HS English Question Paper 2023 WBCHSE | Higher Secondary English Question Answer Sheet 2023

Dear students, HS English Question Paper 2023 with answers will be provided here. This will give you a good understanding of this year’s West Bengal Higher Secondary Examination English paper. Also, you can download the PDF from the bottom of this post.

HS English Question Paper 2023 with Answer Sheet

HS Question Paper 2023

English – Second Language

Total Time : [ 3 Hours 15 minutes ] Total Marks : 80

(Multiple Choice Type Question)

1. Complete each of the following sentences, choosing the correct option from the alternatives provided: 1 x 12 = 12


(i) The copassenger, who boarded the train at Saharanpur noticed the girl’s-

(a) hair

(b) beautiful eyes

(c) sweet face

(d) bright dress

Ans : (b) beautiful eyes

(ii) After reading the namaz before dawn, Abdul Kalam’s father used to-

(a) meet people of different religions

(b) go to the mosque

(c) meet Pakshi Lakshmana Sastry

(d) go to the coconut grove

Ans : (d) go to the coconut grove

(iii) The bearded man wanted to-

(a) meet the Tsar

(b) meet the hermit

(c) take revenge on the Tsar

(d) hunt in the wood

Ans : (c) take revenge on the Tsar 

(iv) The lady picked the boy up holding his-

(a) shirt

(b) trousers

(c) belt

(d) arm

Ans : (a) shirt


(v) The stream flows through the valley-

(a) in a zigzag course

(b) at a slow pace

(d) in a halting manner

(c) swiftly

Ans :  (b) at a slow pace

(vi) Green twigs that rise from close to the ground are-

(a) curled

(b) crooked

(c) straight

(d) broken

Ans :  (a) curled

(vii) The ‘eye of heaven’ refers to the-

(a) sun

(b) clouds

(c) poet

(d) young man

Ans : (a) sun

(viii) The grasshopper presents live-

(a) music of spring

(b) music of winter

(c) music of summer

(d) music of autumn

Ans : (c) music of summer


(Either 4 from The PROPOSAL or 4 from CHARANDAS CHOR)

(ix) Lomov bought his dog, Guess, from-

(a) Chiranova

(b) Mironov

(c) Chubukov

(d) Natalya

Ans : (b) Mironov

(x) Natalya claimed the Guess was like a-

(a) stallion

(b) buffalo

(c) mule

(d) cab horse

Ans : (d) cab horse

(xi) Chubukov tells Natalya that someone has come in their drawing room who is-

(a) a farmer

(b) a land owner

(c) a merchant

(d) a hawker

Ans : (c) a merchant 

(xii) “What a weight off my shoulders” -The weight refers to-

(a) Lomov

(b) Guess

(c) Squeezer

(d) Natalya

Ans : (d) Natalya


(xiii) As his gurudakshina, the guru takes from the smoker-

(a) rupee

(b) gamchha

(c) chhilum

(d) bottle of wine

Ans :

(xiv) Charandas is alleged of being too rude by the-

(a) priest

(b) minister

(c) queen

(d) munim

Ans :

(xv) Charandas wore everything that the minister wore except-

(a) a kurta

(b) shoes

(c) cap

(d) dhoti

Ans :

(xvi) The last thing that Charandas steals from the temple is-

(a) a gold idol

(b) gold ornaments

(c) a gold plate

(d) gold coin

Ans :

(Short Answer Type Question)

2. Answer any four questions from PROSE and four questions from POETRY, of the following questions, each in a complete sentence:. 1×8=8


(i) Who wounded the bearded man?

Ans : The Tsar’s bodyguard attacked the bearded man.

(ii) How did the narrator come to know that the girl wore slippers?

Ans : The narrator knew that the girl wore slippers from the sound of her slippers slapping against her heels.

(iii) What is the full name of Mrs. Jones?

Ans : The name of the madam, mentioned in the story ‘Thank You Ma’am’ is Mrs Luella Bates Washington Jones. 

(iv) What were the necessary things Kalam’s father provided to his family?

Ans : Kalam’s father provided food, medicine and clothing to the family.

(v) What could the narrator see in his mind’s eye? 

Ans : In his mind’s eye, the narrator could see telegraph posts flashing by.

(vi) In which language were the prayers chanted in the mosque?

Ans : In the mosque, the prayers were chanted in the Arabic.

(vii) Where did Mrs. Jones work?

Ans : Mrs Bates worked at a hotel beauty-shop.

(viii) Where did the hermit live?

Ans : The hermit lived in a wood which he never quitted.


(ix) What does Keats celebrate in the poem ‘The Poetry of Earth’?

Ans : In the poem ‘The Poetry of Earth’ Keats celebrates the music of the earth.

(x) What cause the bark of the tree to bleed?

Ans : Hacking and chopping cause the bark of the tree to bleed.

(xi) What do the rough winds do?

Ans : According to Shakespeare’s sonnet, rough winds destroy the darling buds of May.

(xii) What do the birds do when they are faint with the hot sun?

Ans : In Keats’ sonnet, ‘The Poetry of Earth’ all the birds hide in the cooling shade of the trees.

(xiii) Which insect’s song can be heard on a lone winter evening?

Ans : On a lone winter evening the song of the cricket is heard from beside the stove.

(xiv) What does the poet compare his friend to?

Ans : Shakespeare compares his friend to a beautiful summer’s day and also to the lovely season of summer.

(xv) Where does the strength of the tree lie? 

Ans : The strength of the tree lies in its roots.

(xvi) What is seen on the side of the soldier?

Ans : Two red holes are seen on the side of the soldier.

(Subjective/Descriptive Type Questions)

3. Answer any two questions from PROSE, two questions from POETRY and one question form DRAMA of the following questions, each in about 100 words: 6×5=30


(i) “One of the most vivid memories of my early childhood is of the two men…” 1+2+1+2

(a) Whose childhood memories are referred to? 

Ans : Childhood memories of APJ Abdul Kalam’s father are referred to here.

(b) Who were the two men?

Ans : The two men were Kalam’s father, Jainulabdeen, and the high priest of Rameswaram temple, Pakshi Lakshmana Sastry.

(c) What was their topic of discussion?

Ans : They were discussing spiritual matters.

(d) What answer did the narrator get regarding his answer on prayer?

Ans : His father told Kalam that there was nothing mysterious about prayer. He regarded prayer as a means of communion of the spirit between people. Through prayer, a man can go beyond his bodily existence and become a part of the cosmos. The cosmos knows no division of wealth, age, caste or creed.

(ii) “Can you tell me-did she keep her hair long or short?” 2+2+2

(a) Who is the speaker? To whom is he speaking?

Ans : The narrator is the speaker.

▸ The narrator is speaking to the new

copassenger who entered the compartment at Saharanpur.

(b) Who is being referred to? Where did the girl get down? 

Ans : The girl, who had been travelling with the narrator from Rohana, is being referred to here.

▸ The girl got down at Saharanpur.

(c) What was the answer the speaker received in context to his question? 

Ans : After the girl’s departure, a new passenger entered the compartment. He asked his new companion to tell him if the girl had kept her hair long or short. But the fellow traveller could not satisfy him as he had noticed her eyes only. So the narrator was not able to know anything about her hair thereafter.

(iii) What were the three questions the Tsar wanted to get answers of? Why did he need the answers? Why was he not satisfied with the answers of the learned men? Whom did the Tsar finally decide to consult? 3+1+1+1

(iv) “Eat some more, son,” Who is the speaker? Who is been spoken to? What food was offered by the speaker? What feature of the speaker’s character is revealed here? 1+1+2+2


(v) “It takes much time to kill a tree.” Why does it take much time to kill a tree? How is a tree finally killed? 3+3

(vi) “A soldier, very young, lies open-mouthed.” Describe the place where the soldier lies. Why does he lie ‘open-mouthed’? Who takes care of him and how? 2+1+3

(vii) What type of a poem is “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Who is the poet? Whom does the poet speak of? What does the poet say about the person referred to? 1+1+1+3

(viii) “He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed…” From which poem is the line quoted? Who is the poet? Who ‘rests at ease’ and when? Describe his activities. 1+1+2+2


(ix) (a) “I’ve come to you, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch, to trouble you with a request.” Who has come to Chubukov with a request? What does Chubukov assume about the purpose of his visit? What was the request? How does Chubukov react to that request? 1+2+1+2


(b) What were the promises Charandas made to his Guru? 6

(x) (a) “Oxen Meadows, it’s true, were once the subject of dispute, but now everybody knows that they are mine.” Who is the speaker? Who is spoken to? What information did the speaker give to establish the ownership of Oxen Meadows? What did the person spoken to say in response to the speaker’s argument? 1+1+2+2

(b) “Am I under obligation to save everyone’s sons and daughters?” Who is the speaker? What prompted him to make such a remark? What is your impression of the man who made this remark? 1+2+3

(xi) (a) Sketch the character of Natalya Stepanovna. 6


(b) “Sadhu maharaj! Did you see a thief run past?” Who made this query? What answer did he get from the person spoken to? What did the person notice when he was about to quit the place? 1+3+2

4. (a) Do as directed:    1×6=6

(i) “Was I bothering you when I turned that

corner?” asked the woman. (Change into indirect speech)

Ans :

(ii) The hills are covered with wild dahlias. (Change the voice)

Ans :

(iii) The poetry of earth is never dead. (Turn into an affirmative sentence)

Ans :

(iv) It’s not true. I’ll prove it. (Join into a single sentence using noun clause)

Ans :

(v) Having taken leave of the wounded man, the Tsar went out into the porch and looked around for the hermit. (Split into simple sentences) 

Ans :

(vi) The door was open. (Turn into a negative sentence)

Ans :

(b) Fill in the blanks with appropriate articles and/or prepositions: 1/2×6=3

They called their goodbyes and …………..(i)…………. pulled out …….(ii)…… the station. As I was totally blind …….(iii)………. the time, my eyes sensitive only ……..(iv)…….. light and darkness, I was only

unable ………..(v)………… tell what …………..(vi)………… looked like.

Ans : (i) the (ii) of (iii) at (iv) to (v) to (vi) the

(c) Correct the error in the following sentence by replacing the underlined word with the right one from the options given below: 1×1=1

In fact, I would say mine was a very securely childhood, materially and emotionally.

[Options: secured, secure, security]

5. Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

The Sunderbans can, no doubt, boast about its tigers. It is home to the largest number of tigers in India, and perhaps in the world.

Behaviourally, the Sunderban tigers differ from the tigers of other Indian forests. Daily tides and ebbs have made the topography of the Sunderbans hostile. During high tides, a large portion of the Sunderbans get submerged and during ebbs a thick alluvium is left behind. This makes the terrain slushy. It becomes very difficult for tigers to hunt. Therefore sometimes, tigers of the Sunderbans have to depend on fish and crabs for food. Due to the hostile eco-system, tigers here are expert swimmers, and are often seen crossing even broad rivers. The other characteristic of the tigers of the Sunderbans is that due to their estuarine habitat, they drink saline water.

The Project Tiger is headed by the Field Director who is a conservator. His team includes a Deputy Field Director who is of the rank of a Divisional Forest Officer, an Assistant Field Director who is of the rank of Additional Divisional Forest Officer and twelve Range Officers.

(a) State whether the following statements are True or False. Write ‘T’ for True and ‘F’ for False. (You need not write the sentences, write the numbers only) 1×4=4

(i) The behaviour of Sunderban Tigers is different from the tigers of other Indian Forests. 

(ii) Daily tides and ebbs help Sunderbans to have a friendly topography.

(iii) The slushy land of Sunderbans helps tigers to hunt.

(iv) Tigers of Sunderbans drink saline water.

(b) Answer each of the following questions in about 30 words: 2×3=6

(i) When does it become very difficult for tigers to hunt?

(ii) What has made the tigers expert swimmers?

(iii) Who are the members of Project Tiger?

6. (a) Write a report on how 75th year of Independence Day was celebrated in your school. The report is to be published in your school magazine. (Word limit: 150 words) 2+8=10


(b) Write a letter to the Editor of an English Daily, sharing your concern on the overwhelming effect of social media on young minds. (Word limit: 150 words) 2+8=10


(c) Write a précis of the following passage. Add a suitable title: 2+8=10

All learners, from babies to grandmothers learn better with stories. Stories are energizers. When someone says, “Let me tell you a story,” listeners perk up their ears and smile. Even hard truth can be taught easily through stories. Stories told and read at home and school, both educate and entertain. Using stories in the classroom is fun, but the activity should not be considered trivial or frivolous. Indeed, there is strong support for story telling in the method of teaching. Stories-whether they are fairy tales, folk tales, fables or others, based on real life incidents, experienced by students themselves- can help learners appreciate and respect the Stories culture and values of various groups of people. can also lead to harmony and understanding. Stories from around the world are excellent to use in the classroom, but teachers also need to use stories from the students’ own culture and heritage. Using local or national stories ensure that the students know the background, culture, or may even know the story already. This familiarity helps the students reduce stress and anxiety in the classroom.

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