Best ESL English Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers Free Download


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As a whole, reading comprehension activities help ESL students to practice reading fluency and comprehension. These classroom activities are great to reinforce skills like recognition, logical analysis, 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 English Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers Free Download Pdf
Best English Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers Free Download

Comprehension Questions Worksheets Pdf

Experts in climatology and other scientists are becoming extremely concerned about the changes to our climate which are taking place. Admittedly, climate changes have occurred on our planet before. For example, there have been several ice ages or glacial periods.

These climatic changes, however, were different from the modern ones in that they occurred gradually and, as far as we know, naturally. The changes currently being monitored are said to be the result not of natural causes, but of human activity. Furthermore, the rate of change is becoming alarmingly rapid.

The major problem is that the planet appears to be warming up. According to some experts, this warming process, known as global warming, is occurring at a rate unprecedented in the last 10,000 years. The implications for the planet are very serious. Rising global temperatures could give rise to such ecological disasters as extremely high increases in the incidence of flooding and of droughts. These in turn could have a harmful effect on agriculture.

It is thought that this unusual warming of the Earth has been caused by so-called greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, being emitted into the atmosphere by car engines and modem industrial processes, for example. Such gases not only add to the pollution of the atmosphere, but also create a greenhouse effect, by which the heat of the sun is trapped. This leads to the warming up of the planet.

Comprehension Questions:

  • 1. The chief worry regarding changes in climate is……………………
    • a. that they are gradual and natural
    • b. that they are rapid and brought about by man
    • c. that they have never occurred before
    • d. that they are not perceptible
  • 2. ‘Global warming’ means……………………….
    • a. decreasing temperature
    • b. melting of ice bergs
    • c. rise in temperature
    • d. longer summers
  • 3. Rising temperature leads to………………………..
    • a. pollution
    • b. natural disasters
    • c. illness
    • d. greenhouse gasses
  • 4. Greenhouse effect is……………………………
    • a. trapping of solar heat
    • b. reduction of sunlight
    • c. pollution on earth
    • d. flooding on earth
  • 5. Climatology means……………………………
    • a. study of climate
    • b. study of changes in weather
    • c. study of global warming
    • d. study of natural disasters

Best English Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers Free Download

Richard carried his father’s tea through into the living room and put it on his lap. This was the time of day he dreaded most: his mother at work, Sharon out playing, himself and his father cooped up together, silent and ill-at-ease.

He got out his books and spread them over the table. He sat down, trying not to hear the steady chomp-chomp of his father’s jaws, the disgusting way he swilled tea around an already-too-full mouth. He could feel the tension. He could feel how his father hated the books. He wasn’t just indifferent to them, he wasn’t neutral: he really hated them.

When he sat looking at the newspaper, as he sometimes did, his eyes did not move across the page. Richard had noticed this but didn’t know what it meant. Bills, letters, all that sort of thing, his father passed over to his mother. It was as though anything that involved reading or writing was woman’s work.

So it was always like this in the late afternoons. John Scaife hardly knew how it had come about. He knew only that he hated the books which were almost instruments of torture to him, so keenly did he remember the humiliations of his school days. Once and once only had he dared to show interest and that was because the book his son was reading seemed to be full of pictures.

“What’s that you’re looking at, son ?”
“Nothing.
“Well, it must be something.”
“It’s nothing to do with school. It’s from the library.” He stared at his father, defensively. “It’s about birds.
“Birds !”
“Yes.” Briefly, he showed a picture of some long-legged, white bird in flight. “That’s a heron.”
“Not a lot of use that, round here.”
For there were no birds. Only sparrows and starlings. And seagulls of course.
“I like the pictures.”
“Ah, well.” John rustled his newspaper uneasily. “Only birds I ever fancy are in here.”

Comprehension questions:

A. Choose the right answer:

  • 1. The son is
    • a bookseller,
    • a school boy,
    • a librarian,
    • a bookkeeper.
  • 2. The father
    • has a passion for books,
    • resents his son’s interest in books,
    • is too busy to read,
    • thinks books are for women.
  • 3. The father and the son
    • loathe each other,
    • are indifferent to each other,
    • fail to communicate,
    • are jealous of each other.

4.

  • The situation is unbearable to both the father and the son,
  • The situation is painful to the son only,
  • Only the father suffers from the tension,
  • Neither the son nor the father really minds.

Short Reading Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers Pdf

Betty was visiting Aunt Chantal at her house at the beach. It was a beautiful summer day. Betty had built a giant sand castle that morning. Aunt Chantal took pictures of the castle to send to Betty’s parents. It was a great big sand castle. Later that morning, Betty and Aunt Chantal went swimming in the ocean. It was fun to jump with the waves. Then, they went in the house and ate sandwiches and strawberries for lunch.

Betty wanted to play on the beach that afternoon. Aunt Chantal told her it was too hot to go outside without a hat on. Betty didn’t have a hat. Aunt Chantal told her not to worry, she could wear one of hers. Betty tried on four hats. The pink one was really pretty, but it had a big bow in the back that was too long for Betty. The green hat was too fancy for Betty. She did not like that hat at all. The blue hat was nice, but it had an ugly bird on it. Then, Betty saw a big brown hat with a yellow ribbon on it. That hat was made of straw. It was a perfect hat for the beach. It was too big for Betty’s head but she didn’t care. It was a great hat.

Read the text then answer the following questions:

1. Where was Betty?

  • a. at the store
  • b. at the beach
  • c. at school
  • d. at home

2. Who was Betty visiting?

  • a. her Grandparents
  • b. her friends
  • c. her sister
  • d. her Aunt Chantal

3. Why didn’t Betty like the blue hat?

  • a. it was too fancy
  • b. it was new
  • c. it had an ugly bird on it
  • d. it was old

4. Why didn’t Betty want to wear the pink hat?

  • a. the bow was too long
  • b. it had a flower
  • c. it had a bird on it
  • d. it was dirty

5. Why did Aunt Chantal want Betty to wear a hat?

  • a. it was raining
  • b. it was too hot
  • c. it was cold
  • d. it was snowing

6. Why did Betty like the brown hat?

  • a. it was ugly
  • b. it was perfect
  • c. it was too big
  • d. it was cold

Reading Comprehension Passages for ESL Students Pdf

Once upon a time, the colors of the world started to quarrel. green said, “clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and hope. I was chosen for grass, trees, and leaves. Without me, all animals would   1_______”
  Blue interrupted, “You only think about the 2______, but consider the sky and the sea. 3_____ the water that is the basis of life and is drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. Without my peace, you would all be 4_________”
  Yellow chuckled, “ You are all so serious. I bring laughter, fun, and 5______into the world.”
  Orange started to blow her trumpet, “ I am the color of health and strength. I may be 6_____, but I am precious for I serve the needs of human life. When I fill the sky 7_____, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another 8_______to any of you.”
  Red could stand it 9______ and he shouted out, “I am the ruler of all of you. I’m the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to 10______ truth. I am also the color of passion and of love.”
  Then came purple and indigo….
  the colors went on boasting, each convinced of their own 11_______. Their quarreling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightening thunder. Rain started to pour down 12____. The colors crouched down 13______, drawing close to one another for comfort.
  In the midst of the clamor, rain began to speak, “ you foolish colors, fighting 14_______yourselves, each trying to dominate 15______. Don’t you know that you were each made for a special purpose, 16_____ ? join hands with 17_______and come to me. ”
  Doing as they were told, the colors 18______ and joined hands. They formed a colorful rainbow. From then on, whenever a good rain 19______ the world, a rainbow appears in the sky. They remember to 20________ one another.

Reading Comprehension Questions: Choose the right answer

  • 1
    • A. stay
    • B. leave
    • C. go out
    • D. die
  • 2
    • A. earth
    • B. moon
    • C. star
    • D. sun
  • 3
    • A. That is
    • B. I am
    • C. It is
    • D. This is
  • 4
    • A. anything
    • B. nothing
    • C. something
    • D. everything
  • 5
    • A. warmth
    • B. sadness
    • C. depression
    • D. anxiety
  • 6
    • A. usual
    • B. normal
    • C. common
    • D. scarce
  • 7
    • A. at midnight
    • B. at noon or at night
    • C. at sunrise or sunset
    • D. during the day
  • 8
    • A. gift
    • B. honor
    • C. thought
    • D. respect
  • 9
    • A. for more
    • B. any more
    • C. very much
    • D. no longer
  • 10
    • A. turn to
    • B. fight for
    • C. struggle with
    • D. bend over
  • 11
    • A. superiority
    • B. disadvantages
    • C. inferiority
    • D. weakness
  • 12
    • A. gently
    • B. quietly
    • C. violently
    • D. peacefully
  • 13
    • A. with care
    • B. in fear
    • C. by chance
    • D. on purpose
  • 14
    • A. amongst
    • B. by
    • C. for
    • D. against
  • 15
    • A. others
    • B. themselves
    • C. the other
    • D. the rest
  • 16
    • A. equal and simple
    • B. ordinary and similar
    • C. more or less
    • D. unique and different
  • 17
    • A. each other
    • B. me
    • C. one another
    • D. them
  • 18
    • A. combined
    • B. separated
    • C. united
    • D. divided
  • 19
    • A. cleans
    • B. washes
    • C. brightens
    • D. dampens
  • 20
    • A. appreciate
    • B. quarrel with
    • C. ignore
    • D. praise

Answers:

1 : D; 2 : A; 3 : C; 4 : B; 5 : A; 6 : D; 7 : C; 8 : C; 9 : D; 10 : B; 11 : A; 12 : C; 13 : B; 14 : A; 15 : D; 16 : D; 17 : C; 18 : C; 19 : B; 20 : A

Simple English Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers Pdf

Hi! my name’s Jena. One of the things I like best about school is my art class.  We have a great teacher named Mrs. Bradely.  She is a wonderful artist.  I love to watch her draw and paint.  She taught us how to mix paint to make just the right colors for our paintings.

She plays good music while we draw and paint.  We draw and paint almost every day in class.  Some days we look at pictures of other artists.  It is interesting to do this.  It helps me to think of things that I want to paint or draw.  We have an art exhibit in May this year.  Our work will be in one of the banks in our town. 

We are inviting people from the community to our exhibit.   Our parents are invited to go with us.  I have three paintings I am working on now.  I hope one of them will be chosen to be in the exhibit.  I like having a goal to work toward.

Comprehension Questions:

  • 1.  What is one of the favorite classes of Jena?
    • a.  math       
    • b.  reading
    • c.  art       
    • d.  music 
  • 2.  The author describes Mrs. Bradely as a _________.
    • a.  nice lady              
    • b.  wonderful artist
    • c.  sweet person      
    • d.  beautiful person
  • 3.  What did Mrs. Bradeley teach the class to do?
    • a.  bake chocolate cake   
    • b.  write great stories
    • c.  mix paint             
    • d.  do long division
  • 4.  Why does it help Jena to see the works of other artists?
    • a.  to learn to draw                   
    • b.  mix paint
    • c.  to think about what she wants to paint   
    • d.  none of these
  • 5.  Where will the art exhibit be?
    • a.  at the library      
    • b.  at one of the banks
    • c.  at the school      
    • d.  at one of the city parks
  •  6.  What does Jena hope will happen with her paintings?
    • a.  one of them will be sold
    • b.  one of them will be chosen for the exhibit
    • c.  one of them will be of her younger sister
    • d.  one of them will be lost

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