CBSE Class 10 English Language and Literature Question Paper 2017

The Question paper is divided into three sections:

  • Section A - Reading: 20 marks
  • Section B - Writing and Grammar: 25 marks
  • Section C - Literature Textbooks and Long Reading Text: 25 marks

SECTION A - (Reading) 20 marks

1. Read the passage given below:

Then all the windows of the grey wooden house (Miss Hilton used to live here. She expired last week), were thrown open, a thing I had never seen before.

At the end of the day a sign was nailed on the mango tree : FOR SALE.

Nobody in the street knew Miss Hilton. While she lived, her front gate was always locked and no one ever saw her leave or saw anybody go in. So, even if you wanted to, you couldn’t feel sorry and say that you missed Miss Hilton.

When I think of her house I see just two colours. Grey and green. The green of the mango tree, the grey of the house and the grey of the high iron fence that prevented you from getting at the mangoes.

If your cricket ball fell in Miss Hilton’s courtyard you never got it back. It wasn’t the mango season when Miss Hilton died. But we got back about ten or twelve of our cricket balls.

The house was sold and we were prepared to dislike the new owners even before they came. I think we were a little worried. Already we had one resident of the street who kept on complaining about us to our parents. He complained that we played cricket on the pavement; and if we were not playing cricket, he complained that we were making too much noise anyway.

One afternoon when I came back from school Pal said, ‘‘Is a man and a woman. She pretty pretty, but he ugly like hell.’’ I didn’t see much. The front gate was open, but the windows were shut again. I heard a dog barking in an angry way.

One thing was settled pretty quickly. Whoever these people were they would never be the sort of people to complain that we were making noise and disturbing their sleep.

A lot of noise came from the house that night. The radio was going at full volume until midnight when the radio station closed down. The dog was barking and the man was shouting. I didn’t hear the woman.

On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, complete the statements that follow: 1×8=8

(a) Nobody went into Miss Hilton’s house because her front _________ .

(b) Her house had only two colours, (i) ______, and (ii) _______ .

(c) The high iron fence did not let the boys get __________ .

(d) They never got it back if their __________ fell into her courtyard.

(e) The boys were ready to dislike the ____________ .

(f) One resident of the street always ___________ .

(g) The new owners of Miss Hilton’s house were (i) _______, and (ii) _______ .

(h) The man was shouting, the dog was barking, only __________ .

2. Read the passage given below

1 During our growing up years we as children were taught - both at home and school - to worship the photos and idols of the Gods of our respective religions. When we grew a little older, we were to read holy books like the Bhagwad Gita, Bible and Quran; we were told that there are a lot of life lessons to be learnt from these holy books. We were then introduced to stories from our mythologies which taught us about ethics and morality - what is good and what is bad. I also learnt to be respectful towards my parents who made my life comfortable with their hard work and love and care, and my teachers who guided me to become a good student and a responsible citizen.

2 Much later in life, I realised that though we learn much from our respective holy books, there is a lot to learn from our surroundings. This realisation dawned upon me when I learnt to enquire and explore. Everything around us - the sun, the moon, the stars, rain, rivers, stones, rocks, birds, plants and animals - teach us many valuable life lessons.

3 No wonder that besides the scriptures, in many cultures nature is also worshipped. The message that we get is to save our environment and maintain ecological balance. People are taught to live in harmony with nature and recognise that there is God in all aspects of nature.

4 Nature is a great teacher. A river never stops flowing. If it finds an obstacle in its way in the form of a heavy rock, the river water fights to remove it from its path or finds an alternative path to move ahead. This teaches us to be progressive in life, and keep the fighting spirit alive.

5 Snakes are worshipped as they eat insects in the field that can hurt our crops, thus protecting the grains for us. In fact, whatever we worship is our helper and makes our lives easy for us. There are many such examples in nature, but we are not ready to learn a lesson. Overcome with greed, we are destroying nature. As a result, we face natural disasters like droughts, floods and landslides. We don’t know that nature is angry with us.

6 However, it is never too late to learn. If we learn to respect nature, the quality of our life will improve.

2.1 Answer briefly the following questions: 2×4=8

(a) What are we taught in our childhood and growing up years ?

(b) Why should we respect our parents and teachers ?

(c) What message do we get when we worship nature ?

(d) How does a river face an obstacle that comes in its way ?

2.2 Give the meanings of the words given below, as used in the passage, with the help of the options that follow: 1×4=4

(e) guided (Para 1)

  • (i) answered
  • (ii) advised
  • (iii) fought
  • (iv) polished

(f) explore (Para 2)

  • (i) search
  • (ii) frequent
  • (iii) describe
  • (iv) request

(g) valuable (Para 2)

  • (i) proper
  • (ii) desirable
  • (iii) available
  • (iv) useful

(h) harmony (Para 3)

  • (i) beauty
  • (ii) friendship
  • (iii) discomfort
  • (iv) honesty

SECTION B - (Writing Skills with Grammar) 25 marks

3. The road that leads to your market is broken and full of potholes. Mosquitoes and flies breed there. Write a letter in 100 – 120 words to the editor of a local newspaper drawing attention of the concerned authorities to get the road repaired. You are P.V. Prabhu/Prabha, 112, Aram Nagar, Delhi.


Write an article in 100 – 120 words on ‘A library is good for all — the old and young’. You are P.V. Prabhu/Prabha. Use the following clues:

  • best place in the school
  • reference books, help books, newspapers, etc.
  • don’t have to buy expensive ones
  • books to relax - novels, plays, etc.
  • books - treasure of knowledge
  • spend leisure hours

4. Write a story in 150 – 200 words based on the following outline: 10

A stag, thirsty — a pool of clear water — reflection — saw his horns — proud of them — his thin legs — ashamed — hunter’s dogs — ran — horns caught in a tree — dogs very near — pulled his horns free — ran for his life — legs saved him.


Complete the story in 150 – 200 words which begins as the following:

It was my fifteenth birthday. My parents were very happy. Some of my class-fellows had agreed to come. ..........

5. Complete the paragraph given below by filling in the blanks with the help of the options that follow: 1×3=3

Very few people (a) _______ loneliness. It seems to me that most people (b) _______ scared of (c) _______ left on their own.

(a) (i) enjoy (ii) enjoys (iii) enjoyed (iv) enjoying
(b) (i) is (ii) am (iii) are (iv) was
(c) (i) be (ii) being (iii) been (iv) having

6. The following paragraph has not been edited. There is an error in each line. Write the error and its correction as shown in the example. 1×4=4

Error Correction
I met her by chance then I e.g. then when
went to getting some medicine (a) __________ ___________
which Sister Amy use to give. (b) __________ ____________
It was amazing for meet Mother. (c) __________ ____________
I start loving just her presence. (d) __________ ____________

7. Rearrange the following words and phrases to form meaningful sentences: 1×3=3

(a) accept / his pupil / Swami / Sethu as / did not /
(b) only 14 / very / years old / he was / young /
(c) heart / not / but / did / lose / Sethu /

SECTION C (Literature: Textbooks and Long Reading Text) 25 marks

8. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: 1×3=3

‘‘Never shall a young man,
Thrown into despair
By those great honey-coloured
Ramparts at your ear,
Love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.’’

(a) Whom are these lines addressed to ?

(b) What would throw a young man into despair ?

(c) What does the word, ‘ramparts’ here mean ?


‘‘Why, you’re in evening dress ! Well, I never ! Are you going to a ball or what ? Though I must say you look better ....’’

(a) Who is speaking and to whom ?

(b) Why is the person spoken to in an evening dress ?

(c) What does the word, ‘ball’ mean here ?

9. Answer the following questions in 30 – 40 words each: 2×4=8

(a) What do we learn about the financial condition of the bakers of Goa ?

(b) In the poem ‘Trees’, where are the trees ? What are their roots, twigs, etc trying to do ?

(c) Which book did Ebright’s mother get for him ? How did it change his life ?

(d) How did M. Loisel try to make his wife happy ?

10. Answer the following question in 80 – 100 words: 4

Once we decide to achieve something, so many difficulties come in our way. With focused attention we can make that achievement. How did Valli succeed in fulfilling her desire of riding a bus ?


School education turned Bholi from a dumb cow into a bold girl. How did she save her father from a huge expense and become his support in his old age ?

11. Answer the following question in 150 – 200 words: 10

How did Helen Keller get out of the traumatic experience of ‘Frost King’ ?


What do you know about Mr. Keith as Helen Keller’s teacher ?


How is Anne more mature than Peter ? Describe her feelings for him.


Anne’s diary is as important for Anne as any other character in the annexe. What is your opinion ?

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