Toasted English: NBSE class 9 English notes, questions, answers

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Get notes, questions, answers, and pdf of NBSE chapter 5 class 9 English Toasted English by R.K. Narayan. However, these solutions/answers are only for reference and should be modified or changed according to needs.


The author discusses how American English has evolved from British English and become more direct and informal. He calls this process “toasting” English.

In America, signs and instructions are more straightforward without complex formal language. For example, in parks the signs just say “Newly Planted, Don’t Walk” instead of wordy legalese like in Britain. The author notices on office doors in America they simply say “Do Not Enter” or “Keep Out.”

The author explains how Americans have created versatile keywords that can be used flexibly in many contexts. For instance, “check” can mean investigate, verify, a ticket, a check room, or checking in/out of a hotel. Another flexible American word is “fabulous” which can mean anything from a compliment to eccentric behavior.

Other examples are “OK” and “yeah.” The author says “yeah” is unique because it ends a sentence decisively without needing to add “sir” or “darling.” In contrast, “yes” can be prolonged with a hissing sound.

The author also compares English usage on a London bus to show differences. Conductors say “Thank you” politely instead of just demanding “Ticket.”

When a receptionist asks “Can I help you?” it implies you may be in the wrong place and should leave. Saying “Would you like to wait?” when making people wait gives the illusion of choice.

The author says English in India so far is mostly used in academic and official circles. Now it’s time for a distinctly “Bharat brand of English” to emerge in everyday life. It should maintain proper grammar but have a local Indian flavor.

The author suggests Indian English can achieve this without corrupting the language. It should be like the Madras handloom check shirt or Tirupati doll – following design rules while exhibiting Indian craftsmanship.

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Textual questions and answers

Multiple Choice Questions

1. The title of the story is an expression used…………

A. across the globe B. in Bharat C. in Britain D. in America

Answer: D. in America

2. The Americans abandoned various British things but could not abandon their………..

A. language B. culture C. ideas D. eating habits

Answer: A. language

3. In American English the use of a word is………….multi-dimensional than/as in British English.

A. less B. as C. more D. can’t really tell

Answer: C. more

4. ‘Ticket ticket’ will be heard on a/an………..bus while ‘Thank you’ will be heard on a/an………..bus.

A. British; American B. American; British C. British; Bharat D. Bharat; American

Answer: A. British; American

5. Bharat English will………….

i. honour the rules of the language ii. respect English grammar iii. leave an Indian stamp on the language iv. self sufficient

A. i, ii, and iv B. i, iii, and iv C. i, ii, and iii D. ii, iii, and iv

Answer: C. i, ii, and iii

Read and write

1. What does ‘toasted English’ refer to in American restaurants?

Answer: According to the author R.K. Narayan, ‘toasted English’ refers to English muffins which, though being made in America, now retain ‘English’ as a sort of concession to their origin.

2. What has happened as a result of the ‘toasting’ of English in America?

Answer: The result of ‘toasting’ of English in America has led to the abandonment of formalism surrounding the use of the English language.

3. How have the Americans simplified the language? Give examples.

Answer: The Americans prefer using shorter sentences that are to the point, leaving no room for ambiguity. Some examples of this are, instead of using passive voice on signboards, direct instructions are given like ‘Don’t enter’, ‘Newly painted’, ‘Don’t walk’, ‘Go’, etc.

4. What does the author mean by ‘the American National Expression’? Why does he say so?

Answer: ‘The American National Expression’ refers to the word ‘check’ which is used with multiple meanings. It can be used in different situations. Exaggerating the point, the author says that even if someone is ever hard up for a noun or a verb he may safely utter the word ‘check’ and feel confident that it will fit in.

5. The author approves and disapproves of American English in certain senses. Give examples to elaborate.

Answer: The author approves simplified instructions that Americans use, especially for signboards in public places and for motorists like the word ‘go’ as they can be easily followed without peering out and studying the notice. He, however, disapproves of the way American English disrespects the rule of law and the dignity of grammar when someone says something like ‘Wer U goin, man?’

6. How, according to the author, can the mongrelisation of English be prevented?

Answer: According to the author, the mongrelisation of English can be prevented by respecting the rule of law and maintaining the dignity of grammar.

7. How does the author visualise Bharat English?

Answer: The author, R.K. Narayan, envisions that Bharat English would respect the rule of law and maintain the dignity of grammar. He said that the Bharat brand would have to come to the dusty street, to the marketplace, under the banyan tree and have a swadeshi stamp on it unmistakably, like the Madras handloom check shirt or the Tirupati doll.

Think and Write

1. Humour is the quality of a literary or informative work that makes the characters and/or situations seem funny, amusing, or ridiculous. Do you appreciate the humour in this piece? Support your answer with examples.

Answer: Yes, I appreciate the humour in the essay. The author quite skillfully made his points clear to the readers in an amusing narrative that would have been completely the opposite in any other case. Several examples can be cited to show the humour in the piece, like Narayan referring to the American version of English as ‘toasted’ English, because though the Americans retained the English language after ousting the British, they modified it over time and made it their own. His exaggeration that one can safely say ‘check’ in any situation and believe that it would fit in is also a hilarious way of making the readers understand the wide use of the word to mean different things in different situations.

2. Do you agree with Narayan that we need a ‘Bharat’ brand of English? Why?

Answer: Yes, I do think we need a Bharat brand of English because English in India so far has had a comparatively confined existence in the country—chiefly in the halls of learning, justice, or administration. Now the time is ripe for it to come to the dusty street, to the marketplace, under the banyan tree. The English must adopt the complexion of our life and assimilate its idiom. Bharat English will respect the rule of law and maintain the dignity of grammar, but still have a swadeshi stamp on it unmistakably.

3. Give examples of Indian words that have been incorporated into the English dictionary.

Answer: Some of the English words that have been incorporated into the English dictionary are dhoti, hartal, guru, samosa, etc.

4. While using English for social or business communication, what skills should one master, according to you?

Answer: For effective use of English in social or business communication, mastering the following skills is essential:

  • Clarity and Conciseness: Communicate your ideas clearly and succinctly to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Proper Grammar and Vocabulary: Use correct grammar and an appropriate vocabulary to convey your message accurately.
  • Effective Listening: Active listening is crucial for understanding others and responding appropriately.
  • Cultural Awareness: Being aware of and sensitive to cultural differences can enhance communication and avoid misinterpretations.

Extra MCQs

1. What is referred to as ‘toasted English’ in American restaurants?

A. British muffins B. English muffins C. American muffins D. French toast

Answer: B. English muffins

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16. Who is the author of the essay?

A. Mark Twain B. R.K. Narayan C. J.K. Rowling D. Ernest Hemingway

Answer: B. R.K. Narayan

Extra Questions and Answers

1. What does the author mean by “toasted English” in the first paragraph?

Answer: The author refers to “toasted English” as a metaphorical representation of how the English language has been adapted and transformed in America, much like English muffins are toasted in American restaurants. This transformation involves shedding much of the formalism associated with the language’s British origins, allowing it to flourish and take on a distinct character in the American context.

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17. How does the author say Indian English should maintain the “dignity of grammar”?

Answer: The author suggests that while Indian English should adopt local color and assimilate Indian idioms, it must respect the rules of grammar and maintain the dignity of the language. This means that while it can reflect local nuances and cultural contexts, it should not devolve into a “mongrelization” of English but should uphold grammatical standards.

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