The Language Use question
Self study notes for Paper 2: Comprehension
What do I have to do?
Test your understanding of words, phrases,
sentences or expressions used in the passage.
Look into word associations and nuances* of
* nuances = a slight difference in expression or
Examples of Past Year’s Papers
1. What does the word “even” suggest about the
scholars‟ ignorance of its location?
2. Why does the author use the word “fly” in line 19
instead of “ride”?
Types of Irony
1. Verbal irony
2. Dramatic irony
3. Irony of situation
Irony #1 (verbal irony)
Use of language: words used by the writer are
clearly the opposite of what he really means.
“Oh! He was the most handsome man my mother
has ever introduced me to!”
(where the speaker is actually talking about an ugly
Irony #2 (Dramatic Irony)
A use of language which has an „inner‟ (superficial)
and „inner‟ meaning which only some readers are
For questions on irony dramatic irony:
you will have to point out both the superficial meaning, as
well as the secret meaning.
Examples from past year papers
Extract from the passage which was about the Titanic‟s maiden
“The captain planned to retire from his long career at the
completion of the Titanic‟s first journey … This marvellous
vessel he commanded was on her first voyage, while he,
ironically, was on his last …he went down with the ship.”
Question 5(b): The captain was “ironically” on his last
voyage. Explain fully what he means.
Answer: The captain was not only on his final voyage
in his career, but he was also on his last voyage,
figuratively speaking, because he was going to die
as a result of this voyage.
Irony #3 (irony of situation)
The way which situation is odd/absurd/amusing
because what actually happens is the opposite of
what might be expected to happen.
For the questions on irony of situation:
you will have to show that what actually happens is the
opposite of what is expected to happen.