English Precis & Composition





(i)  SUBJECTIVE PART to be attempted on separate answer book.

(ii)  Attempt ONLY FOUR questions from SUBJECTIVE PART. ALL questions carry EQUAL marks.

(iii)  All the parts (if any) of each Question must be attempted at one place instead of at different places.

(iv)  Write Q. No. in the Answer Book in accordance with Q. No. in the Q. Paper.

(v)  No Page/Space should be left blank between the answers. All the blank pages of the Answer Book must  be crossed.

(vi) Extra attempt of any question or any part of the question will not be considered.


Q.2. Make a précis of the following passage and suggest a suitable title. (15+5=20)

We lawyers cannot write plain English. We use eight words to say what could be said in two. We use old, arcane phrases to express commonplace ideas. Seeking to be precise, we become redundant. Seeking to be cautious, we become verbose. Our sentences twist on, phrase within clause within clause, glazing the eyes and numbing the minds of our readers. The result is a writing style that has, according to one critic, four outstanding characteristics. It is: “(1) wordy, (2) unclear, (3) pompous, and (4) dull.”

Criticism of lawyers’ writing is nothing new. In 1596 an English chancellor decided to make an example of a particularly prolix document filed in his court. The chancellor first ordered a hole cut through the center of the document, all 120 pages of it. Then he ordered that the person who wrote it should have his head stuffed through the hole, and the unfortunate fellow was led around to be exhibited to all those attending court at Westminster Hall. When the common law was transplanted to America, the writing style of the old English lawyers came with it. In 1817 Thomas Jefferson lamented that in drafting statutes his fellow lawyers were accustomed to “making every other word a ‘said’ or ‘aforesaid,’ and saying everything over two or three times, so that nobody but we of the craft can untwist the diction, and find out what it means.”

In recent times criticism of lawyers’ writing has taken on a new intensity. The popular press castigates lawyers for the “frustration, outrage, or despair” a consumer feels when trying to puzzle through an insurance policy or installment loan agreement. President Carter has ordered that new regulations of the federal executive agencies must be “written in plain English” that is “understandable to those who must comply” with them.’ A recently enacted New York State statute requires consumer contracts to be written “in a clear and cogent manner using words with common and everyday meanings.” Within the legal profession itself, the criticism has mounted. Attorney Ronald Goldfarb charges that, by writing as we do, we “unnecessarily mystify our work, baffle our clients, and alienate the public. We could change this, and we should.”

Q.3. Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow. (20)

Water is the basis of all life. Every animal and every plant contain a substantial proportion of free or combined water in its body, and no kind of physiological activity is possible in which the fluid does not play an essential part. Water is, of course, necessary for animal life. While moisture in the soil is equally imperative for the life and growth of plants and trees. Though the quantity necessary varies enormously with the species. The conservation and utilisation of water is thus fundamental for human welfare. Apart from artesian water the ultimate source in all cases is rain or snowfall. Much of Indian Agriculture depends on seasonal rainfall and is therefore very sensitive to any failure or irregularity of the same. It is clear that the adoption of techniques preventing soil erosion would also help to conserve and keep the water where it is wanted. In other words, on and in the soil, and such techniques therefore serve a double purpose. It is evident, however, that in a country having only a seasonal rainfall an immense quantity of rainwater must be necessarily run off the ground. The collection and utilization of water is therefore of vital importance. Much of it flows down into the streams and rivers and ultimately finds its way to the sea. The harnessing of our rivers. The waters of which now mostly run to waste is a great national problem which must be considered and dealt with on national lines. Closely connected with the conservation of water supplies is the problem of afforestation. The systematic planning of suitable trees in every possible or even in impossible areas and the development of what one can call civilized forests as distinguished from wild and untamed jungle is one the most urgent needs of India. Such plantation would directly and indirectly prove a source of untold wealth to the country. They would check soil erosion and conserve the rainfall of the country from flowing away to waste and would provide the necessary supplies of cheap fuel and thus stop unnecessary waste of farmyard manure.


  1. Where does the world get water from? (4)

  2. What is the national problem relating to our rivers? (4)

  3. What are the benefits of afforestation? (4)

  4. What is fundamental for human welfare? (4)

  5. What are the advantages of preventing soil erosion? (4)

Q.4. Correct any FIVE of the following sentences. (10)

  1. Work is under progress and soon we shall get the result.

  2. He availed of this situation very intelligently.

  3. You are not the first man that has been deceived by appearances.

  4. She is one of the best mothers that has ever lived.

  5. No sooner we left our home when it started raining.

  6. They drove all the night to reaching their destination.

  7. Smoking is injurious for health.

Q.5. (A) Punctuate the following passage. (5)

i m not going to tell you how much i make because i don’t know why i should says 30-year-old robert ingemarsson who has a senior job in marketing. asked what he does with his money he says simply i spend it on stocks. i like investing victor hesse, 24, who’s out shopping, says he’s about to embark on an international talent programme for a major swedish brand. but when asked about his salary he says that’s classified.

(B) Re-write the following sentences (ONLY FIVE) after filling in the blanks with appropriate prepositions. (5)

  1. He drove _____ the bridge. (on, over, upon, at)

  2. The cat jumped _____ the counter. (from, by, upon, off)

  3. She lives ____ her workplace. (by, alongside, near, beside)

  4. I walked _____ the street. (down, on, at, from)

  5. We located the key _____ the lock. (of, in, for, to)

  6. The car went _____ the tunnel. (from, in, through, into)

  7. I got a package _____ a friend. (from, by, with, none)

Q.6. (a) Explain the difference between the following word pairs (Any FIVE) by using each word in your own sentences: (5)

(i) Callous, Callus (ii) Born, Borne (iii) Faint, Feint (iv) Dinghy, Dingy (v) Lose, Loose (vi) Waiver, Waver (vii) Shear, Sheer (viii) Resister, Resistor

(b) Use ONLY FIVE of the following in sentences which illustrate their meaning: (5)

(i) Show and tell (ii) Helter-skelter (iii) To the death (iv) Tilt at windmills (v) Het up (vi) The whole ball of wax (vii) It’s about time (viii) Punch-up

Q.7. Translate the following into English, keeping in view the idiomatic/ figurative expression. (10)