NCERT Class 10 English Solutions: Chapter 11 – The Proposal
Thinking About Language
Q. 1 This play has been translated into English from the Russian original. Are there any expressions or ways of speaking that strike you as more Russian than English? For example, would an adult man be addressed by an older man as my darling or my treasure in an English play?
A. Expressions not used in contemporary English
“my darling”, “my beauty”, “my precious”, “my angel”, “my beloved” (here, an older man is addressing an adult man)
“…and so on …” (here, it is used after a sentence in order to complete it)
“…and all that sort of thing.” (not explaining what it is, just leaving it as it is)
“…and all that.” (again leaving the sentence as it is)
“the scarecrow”, “the stuffed sausage”, “the wizen-faced frump “ (In this way, they hurled insults at each other)
“And how may you be getting on?” (Here, Lomov is asking Chubukov about his well-being)
Q.2 Read through the play carefully, and find expressions that you think are not used in contemporary English, and contrast these with idiomatic modern English expressions that also occur in the play.
A. Modern English expressions
“Madam”, “my heart”, “honoured Natalya Stepanovna” (used by Lomov for Natalya) contrast with “my love”
“Honoured Stepan Stepanovitch” (used by Lomov for Chubukov) contrast with “Revered …”
“I beg your pardon…” contrast with “excuse me”
“My dear fellow” (Chubukov addressing Lomov) vs “My dear friend”
“malicious, double-faced intriguer”, “fool” (Chubukov insulting Lomov)
Q.3 Look up the following phrases in a dictionary to find out their meaning, and then use each in a sentence of your own.
(i) You make take it that
A. If I always speak the truth, you may take me to be your enemy.
(ii) He seems to be coming round
A. After severe cash crunch things seem to be coming around.
(iii) My foot’s gone to sleep
A. After hour long flight, my foot’s gone to sleep.
Thinking About the play
Q. What does Chubukov at first suspect that Lomov has come for? Is he sincere when he later says “And I’ve always loved you, my angel, as if you were my own son”? Find reasons for your answer from the play.
A. Initally, Chubukov thought that Lomov came to borrow money which he didn’t want to lend to Lomov. When he discovered Lomov came with marriage proposal for his daughter he changed his stance and pretended to be nice to him.
Q. Chubukov says of Natalya: “… as if she won’t consent! She’s in love; egad, she’s like a lovesick cat…” Would you agree? Find reasons for your answer.
A. From the play it is clear that Lomov and Natalya did not see eye-to-eye on several aspects and hence they were clearly not in love. Additionally, Natalya cared more about her land, meadows and dogs than to Lomov. Chubukov however considered Lomov to be a good marriage prospect for his daughter and lied to convince Lomov that she was in love with him.
Q. (i) Find all the words and expressions in the play that the characters use to speak about each other, and the accusations and insults they hurl at each other. (For example, Lomov in the end calls Chubukov an intriguer; but earlier, Chubukov has himself called Lomov a “malicious, double faced intriguer. “Again, Lomov begins by describing Nayalya as “an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated.”)
A. (i) Words and expressions used by the characters to describe each other include:
Chubukov: grabber; intriguer; old rat; Jesuit
Natalya: a lovesick cat; an excellent housekeeper; not bad-looking, well-educated
Lomov: a good neighbour; a friend; impudent; pettifogger; a malicious, double-faced intriguer; rascal; blind hen; turnip-ghost; a villain; a scarecrow; monster; the stuffed sausage; the wizen-faced frump; boy; pup; milksop; fool
Thinking About Language
Q. You must have noticed that when we report someone’s exact words, we have to make some changes in the sentence structure. In the following sentences fill in the blanks to list the changes that have occurred in the above pairs of sentences. One has been done for you.
Q. To report a question, we use the reporting verb asked (as in Sentence Set 1).
A. To report a question, we use the reporting verb asked.
Q. To report a declaration, we use the reporting verb _______.
A. To report a declaration, we use the reporting verb declared.
Q. The adverb of place here changes to ______.
A. The adverb of place here changes to there.
Q. When the verb in direct speech is in the present tense, the verb in reported speech is in the ______ tense (as in Sentence Set 3).
A. When the verb in direct speech is in the present tense, the verb in reported speech is in the past tense.
Q. If the verb in direct speech is in the present continuous tense, the verb in reported speech changes to _______ tense. For example, _______ changes to was getting.
A. If the verb in direct speech is in the present tense, the verb in reported speech is in the past tense.
Q. When the sentence in direct speech contains a word denoting respect, we add the adverb _____ in the reporting clause (as in Sentence Set 1).
A. When the sentence in direct speech contains a word denoting respect, we add the adverb respectfully in the reporting clause.
Q. The pronouns I, me, our and mine, which are used in the first person in direct speech, change to third person pronouns such as _________, _________, ________ or _________in reported speech.
A. The pronouns I, me, our and mine, which are used in the first person in direct speech, change to third person pronouns such as he/she, him/her, their or his/hers in reported speech.
Q. Here is an excerpt from an article from the Times of India dated 27th August 2006. Rewrite it, changing the sentences in direct speech into reported speech. Leave the other sentences unchanged.
“Why do you want to know my age? If people know I am so old, I won’t get work!” laughs 90-year-old A. L. Hangal, one of Hindi cinema’s most famous character actors. For his age, he is rather energetic. “What’s the secret?” we ask. ”My intake of everything is in small quantities. And I walk a lot,” he replies. “I joined the industry when people retire. I was in my 40s. So I don’t miss being called a star. I am still respected and given work, when actors of my age are living in poverty and without work. I don’t have any complaints, “he says, adding, “but yes, I have always been underpaid.” Recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Hangal never hankered after money or materialistic gains. “No doubt I am content today, but money is important. I was a fool not to understand the value of money earlier,” he regrets.
A. 90-year-old A.K. Hangal, one of Hindi cinema’s most famous character actors, laughingly asked why I wanted to know his age. He was afraid that if people knew he was that old, he might not get any work. For his age, he is rather energetic. I asked him what the secret was. He replied that he took everything in small quantities and walked a lot. He said that he joined the industry in his 40s when people would normally retired. So he does not miss being called a star. He was still respected and given work, when actors of his age were living in poverty and without work. Although he did not have any complaints, he remarked having always been underpaid. Recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Hangal never hankered after money or materialistic gains. There was no doubt that now he was content, but still thought money was important. He said regretfully that he was a fool not to understand the value of money earlier.