The Proposal – NCERT Solutions

Q. What does Chubukov at first suspect that Lomov has come for? Is he sincere when he later says, “And I’ve always loved you, my angel, as if you were my own son”? Find reasons for your answer from the play.

Ans. Chubukov at first suspects that Lomov has come to borrow money. But when he tells the real purpose of his visit, Chubukov says that he has always loved him as if he were his own son. He is not sincere in saying this. Later when there is a controversy over Oxen Meadows and their dogs, he calls Lomov all sorts of names.

Q. Chubukov says of Natalya, “… as if she won’t consent! She’s in love; egad, she’s like a love-sick cat …” would you agree? Find reasons for your answer.

Ans. Natalya is not in love with Lomov. This is borne out by her hot arguments with Lomov over the ownership of Oxen Meadows and the superiority of their respective dogs. But when she learns from her father that Lomov had come with a marriage proposal, she asks her father to bring him back. The reason is that she is desperate for marriage. Chubukov asks her to talk to Lomov herself.

Q. Find all the words and expressions in the play that the characters use to speak about each other, and the accusations and insults they hurl at each other. (For example, Lomov in the end calls Chubukov an intriguer; but earlier, Chubukov has himself called Lomov a “malicious, doublefaced intriguer.” Again, Lomov begins by describing Natalya as “an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated.”)


  • Natalya calls Lomov: backbiter, rascal, dishonest, monster.
  • Lomov calls Natalya: excellent housekeeper, not badlooking, well-educated.
  • Chubukov calls Lomov: the villain, the scarecrow, the blind hen, the turnip ghost, the stuffed sausage, wizen faced frump, double-faced intriguer, pup, old rat, Jesuit, milksop, fool.
  • Lomov calls Chubukov: intriguer, grabber, backbiter.

Q. Then think of five adjectives or adjectival expressions of your own to describe each character in the play.


  • Natalya: argumentative, talkative, rude, well-educated, not bad looking.
  • Lomov: possessive, talkative, rich, sick, assertive.
  • Chubukov: ill-tempered, money-minded, abusive, quarrelsome, insensitive.

Q. Can you imagine what these characters will quarrel about next?

Ans. These characters might quarrel next about their houses.

Q. Read through the play carefully, and find expressions that you think are not used in contemporary English, and contrast these with idiomatic modern English expressions that also occur in the play.


  • You must excuse my apron and neglige.
  • Double-faced intriguer.
  • The stuffed sausage.
  • What a weight off my shoulder, ouf.
  • We are shelling peas for drying.

Q. Look up the following words in a dictionary and find out how to pronounce them. Pay attention to how many syllables there are in each word, and find out which syllable is stressed, or said more forcefully.

palpitations, interfere, implore, thoroughbred, pedigree, principle, evidence, misfortune, malicious, embezzlement, architect, neighbours, accustomed, temporary, behaviour, documents

Answer (Word – Stress on Syllable)

  • palpitations – palp-‘itations (four)
  • interfere – in-ter-‘fere (three)
  • implore- im-‘plore (two)
  • thoroughbred – ‘thorough-bred (three)
  • pedigree – ‘pe-di-gree (three)
  • principle – ‘princi-ple (three)
  • evidence – ‘evi-dence (three)
  • misfortune – mis-‘for-tune (three)
  • malicious – ma’-li-cious (three)
  • embezzlement – em‘-‘bezz’-lement (three)
  • architect – arch’-i-tect (three)
  • neighbours – ‘nei-bours (two)
  • accustomed – a-‘ccust-med (three)
  • temporary – ‘tempo-rary (four)
  • behaviour – beha’v-iour (three)
  • documents – ‘doc-u-ments (three)

Q. Look up the following phrases in a dictionary to find out their meaning, and then use each in a sentence of your own.

  1. You may take it that
  2. He seems to be coming round
  3. My foot’s gone to sleep


  1. suppose, assume; You may take it that he won’t come to the party.
  2. to come to senses; He seems to be coming round after the accident.
  3. be numb; My foot’s gone to sleep after sitting in the same position for more than an hour.

Q. You must have noticed that when we report someone’s exact words, we have to make some changes in the sentence structure. In the following sentences fill in the blanks to list the changes that have occurred in the above pairs of sentences.

  1. To report a question, we use the reporting verb asked (as in Sentence Set 1).
  2. To report a declaration, we use the reporting verb__________. 3.
  3. The adverb of place here changes to __________ . 4.
  4. When the verb in direct speech is in the present tense, the verb in reported speech is in the __________ tense (as in Sentence Set 3).
  5. If the verb in direct speech is in the present continuous tense, the verb in reported speech changes to __________ tense. For example, __________ changes to was getting.
  6. When the sentence in direct speech contains a word denoting respect, we add the adverb __________ in the reporting clause (as in Sentence Set 1).
  7. The pronouns I, me, our and mine, which are used in the first person in direct speech, change according to the subject or object of the reporting verb such as __________ , __________ , __________ or __________ in reported speech.


  1. asked
  2. declared [as in sentence 5]
  3. there [as in sentence 3]
  4. past
  5. past continuous
  6. respectfully
  7. he/she, him/her, their, his/hers

Q. Here is an excerpt from an article from the Times of India dated 27 August 2006. Rewrite it, changing the sentences in direct speech into reported speech. Leave the other sentences unchanged.

“Why do you want to know my age? If people know I am so old, I won’t get work!” laughs 90-year-old A.K. Hangal, one of Hindi cinema’s most famous character actors. For his age, he is rather energetic. “What’s the secret?” we ask. “My intake of everything is in small quantities. And I walk a lot,” he replies. “I joined the industry when people retire. I was in my 40s. So I don’t miss being called a star. I am still respected and given work, when actors of my age are living in poverty and without work. I don’t have any complaints,” he says, adding, “but yes, I have always been underpaid.” Recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Hangal never hankered after money or materialistic gains. “No doubt I am content today, but money is important. I was a fool not to understand the value of money earlier,” he regrets.


Ninety-year-old A.K. Hangal, one of the Hindi cinema’s most famous character actors, asks laughingly why we want to know his age. He says if people know he is so old he won’t get any work. For his age he is rather energetic. We ask what the secret is behind his health. He replies that his intake of everything is in very small quantities. And he walks a lot. He further says that he joined the industry when people retire. He was in his forties. So he doesn’t miss being called a star. He is still respected and given work. He tells that when actors of his age are living in poverty and without work, he doesn’t have any complaints. He adds that he has always been underpaid. Recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Hangal never hankered after money or materialistic gains. He regrets that he was a fool not to understand the value of money earlier. No doubt he is content today but he regrets that he did not understand the value of money earlier.

Q. Anger Management: As adults, one important thing to learn is how to manage our temper. Some of us tend to get angry quickly, while others remain calm. Can you think of three ill effects that result from anger? Note them down. Suggest ways to avoid losing your temper in such situations. Are there any benefits from anger?

Ans. Anger affects our health adversely. It increases our blood pressure. The person becomes a victim of many heart diseases. We may lend ourselves in a unpleasant situation because of getting angry: We should remain calm and composed. No, it does not have benefit.

Q. In groups, discuss the qualities one should look for in a marriage partner. You might consider the following points.

  • Personal qualities
    • Appearance or looks
    • Attitudes and beliefs
    • Sense of humour
  • Value system
    • Compassion and kindness
    • Tolerance, ambition
    • Attitude to money and wealth
  • Educational and Professional background

Ans. Marriage is the most important decision of one’s life. The partner or the soulmate has to be someone who makes your life smooth. The two souls have to be of similar mindset and values. Any conflict of ideas, views or ambition may make the life hell for both the partners. While selecting a partner one should look for professional background, education, attitude and beliefs and above all the value system.

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