It appears he's not having much luck in the romance area.)
His servant, Curio, returns from visiting Lady Olivia's house (the Duke's love interest) and informs the Duke that she has sworn off men for the next 7 years in order to devote herself to grieving for her recently deceased brother.
The Duke, distraught with this information, comments that it is such a waste for her to place all her love on a dead man.  But, he ads, if she can love a dead man that much - imagine how much she will love him when he wins her over!
Viola has landed after a shipwreck on the seacoast of a country called Illyria.
Viola is without her brother and believes he is dead.
Viola mourns over her brother Sebastian's death, but the  Captain, who survived with her, tries to offer her some comfort by telling her that the last time he saw Sebastian he was alive and clinging to some driftwood on the angry sea.
Viola asks who governs the land they are in and the Captain tells her a Duke named Orsino.
Viola recognizes the Duke's name and mentions that when she heard her father speak of Orsino, long ago, he was a bachelor.
The captain confirms that Orsino still is, but that it is rumoured he has taken a love interest in Lady Olivia.
When Viola wants to know who this lady is, the Captain tells her that the lady has suffered much in the last year:  She lost her father a year ago and her brother has just recently died.
Viola immediately feels compassion for Olivia's situation, as they have their suffering in common, and wishes to go work for her.
The Captain assures Viola that this would be impossible as Olivia has refused all strangers.
As a means to protect her virtue (a single woman in a foreign land is very unsafe), Viola decides that she will disguise herself as a man and seek employment with the Duke.
She asks for the Captain's help with the task and he agrees to help her and keep her identity hidden.

Summary: Act I, scene ii
Meanwhile, on the Illyrian sea coast, a young noblewoman named Viola speaks with the captain whose crew has just rescued her from a shipwreck. Although Viola was found and rescued, her brother, Sebastian, seems to have vanished in the storm. The captain tells Viola that Sebastian may still be alive. He says that he saw Sebastian trying to keep afloat by tying himself to a broken mast. But Viola does not know whether or not it is worth holding onto hope. In the meantime, however, she needs to find a way to support herself in this strange land.
The ship’s captain tells Viola all about Duke Orsino, who rules Illyria. Viola remarks that she has heard of this duke and mentions that he used to be a bachelor. The captain says that Orsino still is a bachelor, but then goes on to tell Viola about the Lady Olivia, whom the duke is courting. Again, we hear the tale of how Lady Olivia’s brother died, leading her to cut herself off from the world. Viola expresses a wish that she could become a servant in the house of Olivia and hide herself away from the world as well. The captain responds that it is unlikely that Viola will enter Olivia’s service because Olivia refuses to see any visitors, the duke included. Viola decides that, in that case, she will disguise herself as a young man and seek service with Duke Orsino instead. When she promises to pay him well, the captain agrees to help her, and they go off together in order to find a disguise for her.

Analysis: Act I, scenes i–ii
Viola’s plan for disguising herself in Act I, scene ii introduces one of the central motifs of the play: disguise and the identity confusion related to it. Similarly, Orsino’s mournful speech in Act I, scene i lets us know that the play will also concern matters of love: emotion, desire, and rejection. Put together, the two scenes suggest the extra twist that is the hallmark ofTwelfth Night: mistaken gender identity. Twelfth Night is one of the plays referred to as Shakespeare’s “transvestite comedies,” and Viola’s gender deception leads to all kinds of romantic complications.
The opening lines of Twelfth Night, in which a moping Orsino, attended by his servants and musicians, says, “If music be the food of love, play on,” establish how love has conquered Orsino (I.i.1). His speech on this subject is rather complicated, as he employs a metaphor to try to establish some control over love. He asks for the musicians to give him so much music—the “food of love”—that he will overdose (“surfeit” [I.i.2]) and not be hungry for love any longer. Orsino’s trick proves too simple, however; while it makes him tire of the music, it fails to stop him from thinking about love.
Orsino also makes a pertinent comment about the relationship between romance and imagination: “So full of shapes is fancy / That it alone is high fantastical” (I.i.14–15). This comment relates the idea of overpowering love (“fancy”) to that of imagination (that which is “fantastical”), a connection that is appropriate for both Orsino and Twelfth Night as a whole. Beginning in this scene, the play repeatedly raises the question of whether romantic love has more to do with the person who is loved or with the lover’s own imagination—whether love is real or merely something that the human mind creates for the sake of entertainment and delight. In the case of Orsino, the latter seems to be true, as he is less in love with Olivia herself than he is with the idea of being in love with Olivia. He claims to be devastated because she will not have him, but as the audience watches him wallow in his seeming misery, it is difficult to escape the impression that he is enjoying himself—flopping about on rose-covered beds, listening to music, and waxing eloquent about Olivia’s beauty to his servants. The genuineness of Orsino’s emotions comes into question even further when he later switches his affections from Olivia to Viola without a second thought; the audience then suspects that he does not care whom he is in love with, as long as he can be in love.
Act 1, Scene 1
Orsino, the Duke of Illyria (what is now Yugoslavia), is talking with his servants. He wants to hear music, because he believes it will cure him of his lovesickness. A moment later, however, he no longer wants to hear the music, and he is amazed at how changeable love makes him.
He is in love with the countess Olivia: "O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first, methought she purg'd the air of pestilence...And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds, E'er since pursue me."  His servant Valentine comes back from visiting Olivia, and Orsino eagerly asks him what Olivia said to him. Valentine says that Olivia would not see him, but she sent her servant to tell Valentine that she will mourn for her dead brother for seven years, and see no one. The Duke hopes that she will transfer her devotion and love from her brother to himself. In the meantime, his love for her seems even stronger.
Act 1, Scene 2
Viola comes to Illyria with a captain and a crew of sailors. She wonders why she should be here, when her brother, who drowned, is in heaven. She wonders if he might possibly still be alive, and the captain tells her that the last he saw of her brother during the storm where he was lost, the man was clinging to a piece of wood. It is possible, therefore, that her brother might have floated that way to shore. Viola talks about Illyria with the captain, who grew up near there.
The captain reports that the Orsino is in love with Olivia, who has refused to see any men since her brother and father both died. Viola wishes she could be Olivia's servant, so she could be in hiding for a while, until she was ready to be herself again. The captain protests that that would be difficult, since Olivia won't even see the Duke, let alone an average person. Viola asks the captain to disguise her as man, so that she can serve Orsino. She says she will be a great servant, and tells him to keep her identity a secret. "What else may hap, to time I will commit; only shape thou thy silence to my wit."


1. "I gazed awhile, and felt as light and free as the fanning wings of Mercury"
A- what was the poet gazing at? .5
B- why does the poet feel light and free? 2
C- what is the meaning of the "fanning wings of Mercury"? 1.5

1. "I gazed awhile, and felt as light and free as the fanning wings of Mercury"
A- what was the poet gazing at? .5
The poet was gazing at the gift of GOD'the nature' including jaunty streams,woodland alley,horizon and lot more...
B- why does the poet feel light and free? 2
The poet feels light and free as he wonders at the beauty of nature.He forgets all matters of his personal life,tension,work and freely experiences the 'true nature' of 'nature'.Nature makes him feel as he can enjoy this serenity of nature and not enter the humdrums of daily life as others do.He admires the nature and forget all sad moments that occured in his life.
C- what is the meaning of the "fanning wings of Mercury"? 1.5
Mercury was said to have winged feet and swiftly flew from place to place,even to carry dreams to sleeping humans.Similarly by observing and experiencing the nature 'deeply' he feels free of all worries and matters of a normal being and feels as if fanning wings of mercury had acted upon his feet.

2. "Into the heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake"
A- whom is the poet referring to? .5
B- what according to the poet is the meaning of ultimate freedom? 2


2. "Into the heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake"
A- whom is the poet referring to? .5
Poet is referring to GOD ,the creator of universe, as father.
B- what according to the poet is the meaning of ultimate freedom? 2
Rabindranath Tagore imagines the world differently where people have complete freedom. He imagines the world where every single being is fearless,where every human being has right to education apart from world of reality where education is confined to only particular classes of society.The whole world is united and where silly parasite mentality does not affect the humans and where there is no word such as untouchability,cast,creed,religion,colour and so on. He has imagined a world without boundaries, where all people walk hand in hand with truth and there is no sign of lie, and all courageous humans thrive towards perfection in all the work they do. Where mind of human is free of mean thoughts and each of them is broadminded. This is the poets perception of the word 'ultimate freedom'.

3. Explain the satire expressed by the author in "The world renowned nose" 3

4. "Thank GOD the scorpion picked on me and spared my children"
A- who is the speaker here? .5
B- what sentiments does the statement reflect? 2
C- Give a pen-picture of the mother as portrayed in the poem. 1

5. It is difficult to assess the range of human emotions. Those with smiling, evergreen faces may have a worm-like grief gnawing existance, and a dull, idiotic looking person may be blissfully happy. Life is a strange humdrum affair, where even a few moments of peace snatched should be gratefully acknowledged.
A. Why does the author believe that it is difficult to assess the range of human emotions? 2
B. What does the author advice us in these lines? 2

C. Do you agree with the authors viewpoint? Why?2

6. "The child was staring through the open window with dazed horror in her eyes"
A. Who was the child and what did she gaze at? .5
B. Why do you think she gazed in dazed horror? 2
C. What happened immediately after this?
7. Write a character sketch of VERA and MR. NUTTEL in about 10 lines. 3

8. What is the poet imagining that the solitary reaper might be singing?2

9.Stay here and watch him while he watches the bees
A. Who says this to whom?
B. Do you think the boys mother trusted the poet? Why?1
C. What type of a woman do you think was the boys mother?

10. I have been asking myself the same question for forty years.
A. Who says this to whom? .5
B. What is the preceeding event which leads to this statement? 2

11. If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too.
A. What is the figure of speech used here? .5
B. Explain elaborately what are the values brought to life in these lines. 2

12. What does the poet say about dreams and thoughts in his poem -IF. 3

13. Write a summary of the poem IF.

14. Write a character sketch of Sir Mohan in 10 to 15 lines.
15. Five years of a crowded glorious life. Worth far more than the forty-five in India with his dirty, vulgar countrymen, with sordid details of the road to success. 
A. Who is the speaker? Name the author of the story. .5
B. Which are the five years of glory he is referring to? 2
C. What do you think is the speaker's opinion of India? 2

16. State 4 characteristic points of difference between Sir Mohan and his wife Lachami. How did Sir mohan treate his wife?

17. Give a brief summary of the play The Twelfth night. 3
Which character impresses you the most? Why? 2 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


This poem in this selection has been taken from his English ‘Gitanjali’. Tagore had deep religious roots and his work reflects profound humanism. He was both a patriot and a global citizen. In the poem, ‘Where the Mind Is without Fear’, Tagore sketches a moving picture of the nation he would like India to be.
A nation where everyone within the fold of the brotherhood is free to hold up one’s head high and one’s voice can be heard without having any apprehension or fear of oppression or forced compulsion. 
He talks about a nation where the knowledge is not restricted by narrow ideas and loyalties! The British rule had robbed India of its pride and dignity by reducing it to a ruined nation. The India of Tagore’s dream is a country where her people hold their heads high with their pride in knowledge and strength born of that knowledge where all countrymen must come out of the age-old philosophy of constricted loyalties of caste, creed and religion. Prejudice and superstitious which narrow the mind and divide people should be a thing of the past.
It should be a nation where the words of truth come out from the depths of the heart and are spoken out courageously in the open for the world to hear. People should work for perfection in the clear light of reason leaving aside all superstitious rituals, beliefs and narrow-mindedness. 
 It should be a nation where everyone is free to toil and work hard for anything they desire either for their own or for the good of the nation. Everyone is encouraged to strive tirelessly till they attain full satisfaction in reaching their goals and perfection. 
It should be a nation where blind superstitious habits of thought and action have not put out the light of reason. Where people’s mind should not dwell in the mistakes of the past nor be possessed by it. On the other hand they should be led by the power of reasoning to be focused on the future by applying logical thought and action. Tagore’s only prayer to the Supreme Ultimate is leading the nation to such an ideal state of heaven. It is only by the universality of outlook and an abiding passion for the realization of great human ideals that India will achieve her true freedom. This way alone she will realize her destiny.

About the Poet
Rabindranath Tagore is to Indians what Shakespeare is to the English.
He founded Shanti Niketan which promotes a different philosophy of teaching. A few of his famous works are Geetanjali, Kabuliwala, etc. He won Nobel Prize for Literature for his work “Geetanjali”.

Where the Mind is Without Fear
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever- widening thought and action……..
Into the heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection.

Word meanings
1. Fragments- pieces
2. Head is held high- self respect
3. Domestic- pertaining to family.
4. Striving – try hard, motivated.
5. Tireless - without getting tired
The poet draws a picture of free India. He dreamt of a country with no boundaries. Tagore prays for the welfare of the country. The poet prays to God that there should be an atmosphere of fearlessness.
Knowledge should be free for all. The country should not be divided into creed and caste. People should speak the truth and be fearless and God blessed to have a perfect life. They should not get tired of working.

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever- widening thought and action..
Into the heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Word Meanings
Stream: river
Dreary: dull
Reason: intellect
Dead habit: old customs
Desert – dry area of land
Awake- to get up from sleep

The poet prays to God that Indians should be logical & progressive in thoughts & actions. They should have the power to reason out the bad and useless customs by guiding people. God should make India and the world a paradise.

Central Idea
This poem is a reflection of the poet’s good and ideal nature. He has utmost faith in God. He prays to God with all his heart that He should guide the countrymen to work hard, speak the truth and take the country forward with a logical approach. Rabindranath Tagore aspires to see the country and his people to be in peace and prosper. He loves his country a lot and wishes for its welfare and growth.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


In English, there are three basic tenses: present, past, and future. Each has a perfect form, indicating completed action; each has a continuous form, indicating ongoing action; and each has a perfect continuous form, indicating ongoing action that will be completed at some definite time. Here is a list of examples of these tenses and their definitions:

Simple Forms
Present Tense
Present tense expresses an unchanging, repeated, or reoccurring action or situation that exists only now. It can also represent a widespread truth.
The mountains are tall and white.
Unchanging action
Every year, the school council elects new members.
Recurring action
Pb is the chemical symbol for lead.
Widespread truth
Past Tense
Past tense expresses an action or situation that was started and finished in the past. Most past tense verbs end in -ed. The irregular verbs have special past tense forms which must be memorized.

World War II ended in 1945.
Regular -ed past
Ernest Hemmingway wrote "The Old Man and the Sea."
Irregular form

Future Tense
Future tense expresses an action or situation that will occur in the future. This tense is formed by using will/shall with the simple form of the verb.
The speaker of the House will finish her term in May of 1998.
The future tense can also be expressed by using am, is, or are with going to.
The surgeon is going to perform the first bypass in Minnesota.
We can also use the present tense form with an adverb or adverbial phrase to show future time.
The president speaks tomorrow. (Tomorrow is a future time adverb.)

Continuous Forms
Present Continuous Tense
Present continuous tense describes an ongoing action that is happening at the same time the statement is written. This tense is formed by using am/is/are with the verb form ending in -ing.
The sociologist is examining the effects that racial discrimination has on society.
Past Continuous Tense
Past continuous tense describes a past action which was happening when another action occurred. This tense is formed by using was/were with the verb form ending in -ing.
The explorer was explaining the lastest discovery in Egypt when protests began on the streets.
Future Continuous Tense
Future continuous tense describes an ongoing or continuous action that will take place in the future. This tense is formed by using will be or shall be with the verb form ending in -ing.
Dr. Jones will be presenting ongoing research on sexist language next week.

Perfect Forms
Present Perfect Tense
Present perfect tense describes an action that happened at an indefinite time in the past or that began in the past and continues in the present.This tense is formed by using has/have with the past participle of the verb. Most past participles end in -ed. Irregular verbs have special past participles that must be memorized.
The researchers have traveled to many countries in order to collect more significant data.
At an indefinite time
Women have voted in presidential elections since 1921.
Continues in the present
Past Perfect Tense
Past perfect tense describes an action that took place in the past before another past action. This tense is formed by using had with the past participle of the verb.
By the time the troops arrived, the war had ended.
Future Perfect Tense
Future perfect tense describes an action that will occur in the future before some other action. This tense is formed by using will have with the past participle of the verb.
By the time the troops arrive, the combat group will have spent several weeks waiting.

Perfect Continuous Forms
Present Perfect Continuous
Present perfect continuous tense describes an action that began in the past, continues in the present, and may continue into the future. This tense is formed by usinghas/have been and the present participle of the verb (the verb form ending in -ing).
The CEO has been considering a transfer to the state of Texas where profits would be larger.

Past Perfect Continuous
Past perfect continuous tense describes a past, ongoing action that was completed before some other past action. This tense is formed by using had been and thepresent perfect of the verb (the verb form ending in -ing).
Before the budget cuts, the students had been participating in many extracurricular activities.
Future Perfect Continuous
Future perfect continuous tense describes a future, ongoing action that will occur before some specified future time. This tense is formed by using will have been and the present participle of the verb (the verb form ending in -ing).

VERBS/ VERB TENSES | TO HAVE (Present tense)
Write the correct present-tense form of the verb TO HAVE:
Ex: I have a cat.
1. My parents _________________ a nice garden.
2. My brother _________________ three children.
3. We don’t _________________ time to go to the beach.
4. My cousin _________________ a good job.
5. Do you _________________ my money?
6. That woman _________________ very beautiful eyes.
7. My neighbors _________________ a dog.
8. My boss _________________ a new car.
9. I don’t _________________ a laptop.
10. My brother and his wife _________________ a beautiful house.

VERBS/ VERB TENSES | TO BE (Present tense)
Write the correct present-tense form of the verb TO BE:
Ex: I am from Japan.
1. My parents _________________ from England.
2. My brother _________________ a very good dancer.
3. We _________________ very happy here.
4. My cousins _________________ doctors.
5. _________________ you his friend?
6. I _________________ a teacher.
7. Jim _________________ a musician.
8. They _________________ not from Korea.
9. My father _________________ very tall.
10. My cousin and his wife _________________ in Paris.

VERBS/ VERB TENSES | TO BE (Present tense) PART 2
Complete the following answers, using the correct pronoun and the correct present-tense form of the verb TO BE:
Ex: Q: Are you happy? A: Yes, I’m/I am happy.
Q: Is your father tall? A: No, he isn’t.
1. Q: Is he German? A: No, _________________ from Austria.
2. Q: Are you from Argentina? A: No, _________________ from Chile.
3. Q: Are your parents Chinese? A: Yes, _________________.
4. Q: Are you angry? A: No, _________________.
5. Q: Are they your friends? A: Yes, _________________.
6. Q: Is your brother a teacher? A: Yes, _________________.
7. Q: Is your father old? A: No, _________________.
8. Q: Are your cousins pretty? A: Yes, _________________.
9. Q: Are you taller than your sister? A: No, _________________.
10. Q: Am I a good student? A: Yes, _________________.

VERBS/ VERB TENSES | TO BE or TO HAVE? (Present tense) 
Choose whether each sentence requires the verb TO BE of TO HAVE. Choose the correct present-tense form of each verb:
Ex: I have $10 dollars; He is very handsome.
1. My brother _________________ a cold.
2. We _________________ from Canada.
3. I _________________ really hungry.
4. The girls _________________ thirsty.
5. He _________________ two sisters.
6. I _________________ a good job.
7. Thomas _________________ at work.
8. This _________________ a good idea.
9. We _________________ in a hurry.
10. I _________________ hot. I’m going to take off my jacket.

VERBS | Mixed verbs 1
Choose the correct verb tense. Several options might be acceptable - choose the best response:
1. I _____________ with my mother yesterday. ( to speak )
a) didn’t speak b) have not spoken c) haven’t been speaking
2. I _____________ to this restaurant for 5 years (and I still do). ( to come)
a) was coming b) have been coming c) am coming
3. She _____________ him if he hadn’t asked her. ( to tell)
a) would not tell b) would not have told c) didn’t tell
4. How often are you at the beach? I _____________ there every day. ( to go )
a) will have gone b) am going c) go
5. The concert we _____________ to last Monday was amazing! ( to go )
a) will have gone b) went c) go
6. Please _____________ me the truth! ( to tell )
a) was telling b) to tell c) tell
7. I _____________ a bath when the phone rang. ( to take )
a) was taking b) to take c) took
8. She insisted on _____________ there alone. ( to go )
a) going b) to go c) to be going
9. I demanded __________ to his supervisor. ( to speak )
a) to be speaking b) to speak c) speak
10. I never _____________ of him as a good friend. ( to think )
a) was thinking b) thought c) have been thinking

VERBS | Mixed verbs 2
Choose the correct verb tense. Several options might be acceptable - choose the best response:
1. I _____________ him sing yet. ( to hear )
a) didn’t hear b) haven’t heard c) haven’t been hearing
2. My father _____________ this happy in a long time. ( to be)
a) wasn’t b) hasn’t been c) wasn’t being
3. What is she doing? She _____________. ( to talk)
a) is talking b) has talked c) talks
4. I was at the same store, but I _____________ you. ( to see )
a) will not have seen b) haven’t seen c) didn’t see
5. _____________ me tomorrow! ( to call )
a) Will call b) To call c) Call
6. I can’t talk right now - Let’s _____________ tomorrow. ( to talk )
a) be talking b) talk c) to talk
7. Did you _____________ at his joke? ( to laugh )
a) laugh b) to laugh c) laughed
8. My brother _____________ to Japan three times. ( to be )
a) has been b) was being c) was
9. Are the sentences “I like swimming” and “I like to swim” both correct?
a) no b) yes
10. By the time I’m 30, I _____________ all the books on this list. ( to read )
a) will be reading b) will be read c) will have read

VERBS | Mixed verbs 3
Choose the correct verb tense. Several options might be acceptable - choose the best response:
1. Is he a good driver? No - he _____________ like a maniac! ( to drive )
a) drives b) is driving c) will drive
2. _____________ this whole time? ( to sleep )
a) You are sleeping b) Have you been sleeping c) Are you sleeping
3. He was being _____________ by the security guard. ( to watch)
a) watching b) watch c) watched
4. _____________ at night is very difficult. ( to drive )
a) Driving b) To be driving c) To drive
5. Jorge _____________ in Madrid before he got that job in Paris. ( to call )
a) is living b) was living c) would have lived
6. I worked as a banker before I _____________ to Australia. ( to come )
a) will have come b) came c) come
7. I _____________ it was you! ( to know )
a) will be knowing b) should have been knowing c) should have known
8. He told me that he _____________ all of these movies. ( to see )
a) had been seeing b) had seen c) had been seen
9. Did he come on time? No, he _____________ one hour late!
a) came b) has come c) comes
10. We spent the whole evening _____________. ( to talk )
a) talking b) talk c) to talk

VERBS | Mixed verbs 4
Choose the correct verb tense. Several options might be acceptable - choose the best response:
1. I _____________ for long when the phone rang. ( to sleep )
a) hadn’t been sleeping b) haven’t slept c) will not have slept
2. He can’t come to the phone because he _____________. ( to sleep )
a) sleeps b) is sleeping c) has slept
3. Where _____________ that jacket? ( to get)
a) has she gotten b) did she get c) has she been getting
4. I had already eaten dinner before they _____________. ( to come )
a) came b) are coming c) have come
5. The prisoner was _____________ to another location. ( to take )
a) taking b) took c) taken
6. How long have you been _____________ on this project? ( to work )
a) worked b) worked c) working
7. I had been doing my homework for three hours when my friend _____________. ( to arrive )
a) arrives b) has arrived c) arrived
8. We _____________ for you for three hours last night. ( to wait )
a) waited b) will have waited c) have waited
9. By this time tomorrow, I _____________ who won the game. ( to know )
a) will know b) will be knowing c) am knowing
10. I _____________ he wouldn’t listen to you. ( to know )
a) know b) knew c) was knowing

VERBS | Mixed verbs 5
Choose the correct verb tense. Several options might be acceptable - choose the best response:
1. When I first saw him, he _____________ to my brother. ( to talk )
a) has talked b) was talking c) talked
2. Jeannette stopped _____________ three years ago. ( to smoke )
a) smoking b) to smoke c) smoked
3. He was _____________ to make me laugh. ( to try)
a) try b) trying c) tried
4. Don’t do it until I _____________ you to do it. ( to tell )
a) told b) am telling c) tell
5. When I first came to this country, I _____________ anyone. ( to know )
a) haven’t known b) didn’t know c) wasn’t knowing
6. What do you mean? = What _____________? ( to say )
a) you say b) did you say c) are you saying
7. I haven’t known him long enough _____________ whether or not I like him. ( to tell )
a) to tell b) to be telling c) to have told
8. I _____________ for eight hours last night. ( to sleep )
a) slept b) will have slept c) have slept
9. You _____________ him, have you? ( to see )
a) didn’t see b) will not have seen c) haven’t seen
10. Do you know how_____________? ( to sing )
a) sing b) to sing c) to be singing

VERBS | Mixed past tense exercise 1
Fill in each blank with the best response. The third choice C means that either A or B can be used depending on the situation:
1. He __________________ to her last night.
a) has talked b) talked c) either a or b
2. I __________________ when you came in.
a) was sleeping b) slept c) either a or b
3. I __________________ that movie.
a) have seen b) saw c) either a or b
4. I __________________ feeling well.
a) haven’t been b) hadn’t been c) either a or b
5. I __________________ living in Taipei for five years. (and I still live here)
a) have been living b) was living c) either a or b
6. My brother __________________ in Dallas for five years.
a) lived b) was living c) either a or b
7. She _________________ in Dallas when I met her.
a) has been living b) was living c) either a or b
8. He __________________ her all day = He has called her many times during the day
a) has been calling b) was called c) either a or b
9. The witness was _________________ to testify by the judge.
a) calling b) called c) either a or b
10. I don’t understand why he _________________ so strange recently.

VERBS | Mixed past tense exercise 2
Fill in each blank with the best response. The third choice C means that either A or B can be used depending on the situation:
1. Thomas and David ________________ best friends until Thomas discovered that David was being dishonest with him.
a) were b) have been c) either a or b
2. Did she come to the party? Yes… and I ________________ really happy to see her.
a) was b) would have been c) either a or b
3. Did she come to the party? No… but I ________________ really happy to see her.
a) was b) would have been c) either a or b
4. I ________________ you then and I don’t believe you now.
a) didn’t believe b) haven’t believed c) either a or b
5. We ________________ a new engineer yesterday.
a) have hired b) hired c) either a or b
6. My cousin ________________ me that you were so beautiful.
a) never told me b) was never telling me c) either a or b
7. That isn’t what I ________________ in mind.
a) was having b) had c) either a or b
8. Why ________________ any of my phone calls?
a) haven’t you returned b) didn’t you return c) either a or b
9. ________________ so busy with the preparations (that) we forgot to call you.
a) We’ve been b) We were c) either a or b
10. ________________ this happy in seven years!
a) I haven’t been b) I wasn’t c) either a or b

VERB TENSES | Conditional Tenses 1
Choose the best (most grammatically correct) response:
1. If he hadn’t been standing there, he __________________ the accident.
a) would not have seen b) would not see c) will not see
2. If I had more time, __________________ French.
a) I will learn b) I would learn c) I would have learned
3. If I had known you were hungry, we __________________ at that diner.
a) would stop b) would have stopped c) would stop
4. If I see him, I __________________ him you’re looking for him.
a) would tell b) will tell c) would have told
5. If she had asked me in Spanish, I ____________________ to understand her.
a) would not be able b) will not be able c) would not have been able
6. Even if I __________________ the answer, I wouldn’t tell you.
a) knew b) had known c) know
7. If my roommates _________________, I will be all alone.
a) leave b) left c) had left
8. If I __________________ the money, I could lend it to you.
a) have b) had c) had had
9. If you __________________ me at work, you would not have been able to reach me.
a) hadn’t called b) didn’t call c) don’t call
10. If you ____________________ her the truth, she will be very upset.
a) didn’t tell b) wouldn’t tell c) don’t tell

VERB TENSES | Conditional Tenses 2
Choose the best (most grammatically correct) response:
1. I didn’t think he’d come if he __________________ who else was coming.
a) would know b) knows c) knew
2. What __________________ if you won the lottery?
a) would you do b) would you have done c) will you do
3. If you keep saying these things, people __________________ you’re crazy.
a) will think b) would think c) would have thought
4. If we __________________ now, we will be able to make the 6:00 PM show.
a) left b) leave c) would have left
5. When the police __________________, tell them what happened.
a) would come b) come c) would have come
6. I __________________ our anniversary if she hadn’t reminded me.
a) would forget b) would have forgotten c) will forget
7. If he’s late, __________________ eating without him.
a) we can start b) we would start c) we would have started
8. I wouldn’t accept that job even if they __________________ me $50,000 a year.
a) offer b) had offered c) offered
9. If it wasn’t raining, we __________________ for a walk.
a) could go out b) could have gone out c) can go out
10. If John ____________________ more money, he would stay here longer.
a) would have b) had c) would have had

VERB TENSES | Conditional Tenses 3
Choose the best (most grammatically correct) response:
1. If she __________________ so much last night, she would not have had such an awful headache this morning.
a) had not drank b) did not drink c) does not drink
2. If I __________________ my homework, my parents will be angry.
a) don’t do b) didn’t do c) wouldn’t do
3. If you loved your dog, you __________________ better care of it.
a) will take b) would have taken c) would take
4. I will talk to you if I __________________ time.
a) would have b) have c) would have had
5. How would she have known if I __________________ her?
a) hadn’t told b) didn’t tell c) don’t tell
6. If I __________________ in Hawaii, I would be swimming right now.
a) would be b) was c) were
7. If I tell you the truth you __________________ at me.
a) would laugh b) will laugh c) would have laughed
8. If I had taken German in high school, I __________________ for that job in Berlin last year.
a) would apply b) would have applied c) applied
9. If she wasn’t so pretty, boys __________________ with her all the time.
a) will not fall in love b) would not fall in love c) do not fall in love
10. If I hadn’t come, I ____________________ it.
a) will regret b) would regret c) would have regretted

VERB TENSES| The present continuous tense 1
Fill in the blanks with the correct form of each verb in brackets:
1. I ________________________ to the beach next weekend. (to go)
2. He ________________________ to the teacher. (to talk)
3. I ________________________ to learn Korean. (to try)
4. They ________________________ here in 15 minutes. (to come)
5. The children ________________________ the new Harry Potter movie. (to watch)
6. My grandparents ________________________ tonight. (to leave)
7. I ________________________ my friends at the mall. (to meet)
8. The students ________________________ to the teacher. (to listen)
9. We ________________________ a great time! (to have)
10. My brother ________________________ a trip to Mexico. (to plan)

VERB TENSES| The present continuous tense 2 
Fill in the blanks with the correct form of each verb in brackets:
1. My sister ________________________ an email to her friend. (to write)
2. My friends ________________________ to New York City. (to fly)
3. I ________________________. (to sing)
4. We ________________________ a cake. (to bake)
5. My sister and her boyfriend ________________________ married in July. (to get)
6. My mother ________________________ the table. (to set)
7. Our neighbors ________________________ to another city. (to move)
8. I ________________________ on the phone. (to talk)
9. Peter ________________________ today. (to work)
10. You ________________________ breakfast. (to eat)

VERBS | Simple past (Regular verbs) 1
Fill in the blanks with the simple past form of each verb:
1. I __________ to tell him. ( = to want)
2. She __________ with the other girls. ( = to play)
3. My mother __________ to me about this. ( = to talk)
4. We __________ to France last summer. ( = to travel)
5. The bank __________ at 5:00 PM. ( = to close)
6. My cousin __________ the door for me. ( = to open)
7. We __________ at the airport two hours before our flight. ( = to arrive)
8. The lifeguard __________ the swimmer. ( = to rescue)
9. She __________ her homework. ( = to finish)
10. My brother __________ the advanced exercises. ( = to try)

VERBS | Simple past (Regular verbs) 2
Fill in the blanks with the simple past form of each verb:
1. The teacher __________ the students to leave early. ( = to allow)
2. Marina __________ a cake for her boyfriend. ( = to bake)
3. I __________ that movie! ( = to love)
4. We __________ how to conjugate irregular verbs. ( = to learn)
5. John __________ his high school sweetheart. ( = to marry)
6. My grandfather __________ to speak with a doctor. ( = to need)
7. I __________ at his joke. ( = to laugh)
8. George __________ learning Spanish. ( = to start )
9. Yoko __________ her lunch with her friend. ( = to share)
10. We __________ about different things. ( = to talk)

ENGLISH VERB TENSES: The simple present 1
Fill in each blank with the proper SIMPLE PRESENT form of the verb (in parentheses):
EX: I usually run in the morning. (to run)
1) We ____________________ basketball every Sunday. (to play)
2) Robert always ____________________ his homework. (to do)
3) Thomas never ____________________ hard. (to try)
4) Bill ____________________ movies with his girlfriend. (to watch)
5) Robert always _____________________ flowers for his wife. (to buy)
6) They ____________________ French. (to speak)
7) My sister _____________________ her friends. (to miss)
8) I ______________________ hungry. (to be)
9) John _______________________ a big house. (to have)
10) Fiona _______________________ her hair every day. (to wash)

ENGLISH VERB TENSES: The simple present (questions) 1
Form a question based on each sentence:
EX: John wants to eat --> Does John want to eat?
1) Robert is German. --> ____________________________?
2) She is happy. --> ____________________________?
3) Thomas plays tennis every Saturday. --> ____________________________?
4) Bill likes Monica. --> ____________________________?
5) You go to the beach every day. --> ____________________________?
6) Peter speaks French. --> ____________________________?
7) They love each other. --> ____________________________?
8) My cousins have two cats. --> ____________________________?
9) You are sick. --> ____________________________?
10) Steve lives in Boston. --> ____________________________?