CBSE Class 8 English Unseen Passages Type I

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CBSE Class 8 English Unseen Passages Type I

Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow each of them :

Passage 1
Captain James Cook

1. “I had ambitions not only to go farther than any man had been before; but as far as it was possible for man to go”, wrote James Cook, the explorer, who added Australia and New Zealand to the British Empire.

2. James Cook, the father of Antarctic exploration, was born in Marton village, Cleveland, on October 28, 1728. From his boyhood, he was interested in seafaring. One day the lad made up his mind; he, too, was going to sea in order to visit glamorous lands. At the age of twenty-seven, Cook had risen to the proud position of first mate. The first service Cook saw was in Canada, where he was employed in the dangerous task of surveying the St. Lawrence.

3. When Cook, on August 25, 1768, with a company of eighty-three men (including a party of scientists, among whom was the great Sir Joseph Banks) set sail in the Endeavour, they had before them the possibility of filling in a substantial area of the globe’s surface. They reached Tahiti in the spring of 1769. Cook sailed south on his quest for the unknown continent, and skirting the Society Islands, at length reached New Zealand. The tattooed natives met them. Cook greeted these Maori warriors with friendly signs and eventually prevailed on them to lay down their spears in sign of truce. After circumnavigating the North and South Islands, Cook surveyed the coastline and landed at Queen Charlotte’s Sound. He then hoisted the Union Jack and informed his company that he had taken possession of the islands on behalf of His Majesty George the Third.

(267 words)

Word-Notes: Farther-ahead, आगे Explorer-one who explores, खोजी. Exploration search, खोज Seafaring-voyage, समुद्री-यात्रा Glamorous-fascinating, आकर्षक Mate—a junior officer in navy, जहाज को छोटा अफसर। Task-work, कार्य। Surveying-inspecting, निरीक्षण। Set sail-started the voyage, यात्रा प्रारंभ की at Endeavour—(here) name of a ship, एक जल पोतका नाम Substantial-massive, विशाल Quest–a search made to find something, किसी चीज़ की खोज Skirting-going around the edge, पास से गुजर जाना| At length-after covering a lot of distance, काफी आगे चलकर। Tattooed-pictures on the body, शरीर पर चित्र वाले। Warriors-soldiers, सैनिक। Eventually—ultimately, अंततः Prevailed on-persuaded, राजी कर लिया| Lay down-surrender, अर्पित करना Truce-cease-fire, शांति की संधि, युद्ध – विराम Hoisted-unfurled, raised to a higher position, फहराया (ध्वज)|

Read the given passage and answer the questions that follow choosing the correct options from the ones given below each question :

Question 1.
James Cook’s chief desire was to
(a) discover Australia
(b) discover New Zealand
(c) travel long and far
(d) do something for the British empire.

Question 2.
Cook was interested in travelling
(a) by road
(b) by train
(c) by air
(d) by boat.

Question 3.
In 1755, Cook took the first challenging job
(a) to visit glamorous lands
(b) when he became the first mate
(c) when he surveyed St. Lawrence
(d) when he went to Canada.

Question 4.
Sir Joseph Banks was a
(a) Sailor
(b) friend of Cook
(c) master of St. Lawrence
(d) scientist.

Question 5.
The Endeavour was the name of
(a) the group which accompanied Cook
(b) the ship in which James Cook travelled
(c) a scientist who was with Cook
(d) a country discovered by Cook.

Question 6.
Cook discovered
(a) New Zealand
(b) Society Islands
(c) Canada
(d) North and South Islands.

Question 7.
‘Substantial is the opposite of
(a) little
(b) much
(c) great
(d) low.

Question 8.
The word ‘surveyed in this passage means
(a) served
(b) inspected
(c) found
(d) desired.

1. (c) 2. (d) 3. (c) 4. (d) 5. (b) 6. (a) 7. (a) 8. (6)

Passage 2
The Daffodils

I wandered lonely as cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils ;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle in the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay :
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their head in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced ; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee :
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company ;
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude ;
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.

-William Wordsworth

(153 words)

Word-Notes : Host-group, समूह Fluttering-flapping wing, पंख फड़फड़ाना Twinkle—sparkle, टिमटिमाना Margin-edges, किनारे Tossing-moving, हलाते हुए| Sprightly-lively, जीवंत Outdid-surpassed, आगे निकाल गये Glee-happiness, खुशी Jocund-happy, प्रसन्न Vacant—empty, hollow, खाली Pensive-thoughtful, विचारपूर्णो Inward-inside, आतंरिक Bliss-extreme happiness, परमानंद। Solitude-loneliness, एकांत।

Read the given passage and answer the questions that follow choosing the correct options from the ones given below each question :

Question 1.
The similarity between the cloud and the poet is that both of them
(a) are above vales and hills
(b) move on without a care
(c) see golden daffodils
(d) move on aimlessly without any company.

Question 2.
The poet saw daffodils
(a) in the vale
(b) on a hill
(c) on lake-side
(d) among the stars.

Question 3.
The daffodils were
(a) in the milky way
(b) inside the bay
(c) happy like the poet
(d) shining like stars.

Question 4.
The waves seemed
(a) happy like the daffodils
(b) less happy than the daffodils
(c) happier than the daffodils
(d) dancing like the daffodils.

Question 5.
The poet was happy because
(a) there was happiness all around
(b) there was the beautiful lake
(c) he loved the daffodils
(d) the daffodils were dancing.

Question 6.
The bliss of solitude’ refers to
(a) daffodils
(b) the inward eye
(c) the waves
(d) the stars

Question 7.
The word pensive means
(a) thoughtful
(b) pen-like
(c) happy
(d) delighted.

Question 8.
The adjective form of ‘solitude’ is
(a) solid
(b) sole
(c) solitary
(d) solvent

1. (d) 2. (c) 3. (d) 4. (b) 5. (a) 6. (b) 7.(a) 8.(c).

Passage 3
On Killing a Tree

It takes much time to kill a tree,
Not a simple jab of the knife
Will do it. It has grown
Slowly consuming the earth,
Rising out of it, feeding
Upon its crust, absorbing
Years of sunlight, air, water,
And out of its leprous hide
Sprouting leaves.
So hack and chop
But this alone won’t do it.
Not so much pain will do it.
The bleeding bark will heal
And from close to the ground
Will rise curled green twigs,
Miniature boughs
Which if unchecked will expand again
To former size.
The root is to be pulled out
Out of the anchoring earth;
It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out-snapped out
Or pulled out entirely,
Out from the earth-cave,
And the strength of the tree exposed,
The source, white and wet,
The most sensitive, hidden
For years inside the earth.
Then the matter
Of scorching and choking
In sun and air,
Browning, hardening,
Twisting, withering,
And then it is done.

Gieve Patel

(165 words)

Word-Notes : Jab-prick, चुभाना Consuming—eating up, समाप्त करना Crust-surface, पपड़ी Absorbing-taking in, सोखते Leprous—covered with scales, पपड़ी से ढकी Hide(here) skin, bark, छाल Sprouting—bringing out, निकालत हुए| Hack and chop-cut with a hack, फावड़े से काट दो। Bark-skin of the tree, पेड़ की छाल। Twigs a small thin branch, टहनी। Miniature-small, छोटा Boughs-main branch, शाखा/डाल Anchoring-preventing, रोकने वाली Snapped-broke, टूटा हुआ Scorching-heating, तपाना Choking-gagging, दम घोटन Withering—to dry up, सुखाना

Read the given passage and answer the questions that follow choosing the correct options from the ones given below each question :

Question 1.
“To kill a tree” means
(a) to cut its branches
(b) to cut its limbs
(c) to uproot it
(d) to cut its trunk.

Question 2.
A tree grows
(a) slowly
(b) fast
(c) not at all
(d) in summer.

Question 3.
Hacking and chopping
(a) will kill the tree.
(b) will not kill it forever
(c) will do nothing to the tree
(d) will improve its bark.

Question 4.
Mark the wrong option: The earth
(a) feeds the tree
(b) supports the tree
(c) helps the tree
(d) absorbs the tree.

Question 5.
Strength of the tree is exposed when
(a) it is hacked
(b) its trunk is cut
(c) you see its boughs
(d) its root comes out.

Question 6.
The opposite of consuming is
(a) producing
(b) consumption
(c) resuming
(d) finishing.

Question 7.
In the last line it stands for
(a) the act of uprooting the tree
(b) the act of killing the tree
(c) the withering of the tree
(d) the growing of a tree.

Question 8.
The word ‘snapped’ means
(a) took a photograph
(b) broke
(c) snatched
(d) pilled

1. (c) 2. (a) 3. (b) 4. (d) 5. (b) 6. (a) 7. (a) 8. (6)

Passage 4
Asteroids-The Cosmic Killers

1. The earth is occasionally hit by craggy remnants of creation known as asteroids. About 150 are known to cross the earth’s path. These lie in a loose belt between the Mars and Jupiter like so much rubble left over from creation. The first asteroid was too faint to be seen by the naked eye. It was discovered by an Italian monk named Guiseppi Piazzi, working at an observatory in Palermo, Sicily. The largest found so far is about 8 km wide.

2. Slamming into the earth at roughly 26 km a second, a large asteroid could explode with the force of a million hydrogen bombs, lofting enough pulverised rock and dust to block most sunlight. Cold and darkness could last for months, crippling agriculture and probably a good part of modern civilization, leading to the deaths of a billion or more people from starvation.

3. “The risk is real”, Dr David Morrison of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Ames Research Centre in California, who was co-chairman of the study by nearly 100 scientists, said in an interview. Dr Morrison further says that the asteroid threat has dawned on scientists only slowly and is hard for layman to comprehend. But the unambiguous fact, he said, is that mankind lives in a kind of cosmic shooting gallery.

4. Dr Morrison says that there are clues of the asteroids in the large number of impact craters found throughout the solar system by robot spacecraft exploring planets. There are numerous craters found by geologists on the earth also. Some 130 have been discovered with the list growing by five or six a year. The largest crater, which is in Ontario, is 198 km from rim to rim.

5. New awareness of asteroid impacts has increased the appreciation of close encounters and mysterious events. In 1908 in the Tunguska region of Siberia a cosmic object that never reached the earth’s surface exploded in the atmosphere with a force of some 20 hydrogen bombs. The resulting shock wave flattened hundreds of square miles of forest. Scientists now calculate the object was perhaps a mere 38 m in diameter. (351 words)

Word-Notes : Craggy-stony, चट्टानी Remnants-an amount or part that remains, अवशेष Rubble-broken pieces of a building, कबाड़| Slamming-hitting, टकराना| Lofting– hitting into the air, हवा में उछालना| Pulverised-crushed, चुश बनी| Crippling—destroying, नष्ट करना| Unambiguous-clear, स्पष्ट Clues-indications, सुराग| Impact-collision, टकराव| Craters-large hole, a bowl-shaped depression with a raised rim, formed by the impact of a meteoroid, ज्वालामुखी, कटोरे के आकार का एक ऐसा गड्ढा जो किसी उल्कापिण्ड के टकराने से बना हो। Appreciation-understanding, समझ Encounters—impacts, टकराव|

Read the given passage and answer the questions that follow choosing the correct options from the ones given below each question :

Question 1.
The asteroids are
(a) broken pieces of earth
(b) pieces broken from the sun
(c) as old as the creation
(d) the stars.

Question 2.
(a) is the name of an asteroid
(b) is 8 km wide
(c) is the name of an officer of NASA
(d) was an Italian monk.

Question 3.
The asteroids are
(a) a potential danger for the earth
(b) like a bomb
(c) moving at 26 km a second
(d) pulverised rocks.

Question 4.
After hitting the earth an asteroid can block sunlight
(a) because of its own light
(b) by crushed rock and dust
(c) by crippling agriculture
(d) by making the sun cold.

Question 5.
The potential threat from asteroid
(a) has been known since ancient times
(b) has been realised by the scientists slowly
(c) is no real threat
(d) will be soon over.

Question 6.
There are indications that
(a) asteroids have made holes
(b) asteroids have blocked the sun
(c) asteroids are just like our earth
(d) asteroids can cause no harm.

Question 7.
The word ‘craggy’ is
(a) the same as stony
(b) the opposite of shaky
(c) an adjective from cring
(d) means the same as ‘ready’.

Question 8.
The word ‘appreciation’ in this passage means the same as
(a) depreciation
(b) understanding
(c) encounters
(d) making

1. (c) 2. (d) 3. (a) 4. (6) 5. (6) 6. (a) 7. (a) 8. (6).

Passage 5
The Wild Fauna

1. Unfortunately, the Pere David deer and the white-tailed gnu are not the only creatures in the world that are nearly extinct. The list of creatures that have vanished altogether, and others that have almost vanished, is a long and melancholy one. As man spread across the earth he has wrought the most terrible havoc among the wildlife by shooting, trapping, cutting and burning the forest, and by the callous and stupid introduction of enemies where there were no enemies before.

2. Take the dodo, for example, the great ponderous waddling pigeon, the size of a goose, that inhabited the island of Mauritius. Secure in its island home, this bird had lost the power of flight since there were no enemies to fly from. And, since there were no enemies, it nested on the ground in complete safety. But, as well as losing the power of flight, it seems to have lost the power of recognizing an enemy when it saw one, for it was apparently an extremely tame and confiding creature. Then man discovered the dodos’ paradise in about 1507, and with him came his evil familiars: dogs, cats, pigs, rats and goats. The dodo surveyed these new arrivals with an air of innocent interest. Then the slaughter began. The goats ate the undergrowth which provided the dodo with cover; dogs and cats hunted and harried the old bird; while pigs grunted their way’ round the island, eating the eggs and young and the rats followed behind to finish the feast. But the fat, ungainly and harmless pigeon was extinct-as dead as the dodo. (265 words)

Word-Notes : Extinct-vanished, गायब| Vanished-disappeared, गायब हो गया| Wrought-brought, लाया| Callous—apathetic, निर्मम| Ponderous—big sized, विशालकाय| Waddling-walking like a duck, बतख की तरह चलना| Inhabited-lived in, बसी हुई थी| Confiding—trusting, विशवासी| Harried-troubled, सताया| Grunted-made low sounds (as the pigs do), घुरघुराये।

Read the passage mentioned above and answer the questions that follow :
1. What is common between the Pere David deer and the white-tailed gnu?
2. Who is most responsible for the destruction of the wild fauna?
3. Where did Dodo live ?
4. Why does the author call dodo a ‘tame and confiding creature’?
5. What does the phrase ‘dodos’ paradise’ refer to?
6. How did the dodo react to the arrival of man and his evil familiars’?
7. How did the goats harm the dodos ?
8. What does the phrase ‘ungainly and harmless pigeon’ refer to ?
1. Both Pere David deer and white-tailed gnu have become extinct.
2. Man is most responsible for the destruction of the wild fauna.
3. Dodo lived on the island of Mauritius.
4. A wild creature runs away from man and his familiars like dogs and cats but the dodos did not do so as is the case with the tame animals. So the author calls them ‘tame and confiding creatures’.
5. The phrase “dodos’ paradise’ refers to Mauritius.
6. The dodos seemed to look upon man and his evil familiars like an innocent child pleased to see something new.
7. The goats ate the grass and bushes which provided cover to the dodos,
8. The phrase ‘ungainly and harmless pigeon’ refers to the dodo.

Passage 6
Holy Thursday

Is this a holy thing to see
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reduc’d to misery,
Fed with cold and usurious hand ?
Is that trembling cry a song ?
Can it be a song of joy ?
And so many children poor?
It is a land of poverty.
And their sun does never shine,
And their fields are bleak and bare,
And their ways are fill’d with thorns :
It is eternal winter there.
For where’er the sun does shine,
And where’er the rain does fall,
Babe can never hunger there,
Nor poverty the mind appall.

-William Blake

(94 words)

Word-Notes : Cold-unfeeling, भावहीन| Usurious-miserly, कंजूस, ब्याजखोर| Bleak—dark, अँधेरी। Bare-empty, खाली। Eternal-permanent, अंतहीन।

Read the passage mentioned above and answer the questions that follow :
1. What is not holy in a rich and fruitful land ?
2. What are the poor children doing ?
3. How is the country ‘a land of poverty ?
4. What are the signs of ‘eternal winter’?
5. What is the important sign of a prosperous land ?
6. Give the meaning of the phrase, ‘fruitful land’.
7. Which word is the opposite of ‘generous’ in the poem ?
8. What is happening on ‘Holy Thursday’ which makes the poet say these words?
1. The children should not live in misery in a rich and fruitful land. It is not holy.
2. The poor children are singing a song in their trembling voice ?
3. According to the poet the land where the children live in misery is a land of poverty.
4. The signs of eternal winter are the absence of sunlight, the dry and infertile land and the thorny ways.
5. The happy children are the important sign of a prosperous land.
6. Fertile and productive land.
7. Usurious.
8. The poor children are being made to sing before people who are miserly.

Passage 7

Vegetable oil has been known from antiquity. No household can get on without it, for it is used in cooking. Perfumes may be made from the oils of certain flowers. Soaps are made from vegetable and animal oils.

To the ordinary man, one kind of oil may be as important as another. But when the 5 politician or the engineer refers to oil, he almost always means mineral oil, the oil that drives tanks, aeroplanes and warships, motor cars and diesel locomotives ; the oil that is used to lubricate all kinds of machinery. This is the oil that has changed the life of the common man. When it is refined into petrol it is used to drive the internal combustion engine. To it we owe the existence of the motor car, which has replaced the private 10 carriage drawn by the horse. To it we owe the possibility of flying. It has changed the methods of warfare on land and sea. This kind of oil comes out of the earth. Because it burns well, it is used as fuel and in some ways it is superior to coal in this respect. Many big ships now burn oil instead of coal. Because it burns brightly, it is used for illumination ; countless homes are still illuminated with oil burning lamps. Because it 15 is very slippery, it is used for lubrication. Two metal surfaces rubbing together cause friction and heat. But if they are separated by a thin film of oil, the friction and heat are reduced. No machine would work for long if it were not properly lubricated. The oil used for this purpose must be of the correct thickness; if it is too thin it will not give sufficient lubrication, and if it is too thick it will not reach all parts that must be lubricated.

The existence of oil wells has been known for a long time. Some of the Indians of North America used to collect and sell the oil from the wells of Pennsylvania. No one, however, seems to have realised the importance of this oil until it was found that paraffin oil could be made from it. This led to the development of the wells and to the making of enormous profits. When the internal combustion engine was invented, oil became of 25 worldwide importance.
-Extracted from ‘Oil by G.C. Thornley (adapted)

(385 words)

Word-Notes : Antiquity-ancient times, प्राचीन काल| Refined-purified, शुद्ध किया| Illumination-lighting, रोशनी Countless-numberless, अनगिनत| Lubrication-making oily, चिकनाई| Film-layer, पश्त| Existence-being, अस्तित्व| Enormous-big, विशाल|

Read the passage mentioned above and answer the questions that follow :
1. Which is the most talked about oil in the world ?
2. Where does the mineral oil come from?
3. Which is the oldest known oil ?
4. Where do we get petrol from ?
5. How has our life style changed ?
6. How does mineral oil help our machines ?
7. Which word in the passage means ‘a thin layer’?
8. Find a word in the passage which means the opposite of ‘few’.
1. Mineral oil is the most talked about oil in the world.
2. Mineral oil comes from the earth.
3. Vegetable oil is the oldest known oil.
4. We get petrol by refining the mineral oil.
5. The use of mineral oil in the forms such as petrol has made our life comfortable. Petrol drives our cars and aeroplanes and is used in many other ways.
6. Mineral oil drives our machines. It is also used for lubrication.
7. film.
8. countless.

Passage 8
A Robot About the House

As civilization proceeds in the direction of technology, it passes the point of supplying all the basic essentials of life: food, shelter, clothes, and warmth. Then we are faced with a choice between using technology to provide and fulfil needs which have hitherto been regarded as unnecessary or, on the other hand, using technology to reduce the number 5 of hours of work which a man must do in order to earn a given standard of living. In other words, we either raise our standard of living above that necessary for comfort and happiness or we leave it at this level and work shorter hours. I shall take it as axiomatic that mankind has, by that time, chosen the latter alternative. Men will be working shorter and shorter hours in their paid employment. It follows that the housewife will 10 also expect to be able to have more leisure in her life without lowering her standard of living. It also follows that human domestic servants will have completely ceased to exist. Yet the great majority of the housewives will wish to be relieved completely from the routine operations of the home such as scrubbing the floors or the bath or the cooker, or washing the clothes or washing up, or dusting or sweeping, or making beds.

By far the most logical step to relieve the housewife of routine, is to provide a robot
slave which can be trained to the requirements of a particular home and can be programmed to carry out half a dozen or more standard operations (for example, scrubbing, sweeping and dusting, washing up, laying tables, making beds), when so switched by the housewife. It will be a machine having no more emotions than a car, but having a memory for instructions and a limited degree of instructed or built in adaptability according to the positions in which it finds various types of objects. It will operate other more specialized machines, for example, the vacuum cleaner or clothes washing machine.
Extracted from ‘A Robot about the House’ by M.W. Thring (adapted)

(331 words)

Word-Notes : Hitherto—so far, अब तक| Axiomatic-self-evident, स्वतः सिद्ध| Ceased to exist—vanished, समाप्त| Scrubbing-rubbing, पोंछा लगाना| Operations-tasks, काम| Adaptability-adjustability, अभ्यस्त होने की क्षमता|

Read the passage mentioned above and answer the questions that follow :
1. What is the first use of technology in human life ?
2. Which kind of people want to work for shorter hours or raise their standard of living ?
3. What is it that the author takes as self-evident ?
4. What, according to the author, are the routine operations of the home ?
5. How will the new slave which the author envisages to help the house be different from the present-day domestic servants ?
6. How will this new slave be different from the modern machines like the vacuum cleaner or a washing machine ?
7. Pick out the word from the passage which means the same as ‘tasks’.
8. Which word in the passage means the opposite of ‘luxuries’?
1. The first use of technology is to satisfy the basic human needs of food, shelter, clothes and warmth.
2. The people whose basic needs have been satisfied will either work to raise their standard of living or work for shorter hours.
3. The author takes it as self evident that after satisfying his basic needs, man will like to work for shorter hours instead of raising the standard of living higher.
4. According to the author, the routine operations of the home are such as scrubbing the floor or the bath or the kitchen utensils.
5. The new slave will be a machine having no more emotions than a car but will have a limited memory for instructions.
6. This new slave will be different from modern machines like the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine because it will operate these machines as a human being does.
7. operations.
8. essentials.

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