NCERT Solutions for class 9th English Chapter 1 The Fun They Had


Que I. Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.

  1. How old are Margie and Tommy?
  2. What did Margie write in her diary?
  3. Had Margie ever seen a book before?
  4. What things about the book did she find strange?
  5. What do you think a telebook is?
  6. Where was Margie’s school? Did she have any classmates?
  7. What subjects did Margie and Tommy learn?


  1. Margie is eleven and Tommy is thirteen years old.
  2. Margie wrote in her diary. “Today 17 May, 2157 Tommy found a real book.”
  3. No, Margie had never seen a book before.
  4. The book had yellow and wrinkled pages. The words of the book were still. They did not move as the words moved on a computer screen. She found these things strange.
  5. A telebook is displayed on the television screen and the text of a telebook is similar to a book.
  6. Margie’s school has her own house. She did not have any classmates.
  7. Margie learned Geography and Mathematics, and Tommy learned History and Mathematics.

Que II. Answer the following with reference to the story.

1. ‘‘I wouldn’t throw it away.’’

(i) Who says these words?
(ii) What does ‘it’ refer to?
(iii) What is it being compared with by the speaker?

2. ‘‘Sure they had a teacher, but it wasn’t a regular teacher. It was a man.’’

(i) Who does ‘they’ refer to?
(ii) What does ‘regular’ mean here?
(iii) What is it contrasted with?

Ans. 1.

(i) Margie says these words.
(ii) It refers to the real book that Tommy found.
(iii) The speaker compares it with a telebook.


(i) ‘They’ refer to the people of the old times.
(ii) ‘Regular’ implies normal; of the usual kind.
(iii) It is contrasted with a mechanical teacher.

Que III. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words).

  1. What kind of teachers did Margie and Tommy have?
  2. Why did Margie’s mother send for the County Inspector?
  3. What did he do?
  4. Why was Margie doing badly in geography? What did the County Inspector do to help her?
  5. What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher?
  6. Did Margie have regular days and hours for school? If so, why?
  7. How does Tommy describe the old kind of school?
  8. How does he describe the old kind of teachers?

Ans. 1. Margie and Tommy had mechanical teachers. They were taught by computers and television screens. They didn’t have a human being who addressed the pupils in a classroom.

2. Margie’s mother sent for the County Inspector because the mechanical teacher was not functioning efficiently. It had been giving her test after test in Geography and she had been doing worse and worse.

3. He slowed the mechanical teacher up to an average ten-year level. The mechanical teacher’s speed was controlled and adjusted according to their IQ level of Margie.

4. Margie had been doing badly in Geography. This was because the mechanical teacher was very fast in displaying the questionnaire. The County Inspector adjusted its speed up to an average ten-year level. Thus the mechanical teacher’s speed was controlled appropriately. The County Inspector assured that the overall pattern of Margie’s progress was quite satisfactory.

5. Tommy’s teacher was taken away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked out completely. So Tommy had nothing to do during that period. He only relaxed and enjoyed.

6. Yes, Margie had regular days and hours for school because her mother said little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours.

7. Tommy says that the old schools were different. They had a special building and all the kids went there to study. They laughed and shouted in the schoolyard. They enjoyed life together and learned lessons together in a classroom.

8. He says that the old teachers did not live in the house. They had a special building and all the kids went there. They gave homework to students. They were not mechanical teachers but human beings.

Que IV. Answer each of these questions in two or three paragraphs (100–150 words).

  1. What are the main features of the mechanical teachers and the schoolrooms that Margie and Tommy have in the story?
  2. Why did Margie hate school? Why did she think the old kind of school must have been fun?
  3. Do you agree with Margie that schools today are more fun than the school in the story? Give reasons for your answer.

Ans. 1. Margie and Tommy have mechanical teachers. They need not go to school to get formal education. The mechanical teacher is placed in one of the rooms of the house and they can get knowledge of various subjects individually. They don’t have classrooms where students sit together. Their teacher has many telebooks. So they don’t require books and exercise books. The examination system is very different. They are to do homework in a different way. Margie had to write them out in a punch code they made her learn when she was six years old, and the mechanical teacher calculated the marks in no time. So the system of Margie’s education is technologically advanced and not based on printed books.

2. Margie hated school because she had a mechanical teacher. It was in her house. She was supposed to sit in that room alone to complete her homework or assignments. The part Margie hated most was the slot where she had to put homework and test papers. The mechanical teacher gave the best after the test in Geography and she had been doing worse. So she hated it more than ever. She thought that the old schools must have been fun because the students used to sit together in the classroom. They enjoyed, laughed, and shouted in the schoolyard. Children need a company to hone their skills. If they are isolated, they get depressed and dejected. Margie also felt alienated.

3. There is no doubt that today’s schools are more fun than the schools discussed in the story. This school has nothing but a mechanical teacher who has no emotions or sentiments. It does not have the ability to understand the psychology of a child. Moreover, it guides a pupil according to its adjusted modes. But today’s schools work for the overall development of a child. They are given training in leadership, sports, politics, and science. They learn how to adapt to the new surroundings and how to cope with strangers. The students sit and learn together forgetting their caste, color, and creed. These activities don’t give vent to the feelings of depression, animation, and segregation.


I. Adverbs

Read this sentence taken from the story: They had once taken Tommy’s teacher away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked out completely.

The word complete is an adjective. When you add -ly to it, it becomes an adverb.

1. Find the sentences in the lesson which have the adverbs given in the box below.

awfully sorrowfully completely loftily carefully differently nonchalantly

Ans. Sentences showing these

2. Now use these adverbs to fill in the blanks in the sentences below.

(i) The report must be read ____so that performance can be improved.

(ii) At the interview, Sameer answered our questions ____, shrugging his shoulders.

(iii) We all behave____ when we are tired or hungry.

(iv) The teacher shook her head____ when Ravi lied to her.

(v) I____ forgot about it.

(vi) When I complimented Revathi on her success, she just smiled____ and turned away.

(vii) The President of the Company is____ busy and will not be able to meet you.

(viii) I finished my work____ so that I could go out to play.

Ans. (i) loftily (ii) carefully (iii) differently (iv) sorrowfully (v) completely

(vi) nonchalantly (vii) awfully (viii) quickly


An adverb describes action. You can form adverbs by adding –ly to adjectives.
Spelling Note: When an adjective ends in –y, the y changes to i when you add –ly to form an adverb.
For example: angr–y → angr–i–ly

Que 3. Make adverbs from these adjectives.

(i) angry ___ (ii) happy ___ (iii) merry _ ___ (iv) sleepy ___ (v) easy ______ (vi) noisy ___ (vii) tidy ___ (viii) gloomy ___

Ans. (i) angry — angrily (ii) happy — happily (iii) merry — merrily (iv) sleepy — sleepily (v) easy — easily (vi) noisy — noisily (vii) tidy — tidily (viii) gloomy — gloomily

II. If not and Unless

  • Imagine that Margie’s mother told her, ‘‘You’ll feel awful if you don’t finish your history lesson.’’
  • She could also say: ‘‘You’ll feel awful unless you finish your history lesson.’’

Unless means if not. Sentences with unless or if not are negative conditional sentences.

Notice that these sentences have two parts. The part that begins with if not or unless tells us the condition. This part has a verb in the present tense (look at the verbs don’t finish, finish in the sentences above).
The other part of the sentence tells us about a possible result. It tells us what will happen (if something else doesn’t happen). The verb in this part of the sentence is in the future tense (you’ll feel/you will feel).

Notice these two tenses again in the following examples:

Complete the following conditional sentences. Use the correct form of the verb.

1. If I don’t go to Anu’s party tonight, ____

2. If you don’t telephone the hotel to order food, ____

3. Unless you promise to write back, I ____

4. If she doesn’t play any games, _____

5. Unless that little bird flies away quickly, the cat ____


  1. If I don’t go to Anu’s party tonight, she will get annoyed.
  2. If you don’t telephone the hotel to order food, you will have to go there for taking dinner.
  3. Unless you promise to write back, I shall keep requesting you.
  4. If she does not play any games, she will become lethargic and unfit.
  5. Unless that little bird flies away quickly, it will become a prey to the other animal.


A new revised volume of Issac Asimov’s short stories has just been released. Order one set. Write a letter to the publisher, Mindfame Private Limited, 1632 Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi, requesting that a set be sent to you by Value Payable Post (VPP), and giving your address. Your letter will have the following parts.

  • Addresses of the sender and receiver
  • The salutation
  • The body of the letter
  • The closing phrases and signature

Q. Your letter might look like this:

Date __(DD/MM/YY)
The Addressee’s address

Dear Sir/Madam,

________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________

Yours sincerely

Remember that the language of a formal letter is different from the colloquial style of personal letters. For example, contracted forms such as ‘I’ve’ or ‘can’t’ are not used.


516, Sec. 15
Panipat 11th Oct, 20××
M/s Mindfame Private Ltd.
1632, Asaf Ali Road
New Delhi


It is a well-known fact that a new revised volume of Issac Asimov’s short stories has just been released. You are requested to send one set of this volume as early as possible to the address given above.

Yours faithfully
Rahim Khan Encl:

1. A DD for ` 2000/- (State Bank of India DD No. 131205 payable at New Delhi.


Que. In groups of four discuss the following topic.

‘The Schools of the Future Will Have No Books and No Teachers!’

Your group can decide to speak for or against the motion. After this, each group will select a speaker to present its views to the entire class.

You may find the following phrases useful to present your argument in the debate.

  • In my opinion …..
  • I/we fail to understand why …..
  • I wholeheartedly support/oppose the view that …..
  • At the outset let me say …..
  • I’d/we’d like to raise the issue of/argue against …..
  • I should like to draw attention to …..
  • My/our worthy opponent has submitted that …..
  • On the contrary …..
  • I firmly reject …..

Ans. ‘The Schools of the Future Will Have No Books and No Teachers!’

In favor of the motion:

The schools of the future will have no books and no teachers because of the

  1. emerging computer and digital technologies.
  2. widespread availability of Internet links.
  3. innovative educational and application software.
  4. parents attitudinal changes.
  5. non-availability of skilled, competent, and experienced teachers.
  6. considerable emphasis on vocational courses.
  7. pupils’ broader perspective.
  8. modern and latest electronic gadgets.
  9. ingenious invention of educational CDs and TV programs.
  10. excessive wastage of stationery.

Against the motion:

The schools of the future will have no books because

  1. the modern students will have become the slaves of machines.
  2. the teachers will have been replaced by mechanical instructors.
  3. the educationist will not intend to teach the students humanity and ethics.
  4. the modern man will have become materialistic and commercial.
  5. human beings will have no sentiments or human values.
  6. the students will have become arrogant and indisciplined.
  7. the future of posterity is in the dark.
  8. the students will have no respect for their parents, elders, and peers.
  9. the feelings of fraternity will have gone.
  10. the harmonious growth of a child will have no significance.

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