Updated On : August 9, 2023
Reader's Digest - Stuck in CLAT Language Quest? Navigate the Maze of English Language Questions for CLAT with this blog!
The English Language section of CLAT UG holds immense significance, encompassing approximately 20% of the paper, typically comprising 22-26 questions.
You are given selected passages, each spanning approximately 450 words. These textual excerpts, drawn from contemporary and historically significant works of fiction and non-fiction, are tailored to a complexity level akin to a 12th-standard student's comprehension.
The intent is to present content that can be comfortably perused within a 5-7 minute timeframe, fostering a balanced assessment environment.
Following each passage are a series of questions designed to evaluate comprehension and language proficiencies. The English Language Questions for CLAT delve beyond mere textual comprehension.
Take a look at the following topics to be discussed in this blog:
Before you begin the preparation, ensure you understand the complete CLAT syllabus. This way, you can know the important topics you need to prepare from the exam point of view.
Note the following topics, as most of the questions are asked from these topics.
Scoring the marks in the English subject is very easy if you follow the right preparation strategy for CLAT English. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help enhance your English preparation.
In the English section, the questions are designed to test your grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.
As said above, the question paper of CLAT includes passed-based questions. Each passage includes 450-500 words and 4-5 questions.
The following are some of the important English questions for CLAT.
CLAT Passage 1
The idea to use Navajo for secure communications came from Philip Johnston, the son of a missionary to the Navajos and one of the few non-Navajos who spoke their language fluently. Reared on the Navajo reservation, Johnston was a World War I veteran who knew of the military’s search for a code that would withstand all attempts to decipher it. He also knew that Native American languages, notably Choctaw, had been used in World War I to encode messages.
Johnston believed Navajo answered the military requirement for an undecipherable code because it is an unwritten language of extreme complexity. Its syntax and tonal qualities, not to mention dialects, make it unintelligible to anyone without extensive exposure and training. It has no alphabet or symbols and is spoken only on the Navajo lands of the American Southwest. One estimate indicates that fewer than 30 non-Navajos, none of them Japanese, could understand the language during World War II's outbreak.
Early in 1942, Johnston met with Major General Clayton B. Vogel, the commanding general of Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet, and his staff to convince them of the Navajo language’s value as code. Johnston staged tests under simulated combat conditions, demonstrating that Navajos could encode, transmit and decode a three-line English message in 20 seconds—machines of the time required 30 minutes to perform the same job. Convinced, Vogel recommended to the Commandant of the Marine Corps that the Marines recruit 200 Navajos.
Q1. The author most likely mentions that Navajo “has no alphabet or symbols” to
Q2. The passage is primarily concerned with
CLAT Passage 2
I assume we all believe that bats have experience. After all, they are mammals, and there is no more doubt that they have experience than mice, pigeons, or whales have to experience. Although more closely related to us than those other species, Bats present a range of activity and a sensory apparatus so different from ours that the problem I want to pose is exceptionally vivid (though it certainly could be raised with other species). Even without the benefit of philosophical reflection, anyone who has spent some time in an enclosed space with an excited bat knows what it is to encounter a fundamentally alien form of life. I have said that the essence of the belief that bats have experience is that there is something that it is like to be a bat. Now we know that most bats perceive the external world primarily by sonar or echolocation. Their brains are designed to correlate the outgoing sounds with the subsequent echoes. The information thus acquired enables bats to make precise discriminations of distance, size, shape, motion, and texture comparable to those we make by vision. But bat sonar, though clearly a form of perception, is not similar in its operation to any sense that we possess.
There is no reason to suppose that it is subjectively like anything we can experience or imagine. This appears to create difficulties for the notion of what it is like to be a bat. We must consider whether any method will permit us to extrapolate to the inner life of the bat from our own case and, if not, what alternative methods there may be for understanding the notion. Our own experience provides the basic material for our imagination, whose range is limited. It will not help us imagine that one has webbing on one’s arms, which enables one to fly around at dusk and dawn, catching insects in one’s mouth or perceiving the world through echolocation.
As far as I can imagine this (which is not very far), it tells me only what it would be like for me to behave as a bat behaves. But that is not the question. I want to know what it is like for a bat to be a bat. Yet if I try to imagine this, I am restricted to the resources of my mind, which are inadequate for the task. I cannot perform it either by imagining additions to my present experience, by imagining segments gradually subtracted from it, or by imagining combinations of additions, subtractions, and modifications. [Extracted, with edits and revisions, from Thomas Nagel, “What is it like to be a bat?”, in William Lyons (Ed), Modern Philosophy of Mind, Hachette India, 2010.]
1.1 Why does the author choose bats instead of mice, pigeons, or whales to present the main problem in the passage?
(a) Because bats are very similar to us, it would be straightforward for us to imagine what the mind of a bat would be like.
(b) Because they are mammals, people are willing to accept that mammals have experience.
(c) Because mice, pigeons, or whales are more closely related to us than bats are.
(d) Because their habits, behaviour, and sense organs are very different from ours, people are willing to believe that they have experience.
1.2 What does the word ‘alien’ as used in the passage mean?
(a) From another country
(b) Unfamiliar and disturbing
(c) From another planet
(d) Hypothetical or fictional
1.3 Which of the following is the author most likely to agree with?
(a) That we will only understand bats if we understand the chemical processes behind biological echolocation.
(b) That the experiences of other species are not worth wondering about since our sense organs are different from theirs.
(c) We cannot understand other species' experiences by relying solely upon our own organs of perception.
(d) That the experiences of other species are not worth wondering about since we have our own experiences to worry about.
Read More: Short Tricks to Prepare for CLAT English
1.4 Which of the following is most similar to the problem or question the author discusses in the passage above?
(a) A doctor will not understand what it is like to be an engineer.
(b) A person of one race will not understand what it is like to be a person of another race.
(c) A citizen of India will not understand what it is like to be a citizen of Sri Lanka.
(d) A cricketer will not understand what it is like to be a footballer.
1.5 What is the author’s main point in the passage above?
(a) Humans will never understand sonar or echolocation since we do not have the biological apparatus for it.
(b) That our imagination is feeble, and unless we make a dramatic effort, we will not be able to imagine what it is like to be a bat.
(c) While bats may have the experience, it is tough for us to understand or describe that experience since our minds and ways of perception differ from those of bats.
(d) That bats cannot possibly have experienced since their sensory organs and ways of perceiving their surroundings differ from how we perceive and experience the world.
CLAT Passage 3
Scholars have traditionally relied primarily on evidence from historical documents to understand the development of the Gangetic Valley plains. However, such documentary sources provide a fragmentary record at best. Reliable accounts are very scarce for many parts of Northern India before the fifteenth century. Many of the relevant documents from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries focus selectively on matters relating to cultural or commercial interests.
Studies of fossilized pollens preserved in peats and lake muds provide an additional means of investigating vegetative landscape change. Details of vegetation changes resulting from human activities and natural events are reflected in the kinds and quantities of minute pollens trapped in sediments. Analysis of samples can identify which kinds of plants produced the preserved pollens and when they were deposited. In many cases, the findings can serve to supplement or correct the documentary record.
For example, analysis of samples from a bay in Jammu revealed significant cereal-grain pollen patterns beginning in the fourth century. The substantial clay content of the soil in this part of Jammu makes cultivation by primitive tools difficult. Historians thought that such soils were not tilled to any significant extent until the introduction of the wooden plough to India in the seventh century. Because cereal cultivation would have required soil tiling, the pollen evidence indicates that these soils must indeed have been successfully tilled before introducing the new plough.
Another example concerns flax cultivation in Jammu, one of the great linen-producing areas of India, during the sixteenth century. Some aspects of linen production in Jammu are well documented. Still, the documentary record tells little about the cultivation of flax, the plant from which linen is made, in that area. The record of sixteenth-century linen production in Jammu and the knowledge that flax cultivation had been established in India centuries before that time led some historians to surmise that this plant was being cultivated in Jammu before the sixteenth century. But pollen analyses indicate that this is not the case; flax pollens were found only in deposits laid down since the sixteenth century.
It must be stressed, though, that there are limits to the pollen record's ability to reflect the landscape's vegetative history. For example, pollen analysis cannot identify some plants' species but only the genus or family. Among these is turmeric, a cultivated plant of medicinal importance in India. Turmeric is a plant family comprising various native weeds, including Brahma Thandu. If Turmeric pollen were present in a deposit, it would be indistinguishable from uncultivated native species.
1. The phrase “documentary record” (para 2 and 4) primarily refers to -
(A) articles, books, and other documents by current historians listing and analyzing all the available evidence regarding a particular historical period.
(B) government and commercial records, maps, and similar documents produced in the past that recorded conditions and events of that time.
(C) documented results of analyses of fossilized pollen.
(D) the kinds and qualities of fossilized pollen grains preserved in peats and lake muds.
2. The passage indicates that pollen analyses have provided evidence against which one of the following views?
(A) In certain parts of Jammu, they did not cultivate cereal grains to any significant extent before the seventh century.
(B) Cereal grain cultivation began in Jammu around the fourth century.
(C) cereal grains have been cultivated continuously since introducing the wooden plough in certain parts of India.
(D) Cereal grain cultivation requires successful tilling of the soil.
3. The passage indicates that before the use of pollen analysis in studying the history of the Gangetic Valley plains, at least some historians believed which one of the following?
(A) Turmeric was not used as a medicinal plant in India until after the sixteenth century.
(B) Cereal grain was not cultivated anywhere in India until at least the seventh century.
(C) The history of the Gangetic Valley plains during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was well documented.
(D) The beginning of flax cultivation in Jammu may well have occurred before the sixteenth century.
4. Which of the following most accurately describes the relationship between the second and final paragraphs?
(A) The second paragraph describes a view against which the author intends to argue, and the final paragraph states the author’s argument against that view.
(B) The second paragraph proposes a hypothesis, and the final paragraph offers a supporting example.
(C) The final paragraph qualifies the claim made in the second paragraph.
(D) The final paragraph describes a problem that must be solved before the method advocated in the second paragraph can be viable.
5. Which of the following most accurately expresses the passage's main point?
(A) While pollen evidence can sometimes supplement other sources of historical information, its applicability is severely limited since it cannot use to identify plant species.
(B) Analysis of fossilized pollen is a useful means of supplementing and, in some cases correcting other sources of information regarding changes in the Gangetic Valley plains.
(C) Analysis of fossilized pollen has provided new evidence that the cultivation of such crops as cereal grains, flax, and turmeric significantly impacted the Gangetic Valley plains.
(D) Analysis of fossilized pollen has proven to be a valuable tool in identifying ancient plant species.
CLAT Passage 4
The older woman didn’t like the look or sound of the kid. She scowled at her husband. ‘Where did you pick up this kitten from? Why do we need her?’ When the old man told her she was a goat kid, she picked her up and exclaimed in amazement: ‘Yes, she is a goat kid!’ All night, they went over the story of how the kid had come into their hands.
That same night the old lady gave the goat kid that resembled a kitten a nickname: Poonachi. She once had a cat by the same name. In memory of that beloved cat, this goat kid too, was named Poonachi. They had acquired her without spending a penny. Now they had to look after her somehow. Her husband had told her a vague story about meeting a demon who looked like Bakasuran and receiving the kid from him as a gift. She wondered if he could have stolen it from a goatherd. Someone might come looking for it tomorrow. Maybe her husband had told her the story only to cover up his crime? The old woman was not used to lighting lamps at night. The couple ate their evening meal and went to bed at dusk. That night, though, she took a large earthen lamp and filled it with castor oil extracted the year before. There was no cotton for a wick. She tore off a strip from a discarded loincloth of her husband’s and fashioned it into a wick.
She looked at the kid under the lamplight in that shed as though she were seeing her own child after a long time. There was no bald spot or bruise anywhere on her body. The kid was all black. As she stared at the lamp, her wide-open eyes were starkly visible. There was a trace of fatigue on her face. The older woman thought the kid looked haggard because she had not fed her properly. She must be just a couple of days old.
A determination that she must somehow raise this kid to adulthood took root in her heart. She called the older man to come and see the kid. She looked like a black lump glittering in the lamplight on that pitch-black night. He pulled fondly at her flapping ears and said, ‘Aren’t you lucky to come and live here?’ It had been a long time since the couple had such pleasant chit-chat. Because of the kid’s sudden entry into their lives, they ended up talking for a while about the old days. [Extracted, with edits and revisions, from Poonachi, or the Story of a Black Goat, by Perumal Murugan, translated by N. Kalyan Raman, Context, 2018.]
Q) Why did the older woman doubt her husband’s story about how he had got the kid?
(a) Because goat kids are only sold in livestock markets.
(b) She thought the story was vague and that he had stolen it from a goatherd.
(c) Because she did not think Bakasuran was so generous as to gift him a goat kid.
(d) Her husband was a habitual thief and regularly stole things from others.
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Q) Why did the old woman name the goat kid ‘Poonachi’?
(a) Because the kid made small bleating noises that sounded like ‘Poonachi.’
(b) Because the kid reminded the older woman of her husband, whose name was also Poonachi.
(c) Because the older woman had first thought the kid was a kitten, and so she named it after a beloved cat she had once had.
(d) Because ‘Poonachi’ was the name typically given to goat kids in the area the couple lived in.
Q) What does the word ‘haggard’ as used in the passage mean?
(a) Dark in colour and hard to see.
(b) Looking exhausted and unwell.
(c) Direct and outspoken.
(d) Furry and warm.
Q) Why was the older woman not used to lighting lamps at night?
(a) Because the couple usually ate their evening meal and slept at dusk.
(b) Because her daughter used to light the lamps in their household.
(c) Because the couple was impoverished and could not afford oil for lamps.
(d) Because the old couple did not usually exchange pleasant chit-chat.
Q) What can we infer from the passage about why the old couple talked about the old days that night?
(a) The old couple did not usually like talking with each other and avoided conversation.
(b) The old couple was impoverished, and we were so tired after working all day that they did not feel like talking.
(c) The older woman was usually distraught with her husband and thought he was a thief.
(d) They spoke about the old days because of the kid’s sudden entry into their lives and the pleasant chit-chat they exchanged about it.
In conclusion, successfully mastering the English Language section for CLAT requires a comprehensive approach to understanding, analyzing, and interpreting textual information. This section tests not just your vocabulary or grammar; it evaluates your ability to think critically, gauge nuances, and draw inferences.
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