CBSE Class 10 English Communicative 2020 Question Paper

Class 10 English

The question paper is divided into three sections - A, B, and C. Section A is Reading of 20 marks, Section B is Writing and Grammar of 30 marks, and Section C is Literature of 30 marks.

There are 11 questions in the question paper. All questions are compulsory.

Section A - Reading

1. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow :

1 The time Uncle Ken and I went for a walk and he insisted on going the zigzag way, I did the same. It was fun. But like all things to do with Uncle Ken, it landed us in a situation where we had to make a hasty exit. While we were being chased away by an irate man from his fields and were dashing away, Uncle Ken’s hat flew off. Later, when we had stopped panting, I remembered what Granny had said about looking at the funny side of situations and had a good laugh. Unfortunately, I don’t think Uncle Ken saw the lighter side at that moment.

2 It helps to have such an outlook on finding oneself in the oddest of circumstances. Like the time I was in Mumbai and my belt decided to have some fun by getting entangled with a fellow passenger’s luggage. After that, I sat quietly at the book festival I had been taken to attend, to keep my belt out of trouble. And it’s not just belts that get me into trouble. There was the time I was sharing a taxi to Delhi with a gentleman with a fierce moustache. He was carrying a book written by me with him. When I told him it was my book, he looked offended that I was trying to lay a claim to his property. I gave up on the conversation quickly and filed it away for future use in a story.

3 I have even been accused by some of my younger audience for being too funny. Once a girl asked me disapprovingly why my ghost stories are not scary enough. ‘‘Your ghosts are too funny,’’ she grumbled. So, I tried to write a few scary ghost stories. But I find benign, friendly ghosts just as delightful. So, I also wrote about my friend Jimmy, who discovered he was a jinn. That meant he could elongate his arms at will. This ensured that he had a starring role to play in the school basketball team. Mostly, I feel I have been able to live this life enjoying its small moments of happiness and been able to laugh when needed.

1.1 On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer any eight of the following questions : 1 × 8 = 8

  1. While on a walk, what did Uncle Ken insist on ?

  2. What happened when Uncle Ken was chased away from the field of an irate man ?

  3. How did Uncle Ken react to his hat flying off ?

  4. What was the oddest situation that the narrator had faced in Mumbai ?

  5. ‘I was trying to lay claim to his property.’ What is the ‘property’ referred to in this sentence ?

  6. What did the girl accuse the narrator of ?

  7. Why did Jimmy have a starring role to play in the school basketball team ?

  8. What kind of life did the narrator have ?

  9. Which word in paragraph 3 means the same as ‘harmless’ ?

2. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow :

1 Choice of profession and career is of great importance. Success depends on the right and timely choice of a career. There are a great variety of careers and professions. The lack of proper counselling worsens the situation. It also results in unemployment and frustration which means a lot of waste of money, time and energy. The students should take the help of elders, teachers, and professionals in deciding their careers. They should choose their career according to their aptitude and resources.

2 Young people are ambitious, impatient and eager to achieve good positions. They want to become high officials, executives and have top positions without considering their qualifications, skills etc. This is a wrong attitude. One should be realistic. One may dream of becoming a super film star and end up as a mere casual artist. Such high ambitions lead to disillusionment and unhappiness.

3 It is better to choose a career at the high school level than go for higher studies aimlessly. One should go for a vocational course at this stage. There are many careers, professions and vocations to choose from. There are teaching, engineering, medicine, law, technology, business, trade, computer application career, government employment, positions in the police and army etc. But each of these requires special aptitude, training, and resources. One may have proper qualifications and aptitude for a career of a doctor or engineer. But if there are no financial resources to train for it, one cannot choose it as one’s career.

4 Choice of a career is not simply a matter of likes and dislikes. Financial resources play a very important role in deciding to choose a profession. For lack of funds, one will have to choose a far humbler career. One can take to politics if one has an aptitude for public life. It is a profession of hard labour and perseverance. If you have strong optimism, ambition for fame and are prepared to face the worst, you are best suited for politics. If you have enough money and resources and want to grow very rich, you can choose business as your career. Therefore, be practical, logical and reasonable in choosing your profession. This is a crucial choice.

2.1 On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer any four of the following questions in 30 - 40 words each : 2 × 4 = 8

  1. State the factors that can help young people decide their career.

  2. What leads to disillusionment and unhappiness among young people ?

  3. What is the right time to make a career choice ? Why ?

  4. Why are financial resources important while choosing a career ?

  5. What are the qualities needed to become a politician ?

2.2 On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, fill in any two of the following blanks with appropriate words/phrases : 1 × 2 = 2

  1. One’s success in life depends on ___________ .

  2. Lack of proper counselling leads to ___________ .

  3. ___________ play an important role in one’s choice of profession.

2.3 Find out words/phrases from the passage that mean the same as the following. Attempt any two. 1 × 2 = 2

  1. guidance (para 1)

  2. aspire (para 2)

  3. funds (para 3)

Section B - Writing and Grammar

3. You are Sahil/Sahira, resident of 12, Mall Road, Kanpur. You recently visited an orphanage and saw many children living in poor conditions. You feel sympathy for them. They should get good food, healthy living conditions and proper education. Write a letter (100 - 120 words) to the editor of a national daily requesting the authorities to take proper care of these helpless children. 8


You wish to join hobby classes during summer break at Culture and Art Centre, Ambattur Road, Chennai. You wish to learn instrumental music or an Indian dance. Write a letter of enquiry (100  120 words) to the Director asking about details like charges and timings and describing your taste, experience etc. You are Sahil/Sahira, resident of 12 Fort Road, Chennai. 8

4. Write a short story in 200 - 250 words, with the help of the cues given below. Give a suitable title to the story. 10

The golden gates of heaven opened ...... beautiful sight ...... the weather was ...... I saw ...... I pinched myself to see if I was awake ...... .


A black snake ...... a big hood ...... red eyes ...... hissed in anger ...... not very far from me ...... no place to run ...... suddenly a heavy shower ...... the snake slithered and slipped ...... I ran faster ...... reached safety ...... .

5. Fill in the blanks in the paragraph given below by choosing the most appropriate options from the ones that follow. Write the answers in your answer sheet against the correct blank numbers. (Attempt any four) 1 × 4 = 4

Soon you will not be able (a) park your car on the roadside. New parking rules will be (b) soon. Civic agencies (c) four months to implement them. New rules will kick (d) soon. Surface parking will cost at least three times (e) usual rate.

  1. (i) in (ii) on (iii) at (iv) to

  2. (i) notify (ii) notified (iii) noticed (iv) notifying

  3. (i) have (ii) had (iii) has (iv) is

  4. (i) upon (ii) at (iii) in (iv) on

  5. (i) the (ii) a (iii) an (iv) at

6. In the following paragraph, one word has been omitted in each line. Write the missing word along with the word that comes before and the word that comes after it against the correct blank number. The first one has been done for you. (Attempt any four) 1 × 4 = 4

Word Missing / Word before / word after

Police have launched special teams catch e.g. teams to catch
the snatchers. Each the teams will move into (a) ________ ________ _______
the crime affected areas. The teams directly (b) ________ ________ _______
report the district unit. (c) ________ ________ _______
Police teams residents will work together (d) ________ ________ _______
to catch snatchers. (e) ________ ________ _______

7. Rearrange any four of the following word clusters to make meaningful sentences : 1 × 4 = 4

  1. not / be / student / it / easy / a / is / to

  2. are / these / they / under / days / pressure

  3. need / be / the / parents / to / supportive / very

  4. can’t / be judged / academic / on their / only / students / performance

  5. provide / we / them / more / should / opportunities.

Section C - Literature

8. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow. Write each answer briefly in your answer sheet. 1 × 4 = 4

There was a pause. Nicola was glaring at his younger brother in vexation. ‘‘We could not think of troubling you, sir.’’

  1. Who is referred to as ‘sir’ here ?
  2. Why did Nicola glare at his younger brother ?
  3. What offer was made by ‘sir’ ?
  4. What does the word ‘pause’ mean ?


Caesar : ‘‘How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia ! I am ashamed I did yield to them. Give me my robe, for I will go.’’

  1. What were Calpurnia’s fears ?
  2. Why did they seem foolish to Caesar ?
  3. Where did Caesar want to go ?
  4. What does the word ‘yield’ mean ?

9. Answer any four of the following questions in 30 - 40 words each : 2 × 4 = 8

  1. How, according to Shakespeare, will poetry prove to be more powerful than statues ?

  2. ‘The Nightingale was a misfit in the world of the cunning.’ Comment.

  3. Why is Helen, the ghost, upset with people using Ouija Boards ? (A Shady Plot)

  4. What made the postmaster understand Ali’s pain later on in the story, ‘The Letter’ ?

  5. Why did the poet wait for the snake to drink first from the trough ? (Snake)

10. Attempt the following question in 100 - 120 words : 8

In the lesson ‘Patol Babu, Film Star’, what kind of values are being upheld by Patol Babu ? Quote instances to show his sincerity and dedication.


Show that Miss Mebbin is greedy and Miss Packletide is jealous.

11. Answer the following question in 200 - 250 words : 10

What are the strengths of Anne’s character which help her survive in the Annexe ?


How did the diary help Anne to overcome her loneliness ?


How did the arrival of Anne Sullivan prove to be a turning point in Helen’s life ?


Give a character sketch of Helen with a focus on her bitter childhood.