Language use and synonyms

Short Answer Questions on Language Use

Questions 2a-c

  • You will be expected to read Text C and then respond to a series of sub-questions which require answers of different lengths.
  • This section generally tests on reading.
  • These questions often assess understanding of explicit, implicit understanding as well as the writer’s influence on candidates.
  • You will be expected to identify and give synonyms for specific words.

Sample Questions

Golden Tip: Only give the meaning of what has been underlined, not the entire sentence.

Question. 2a

(i) Identify a word or phrase from the text which suggests the same idea as the words underlined:

Hua would be cooking the rice and the pak choi as late as possible.

Answer: last-minute

(ii) Hua knew that she was unable to give customers much choice in meal options.

Answer: wide range

(iii) Hua hoped that people attending the local theatre would be regular customers.

Answer: Reliable patrons

(iv) Mr and Mrs Kato were glued firmly to their seats.

Answer: Stuck rigidly

Question. 2 b

Using your own words, explain what the writer means by each of the words underlined:

 Yes, this room was definitely on the list for modernisation. While the weather was warm, outdoor dining was preferable.

TIP: Give a synonym for the words underlined or an explanation that identifies with the contextual meaning of the word underlined.

(i) Definitely

Possible answers: without doubt, certainly, unquestionably, (for) sure(ly)

(ii) Modernization

Possible answers: bringing up to date, replacing old with new, refurbish(ment), renovating, upgrading, redevelopment

(iii) Preferable

Possible answers: better, more desirable, best choice

Question. 2c.

Use one example from the text below to explain how the writer suggests the characters and feelings of either or both Mr and Mrs Kato.

Golden TIP 1: You must identify a word or phrase to serve as your example.

Golden Tip 2: Your language choice should explain how the writer suggests the characters and feelings of either or both Mr and Mrs Kato.

Golden Tip 3: Your explanation should carry out three distinct reasons to score full marks.

Sample responses

  • (you can embed your example as a point and then explain.)

Mrs Kato ‘waved a delicate hand.’ The use of ‘delicate’ demonstrates her well calculated hand movements to express her wishes on where she would prefer to sit. Her actions strongly imply her down to earth character despite her class. She didn’t want to draw too much attention to herself, instead she is comfortable accommodating other people too.

  • (you can underline your example directly in the paragraph and then explain)

A waft of expensive perfume floated

The phrase clearly indicates that Mrs. Kato wore a pleasant fragrance that was obviously evidence of a costly perfume. It could imply that Mrs. Kato has a taste for finer things in life and luxury though she was not flaunting it. This further amplifies her humble character towards other people, especially Hua.

  • (you can embed your example in context and then explain)

Mr Kato asked Hua, ‘May we dine here?’ The use of the words ‘May’ and ‘dine’ clearly shows Mr. Kato’s great mannerisms, courtesy and obviously a request too. The slightly elevated language further give connotations about Mr. Kato’s background as well as his high level education.