109. Reading Skills Comprehension: Old Lady

By | July 7, 2019

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Old Lady

Read the following passage carefully.                                      

1.The old lady was glad to be back at the block of flats where she lived. Her shopping had tired her and her basket had grown heavier with every step back home. In the lift her thoughts were on lunch and a good rest; but when she got out at her own floor, both were forgotten in her sudden discovery that her front door was open. A perturbed state of mind led her to trace the chronological events before stepp ing out to shop. She was thinking that she must reprimand the maid the next morning for such a monstrous piece of negligence when she remembered that she had gone shopping after her maid had left and she had turned both the keys in their locks. She walked slowly into the hall and at once noticed that all the room doors were open, yet following her regular practice, she had shut them before going out. Looking into the drawing room, she saw a scene of confusion on her writing desk.

2. It was as clear as daylight. Burglars had forced entry in her absence. Her first impulse was to go round all the room looking for the thieves, but then she decided that at her age it might be more prudent to have someone with her. So she went to fetch the porter from the basement. By this time, her legs were beginning to tremble, so she sat down and accepted a cup of very strong tea from the porter while he telephoned the police. As soon as her composure was regained she was ready to set off with the porter’s assistance to search for any intruder who might be still lurking in her flat.

3. The old lady felt marginally relieved with the physical assistance of the porter in managing to investigate the burglar’s attempt to plunder with noticeable facts. Though uncertain, with an apprehensive Marmot’s burglar’s existence in the premises, she kept her courage and willpower intact.


1. On the basis of your reading of the above passage answer the following questions briefly.

(a) After deciding to rebuke the maid, what did the old lady realised?

 (b) Give an example from the second paragraph which tells us that the lady shows great presence of mind at the time of an emergency.

 (c) What did the old lady see when she walked into the hall?

 (d) Why did she accept a cup of tea from the porter?

2. Answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option.

 (A) The phrase “perturbed state of mind” means ………..

 (i) daydreaming                     (ii) worried

(iii) curious                              (iv) sleeping

(B) Pick out the word/phrase from the following which means “ransacked”.

 (i) alerted                               (ii) perturbed

(iii) attempted             (iv) turned upside down

(C) Find the word from the following which is NOT a synonym of “reluctant”.

 (i) inclined                              (ii) disinclined

(iii) hesitant                             (iv) unwilling

(D) The antonym of “negligible” is ………….

  (i) insignificant                      (ii) trifling

(iii) significant                         (iv) minor

Answers :

1. (a) She realised that she left after the maid had departed for the day so the maid could not have left the door unlocked.

(b) The lady shows great presence of mind in taking precautions before she enters the flat. She goes to the basement to get the porter because she wants to have someone with her. She suspects that the burglars might still be hiding in the flat.

(c) When the old lady walked slowly into the hall she at once noticed that all the room doors were open, yet following her regular practice, she had shut them before going out. Looking into the drawing room, she saw a scene of confusion on her writing desk.

(d) She was feeling confused and weak.

2. (A) (ii) worried

(B) (iv) turned upside down

(C) (i) inclined

(D) (iii) significant

Download the above Passage in PDF Worksheet (Printable)

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