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NCERT Solutions Class 8 English honeydew Chapter 1 The Best Christmas Present in the World

NCERT Solutions Class 8 English honeydew Chapter 1 The Best Christmas Present in the World

Etutor Guru

21 Aug 2023

    Comprehension Check:- I

    Q. 1.  What did the author find in a junk shop?

    Ans.  A roll-top desk was discovered by the author in a trash store.

    Q. 2.  What did he find in a secret drawer ? Who do you think had put it in there ?

    Ans. In the hidden drawer, the author discovered a tiny black tin box. It was there because of Mrs. Macpherson.

    Comprehension check

    Q. 1.  Who had written the letter, to whom, and when ?

    Ans.The letter was addressed to Jim Macpherson’s wife, Mrs. Macpherson, also known as Connie. It was created on December 26th, 1914.

    Q. 2.  Why was the letter written – what was the wonderful thing that had happened ?

    Ans.  Captain Jim Macpherson described a wonderful event in a letter to his wife Mrs. Macpherson. German soldiers during the First World War made a friendly gesture.

    Q. 3.  What jobs did Hans Wolf and Jim Macpherson have when they were not soldiers ?

    Ans.  When they weren’t soldiers, Jim Macpherson taught school and Hans Wolf played the cello in the orchestra.

    Q. 4.  Had Hans Wolf even been to Dorset ? Why did he say he knew it ?

    Ans. He had not visited Dorset before. He was an expert on Dorset. He read books in English and at school to learn about it.

    Q. 5. Do you think Jim Macpherson came back from the war ? How do you know this ?

    Ans. Jim Macpherson, in my opinion, never returned from the war. The fact that Mrs. Macpherson was the only person home when it caught fire. Second, it was written on the tin box. “On January 15, 1915, I received Jim’s final letter. to accompany me in burial when the time comes. These words demonstrate that Jim never returned from the war.

    Comprehension check:-

    Q. 1. Why did the author go to Bridport ?

    Ans. The author returned Mrs. Macpherson’s letter by travelling to Bridport.

    Q. 2. How old was Mrs Macpherson now ? Where was she ?

    Ans. At this point, Mrs. Macpherson was 101 years old. She was currently residing at the Dorchester Road’s Burlington House Nursing Home.

    Comprehension check:-

    Q. 1.  Who did Connie Macpherson think her visitor was ?

    Ans. Jim Macpherson, Mrs. Macpherson’s husband, she believed to be the visitor.

    Q. 2.  Which sentence in the text shows that the visitor did not try to hide his identity ?

    Ans. The visitor did not attempt to conceal his identity as evidenced by the phrase, “I said I was a friend come to visit Mrs. Macpherson to bring her a Christmas present.”

    Working with the text :-

    Q. 1. For how long do you think Connie had kept Jim’s letter ? Give reasons for your answer.

    Ans. Jim’s letter had been kept by Connie until a fire broke out in their home. The desk where the letter was placed had scorch marks on it. This reveals how long Connie had kept that letter, roughly.

    Q. 2. Why do you think the desk had been sold, and when ?

    Ans. I believe Mrs. Macpherson sold the damaged desk to a junk dealer after the fire accident. In the fire, it was partially burned.

    Q. 3. Why do Jim and Hans think that games or sports are good ways of resolving conflicts? Do you agree?

    Ans.  Games and sports, according to Jim and Hans, are effective ways to settle disputes. They believe that no one dies during a match. There are no orphans. There are no widowed wives. These ideas have my full support.

    Q. 4.  Do you think the soldiers of the two armies are like each other, or different from each other ? Find evidence form the story to support your answer.

    Ans. Yes, the two armies’ soldiers are similar. They cherish peace. They want the war to be over quickly. They do not desire to murder one another. They exchanging “Merry Christmas” greetings.

    Q. 5.  Mention the various ways in which the British and the German soldiers become friends and find things in common at Christmas.

    Ans. German soldiers emerged from their trenches on Christmas morning, a white flag in hand. They were wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. The British soldiers gave the same cordial response. At the no man’s land, they mingled and enjoyed dancing, eating, and drinking.

    Q. 6.  What is Connie’s Christmas present ? Why is it “the best Christmas present in the world” ?

    Ans. Jim Macpherson’s letter to Connie was given to her as a Christmas present. She believed that her husband had personally delivered this letter. It is therefore “the best Christmas present in the world” in her opinion.

    Q. 7. Do you think the title of this story is suitable for it? Can you think of any other title (s) ?

    Ans. Yes, the story’s title is quite appropriate. The letter that Jim wrote from the front lines to his wife Connie is the central theme of the narrative. This letter is so precious to Connie that she keeps it in a tin box. She requests that this letter be interred with her when she passes away. This letter, in her opinion, is “the best Christmas gift in the world.” “Christmas Party” is another name for this tale.

    Working with the Language:-


    1 . Look at these sentences from the story.

      I spotted it in a junk shop in Bridport… The man said it was made in the early nineteenth century… This one was in a bad condition…

    The italicised verbs are in the past tense. They tell us what happened in the past, before now.

    (i) Read the passage below and underline the verbs in the past tense.

    A man got on the train and sat down. The compartment was empty except for one lady. She took her gloves off. A few hours later the police arrested the man. They held him for 24 hours and then freed him.

    Now look at these sentences.

       The veneer had lifted almost everywhere. Both fire and water had taken their toll on this desk.                 

    Notice the verb forms had lifted, had taken (their toll).

        The author found and bought the desk in the past.
    The desk was damaged before the author found it and bought it.
    Fire and water had damaged the desk before the author found it and bought it.

    • We use verb forms like had damaged for an event in the ‘earlier past’, If there are two events in the past, we use the ‘had…’ form for the event that occurred first in the past.
    • We also use the past perfect tense to show that something was wished for, or expected before a particular time in the past. For example, I had always wanted one…
    • Discuss with your partner the difference in meaning in sentences below.

     When I reached the station, the train left.

     When I reached the station, the train had left.

    Ans.  It means the train left the station in my presence. (Simple past tense)

    It means the train had already left. When I reached the station there was not the train for which I had come. (Past perfect tense)

    (ii) Fill in the blanks using the correct form of the verbs in brackets.

    My little sister is very naughty. When she ____  (come) back from school yesterday , she had (tear) her dress. We (ask) her how it had (happen). She ____ (say) she (have, quarrel) with a boy. She ____ ____ (have, beat) him in a race and he ____  (have, try) to push her. She ____ _____  (have, tell) the teacher and so he ____ _____  (have, chase) her  and she  _____ _____ (have, fall) down and _____ _____  (have, tear) her dress.

    Ans. My little sister is very naughty. When she came (come) back from school yesterday , she had torn (tear) her dress. We asked (ask) her how it had happened (happen). She said (say) she had quarrelled (have, quarrel) with a boy. She had beaten (have, beat) him in a race and he had tried (have, try) to push her. She had told (have, tell) the teacher and so he had chased (have, chase) her  and she had fallen (have, fall) down and had torn (have, tear) her dress.

    (iii) Underline the verbs and arrange them in two columns, Past and Earlier past.

    (a) My friends set out to see the caves in the next town, but I stayed at home, because I had seen them already.

    (b) When they arrived at the station, their train had left. They came back home, but by that time I had gone out to sec a movie!

    (c) So they sat outside and ate the lunch I had packed for them.

    (d) By the time I returned, they had fallen asleep!

    PastEarlier  past


    PastEarlier  past
    Set out, stayedHad seen
    Arrived, cameHad left, had gone
    Sat, ateHad packed
    ReturnedHad fallen

    2. Dictionary work

    By the end of the journey, we had run out of drinking water.

    Look at the verb run out of in this sentence. It is a phrasal verb: it has two parts, a verb and a preposition or an adverb. Phrasal verbs often have meanings that are different from the meanings of their parts.

    Find these phrasal verbs in the story.

    Burn out light up look on run out keep out

    Write down the sentences in which they occur. Consult a dictionary and write down the meaning that you think matches the meaning of the phrasal verb in the sentence.

    Ans.  Burn out : destroyed by fire : House no 15 turned out to he nothing but a burned  out shell.

    light up :  shone with happiness: That was the moment her eyes lit up with recognition.

    Look on : be spectator : Hans Wolf and I looked on and cheered.

    Run out : to disappear from the scene : The schnapps and the rum and the sausage had long since run out.

    Keep out : to be safe from something : Hans Wolf and I looked on and cheered, clapping our hands and stamping our feet, to keep out the cold.

    4. The table below contains a list of nouns and some adjectives. Use as many adjectives as you can to describe each noun. You might come up with some funny descriptions!

            Elephantcircular, striped, enormous, multicoloured, round, cheerful, wild, blue, red, chubby, large, medium-sized, cold

    Ans.  I saw an enormous wild chubby elephant.

    He has a round, cheerful, large , red face.

    It is a large multicoloured circular brick building.

    He saw blue cool pool water.


    1 . In groups discuss whether wars are a good way to end conflicts between countries. Then present your arguments to the whole class. 

    Ans. No, I don’t share the belief that starting wars is a good way to put an end to international disputes. A lot of people are killed and a lot of the universe is destroyed during war. The most affected are those who are not involved in the conflicts. People who are innocent are executed. To reduce them to derbies, their homes are bombed. Wars halt a nation’s progress and sometimes even set it back. Thus, at all costs, it should not be used to settle disputes between nations through war.

    2. What kind of presents do you like and why ? What are the things you keep in mind when you buy presents for others? Discuss with your partner. (For example, you might buy a book because it can be read and re-read over a period of time.)

    Ans. I believe that on special occasions, we should give our loved ones gifts that are truly lovely and dear to our hearts. A gift serves as a reminder of our cherished one. I always keep in mind the use of present in th


    1. Imagine that you are Jim. You have returned to your town after the war. In your diary record how you feel about the changes you see and the events that occur in your town. You could begin like this      

    25 December, 1919
    It’s Christmas today. But the town looks…


    Suppose you are the visitor. You are in a dilemma. You don’t know whether to disclose your identity and disappoint the old lady or let her believe that her dear Jim has come back. Write a letter to a friend highlighting your anxiety, fears and feelings.

    Ans.  25 December, 1919

    Even though it is Christmas today, the town seems depressed. For the previous five years, our nation had fought the Germans. Although we have won the war, it is sad that only our town has lost more than a thousand brave sons. My wife is overjoyed to see me alive and well. She believes that I was reborn for her. This conflict has left our town with severe wounds. Today, it seems to me that the only reason people are saying “Merry Christmas” is to honour the brave sons of their community.

    2. Given below is the outline of a story. Construct the story using the outline.

    A young, newly married doctor ______freedom fighter _______ exiled to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands by the British _______  infamous Cellular Jail ______prisoners tortured  ______revolt  by inmates  ______doctor hanged _____wife  waits for his return_______ becomes old _______ continues to wait with hope and faith.

    Ans.  A young, newly married doctor was a great freedom fighter. He was exiled to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands by the British. He was imprisoned in infamous Cellular Jail. Prisoners were tortured  here. Some of his inmates did revolt. The doctor was hanged till death. But his  wife dis not know anything about it. She waits for his return. She becomes old continues to wait with hope and faith that one day her husband will return.

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