11-Plus English Quiz - Writing Explanations (Questions)

An 'explanation' explains something: it tells us the 'how', 'why' and 'what' of something we want to know about, for example:

If you are curious about life and/or a budding scientist, you will love explanations! Reading about how something works, what makes the world turn or even why some people have brown eyes and some blue, is so interesting. It's one thing to read an explanation, but this quiz will see how good you are at spotting written explanations.

This 11-plus English quiz will test you to see if you can recognize explanatory statements. This is a really easy test, but you might learn a few interesting things.

1. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why do we have seasons?
[ ] We have seasons because the Earth is tilted on its axis
[ ] We have spring, summer, autumn and winter
[ ] The Earth goes round the sun
[ ] The Earth is called the 'Blue Planet'
2. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why do leaves change colour in autumn?
[ ] The coast redwood is the tallest tree in the world
[ ] I like oak trees
[ ] Leaves have beautiful colours in autumn
[ ] They change colour in autumn because there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis
3. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why do people have red eyes in flash photographs?
[ ] They look like vampires
[ ] Flash photography is useful in the dark
[ ] I've got a camera
[ ] People have red eyes in flash photographs because of the red colour from the blood vessels that supply the eyes
4. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why do cats eat grass?
[ ] I've got a calico cat
[ ] Cats eat grass because it contains folic acid
[ ] The cat that walked by himself
[ ] Do you like cats?
5. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why do dogs eat grass?
[ ] I love dogs
[ ] My favourite dog is the Labrador
[ ] Dogs eat grass because of a medical disorder
[ ] Have you got a dog?
6. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
How did the Titanic sink?
[ ] The Titanic was a British passenger liner
[ ] I'm glad that I wasn't on the Titanic
[ ] The Titanic sunk as a result of colliding with an iceberg
[ ] She sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 - on her maiden voyage
7. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why doesn't bronze rust?
[ ] I've got a bronze statue in my garden
[ ] Bronze doesn't rust because it is a copper alloy
[ ] Is it made of bronze?
[ ] The Bronze Age was between 3500 - 1500 BC
8. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why was she angry?
[ ] She was angry because someone had stolen her purse
[ ] She is a very nice person
[ ] Don't ask her about her purse
[ ] Do you think she'll get her purse back?
9. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
How did the mirror get broken?
[ ] It's a lovely mirror
[ ] The mirror fell onto the floor and broke because the wall attachment wasn't strong enough to hold it on the wall
[ ] Have you got a mirror?
[ ] We have mirrors in our bathroom
10. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why are you late?
[ ] I like travelling by bus
[ ] Where is the nearest bus stop?
[ ] I always travel upstairs on a double-decker bus
[ ] I was late because I missed the bus
11-Plus English Quiz - Writing Explanations (Answers)
1. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why do we have seasons?
[x] We have seasons because the Earth is tilted on its axis
[ ] We have spring, summer, autumn and winter
[ ] The Earth goes round the sun
[ ] The Earth is called the 'Blue Planet'
The Earth's axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees. The tilt of the Earth means the Earth leans towards the sun in the summer (more heat) and it leans away from the sun in the winter (less heat). In between these seasons, we get spring and autumn
2. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why do leaves change colour in autumn?
[ ] The coast redwood is the tallest tree in the world
[ ] I like oak trees
[ ] Leaves have beautiful colours in autumn
[x] They change colour in autumn because there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis
Food producing procedures shut down and the green chlorophyll vanishes from the leaves. This green colour is in turn replaced by the rusty colours that we see in autumn
3. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why do people have red eyes in flash photographs?
[ ] They look like vampires
[ ] Flash photography is useful in the dark
[ ] I've got a camera
[x] People have red eyes in flash photographs because of the red colour from the blood vessels that supply the eyes
Some cameras adjust for this nuisance
4. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why do cats eat grass?
[ ] I've got a calico cat
[x] Cats eat grass because it contains folic acid
[ ] The cat that walked by himself
[ ] Do you like cats?
Folic acid is a vitamin that is essential to a cat's well-being
5. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why do dogs eat grass?
[ ] I love dogs
[ ] My favourite dog is the Labrador
[x] Dogs eat grass because of a medical disorder
[ ] Have you got a dog?
This disorder is called pica: the desire to eat non-foods things. In this case, grass is a non-food. In general, there is no agreement as to why dogs eat grass
6. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
How did the Titanic sink?
[ ] The Titanic was a British passenger liner
[ ] I'm glad that I wasn't on the Titanic
[x] The Titanic sunk as a result of colliding with an iceberg
[ ] She sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 - on her maiden voyage
The iceberg tore a 90 m gash along her starboard side (right side as you face the front of the ship: the left side is called the port side): 1,503 people perished
7. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why doesn't bronze rust?
[ ] I've got a bronze statue in my garden
[x] Bronze doesn't rust because it is a copper alloy
[ ] Is it made of bronze?
[ ] The Bronze Age was between 3500 - 1500 BC
Bronze is an alloy of copper (Cu) and tin (Sn): it doesn't rust, but it may tarnish. An 'alloy' is a mixture of metals
8. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why was she angry?
[x] She was angry because someone had stolen her purse
[ ] She is a very nice person
[ ] Don't ask her about her purse
[ ] Do you think she'll get her purse back?
Let's hope she gets her purse back
9. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
How did the mirror get broken?
[ ] It's a lovely mirror
[x] The mirror fell onto the floor and broke because the wall attachment wasn't strong enough to hold it on the wall
[ ] Have you got a mirror?
[ ] We have mirrors in our bathroom
Mirror mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
10. Which one of the statements is an explanatory statement?
Why are you late?
[ ] I like travelling by bus
[ ] Where is the nearest bus stop?
[ ] I always travel upstairs on a double-decker bus
[x] I was late because I missed the bus
Get up earlier next time