# Comprehension 1

In this topic, we will be covering following question types:

• direct
• inferential
• true/false

Let’s understand the difference between direct and inferential question types with the following example:

## Direct vs. Inferential

### Direct

Sally sat on the park bench. Snowflakes drifted past her. “I’m cold,” she said. Kevin took off his jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders.

Why did Kevin wrap his jacket around Sally?

### Inferential

Sally sat on the park bench. Snowflakes drifted past her. She shivered and pulled her thin shawl tighter around herself. Kevin took off his jacket and wrapped it around her.

Why did Kevin wrap his jacket around Sally?

The answer to both the questions is the same: Kevin wanted to keep Sally warm.

But what is the difference between both the passages?

In the first passage, it’s explicitly said - “I’m cold”. That means it is said very obviously.

• Hence this is direct.

In the next passage, nothing is mentioned explicitly about Sally being cold, not even the word “cold” is used. It’s only through her actions that one can deduce that she is feeling cold.

That sentence is: She shivered and pulled her thin shawl tighter around herself.

• Hence this is inferential.

Let’s understand direct vs. inferential in detail by going through some of the questions.

Passage:

“Tommy!” Mom called out as she walked in the front door. “Tommy,” she continued shouting, “I sure could use some help with these groceries. There was no reply. Mom walked into the kitchen to put the grocery bags down on the counter when she noticed shattered glass from the picture window all over the living room floor and a baseball not far from there. “I’m going to kill you, Tommy!” Mom yelled to herself as she realised that Tommy’s shoes were gone.

• What happened to the window?
• Why did Tommy leave?

Question 1:

Are these direct or inferential questions?

1. Direct
2. Inferential

2) Inferential

Explanation:

If we read through the passage once again, we need to look for the clues as there is no direct evidence or information.
Now let’s try to answer the above questions based on the indirect information in the passage - she noticed shattered glass from the picture window all over the living room floor and a baseball not far from there.

• What happened to the window?
Tommy has broken/shattered it while playing baseball indoors. (Better to answer this with possible reasoning, as it’s a 2-mark question in the exam).
• Why did Tommy leave?
He knew that his mother would be furious and scold him.

Now the answer to the main question is - 2) Inferential.

## Inferential skills

Question 2:

What do you think the man is feeling?

1. Frustrated
2. Puzzled

Image Credit: unsplash - Usman Yousaf - Frustrated Man

1) Frustrated

Explanation:

As you can see this man has not said anything directly. So you can only draw an inference from his expressions and body language, which shows how he is feeling.
So the answer is 1) Frustrated.

Question 3:

Jimmy looked pleadingly at his friends as they were picking out teammates for the match. With each name called that wasn’t his, his heart sank more. He brushed his tears away roughly and stormed off. “Count me out! I don’t even like this game anyway.”

A. What do you think Jimmy was feeling?

1. Betrayed and hurt
2. Angry and jealous

1) Betrayed and hurt

Explanation:

Let’s understand the passage for the context or the background information it provides. Based on his sentence (Count me out! I don’t even like this game anyway), it would look like he is angry and jealous. But who is he jealous of? There is nobody. So, this is not applicable here.
Now we need to understand what Jimmy wanted and what he got. He expected his friends to be on his side, but as he didn't see that happening, his heart sank and he felt betrayed and hurt by friends.
So the correct answer is 1) betrayed and hurt.

B. Which word in the passage shows that Jimmy was desperate to be picked?

2. Heart sank

Explanation:

We need to first know what is desperate. Desperate means greatly wanting or desiring something. To plead means to beg for something.

C. Why do you think Jimmy reacted that way?

If you go through the passage again, you will find Jimmy’s reaction of feeling betrayed and hurt, was due to his friends not selecting him to be on the team.

So the answer is: Jimmy was not picked to be on the team by his friends, hence he felt betrayed.

## Direct questions

• For direct questions, answers can be found directly from the passage.
• Lifting is allowed

Question 4:

What is lifting:

1. Copying the answer word for word.
2. Taking the answer from the passage and re-writing it in your own words.

1) Copying the answer word for word.

Question 5:

The kitten mewed hungrily. It pawed at its owner's slippers, occasionally padding away to its food bowl. Why did the kitten behave in this manner?

Image Credit: pexels - Vadim B - Hungry Kitten

We can find the direct answer to this question and that is: The kitten was hungry.
The only change here is hungrily (adverb) from the passage is converted to hungry (adjective) in the answer.

Passage:

James and his sister, Jennie, spent a day at Sentosa with their cousins last weekend. They were bursting with excitement as they had never been to Santosa before. They took the MRT to Harbourfront, then took the cable car to Sentosa.
They were amazed by the view from the cable car, where they could see the entire island and the clear blue sea below them. They felt scared and thrilled at the same time because they were so high up.
After arriving at Sentosa, they visited the beach and built sandcastles. They played at the beach for hours and had a great time. When they were done playing, they went to have dinner at their favourite restaurant, Din Tai Fung. James ordered his favourite egg fried rice while Jennie ordered seafood fried rice. They also ordered dim sum, which they both loved.
By the time they got in the taxi to go home, both James and Jennie immediately dozed off with smiles on their faces. They had a long but fun-filled day.

Question 6:

Which phrase tells us that the siblings were looking forward to the outing?

1. Bustling with excitement
2. Amazed by the view

When you are looking forward to something, that means you are excited about it. So the correct answer is 1) Bustling with excitement.

Question 7:

Why were the siblings amazed by the view?

1. They were very high up.
2. They could see the entire island and sea below them.

2) They could see the entire island and sea below them.

Explanation:

If you read the passage carefully, you will find the direct answer in the 1st sentence of the 2nd paragraph.
So the correct answer is 2) They could see the entire island and sea below them.

Question 8:

True or false: The siblings both loved seafood fried rice.

1. False
2. True

As we read through the 3rd paragraph, we can find out that James loved egg fried rice and Jennie loved seafood fried rice.
So the correct answer is 1) False.

Continue Learning
Prepositions Comprehension 1
Tenses / Subject-Verb Agreement Pronouns
Composition Basics Pronouns and Determiners
Vocabulary Cloze Comprehension Cloze

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