NIOS Class 10 English Chapter 16 My Only Cry, Explanation, Grammar (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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By: Leila Ibrahim Semaan


Stanza 1. Who are you deceiving … spoken by adults?

  • The child says that the children will have no future if the adults continue to produce deadly weapons. Arms and ammunition put humanity in serious danger.
  • The poem talks of the fears and worries to which the adults pay no attention or which they simply dismiss with their lies.
  • The lies are usually – “No, we will not use arms against anyone. The world is safe. There is no need to worry.”
  • The child desperately repeats that the grown-ups must stop destroying the world but he finds that they don՚t listen to him.
  • The problem is that only the adults can build a better world, but it is the adults who are destroying it.
  • It does not make much difference when the children speak of peace, friendship and fellowship. It is the adults who should understand the importance of peace and friendship in the world.

Stanza 2. Enough promises … a veil of dust lies over it.

  • The child is tired of waiting for the adults to keep their promises. He wants adults to stop making promises which they do not want to keep.
  • He calls upon everyone-the children and the adults, to join in the protest against arms factories and arms makers.
  • He asks the arms makers to stop producing weapons and to work to stop wars.


  • Taming: controlling the destructive ideas of countries and people and using them for the welfare of the mankind.
  • Essentially: fundamentally, basically
  • Veil: a covering, a curtain


Literary Devices

Blank verse: A blank verse is a form of writing which resembles a prose form. There is no rhyming word or structured stanza forms. Yet it is different from prose because each line has a set of syllables and metre which makes it flow like poetry.


  • An adverb modifies/describes a verb. It tells us about the time, place, purpose, reason or manner of an action.
  • The words carefully and essentially are adverbs. An adverb is used to describe a verb, an adjective or an adverb.
  • Adverbs generally end in ‘ly’ but all words ending in ‘ly’ are not adverbs. For example, words like lonely and friendly end in ‘ly’ but are not adverbs.
  • They are adjectives. Some adverbs have no particular form. Look at the examples: well, fast, very, never, always, often, still Like other words adverbs also have their antonyms. These are called adverbial antonyms. For example, the antonym of the adverb ‘carefully’ is ‘carelessly.’

Fill in the blanks with the adverbial antonyms of the words given in brackets.

(a) … he lost his baggage on the flight. (Fortunately)

(b) Tourists … visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. (Seldom)

(c) One should … be true to one՚s word. (Sometimes)

(d) The soldiers fought … for their country. (Fearfully)

(e) The boy who was running … won the race. (Slowly)

Answer: a. unfortunately, b. often, c. always, d. fearlessly, e. fast

Adverbial Use of NO and NOT

  • When No is used before a positive adjective it is almost always itself an adjective qualifying the same Noun as the other adjective does.
  • Not is also used before a noun preceded by a or an even when it is not qualified by an adjective.

Exercise on Adverbial Use of NO and NOT

1. There was … a sound to be heard in the room.

2. This work is … better than the previous one.

3. … a single person knew the answer.

4. It is … warmer today than it was yesterday.

5. As they were ill, they could … come to the party.

6. It is … good wishing for the impossible.

7. There is … the slightest truth in this story.

8. I can walk … faster than this.

9. You could make … greater mistake than of that.

10. … a word was said about the theft of the diamonds.

Answer: 1. Not, 2. No, 3. Not 4. Not, 5. Not, 6. No, 7. Not, 8. No, 9. No, 10. Not

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