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Read the first article to see all the steps: Short answer question reading strategies.
Here are some examples of Question Types.
WH question words will show what kind of specific information to focus on. Answers are often people, places, things or times.
I like quiet songs. (description)
I like rock music.(style/genre)
Read the paragraph below, then answer the questions.
Their wedding cost over $50,000 and took a year and a half to organize, but Richard and Victoria Hammond now want to focus on their marriage. Victoria, who is a professional wedding planner, explains thoughtfully that "I think many people expect the wedding to be the end of getting to know each other. I think it's the start." Her husband, journalist and amateur racing car driver Richard, agrees. "Both our minds are now fixed firmly on the future. It was a wonderful wedding and an unbelievable day. However, our marriage is so much more important than the wedding."
The young couple has just returned from a two-week honeymoon spent in a real Scottish castle. Both the newly-weds are big travel lovers and Richard hopes this will continue. "I would like to go travelling as much as possible together." Victoria has a great travel ambition that she might not achieve. "I have always been fascinated by Africa and my real wish is to go on a safari. Richard has no interest in wildlife though."
"At the moment, we are still living with my parents," explains Victoria, "so our first wish is to find our own place. We intend to start looking for a new house with all the modern conveniences in the suburbs next year." Both Victoria and husband Richard have a lot of siblings. "We plan on having two or three children ourselves," Richard tells me. "Victoria is just wonderful with children and I can work from home, which is just perfect."
1. What does Victoria Hammond think about her wedding?
She thinks that it’s the start of getting to know each other.
Victoria said: "I think many people expect the wedding to be the end of getting to know each other. I think it's the start."Note: Richard said: "It was a wonderful wedding and an unbelievable day."
2. How long has Richard Hammond been married?
Just over 2 weeks
The young couple has just returned from a two-week honeymoon.
3. Where did they go on holiday recently?
Honeymoon spent in a real Scottish castle
4. Why will Victoria not go on Safari?
Because Richard isn’t interested in wildlife but they want to travel together.
Richard: I would like to go travelling as much as possible together.
Victoria: Richard has no interest in wildlife though.
5. How big is the Hammond family?
Big / large
Richard has lots of siblings. Therefore, you need to choose an adjective that describes the size.
6. Who will stay at home with the kids?
Richard: I can work from home.
For extra WH Question practice:
For Y/N Question practice:
You explain the meaning of a word or idea based on the information in the reading. Look at the context – the words/sentences around that word. Sometimes the text contains a definition already. Look for words like this means, in other words and this is defined as. Examples in the text can also include a definition. Look for words like such as, for example, for instance, and like.
Potato chip lovers in New Zealand could be in for a big shock. New Zealand is facing a possible potato shortage in the next few months. This means there could be a lack of potato chips until next year. Newspapers are calling this situation the "chipocalypse". They combined the words "chip" and "apocalypse" to make this new word. A possible chipocalypse is because of a very wet winter in New Zealand. This has affected potato growers. In some areas, a third of the potato crop has been lost. The wet weather has damaged the potatoes that are used to make potato chips. This means manufacturers will make fewer potato chips and prices for potato chips will be higher.
1. What is ‘shortage’?
2. What is a ‘Chipocalypse’?
What does the author feel about an idea, situation or topic? This can be shown through adjectives (description of a noun) and adverbs (description of an action/verb). You need to understand the difference between fact or the opinion.
Is question 1 or 2 an opinion? How do we know?
1. Michael Jordan has a career average of 30.4 points per game.
2. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.
Answer: Number 2 is opinion. Number 1 states a fact (30.4 points). Number 2 uses a superlative adjective (the greatest player) and has no fact to explain this idea.
Circle the opinion words in questions 3–9:
3. Prison is one of the worst places on the planet.
The worst (superlative)
4. It is wrong for people under the age of 21 to drink alcohol.
It is wrong (judgement)
5. Students have a lot harder time in school than the teachers.
A lot harder time…than (comparison without facts)
6. Popular music today is not as good as it was in the past.
Not as good as (comparison)
7. Tom was unhappy at home.
8. Sarah ran quickly home.
9. Lucy is a beautiful girl.
For extra WH Question practice:
An inference is a way to understand ideas not directly stated by the author. Inference questions ask you to join the information from the text with your own knowledge/experience about the idea and then answer the question.
Read this paragraph. What words help you make these decisions?
Every day after work Paul took his muddy boots off on the steps at the front door. Alice would go crazy if the boots were inside. He then took off his dirty shirt and trousers and threw them into a plastic garbage bag. Alice left a new garbage bag tied to the front door for him every morning. On his way to the bedroom, he took the garbage bag to the washing machine. He then went straight up the stairs to the shower as he was instructed. He would eat dinner with her after he was “presentable,” as Alice had often said.
1. What type of job does Paul do?
Paul has a job where he gets dirty: gardener, construction worker, miner, labourer, etc.
We know this because every day Paul's boots and clothes are muddy and dirty.
2. Describe Alice’s personality.
Alice is a very clean and tidy person. She also likes control, order and organisation.
We know this because she requires Paul to follow a cleaning procedure (take off dirty clothes, take them to the washing machine, shower) and she gives him instructions (shower first, dinner second).
3. What relationship do Paul and Alice have?
They are husband and wife or mother and son.
We know this because they live together and eat together. Alice is a woman (her). Paul is a man (his, he, him). Alice could be a wife or mother because she gives Paul instructions and makes rules for the house. If Alice is the wife, then Paul is her husband. If Alice is the mother, then Paul is her son.
For more practice:
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