English Reading Practice


Singapore is a country in Southeast Asia. It is an island near the end of the Malay peninsula. A "peninsula" is a piece of land that has water on three sides.

Singapore flag

Singapore is what is called a "city-state." This means that it is an independent country that has only one city. Singapore is the name of the country and the city that take up the entire island.

Until 1965, Singapore was ruled by the United Kingdom. In 1965, they gained their independence and established their own government. "Established" means to set-up or build.

Because of its location, Singapore has become a critical (very important) business hub. "Hub" means center or key location. It is a good stopping point for ships that are traveling between Asia and Europe or Africa.

When trade was primarily (mostly) done by ships, Singapore became a very important port. A "port" is a place where ships go in and out. This continues today. Singapore is the fifth largest port in the world!

Being an important port, Singapore has also become a very important center for world business. This means that Singapore has a very strong and diverse economy, which sets it apart from many other Southeast Asian nations.

Singapore's Economy

Singapore's economy is very strong in a number of different areas. Due to its large and centrally located port, import and export is an important part of Singapore's economy.

"Import" means bringing items into the country and "export" means sending items out of the country. Many of the goods imported and exported are electronics and technology or are related to chemical, oil, or medical supplies.


Oil and oil rig (the machine used for drilling oil) are also important elements in Singapore's economy.

Another area that is important to Singapore's economy is finance. "Finance" is the business of money and trading money. Singapore is the world's fourth-largest financial center after New York, London, and Tokyo.

Over 10,000 companies from around the world have offices in Singapore. As a result of having so many multi-national companies, nearly half of the people who work in Singapore are from other countries. "Multi-national" means from many different countries. 

financial center

Tourism is another important area for Singapore's economy. "Tourism" is travel for reasons other than business. Many people travel to Singapore simply to see the beautiful country.

Singapore is well-known for being a clean and safe country that has many interesting sites to see.

In addition to vacation tourists, many people go to Singapore each year to receive medical care. These people are called medical tourists.

The third major kind of tourism that is important to Singapore is educational tourism. Each year, thousands of international students study at Singapore's universities. Many of these students are from nearby Asian countries, but some are also from Europe and the United States.

Thanks to its diverse economy, Singapore is a very wealthy nation. In fact, it is one of the top ten richest countries in the world. Many people in Singapore are millionaires but some are very poor. It is a small country, but serves as a model for other nations when looking at their own economies.

And now, practice:

Singapore - Exercises

Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "established" mean?

a) built

b) lost

c) changed

d) discovered

2. What is a "port?"

a) a place airplanes go in and out of

b) a place people go in and out of

c) a place cars go in and out of

d) a place ships go in and out of

3. What does "export" mean?

a) send goods through a country

b) send goods into a country

a) send goods out of a country

b) send goods around a country

Grammar Questions

1. Singapore is _________ island off the tip of the Malay peninsula.

a) a

b) the

c) an

d) that

2. When trade was primarily done by ships, Singapore _________ a very important port.

a) becomes

b) became

c) had become

d) will become

3. Nearly half _________ the people who work in Singapore are from other countries.

a) in

b) at

c) on

d) of

Comprehension Questions

1. Why is Singapore such an important business hub?


2. What are kinds of items are imported and exported from Singapore?


3. What kinds of tourism are important to Singapore?


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