English Language BECE 2008

April 2008
45 minutes

Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions which follow

Since the building of the District Hospital at Kpota, there had sprung up some residential structures around the hospital. One particular cluster of houses took the fancy of Mr. Akpaloo, who told himself that if ever he wanted to build a house, it would be like one of those.

When Mr Akpaloo thought he was ready to put up his own building, one of the things he did was to look for the plan of the house that he so admired. He went to the office of Dr. Agbetor, the Hospital Administrator to ask for it. Dr. Agbetor explained that those houses in which Mr. Akpaloo was interested had actually been built by Dr. Grant who still had the blueprint of the structure. Obviously, the person to see was Dr. Grant.

Mr. Akpaloo went and saw Dr. Grant in his magnificent house at Tokoe. The latter explained that it was not prudent to give out the plan that had been specifically designed for those projects. However, he advised Mr. Akpaloo to go to the site and see the caretaker who would show him the rooms. Mr Akpaloo could then make a sketch of the building.

To the site Mr. Akpaloo went. When he arrived, the caretaker took him round. What had looked like a two-bedroom house from afar, was at close quarters, a four-bedroom affair. The difference that distance can make!

1. When were the residential structures built at Kpota?

A. When the hospital was begun.
B. Long before the hospital was started.
C. After the hospital had been built.
D. They were built together with the hospital.

2. Dr. Grant did not give the plan to Mr Akpaloo because

A. the houses belonged to him.
B. Mr Akpaloo can make a design for himself.
C. it was not a wise thing to do.
D. the caretaker had the plan.

3. What did Mr. Akpaloo do when he was ready to build a house? He

A. made a sketch of the building
B. sent a plan to Dr. Grant
C. looked for the plan of the house
D. made sure he had enough money

4. The word magnificent means

A. massive
B. beautiful
C. good
D. expensive

5. … One particular cluster of houses took the fancy of Mr. Akpaloo ….. This means Mr. Akpaloo

A. laughed at the houses
B. was confused by the houses
C. found the house attractive
D. detested the houses


One day a poor fishermen went fishing and caught nothing. He was just about to go home when he felt the net suddenly grow heavy. He thought he had caught a large fish. But when he dragged it ashore, he found only a heavy copper pot sealed with lead. He took it and feeling sure it contained something valuable, he took his knife, cut the lead top and turned it upside down. For a moment nothing came out; and then it started to smoke, and this smoke slowly rose right up to the sky like a thick fog. It suddenly turned into a huge genie.
‘Bow down’ said the genie ‘and let me kill you’.
‘Why?’ asked the fisherman. ‘Have you forgotten that I set you free?’
‘Yes, but I have sworn to kill you’, said the genie. ‘I’m a spirit that rebelled against the Creator, and to punish me he shut me up in this copper pot. During the first century of my captivity, I swore to make anyone who freed me rich. During my second century, I swore I would grant him any three things. But after these centuries, in anger I swore to kill my liberator without mercy’.
‘Well, die I must’, said the fisherman, ‘but swear that you really were in that pot. It is too small to hold even your little finger. Unless I see it, I shall not believe it.’
‘See then and believe’ said the genie.
He slowly changed back into smoke and entered the pot. The fishermen immediately put back the lead cover and threw it into the sea.

6. According to the passage, the fisherman caught

A. a pot of gold
B. a lead pot
C. a big fish
D. no fish

7. What is the genie?

A. A big fish
B. A copper pot
C. Smoke
D. A spirit

8. The word captivity in the passage, means

A. loss
B. birth
C. imprisonment
D. defeat

9. How many times did the genie swear?

A. Once
B. Twice
C. Three times
D. Four times

10. According to the passage, the

A. fisherman freed himself
B. fisherman killed the genie
C. genie made many people rich
D. genie saved the fisherman from troubles

Choose from the alternatives lettered A to D the one which is nearest in meaning to the underlined word in each sentence

11. Ama was persuaded by her brother to change her course.

A. convinced
B. commanded
C. told
D. advised

12. The talented footballer scored three goals.

A. trained
B. serious
C. gifted
D. skilled

13. Araba was saddened because she failed to win the beauty contest.

A. furious
B. amazed
C. excited
D. sorrowful

14. Charles behaved in an unruly manner towards his teacher.

A. impolite
B. strange
C. indecent
D. wicked

15. My mother is very enthusiastic about my success.

A. anxious
B. frank
C. aware
D. hopeful

In each of the following sentences a group of words has been underlined. Choose from the alternatives lettered A to D the one that best explains the underlined words.

16. The accused died without clearing his name. This means, the man did not

A. prove his innocence
B. erase his name
C. make a will
D. prove his case

17. The teacher advised us to go over our work before submitting them. This means the teacher asked us to ……….our work.

A. rewrite
B. remember
C. repeat
D. review

18. You don’t have to be so high and mighty about your own opinion. This means

A. positive
B. confused
C. strong
D. arrogant

19. Mr. Ala urged Peter and Paul to mend their fences. This means Peter and Paul should

A. repair their broken fences
B. make peace
C. be careful
D. defend themselves

20. He was asked not to attend the party but he turned a deaf ear to the advice. This means that he ……..the advice.

A. did not hear
B. laugh at
C. was angry at
D. ignored

From the list of words lettered A to D, choose the one that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word underlined in each sentence

21. Everyone knows Musa to be very generous.

A. stingy
B. selfish
C. strict
D. serious

22. The headmaster rebuked the students who came in late.

A. admitted
B. praised
C. admired
D. embraced

23. Naa answered the questions with confidence.

A. joy
B. firmness
C. timidity
D. uncertainty

24. Judges are expected to be impartial.

A. biased
B. proud
C. disrespectful
D. bold

25. Our father advised us not to exalt ourselves.

A. humble
B. raise
C. decorative
D. train

From the alternatives lettered A to D, choose the one which most suitably completes each sentence.

26. I promised my parents that I ……..study very hard.

A. would
B. should
C. will
D. can

27. If Kofi ………me, I would have helped him.

A. had asked
B. asks
C. has asked
D. asked

28. Let’s leave now, Akosua, ………….?

A. may we
B. can we
C. must we
D. shall we

29. Adjo is …………young to marry.

A. so
B. very
C. too
D. much

30. Give that book of ………….to Mansah.

A. their
B. yours
C. my
D. your’s

31. ……………the warning of the weatherman, the fishermen went to sea.

A. In spite of
B. Apart from
C. In case of
D. Instead of

32. We’ve been living here …………2001.

A. since
B. by
C. in
D. for

33. Kofi told the court that he had met the suspect two days…………

A. before
B. ago
C. now
D. then

34. Kwame has been accused …………stealing the money.

A. with
B. for
C. of
D. on

35. This is the man …………I met at the bus stop.

A. who
B. whose
C. whom
D. which

36. My friend is good ………….English.

A. on
B. at
C. for
D. with

37. I hear the programme was interesting; I wish I ……..there.

A. am
B. were
C. was
D. have been

38. Our pastor is now the ……….senior of the pastors in the church.

A. much
B. more
C. most
D. far

39. I prefer oranges ………….mangoes.

A. to
B. than
C. against
D. from

40. I hope the team ……………..perform better next year.

A. would
B. will
C. should
D. shall