Best English Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers Free Download Pdf


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In general, reading comprehension activities help ESL students to practice reading fluency and comprehension. These classroom activities are great to reinforce skills like logical analysis, recognition, and visual perception.

The following post compiles some important ESL comprehension passages that can be printed as worksheets and used for fluency practice, small group practice, whole group discussions, or homework.

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Best 4 Free Printable Reading Comprehension Worksheets Pdf: Reading Comprehension Passages

Printable Comprehension Worksheets

ESL Printable Comprehension Worksheets

In Spain, children and their families are riding bikes to school together in large groups. The program is called “bicibús” or bike bus. In Barcelona, the program started recently with only five children and grew quickly to hundreds of riders.

In the Eixample area of Barcelona, a group of five children began biking to school with their parents on Fridays. Soon the group grew to 150 or more. The bike bus begins around 8:25 every Friday morning.
The path it follows is always posted ahead of time, so everyone knows where to join.

Instead of riding in bike lanes or on sidewalks, the bicibús takes over the entire street. The commuting time of bikers takes about 25 minutes. And with the ever-growing cycling and skating kids taking part in this bike bus culture, the local police are helping stop traffic by riding in front of the bicibús and behind it.

This further makes the parents happy that with the additional security their children will commute safely to school. With music playing and bike bells ringing, the bicibus feels like a party. “The best part of the bicibús is that we ride along and pick up my friends and we ride together,” nine-year-old Maria Pitarch says.

Some parents have made the bicibus the way they get to work on Friday. Parents are hoping that the bicibus will help change ideas about how people can get around in the city. They want the city to create wider, kid-friendly bike lanes that are separate from car traffic. They point out that the bicibús also helps cut down on pollution.

Recently, pictures and videos of the Eixample bicibús got a lot of attention on social media sites. Many people pointed out what a simple idea it is, and how easy it is to get started. Already some other areas in Barcelona are also organizing bike buses.

Read the passage and answer the questions:

  1. What can we learn about the bicibús?
    • A. It has a flexible schedule.
    • B. Its route is made known in advance.
    • C. It takes over the whole sidewalks.
    • D. Its safety is a concern for parents.
  2. Why does the author mention Maria Pitarch in the fourth paragraph?
    • A. To introduce more about the bike bus.
    • B. To encourage readers to join the bike bus.
    • C. To acknowledge the performance of the kids.
    • D. To show the enjoyment kids get from the program.
  3. What do the parents expect the local government to do?
    • A. Cut down on pollution.
    • B. Focus on traffic problems.
    • C. Build safer bike lanes for kids.
    • D. Promote the bicibús program.
  4. What is the public’s attitude toward the bus bike?
    • A. Skeptical.
    • B. Tolerant.
    • C. Cautious.
    • D. Favorable.

READING COMPREHENSION for CHILDREN

English Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers Free Download Pdf

Free Reading Comprehension Worksheets Pdf

The idea behind Facebook is to make us feel connected all the time. But in my research, I have found that the truth is quite different.

Technology has made the fact of being alone seems like a problem that needs solving. When young people are alone, even for a minute or two, they feel the need to connect, to get on Facebook or on some other social network. But in connecting, they often end up feeling more isolated. Why? Because by being in constant connection, they lose the ability to feel satisfied with their own company.

Facebook can help us keep in touch with our friends, but we too often use it instead of spending face-to-face time with them. And since we feel the need to keep up with them online, we don’t have moments of loneliness where we can collect our thoughts and learn how to be comfortable being alone.

 Sherry Turkle, Professor

Facebook connects more of us to more of our friends and family in more places than we have ever been connected before. Yes, Facebook is a huge time sink, maybe the biggest ever. Many people post useless stuff. And seeing too much of your friends’ lives can make you jealous, but it won’t make you lonely.

Jane, a former student of mine, who is back to New York after living abroad for ten years, told me that Facebook helps her a lot. The first time she moved back to New York from abroad, she felt disconnected from her family and friends. Now, because of lots of photos and information updates, she knows what is happening with her friends all the time.

In fact, if you are lonely in real life, you will be lonely online as well.

 Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer

Read the passage and answer the questions:

  1. The word in bold “isolated” in Paragraph 2 means:
    • A. free
    • B. selfish
    • C. careless
    • D. lonely
  2. According to Sherry Turkle, we should:
    • A. feel satisfied with our life
    • B. avoid using social networks
    • C. keep in touch with our friends
    • D. enjoy moments of loneliness
  3. What’s Jane’s attitude towards Facebook?
    • A. Hopeful.
    • B. Doubtful.
    • C. Thankful.
    • D. Regretful.
  4. The purpose of the text is to:
    • A. educate
    • B. discuss
    • C. persuade
    • D. introduce

Reading Comprehension Worksheets Pdf Free

Free Printable Reading Comprehension Passages

A Nobel Prize is considered by most people one of the highest international honors a person can receive. As you know, the prizes were started by a Swede called Alfred Nobel. Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and lived from 1833 to 1896.

  Alfred Nobel was a chemist and inventor. He made two important inventions, and so he became very rich. However, Nobel was not a happy man. He never married or had children. Also, he was a sick man for a large part of his life. Nobel died at the age of sixty-three. When he died, he left a fund of $9, 000, 000. The money was to be used in giving prizes to those who made outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and the promotion of world peace.

  The first Nobel Prizes were given on December 10th, 1901, five years after Nobel’s death. Many famous people from all over the world have been given Nobel Prizes for their achievements. Albert Einstein was one of them.

  Each Prize has three parts. The first part is a gold medal. Second, a winner of a Nobel Prize is given a diploma saying that he has been given the Prize. The third part of the Prize is a large amount of money: about $40, 000.

  Often a Prize is given to just one person, but not always. Sometimes a Prize is shared. It may be given to two or three people who have worked together. Sometimes a Prize is not given at all if there is no outstanding achievement. In 1972, for example, no Nobel Peace Prize was given. It is the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm that decides whether to give the Prize or not.

Read the passage and answer the questions:

  1. Most people think that Nobel Prize is ___ a person can receive.
    • A.the highest honor in the world
    • B.one of the highest international honors
    • C.a higher honor than others
    • D.as high as any other honor
  2. Alfred Nobel who started the Nobel Prize was:
    • A.a rich, happy and lucky man
    • B.a poor, unhappy and unlucky man
    • C.a poor, happy and lucky man
    • D.a rich unhappy and unlucky man
  3. A Nobel Prize is:
    • A.a gold medal and a large amount of money
    • B.a gold medal and a diploma
    • C.a gold medal and a diploma and a large amount of money
    • D.a diploma and a large amount of money
  4. A Nobel Prize is given each year to:
    • A.just one person
    • B.one person
    • C.not always one person
    • D.three people
  5. When he died, Nobel left an amount of money __.
    • A.to his wife and children
    • B.to the university he used to study in
    • C.to his parents and his studies
    • D.to be spent on setting five prizes

Reading Comprehension for Kids | How to Read for Meaning

English Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers Free Download

Free Worksheets for Reading Comprehension

I have a neighbor we call “Happy”. I have never seen her angry at anything and never heard her say a mean word to anyone or about anyone.

Happy and her husband Ben, 70, have a huge garden. They spent many happy hours together working on it. Most of the neighbors watched interestingly as Ben doubled the size of their garden. As the cost of food climbed faster than Ben’s beans, we all wished we also had such a large garden. As the rest of us spent our dollars at the market, Happy could be seen picking beans in her backyard.

Last month, Happy and Ben invited most of the neighborhood over for an “all-day food fest”. We were told to bring gloves and arrive very early in the morning. We didn’t know what was about to take place. 

By 9:00 am, there were nine of us in the garden picking tomatoes, beans, peppers, and cucumbers. By 10:00 am, there was lots of laughter. We had delicious food and shared a lot of stories. After dinner, we played games. As we were leaving, Happy and Ben handed each of us a shopping bag filled with the vegetables of the day, already packaged and frozen. What a delightful gift!

Well, the point wasn’t so much about the food. The true gift was a day of friends enjoying one another’s company. None of it would have happened if it had been for Happy and Ben’s garden. Now they have a blog about gardening in case we decided to plant a garden. And I am so proud of my tomato plants!

Read the passage and answer the questions:

  1. We can infer that Happy and her husband Ben_______.
    • A. don’t like spending time with others
    • B. sometimes quarrel with each other
    • C. live on the food they grow in their garden
    • D. are a generous and warm-hearted couple
  2. According to paragraph 2, people wish they also had a garden so that_______.
    • A. they didn’t have to spend so much money on food
    • B. they could grow vegetables and sell them at the market
    • C. they could invite their neighbors and hold parties in it
    • D. they could spend happy times together with their family in it
  3. For what purpose did Happy and Ben invite the neighbors to their garden?
    • A. To ask them to attend a birthday party
    • B. To help them get to know each other.
    • C. To let them enjoy what they grew in the garden.
    • D. To ask them to share some interesting stories.
  4. What did the writer most probably think of the time he spent in the garden?
    • A. It was too long
    • B. It was wonderful.
    • C. It was not as good as he thought.
    • D. It was too terrible.

English Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers

Reading Comprehension Worksheets with Questions

With nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas coming from all types of transportation, can we keep ourselves off gas-powered vehicles to avoid the worst effects? As more governments push for urgent action on climate change, quite a few companies are betting on their future – that millions of consumers
are finally ready for electricity-powered vehicles. Modern battery-powered cars are selling fast and zero-emission planes are coming. These changes, both leading to a more sustainable future, are reinventing how we get from here to there.

Cars and trucks are undergoing their greatest improvement since the automobile’s existence more than a century ago. Almost overnight, the era of the electric car has arrived. Electricity has the advantage that it works without smell and with less noise. Global annual sales of electric vehicles are expected to soar from just over 3 million today to 14 million by 2025. Just a month after Ford unveiled an electric version of the popular F-150, customers had reserved more than 100,000 of them. The price is about $10,000 above the gas-powered one, but Ford says the electric model will cost much less to maintain. Everything creating a green revolution on the ground is of limited help in the sky for the time being.

High-storage batteries are useless at present when it comes to the technological challenge of launching a few hundred people into the sky and carrying them thousands of miles. No battery yet invented can power, say, a Boeing 747 from New York to London. Promising improvements, however, do add up.

Developments with zero-emission, battery-powered electric engines are already happening in commercial flights, involving trips of limited duration and distance. Airlines specializing in short journeys with small planes will lead the way to electric flight.

Our planet’s health depends on zeroing out carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, and yet, by the timetable needed to address the climate challenge, the shift away from gas-powered vehicles remains far too slow. Nevertheless, the train has left the station. Someday, electric-powered transportation will be as common as air.

Read the passage and answer the questions:

  1. Why are many companies switching to electricity-powered vehicles?
    • A. To reinvent the way we travel.
    • B. To cut the costs of car production.
    • C. To improve the quality of products.
    • D. To pursue sustainable development.
  2. What do we know about the electric car?
    • A. It came into use a century ago.
    • B. It enjoys increasing popularity.
    • C. It sells better than the traditional one.
    • D. It costs less than the gas-powered one.
  3. What does the author intend to do in Paragraph 3?
    • A. To show the disadvantages of battery power.
    • B. To emphasize the significance of short flights.
    • C. To stress the future prospects of electric planes.
    • D. To state the developments of commercial flight.
  4. What does the author mean by saying “the train has left the station”?
    • A. Train transportation has improved.
    • B. Green transportation is on its way.
    • C. The electric train is running regularly.
    • D. The gas-powered train has become the past.

Free ESL Reading Comprehension Worksheets Pdf

Printable Reading Passages

The Taj Mahal is a love story, a sad and beautiful one. If it didn’t exist, we would easily imagine that the story of its construction was simply a fairy tale. Three hundred years ago, there lived an Indian emperor called Shah Jahan. His wife was a beautiful and bright woman whom he loved greatly. Her title was Mumtaz Mahan: its shortened form Taj Mahan, means “pride of the palace”.

In the year 1630, this beloved wife of the emperor died. He was so brokenhearted that he thought of giving up his throne. He decided out of his love for his wife, to build her the most beautiful tomb that had ever been seen.

He summoned the best artists and architects from India, Turkey, Persia, and Arabia, and finally, the design
was complete. It took more than twenty thousand men working over a period of 18 years to build the Taj
Mahan, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

The building itself stands on a marble platform 29 meters square and 6-7 meters high. Towers rise from
each of the four corners. The Taj itself soars another 61 meters into the air. It is an eight-sided building made of white marble.

The emperor planned to build an identical tomb of black marble for himself on the other side of the river
connected by a silver bridge. However his son put him into a prison in the palace before he could finish, and for the rest of his life, he could only gaze across the river at the tomb of his beloved wife.

Read the passage and answer the questions:

  1. The whole passage tells us about __.
    • A. a beautiful fairy tale
    • B. the story of the Taj Mahal
    • C. white and black marble tombs made for two emperors
    • D. the love story of Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife
  2. Which of the following statements is NOT true about the Taj Mahal?
    • A. It was completed quickly owing to the efforts of the best artists and workers.
    • B. A lot of people took part in the building work
    • C. It is a magnificent building.
    • D. It is a tomb for the emperor’s beloved wife.
  3. The emperor’s own tomb was designed to be __.
    • A. 9 meters high
    • B. eight-sided
    • C. black-coloured
    • D. white-colored
  4. The emperor _.
    • A. died soon after Taj Mahan died
    • B. was killed by his son
    • C. was beloved by his people
    • D. died in the prison

READING COMPREHENSION for CHILDREN —-Developing Children’s Reading Skills

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