10 English Comprehension questions to improve your English

In this lesson you will learn how to read the expression from text in English, how to decipher Idioms and how to answer comprehension questions using the text Swallow and Amazons.

The book Swallows and Amazons is about Four children (the Swallows) on holiday in the Lake District who sail on their own to an island and start a war with rival children (the Amazons).

In the meantime, a mysterious man on a houseboat accuses them of a crime they did not commit.

It is a great story written by the world famous author Arthur Ransome. In this lesson Alison will read a passage from the book and then complete a comprehension exercise. 

This lesson was recorded live and should you wish to access the book for FREE you can do so by downloading it FREE from here under the rights of the public domain.

Swallows and Amazons


In this text you will learn two important idioms. One is ‘the black sheep of the family’ and the other is ‘gathered enough moss.’

Being the black sheep of the family means that the person that is referred to as the black sheep is someone who does things differently from the others in the group and enough to stand out. As an example, most sheep are white, occasionally they are black and because it is rare for a sheep to have black wool, they stand out. This is where this idiom comes from.

% Engli-teach Learn English online everyday with Engli-teach


The other idiom that is referred to in this lesson is ‘gathered enough moss.’

% Engli-teach Learn English online everyday with Engli-teach

Moss  grows on rocks, pebbles and wood outside and only grows on objects that have not moved in a while as that is how the moss grows. When we talk about a person who has not gathered ‘enough moss’ such as we do in this passage, we are indicating that someone does not stay in the same place as in lives in the same place for a long period of time.

Comprehension questions

These are the following questions that are asked after reading the text:

  1. What countries are mentioned in the text?
  2. What did he buy?
  3. What did they take?
  4. When did they take them?
  5. What does black sheep of the family mean?
  6. What does ‘gathered enough moss’ mean?
  7. Which parrots are meant to be the best.
  8. What does ‘ashore’ mean?
  9. What does forbidden mean?
  10. What is meant by in their ‘league.’

Learn some more Key phrases with this great quiz

If you found this a useful way to learn, don’t forget to leave a comment below and share this post with others.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.