Comprehension PassagesPractice Sets - English

Solved Comprehension Passage 34


Although speech is the most advanced form of communication, there are many ways of communicating without using speech. Signals, signs, symbols and gestures may be found in every known culture. The basic function of a signal is to impinge upon the environment in such a way that it attracts attention, as, for example, the dots and dashes of a telegraph circuit. Coded to refer to speech, the potential for communication is very great. Less adaptable to the codification of words, signs also contain meaning in and of themselves. A stop sign, for example, conveys meaning quickly and conveniently. Symbols are more difficult to describe than either signals or signs because of their intricate relationship with the receiver’s cultural perceptions. In some cultures, applauding in a theatre provides performers with an auditory symbol of approval. Gestures such as waving and handshaking also communicate certain cultural messages.

Although signals, signs, symbols and gestures are very useful, they do have a major disadvantage. They usually do not allow ideas to be shared without the sender being directly adjacent to the receiver. As a result, means of communication intended to be used for long distances and extended periods are based upon speech. Radio, television and the telephone are only a few of such means.

1. According to the passage, what is signal?
A) A form of communication used across long distances
B) The cultural perception of communication
C) A type of communication that interrupts the environment
D) A complicated form of communication to describe

2. Choose the correct statement
A) Speech is the most advanced form of communication.
B) Speech is the only form of communication.
C) Speech is the basis for communication to occur.
D) Speech is dependent upon the advances made by inventors.

3. Choose the most appropriate title for the passage
A) Signs and signals
B) Gestural communication
C) Speech variations
D) Means of communication

4. Why were the telephone, radio and TV invented?
A) To provide new forms of entertainment
B) It was believed that signs, signals and symbols were obsolete.
C) It was difficult to understand symbols.
D) People wanted to communicate across long distances.

5. This passage explains that
A) symbols are the easiest to interpret
B) signals, signs, symbols and gestures are forms of communication
C) significance of waving and handshaking is different in different cultures
D) different cultures have different signs and symbols

Answer Key

1. C 2. A 3. D 4. D 5. D

Solution with explanation

1. Option ‘C’. IMPINGE ON/UPON = to have an effect on something, often causing problems by limiting it in some way; interrupt; e.g. The government’s spending limits will seriously impinge on the education budget. The third line of the first paragraph is clear to get the answer.

3. Option ‘D’. The whole passage is about means of communication. SIGNS, SIGNALS, GESTURS and SPEECH are all means of communication.

4. Option ‘D’. Read the last two lines of the second passage to get the answer.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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