Read the sentence ‘Main Accha Hoon.’ Could you make out what it meant? You could have if you knew English and Hindi. English, because you should be able to read the script and Hindi, because the Hindi words are written in the English alphabet. Since you could not understand, most probably your response would be ‘I could not comprehend.’ If you look it up in the dictionary you will find the meaning of COMPREHEND is: to understand the nature or meaning of; grasp with the mind; perceive. Thus, reading comprehension is the task of reading something that is written and understanding its meaning.
When you read you are reading with a purpose. You could be reading the day’s newspaper to find out what is happening around the world and your country. You could be reading the time-table at the railway station. You could be reading the question paper at an exam you are taking. You could be reading a notice on the notice board of your school. Your teacher writes something on the blackboard and you read what is written. In all these cases you need to comprehend what is written and take whatever action is necessary after reading and understanding the communication.
In order to comprehend what is written you must know all the parts of speech and the grammar that constitutes the English language. You must know words and their meanings. You have to put in a lot of hard work to study the English language, especially the words and the grammar. Reading comprehension puts to test all that you have learnt over the years. If you have learnt well and remember the grammar and your vocabulary is large then your reading comprehension is bound to be good. Take the quiz that follows and see how well you can grasp the meaning of the words you have read.