NCERT Solutions for The Fun They had, Chapter 1
Class 9 English Beehive
Question I Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.
1. How old are Margie and Tommy?
Answer Margie is eleven and Tommy is thirteen years old.
3. Had Margie ever seen a book before?
Answer No, Margie had never seen a book before.
4. What things about the book did she find strange?
Answer The book had yellow and wrinkled pages. The words of the book were still and the text at the previous page was still there and did not vanish like it was supposed to be in a computer screen. She found these things strange.
5. What do you think a telebook is?
Answer A telebook was a mechanical book which is displayed on the television screen and the text of a telebook is similar to a book.
6. Where was Margie’s school? Did she have any classmates?
Answer Margie’s school was in her home only, right next to her own bedroom. She did not have any classmate.
7. What subjects did Margie and Tommy learn?
Answer Margie learnt Geography and Mathematics. Tommy learnt History and Mathematics.
Question II) Answer the following with reference to the story.
1. “I wouldn’t throw it away.”
(i) Who says these words?
(i) Tommy said these words.
(ii) What does ‘it’ refer to?
(ii) It refers to the television screen on which you can read over a million books.
(iii) What is it being compared with by the speaker?
(iii) The speaker compare it with a telebook. He compared the television screen to the real books in earlier times in which words were printed on paper.
2. “Sure they had a teacher, but it wasn’t a regular teacher. It was a man.”
(i) Who does ‘they’ refer to?
(i) They refer to the students who studied in old kind of schools.
(ii) What does ‘regular’ mean here?
(ii) Regular refers to the mechanical teacher that Tommy and Margie had .
(iii) What is it contrasted with?
(iii) It is contrasted with a normal teacher of earlier times, who was a human being.
III. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words).
1. What kind of teachers did Margie and Tommy have?
Answer Margie and Tommy had mechanical teachers. They had large, black screen on which on which all the lessons were shown and questions were asked. They didn’t have a living person as a teacher who would teach the pupils in a classroom. These mechanical teachers had a fixed time in which the students had to put their homework and test papers.
2. Why did Margie’s mother send for the County Inspector?
Answer Margie’s mother sent for the County Inspector to find out the reason for improper functioning of mechanical teacher. Margie had been given many test in geography by the mechanical teacher but there was no improvement in her performance. She had been doing worse and worse.
3. What did he do?
Answer The county inspector started working on mechanical teacher. He somehow managed to reassemble it on his own.He slowed down the mechanical teacher’s speed upto an average ten-year level. The mechanical teacher’s speed was controlled and adjusted according to the IQ level of Margie.
4. Why was Margie doing badly in geography? What did the County Inspector do to help her?
Answer Margie had been doing badly in geography because the mechanical teacher was very fast in displaying the questionnaire. The geography sector had been geared a little too quick. The county inspector told it wasn’t her fault that she was not performing well. The County Inspector adjusted the speed of geography sector upto an average ten-year level. The County Inspector assured that the overall pattern of Margie’s progress was quite satisfactory.
5. What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher?
Answer Tommy’s teacher was taken away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked out completely. So, Tommy had nothing to do during that period. He only relaxed and enjoyed.
6. Did Margie have regular days and hours for school? If so, why?
Answer Yes, Margie had regular days and hours for school because her mother believe that learning at regular hours helped little children learn better. Her mechanical teacher was also on at the same time everyday except weekends.
7. How does Tommy describe the old kind of school?
Answer Tommy says that the old schools were different. They had a special building and all the kids were taught uniformly. They laughed and shouted in the schoolyard. They enjoyed time together and learned lessons together in a classroom.
8. How does he describe the old kind of teachers?
Answer Tommy said that the old teachers were human beings, who taught the students inside a special building. The teachers taught the children and gave them homework and also asked them questions.
IV. Answer each of these questions in two or three paragraphs (100 –150 words).
1. What are the main features of the mechanical teachers and the schoolrooms that Margie and Tommy have in the story?
Answer Margie and Tommy have mechanical teachers. They need not go to school for getting a formal education. They had large black screen on which all the lessons were shown and questions were asked. The mechanical teacher is placed in one of the rooms of the house and they can get the knowledge individually from the mechanical teacher. They don’t have such classrooms where students sit together. They learned geography, history and arithmetic. They study from the telebooks. So they don’t require books and exercise books. The examination system is very different. They do homework in a different way. Margie has to write them out in a punch code. She learnt it when she was six years old. So the system of their education is technologically advanced and not based on printed books. The mechanical teacher always turned on at the same time every day except Sunday and Saturday.
2. Why did Margie hate school? Why did she think the old kind of school must have been fun?
Answer Margie hated her school because she had a mechanical teacher and was supposed to sit in a room alone to complete her home task or assignments. They had to write all the work on paper and had to put them in a slot. The part she hated the most was inserting the homework and assignments in the slot on the mechanical teacher .She thought that the old schools must have been fun because the students used to sit together in the classroom. They enjoyed, laughed and shouted in the schoolyard. Children needed company to enhance their skills.
3. Do you agree with Margie that schools today are more fun than the school in the story? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer Yes, the schools today are more fun than the school in the story. In the story there is no interaction among students. Doing homework without anybody’s help and writing them in punch code seems to be a boring idea. The mechanical teacher had no emotions and sentiments. It does not have the ability to understand the psychology of a child. But today’s schools work for the overall development of a child. The teachers are real human beings .If any student faces any problem, he or she can discuss it with teacher or other students. The curiosity of waiting for marks scored increases when one is sitting in a classroom. It does not have the same effect when the marks are calculated immediately after a test has been taken. You learn many qualities in school such as respect, kindness, obedience for others.
Thinking about Language
Read this sentence taken from the story: They had once taken Tommy’s teacher away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked out completely.
The word complete is an adjective. When you add –ly to it, it becomes an adverb.
1. Find the sentences in the lesson which have the adverbs given in the box below.
(1) awfully- They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to — on a screen, you know.
(2) sorrowfully – The mechanical teacher had been giving her test after test in geography and she had been doing worse and worse until her mother had shaken her head sorrowfully and sent for the County Inspector.
(3) completely – They had once taken Tommy’s teacher away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked out completely.
(4) loftily– He added loftily, pronouncing the word carefully, “Centuries ago.”
(5) carefully– He added loftily, pronouncing the word carefully, “Centuries ago.”
(6) quickly – “I didn’t say, i didn’t like it, “Margie said quickly.
(7) nonchalantly – “May be”, he said nonchalantly.
2. Now use these adverbs to fill in the blanks in the sentences below.
(i) The report must be read_______ so that performance can be improved.
(ii) At the interview, Sameer answered our questions______, shrugging his shoulders.
(iii) We all behave_______ when we are tired or hungry.
(iv) The teacher shook her head______ when Ravi lied to her.
(v) I ______ forgot about it.
(vi) When I complimented Revathi on her success, she just smiled_______ and turned away.
(vii) The President of the Company is ________ busy and will not be able to meet you.
(viii) I finished my work _________ so that I could go out to play.
3. Make adverbs from these adjectives.
(i) angry : angrily
(ii) happy : happily
(iii) merry : merrily
(iv) sleepy : sleepily
(v) easy : easily
(vi) noisy : noisily
(vii) tidy : tidily
(viii) gloomy : gloomily
If Not and Unless
• Imagine that Margie’s mother told her, “You’ll feel awful if you don’t finish your history lesson.”
• She could also say: “You’ll feel awful unless you finish your history lesson.”
Unless means if not. Sentences with unless or if not are negative conditional sentences.
Notice that these sentences have two parts. The part that begins with if not or unless tells us the condition. This part has a verb in the present tense (look at the verbs don’t finish, finish in the sentences above).
The other part of the sentence tells us about a possible result. It tells us what will happen (if something else doesn’t happen). The verb in this part of the sentence is in the future tense (you’ll feel/you will feel).
Notice these two tenses again in the following examples.
Future Tense Present Tense
• There won’t be any books left unless we preserve them.
• You won’t learn your lessons if you don’t study regularly.
• Tommy will have an accident unless he drives more slowly.
Complete the following conditional sentences.
Use the correct form of the verb.
1. If I don’t go to Anu’s party tonight,______________
2. If you don’t telephone the hotel to order food,__________
3. Unless you promise to write back, I _____________
4. If she doesn’t play any games,___________
5. Unless that little bird flies away quickly, the cat ____________
1. If I don’t go to Anu’s party tonight, she will be angry.
2. If you don’t telephone the hotel to order food, you will miss your evening meal.
3. Unless you promise to write back, I shall keep requesting you.
4. If she does not play any games, she will become lethargic and unfit.
5. Unless that little bird flies away quickly, the cat will pounce on it.
A new revised volume of Issac Asimov’s short stories has just been released. Order one set. Write a letter to the publisher, Mindfame Private Limited, 1632 Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi, requesting that a set be sent to you by Value Payable Post (VPP), and giving your address. Your letter will have the following parts.
- Addresses of the sender and receiver
- The salutation
- The body of the letter
- The closing phrases and signature Your letter might look like this:
Your address ……………………………………..
Date ………………. (DD/MM/YY)
The addressee’s address
Remember that the language of a formal letter is different from the colloquial style of personal letters. For example, contracted forms such as ‘I’ve’ or ‘can’t’ are not used.
516, Sec. 15
11 Oct, 20XX
M/s, Mindfame Private Ltd.
1632, Asaf Ali Road New Delhi
Sub: Request for the new volume of Isaac Asimov’s short stories.
I just came to know that a new revised volume of Isaac Asimov’s short stories has just been released.I will be very grateful if you send one set of this volume as early as possible at my mailing address.