Sample Papers for Class 10 ICSE English Language with Answers

English Language Sample Question Paper with Answers

Time : 3 hrs
Max. Marks : 80

(Do not spend more than 35 minutes on this question)

Question 1 : Write a composition (350-400 words) on any one of the following.

(25 marks)

(a) “Corruption is the greatest obstacle to the development of our country.” Do you agree? Express your views either for or against this statement.

(b) Describe the effects of price hike on the common man.

(c) Write an original story which illustrates the truth of the statement, ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’.

(d) Narrate how travel can be of educational value.

(e) Study the picture given below. Write a story or a description or an account of what it suggests to you. Your composition may be about the subject of the picture or you may take suggestions from it. However, there must be a clear connection between the picture and your composition.

Falling number of girls born in Delhi since 1961.
Number of girls born every 1,000 boys born

(Do not spend more than 35 minutes on this question)

Question 2 : Select any one of the following.

(10 marks)

(a) Though your city attracts a lot of tourists, often they are disappointed to see the unruly traffic and the plights of roads. Write a letter to the Municipal Commissioner complaining about the hardships suffered by the visitors.

(b) Write a letter to your father informing him of your success in winning a prize at a debate.

Question 3 : Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

(25 marks)

Sher Singh’s brother lay in the hut with a severe pain in his stomach. His mother wring out rags in boiling water and lay them on his stomach. But the pain did not lessen. In fact, he was doubled up with it. Sher Singh knew that he was dying. So, he decided to carry him to a hospital at Kalaghat.

Sher Singh’s father could not be traced because he was at that time out with a photographic expedition. He was known as Sher Singh Bahadur because of his prowess and hunting skill. Sher Singh’s mother took an old sari and made a sling for him to put around his forehead and down his back. She lifted Kunwar, now doubled with pain and put him into it.

It was already evening. All the huts of Laldwani lay in a strong orange glow. Soon, Sher Singh entered the forest. The rough grass was dotted with thorn and sal trees. He took a path rutted with cart wheels. His bare toes disappeared into silk-soft dust. But he stopped at once because of some jungle sense. He saw a cobra contracting and hissing with its hood spreading to show the spectacle mark on the back. He was frozen but the cobra slid off into the matted grass.

Kunwar was twitching with pain and groaning. She Singh did not stop. A minute’s delay could mean much. Around him lay primeval forest in which the struggle of vegetation and life continued as they had done since the beginning of the world. The jungle was infested with animals and the beasts of prey. After walking a distance, he saw the bear tracks in the dust. Fearing the quickened his pace. Kunwar was delirious. Sher Singh’s muscles thrilled with piercing pain. He lay against a tree for some rest.

It was then he heard the jostle and squeal of elephants. Below him lay the broad river bed shinning live ivory in the moonlight. The elephants had disappeared. Sher Singh crossed the shallow river water. But he was really afraid to cross the second river.

Towards midnight he heard the second river ahead of him. The snow had melted and it was roaring. Unfortunately, the bridge had been washed away. Only a fierce crest of water showed where it lay submerged. He set Kunwar down and gave him some water. Sher Singh, then, gathered grass and plaited it into a rope. He tied the rope round his brother and himself so they would keep together.

Then he entered the water just above the bridge. The river seized and flattened them. At first, he couldn’t move but edged slowly finding the split ends of bamboo. The deluge deafened him, timber banged and bruised him. He could not even breathe in the spray and the water was also very cold. He didn’t know if his brother lived or died. However, he kept the child’s head above the water. Inch by inch, he got along. He was deaf, blinded, frozen, drowned-it went on and on.

When Sher Singh awoke, he found that he was in a bullock cart, then a truck.

“Where have you come from, boy?”


“You carried him alone? Across the river in flood?”

They were at the hospital.

Sher Singh felt shy to go in the hospital. He had no money . But he laboured all day in loading the coal and bought a little flour, some mustard oil and chillies.

Presently the doctor called for him. He himself came out.

“She Singh Bahadur, are you here?”

“My father is not here,” replied the boy, with eyes in tears.

“But I am Sher Singh.”

“You are the boy who brought the child Kunwar in from Laldwani?”


Then a smile broke all over the doctor’s great, gentle face, so he looked like a brown man. “Sher Singh Bahadur!” he said. “Your brother will live. Come and see.”

(a) Give the meanings of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) prowess
(ii) infested
(iii) delirious
(iv) jostle
(v) deluge

(5 marks)

(b) Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.

(10 marks)

(i) What made Sher Singh decide that he must take his brother to hospital if he was to be saved?

(2 marks)

(ii) What was Sher Singh’s father known for in his area?

(1 mark)

(iii) Why was Kunwar twitching with pain and groaning?

(1 mark)

(iv) Even though Sher Singh hadn’t reached the second river, why did he fear to cross?

(2 marks)

(v) Why did Sher Singh tie the rope around his brother and himself?

(1 mark)

(vi) How did the deluge affect Sher Singh?

(2 marks)

(vii) Why did the doctor come out?

(1 mark)

(c) In not more than 60 words describe how Sher Singh carried his brother to the hospital.

(8 marks)

(d) Give a title to the passage and a reason to justify your choice.

(2 marks)

Question 4 : (a) In the following passage, fill in each of the numbered blanks with the correct form of the word given in brackets. Do not copy the passage, but write in correct serial order the word or phrase appropriate to the blank space.

One of the defects of our civilisation (1) …………… (be) that it (2) ………………….. (do not know ) what to do with its knowledge . Science as we (3) …………….. (see) has given us powers fit for gods, yet we (4) ……………. (use) them like small children. For example, we (5) ………………. (do not know) how to manage our machines. Machines were made to be man’s servants, yet he (6) ………….. (grow) so dependent on them that they (7) ……………….. (be) in a fair measure  to (8) …………… (become) his master.

(4 marks)

(b) Fill in the blanks with appropriate words.

(i) How shall I go ………. solving the problem?
(ii) She has just come ……………….. a fortune.
(iii) Where can we dispose ………… this rubbish?
(iv) The prisoner broke ……………. under questioning.
(v) I now call …………… the chairman to speak.
(vi) It is one of the best collections I have come…………..
(vii) I can’t make …………… what he means.
(viii) Can we agree ……………. a course of action?

(4 marks)

(c) Join the following sentences to make one complete sentence without using and, but or so.

(i) One should not borrow money. One should not lend money.
(ii) There was a heavy traffic. We reached the conference on time.
(iii) The english teacher gave a novel to Ravi. She wanted him to review it.
(iv) I finished my homework. I went to play.

(4 marks)

(d) Re-write the following sentences according to the instructions given after each. Make other changes that may be necessary , but do not change the meaning of each sentence.

(i) If a fire breaks out, use the emergency exit.
(Begin : In case of ………………….)

(ii) He succeeded in completing the assignments although he was ill.
(Use : Despite ……………………….)

(iii) Sam did not realise that he had committed an error.
(Begin : Little……………..)

(iv) “How do you dare to remain absent without leave?” said the teacher to the boy.
(Begin with : The teacher asked the boy how………………..)

(v) Amazing discoveries have been made by the explorers.
(Begin with : Explorers……………………)

(vi) Unfortunately he failed in the first attempt.
(Use: ‘succeed’ instead of ‘failed’)

(vii) Do they believe in the existence of God?
(End with: ‘exists’)

(viii) The price of milk has risen recently.
(End with : ‘milk’)

(8 marks)


Answer 1 


For the Motion

Corruption is a deeply rooted issue that penetrates all levels of government and directly affects a great number of people in India. Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development around the country.

Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft and embezzlement. While corruption may facilitate the criminal enterprises such as drug trafficking, money laundering and human trafficking, it is not restricted only to these activities. It distorts markets, stifles economic growth, debases democracy and undermines the rule of law.

Corruption poses a serious development challenge. In the political realm, it undermines democracy and good governance by flouting or even subverting formal processes. Corruption in elections and in legislative bodies reduces accountability and distorts representation in policy-making. Corruption in the judiciary compromises the rule of law, and corruption in public administration results in the inefficient provision of services. More generally, corruption erodes the institutional capacity of government as procedures are disregarded, resources are misused, and public offices are bought and sold. At the same time, corruption undermines the legitimacy of government and democratic values such as trust and tolerance. However, it is wrong to believe that corruption is only due to the attitudes of civil servants or those in public administration and law enforcement. It is the greed in almost every segment of the population which causes corruption. From milkman to flour mill owners and different traders indulge in food adulteration. Hoarding and profiteering is rampant. Manufacture of fake medicines and different brands of products is quite common.

The meters of taxis or autos are rigged. Bus conductors of public transport do not issue ticket to the commuters and thus cheat the owners.

Moreover, bride is given to lower or middle level to escape penalty or punishment for some misdemeanor. At higher level it may be given for the sake of obtaining some licence or to speed up processing of application.

Thus, in order to reduce the corrosive impact of corruption in a sustainable way, it is important to go beyond the symptoms to tackle the causes of corruption.

(b) Price hike in essential commodities had been a norm in our country. The pattern is very frequent for instance, the petrol prices have been hiked ten times in the last six years. The hikes have become a nightmare for the ‘aam aadmi’ or the common man. The ever increasing cost of living has once again proven the age old theory of ‘Survival of the Fittest’.

Inflation has reduced the value of a rupee. The rising prices of even the most basic commodities have made life tough for everyone and the sharp rise in the prices of vegetables and pulses etc. have hit the common man most severely . Never before had there been such a grave situation.

While the common man frets and fumes over the rise of his miseries, the government seems to take it for granted! It is quite a common phenomenon that when the prices get hiked, substantial control measures have to be employed to check it. Paradoxically, government has seldom made efforts to curb it as it considers hike a part of the game. Hike, thus, becomes a nice and easy tool for the government to fill in the gaps of revenue. Whenever, the government is in any kind of trouble, it makes us bear the burden.

Black markets also contribute massively to hike. Sugar prices prove to be fitting example. The recent price rise of sugar seems to be in a rat race with its sweetness. The profits of 33 sugar companies have rocketed to 29% to 900 crores , along with a gigantic increase in the sugar prices.

The reason being crop shortage which was in turn created due to uncontrolled exports last year. We could have built buffer stocks, when he had the bumper crop, but we didn’t. This facilitated a rise in profits of all the export and import companies while consumers were forced to pay much more than what they need to pay for sugar.

As a result, the standard of living of common man has been taken to the limit. The hikes have made the lives of people miserable, forcing them to cut on luxuries and lead an austere life. Government has eventually made people unhappy and provoked suicidal tendencies in many who are fed up with this continuous price rise.

The need of the hour is to lighten the burden of taxes on the common man. Exports should be banned till normalcy is achieved and production should be increased with better know-how , more efficient management and greater vision.

c)                                                Where there is a will there is a way

Sujata Burla’s life was shattered when on a pilgrimage to Shirdi, she met with a serious accident in the year 2001. She survived but life dealt a cruel blow when the doctors and physiotherapists treating her, told her she could not walk for the rest of her life. The accident had turned her into a paraplegic. It meant Sujata was immobile below the shoulders at the early age of 21.

Before the accident, Sujata had many friends but they all ran away after the accident. They were all false friends who only used to go where there would be money, success and happiness. She felt alone and depressed.

In another tragedy, her father expired in March 2004. Not one to be easily cowed down by her circumstances, she wanted to be independent financially, physically and mentally. She soon realised that she needed to be financially independent first. She started working but her sister, who is a fashion designer , and then started a textile workshop on her own but the workers took advantage of her physical disability and she lost money.

Sujata realised that if at all she had to succeed in life she would have to do something for which she did not have to depend on anybody. Then she hit upon the idea of working in the stock market. She learnt typing and working on a computer and laptop. She spent another year learning the nitty gritty of stock market operations.

Now, she trades like a pro and earns anywhere between Rs.2,00,000 and Rs.2,50,000 every month. Financial independence is what she strove for and that is exactly what she has got through sheer determination and discipline.

This shows that human will power and determination has no limit the only thing required is passion , persistence and hard work.

(d) The value of travelling as a part of education is great. Books give the students the theoretical knowledge. It is a second hand knowledge based on the experiences of others. Travelling gives students first hand and practical knowledge. Such a knowledge is more valuable and permanent. Personal and practical experiences are never forgotten. They stand us in good stead throughout the life.

The value of tours, excursions, expeditions etc, during school and college days is of much practical importance. They strengthen learning and make education easy and entertaining. The lessons of history, geography, economics, scince etc can be best learnt by travelling to historical sites, places of natural interest, factories, great laboratories and national institutions. Lessons in ecology, environment and forest preservation become easier by visiting slums, industrially degraded places and forests.

That is why such a great importance is attached to educational tours, expeditions and excursions. The problems of poverty, over-population  and slums become clearer by visiting the living conditions of the villagers and slum-dwellers . Lessons in history become a mere book-learning without a visit to museums and historical places.

Education is an ever ongoing process. Travel takes us to various places and people. It provides us with many new and rich experiences. We come into contact with new people, things and places. The practical knowledge obtained through travelling is matchless. Travelling is essential to understand people, places and things.

Travel widens our horizon of knowledge. It broadens the mind and enlarges the heart. It is ever enjoyable and entertaining. Modern means of travelling are very fast, easy , economical and convenient. Their speed, safety and reliability is beyond doubt. Students can easily move on tours and expeditions and obtain rich, practical and much valuable education.

The more travel there is, the richer and wider is your training and education. Travel in the young age is a part of education. Travel teaches the students about the oneness in the variety and diversity of life.

Travel promotes feelings of tolerance and brotherhood . It grows and promotes feelings of nationalism. Travel is a good means to know one’s country, people, culture and history. It increases business and commercial activities. It brings people closer. Promotion of cultural, social, national activities are part of liberal education. It is through travelling that warm, true and genuine friendship and brotherhood can be formed. Travel changes out attitudes favourably. It makes us enlightened intellectually.

(e) From time to time, surveys of various towns, villages and cities have been conducted to get at the truth about the girl child. A recent survey of sex ration of Delhi reveals a horrifying fact that the number of female children has greatly declined since 1961 even in the capital of the country. The number is getting abysmally low also in various other states.

It has been both shocking and disturbing to know that at most places in India, the birth of a girl child is still not welcome so much so that female infanticide is practised with non qualms whatsoever. Gender discrimination is at the root of this trend.

Be it South or North India the gender discrimination is rampant all over. Very often, a girl is discriminated against her more privileged brother by her mother at home. In school, she is treated as ‘weak’ by her male classmates. As she grows older and goes out for work, she suffers discrimination and harassment of all kinds. No doubt, the conditions in the country appear to have changed to a large extent. The constitution of free India has been given protection to women’s rights thereby putting her at par with men politically, socially and economically.

Education today gives her a place of some honour. Infact, women have excelled as doctors, artists, administrators, engineers, scientists and so on. A girl, indeed, is no less capable as a daughter than a son to her parents. It is the woman alone who can take on the double burden of work outside and work at home. There is no reason why a girl child should be treated inferior or as a burden.

The change in the women’s status is however, superficial. Looking at the real picture, a girl in the family is still an unwanted burden and in some cases she is even denied the right to live.

What is most required is compulsory education of girls all over so that they develop into self-sufficient individuals. Urgent steps also need to be taken to make parents and society aware of the importance of girls everywhere. Laws made to protect the rights of women must be implemented with honesty and efficiency. Women have to rise as a force to defend the rights of a woman. Besides, the government and non-government agencies must tap their sources to correct the gender imbalance that still ails our society if we want our country to progress.

Answer 2 (a) 

4, Satellite Area, Malgudi
7th June, 20xx

The Municipal Commissioner
M.G. Road, Malgudi

Subject : Unruly Traffic and Bad Condition of Roads


This is to draw your kind attention to the hardships suffered by the visitors due to the unruly traffic and the bad condition of the roads in our city.

Though our city attracts a lot of tourists yet they often find it disappointing to see the way the traffic operates on the roads. The people driving the vehicles always seem to be in a hurry. They turn erratic on the roads and do not exactly follow the traffic signal. Reckless riding by the scooterists endangers to road scene. The truck drivers are generally drunk and largely are the biggest risk to the lives of people. Tourists find this unruly traffic difficult to cope with.

Besides, the condition of the city roads is menacing. The roads are littered with potholes and open manholes which can be dangerous. At man places, pavements are occupied by vendors which pose different kinds of problems to the pedestrians as well as the traffic.

A few strict steps like imposing heavy fines and for felting the licence of the offenders could help in curbing the people from going haywire on the roads. A constant vigil by the traffic police many improve the conditions on the roads. Civil authorities must take immediate steps to mend roads and remove the hurdles there on.

Hope something substantial will be done to help retain the tourist status of our city.

Yours truly
Arman Khurana


216, Chandni Chowk, Delhi
26th February, 20xx

My dear father

You will be very glad to know that this year’s top prize for the best debator has come to me. It is a silver trophy beautifully casted with the name of the school engraved on it.

The debate was on ‘inter-school’ level. Three other boys from different schools took part in it. The topic of discussion was ‘Whether Municipaliasation of Secondary School Education would be Beneficial.’

All the three boys spoke in favour of it. They said that municipalisation of secondary education was the only way to bring about reforms in the system of education. According to them, it was proper to pass over secondary education to Municipal authorities to enable them to correlate the primary and secondary education. This would, they argued, channelise education from primary stage to higher secondary stage in one single stream which will make for a uniform progress.

Their argument convinced many. My teachers felt restless when I stood up to speak. I started with a feeble voice but soon it became forceful. I smashed their arguments by saying whether my friends , in order to channelise education in one stream, would like to municipalise college education as well? My arguments went home and the audience seemed convinced. I was highly applauded. My rivals were silent and I was declared the winner.

I was later told by my teacher that the manner of my speech was forceful as were my arguments. The boys and teachers of my school were very happy because I had brought honour to them. The function ended happily.

Yours affectionately

Answer 3 (a)

(i) skill or expertise in a particular activity

(ii) to inhibit or over run in numbers

(iii) acutely distributed state of mind due to illness

(iv) to make one’s way by pushing or shoving

(v) a heavy downpour

(b) (i) Sher Singh’s brother was doubled up with pain. Despite his mother’s efforts, the pain did not lessen. Sher Singh knew that his brother was dying. So, he decided to carry him to a hospital at Kalighat.

(ii) In his area, Sher Singh’s father was known for his hunting skills as a famous Shikari and for his bravery.

(iii) Kunwar was twitching with pain and was groaning because he had a severe pain in the stomach.

(iv) Sher Singh feared to cross the second river even before he actually reached this river because he knew that at that time the river was in flood due to melting of snow.

(v) Sher Singh tied the rope around his brother and himself so that they would keep together.

(vi) The deluge deafened Sher Singh. Timber banged and bruised him. He could not even breathe in the spray and the water was also very cold.

(vii) The doctor came out as he wanted to se and admire the one who had brought Kunwar to his for treatment.

(c) Sher Singh carried his brother through the dense jungle. His muscles thrilled with piercing pain but he did not lose hope. However the snow melted and the river was roaring . The bridge had been washed away , but Sher Singh made a rope and tied it around his brother and himself. The river seized and flattened him. The flood deafened him, timber banged and bruised him. However he crossed all the hurdles and reached the hospital.

(d) ‘Act of Bravery’ is an apt title as the passage narrates the act of bravery of Sher Singh who carried his brother through the stormy river and saved his life.

Answer 4 (a)

  1. is
  2. does not know
  3. have seen
  4. use
  5. do not know
  6. has grown
  7. are
  8. become


(i) about
(ii) of
(iii) off
(iv) out
(v) upon
(vi) across
(vii) out
(viii) on


(i) One should neither borrow or lend money.
(ii) Though there was a heavy traffic, we reached the conference on time.
(iii) The english teacher gave a novel to Ravi to review.
(iv) Having finished my homework, I went to play.


(i) In case of fire use the emergency exit.
(ii) Despite being ill, he succeeded in completing the assignments.
(iii) Little did Sam realise that he had committed an error.
(iv) The teacher asked the boy how he dared to remain absent without leave.
(v) Explorers have made amazing discoveries.
(vi) Unfortunately he could not succeed in the first attempt.
(vii) Do they believe that God exists?
(viii) There is a rise in the price of milk.