Common Core: 8th Grade English Language Arts : Language

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Common Core: 8th Grade English Language Arts

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All Common Core: 8th Grade English Language Arts Resources

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Use Correct Spelling: Ccss.Ela Literacy.L.8.2.C

Select the word that is spelled correctly. 

Possible Answers:

iritate 

suspicious

teliscope

artacle

Correct answer:

suspicious

Explanation:

The word that is spelled correctly is "suspicious". The incorrectly spelled words and the corrections are as follows:

artacle  article  

iritate  irritate 

teliscope  telescope  

Example Question #2 : Use Correct Spelling: Ccss.Ela Literacy.L.8.2.C

Select the word that is spelled correctly. 

Possible Answers:

begining

acuracy 

outrageous

acess 

Correct answer:

outrageous

Explanation:

The word that is spelled correctly is "outrageous". The incorrectly spelled words and the corrections are as follows:

begining   beginning   

acuracy   accuracy  

acess    access  

Example Question #3 : Use Correct Spelling: Ccss.Ela Literacy.L.8.2.C

Select the word that is spelled correctly. 

Possible Answers:

unatural

pervention

miracle

symetrical 

Correct answer:

miracle

Explanation:

The word that is spelled correctly is "miracle". The incorrectly spelled words and the corrections are as follows:

unatural  unnatural  

pervention  prevention 

symetrical  symmetrical  

Example Question #1 : Use Context Clues To Determine Word Meanings: Ccss.Ela Literacy.L.8.4.A

Select a word that could replace the underlined word, without changing the meaning of the provided sentence. 

Jessica was so pleased that her parents were taking her to Florida. 

Possible Answers:

devastated

delighted 

sad

fearful 

Correct answer:

delighted 

Explanation:

In order to avoid changing the meaning of the sentence, we need to replace the underlined word with a synonym. 

"Pleased" means to be happy about. Of the choices provided, "delighted" means the same thing as "pleased" and "happy". 

"Sad", "devastated", and "fearful" are all antonyms of "pleased", they mean the opposite of being happy. 

Example Question #1 : Meanings Of Unknown And Multiple Meaning Words And Phrases: Ccss.Ela Literacy.L.8.4

Select a word that could replace the underlined word, without changing the meaning of the provided sentence. 

Tim was fearful about his first day at his new job. 

Possible Answers:

confident 

encouraged 

anxious 

excited

Correct answer:

anxious 

Explanation:

In order to avoid changing the meaning of the sentence, we need to replace the underlined word with a synonym. 

Both "fearful" and "anxious" mean to be scared. 

"Excited", "confident", and "encouraged" are all antonyms of scared, they mean to feel comfortable or happy. 

Example Question #51 : Common Core: 8th Grade English Language Arts

Select a word that could replace the underlined word, without changing the meaning of the provided sentence. 

Kelly was so drained from staying up late at the sleepover. 

Possible Answers:

drowsy 

rested

energized 

activated 

Correct answer:

drowsy 

Explanation:

In order to avoid changing the meaning of the sentence, we need to replace the underlined word with a synonym. 

"Drained" and "drowsy" both mean to be tired. "Energized", "activated", and "rested" are all antonyms, they all mean to be awake. 

Example Question #4 : Language

Adapted from "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe (1846)

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitively settled — but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity1. A wrong is unredressed2 when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation3.

He had a weak point — this Fortunato — although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself upon his connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity, to practice imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires. In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially; — I was skillful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.

It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand.

I said to him — “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking today. But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts.”

“How?” said he. “Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!”

“I have my doubts,” I replied; “and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.”

“Amontillado!”

“I have my doubts.”

“Amontillado!” 

“And I must satisfy them.”

“Amontillado!”

“As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchresi. If any one has a critical turn it is he. He will tell me ——”

“Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry4.”

“And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for your own.”

“Come, let us go.”

“Whither?”

“To your vaults.”

 

1. "Impunity," n. immunity from punishment
2. The verb "redress," not directly used in the passage, means to amend or rectify a wrong
3. "Immolation," n. utter destruction, esp. that of a sacrificial victim by being burned
4. "Sherry," n. a type of fortified wine

In the sixth paragraph, the underlined and bolded word "pipe" most nearly means __________.

Possible Answers:

an instrument used for smoking tobacco

a song played in a high octave

a musical instrument

a wine cask of specific size

a conduit used to conduct liquids or gasses over large distances

Correct answer:

a wine cask of specific size

Explanation:

We'll need to use context clues to figure out what the author means when he uses the word "pipe." Don't jump to conclusions and pick the most familiar answer choice without considering the word in the passage. Make sure to find it in the paragraph indicated and consider it's specific context—that is, the words and sentences around it—before picking your answer choice.

The context in which the word "pipe" appears is as follows:

I said to him — “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking today. But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts.”

“How?” said he. “Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!”

We can tell from this exchange that "pipe" is being used as a noun that indicates some sort of unit or container of amontillado. Music and songs aren't mentioned at all, so neither "a musical instrument" nor "a song played in a high octave" is correct. "Pipe" might often be used to mean "a conduit used to conduct liquids or gasses over large distances," but that's not how it's being used here. It indicates a definite amount of amontillado, not a conduit through which a non-definite amount of something might travel. Furthermore, "an instrument used for smoking tobacco" is also another common use of the word "pipe," but we can figure out that this isn't the correct answer by noting that "amontillado" is closely compared with "sherry" when Fortunato insults Luchresi by saying, "Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry." "Sherry," the footnotes inform us, is a type of fortified wine, so "amontillado" must be something very similar to a type of fortified wine. We can infer that it is most likely also a liquid, so "an instrument used for smoking tobacco" can't be correct, because it would at least need to deal with something solid, not liquid. The correct answer is "a wine cask of specific size." This captures the "unit of measurement" aspect as well as the fact that it has to do with a liquid.

Example Question #1 : Use Context Clues To Determine Word Meanings: Ccss.Ela Literacy.L.8.4.A

Adapted from "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe (1846)

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitively settled — but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity1. A wrong is unredressed2 when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation3.

He had a weak point — this Fortunato — although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself upon his connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity, to practice imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires. In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially; — I was skillful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.

It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand.

I said to him — “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking today. But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts.”

“How?” said he. “Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!”

“I have my doubts,” I replied; “and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.”

“Amontillado!”

“I have my doubts.”

“Amontillado!” 

“And I must satisfy them.”

“Amontillado!”

“As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchresi. If any one has a critical turn it is he. He will tell me ——”

“Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry4.”

“And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for your own.”

“Come, let us go.”

“Whither?”

“To your vaults.”

 

1. "Impunity," n. immunity from punishment
2. The verb "redress," not directly used in the passage, means to amend or rectify a wrong
3. "Immolation," n. utter destruction, esp. that of a sacrificial victim by being burned
4. "Sherry," n. a type of fortified wine

Based on the passage, which of the following is closest to the meaning of "amontillado"?

Possible Answers:

A rare variety of ancient painting

A small sculpture carved out of ice

A type of poem with a very specific rhyme scheme

A fruit that has historically been particularly expensive in Italy

A valuable type of wine

Correct answer:

A valuable type of wine

Explanation:

"Amontillado" is an important word to understand in this story. It appears in the title, and the characters spend a lot of their dialogue discussing it. So, what is it? We'll have to use context clues to figure this out.

Not counting the title, when is amontillado first mentioned in the story? The narrator—whom we know to be out to get revenge on Fortunato, since he's directly told us this—meets Fortunato at the carnival and says "But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts." Fortunato is flabbergasted at this news. ("Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!") The narrator mentions that he "was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter." Why would the narrator want to consult Forunato about amontillado? What do we know about Fortunato's expertise? We're told earlier that Fortunato "prided himself upon his connoisseurship in wine" and that "In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of old wines he was sincere." Ok, so maybe amontillado has something to do with wine. Let's read on.

As the two characters continue to talk, the narrator says, “As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchresi. If any one has a critical turn it is he. He will tell me ——” At this point Fortunato interrupts, saying, “Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry4.” Aha! This is a useful comparison for our purposes. The gist of Fortunato's statement is "Luchresi isn't that smart. He can't tell apart amontillado and sherry." This tells us that amontillado must necessarily be quite similar to sherry, or it wouldn't be a demonstration of how skilled and smart you are to be able to tell them apart. The footnotes tell us that "sherry" is a type of fortified wine. So, it turns out that our initial hypothesis was correct—amontillado must be a type of wine, or something very like wine. Given this, the best answer choice—and the correct one—is "a valuable type of wine."

Example Question #1 : Use Context Clues To Determine Word Meanings: Ccss.Ela Literacy.L.8.4.A

Adapted from "Save the Redwoods" by John Muir in Sierra Club Bulletin Volume XI Number 1 (January 1920)

Forty-seven years ago one of these Calaveras King Sequoias was laboriously cut down, that the stump might be had for a dancing-floor. Another, one of the finest in the grove, was skinned alive to a height of one hundred and sixteen feet and the bark sent to London to show how fine and big that Calaveras tree was—as sensible a scheme as skinning our great men would be to prove their greatness. Now some millmen want to cut all the Calaveras trees into lumber and money. No doubt these trees would make good lumber after passing through a sawmill, as George Washington after passing through the hands of a French cook would have made good food. But both for Washington and the tree that bears his name higher uses have been found.

Could one of these Sequoia Kings come to town in all its godlike majesty so as to be strikingly seen and allowed to plead its own cause, there would never again be any lack of defenders. And the same may be said of all the other Sequoia groves and forests of the Sierra with their companions and the noble Sequoia sempervirens, or redwood, of the coast mountains.

In these noble groves and forests to the southward of the Calaveras Grove the axe and saw have long been busy, and thousands of the finest Sequoias have been felled, blasted into manageable dimensions, and sawed into lumber by methods destructive almost beyond belief, while fires have spread still wider and more lamentable ruin. In the course of my explorations twenty-five years ago, I found five sawmills located on or near the lower margin of the Sequoia belt, all of which were cutting more or less [Sequoia gigantea] lumber, which looks like the redwood of the coast, and was sold as redwood. One of the smallest of these mills in the season of 1874 sawed two million feet of Sequoia lumber. Since that time other mills have been built among the Sequoias, notably the large ones on Kings River and the head of the Fresno. The destruction of these grand trees is still going on. On the other hand, the Calaveras Grove for forty years has been faithfully protected by Mr. Sperry, and with the exception of the two trees mentioned above is still in primeval beauty. For the thousands of acres of Sequoia forest outside of reservations and national parks, and in the hands of lumbermen, no help is in sight. 

Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot defend themselves or run away. And few destroyers of trees ever plant any; nor can planting avail much toward restoring our grand aboriginal giants. It took more than three thousand years to make some of the oldest of the Sequoias, trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing in the mighty forests of the Sierra.

Based on the rest of the passage, which of the following is closest in meaning to the underlined word "millmen" in meaning?

Possible Answers:

environmentalists

lumberjacks

politicians

farmers

scientists

Correct answer:

lumberjacks

Explanation:

We need to consider the overall topics discussed in the passage to figure out what the author means by "millmen." In what part of the passage is this word found?

Now some millmen want to cut all the Calaveras trees into lumber and money. No doubt these trees would make good lumber after passing through a sawmill, as George Washington after passing through the hands of a French cook would have made good food. But both for Washington and the tree that bears his name higher uses have been found.

Here, we're told that these "millmen" want to "cut" the Sequoia trees "into lumber and money." The author then offers a concession, stating that "No doubt these trees would make good lumber after passing through a sawmill." (He then upends that concession by using a comparison to make its claim look utterly ridiculous.) The important part of this sentence for us is that the author is discussing lumber and sawmills. The "mills" in "millmen" are "sawmills," so "millmen" are the people who operate and work at a sawmill. This meaning is closest to that of "lumberjacks."

Example Question #2 : Use Context Clues To Determine Word Meanings: Ccss.Ela Literacy.L.8.4.A

Adapted from “Feathers of Sea Birds and Wild Fowl for Bedding” from The Utility of Birds by Edward Forbush (ed. 1922)

In the colder countries of the world, the feathers and down of waterfowl have been in great demand for centuries. These materials have been used as filling for beds and pillows. Such feathers are perfect insulators of heat, and beds, pillows, or coverlets filled with them represent the acme of comfort and durability. 

The early settlers of New England saved for such purposes the feathers and down from the thousands of wild-fowl which they killed, but as the population of people increased, the quantity of feathers furnished in this manner became insufficient, and the people sought a larger supply in the vast colonies of ducks and geese along the Labrador coast. 

The manner in which the feathers and down were obtained, unlike the method practiced in Iceland, did not tend to conserve and protect the source of supply. In Iceland, the people have continued to receive for many years a considerable income by collecting eider down (the small, fluffy feathers of eider ducks), but there they do not “kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.” Ducks line their nests with down plucked from their own breasts and that of the eider is particularly valuable for bedding. In Iceland, these birds are so carefully protected that they have become as tame and unsuspicious as domestic fowls In North America. Where they are constantly hunted they often conceal their nests in the midst of weeds or bushes, but in Iceland, they make their nests and deposit their eggs in holes dug for them in the sod. A supply of the ducks is maintained so that the people derive from them an annual income.

In North America, quite a different policy was pursued. The demand for feathers became so great in the New England colonies during the middle of the eighteenth century that vessels were sent to Labrador for the express purpose of securing the feathers and down of wild fowl. Eider down having become valuable and these ducks being in the habit of congregating by thousands on barren islands of the Labrador coast, the birds became the victims of the ships’ crews. As the ducks molt all their primary feathers at once in July or August and are then quite incapable of flight and the young birds are unable to fly until well grown, the hunters were able to surround the helpless birds, drive them together, and kill them with clubs. Otis says that millions of wildfowl were thus destroyed and that in a few years their haunts were so broken up by this wholesale slaughter and their numbers were so diminished that feather voyages became unprofitable and were given up. 

This practice, followed by the almost continual egging, clubbing, shooting, etc. by Labrador fishermen, may have been a chief factor in the extinction of the Labrador duck. No doubt had the eider duck been restricted in its breeding range to the islands of Labrador, it also would have been exterminated long ago.

Based on the context in which it is used, what is the most likely meaning of the underlined word “egging” in the passage’s last paragraph?

Possible Answers:

The laying of eggs

The act of throwing eggs at a target

The gathering and removing of eggs

The encouraging of someone

The hatching of eggs

Correct answer:

The gathering and removing of eggs

Explanation:

The word “egging” appears in the following sentence in the passage:

This practice, followed by the almost continual egging, clubbing, shooting, etc. by Labrador fishermen, may have been a chief factor in the extinction of the Labrador duck.

The word “egging” is here clearly describing something with a bad connotation, as it appears in parallel with “clubbing” and “shooting.” We can infer that it must mean doing something to hurt the ducks, as “clubbing” and “shooting” have that in common. This lets us discard the answer choices “the laying of eggs” and “the hatching of eggs.” These wouldn’t hurt the ducks, and at any rate, ducks lay their own eggs and then those eggs hatch; neither answer choice makes sense when used to describe something humans could do to duck eggs. While to “egg someone on” can mean to encourage that person, that is not the meaning that is being used in the passage, so we can ignore this answer choice as well. This leaves us with “the act of throwing eggs at a target” and “the destruction of eggs.” Nothing suggests that the eggs are being thrown at the ducks, so the better answer choice is the more general one, “the gathering and removing of eggs.” Indeed, this makes more sense, as the hunters could probably eat or sell the eggs.

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