Black, white, and orange illustration of Esperanza standing in front of a building or structure

The House on Mango Street

by Sandra Cisneros

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Part X Quiz: Four Skinny Trees and No Speak English

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Study Questions

1. Who planted the four skinny trees in Esperanza’s yard?

2. Does Nenny appreciate the trees?

3. What do the trees say to Esperanza while she sleeps?

4. How is Esperanza like the skinny trees?

5. Why does Esperanza like the skinny trees?

6. What theories do people have about why Mamacita won’t come out?

7. How many English words does Mamacita know?

8. What did Esperanza’s father eat for three months when he first came to the United States?

9. What does Mamacita’s husband want her to do?

10. What does Mamacita’s baby learn from the TV?


1. The city planted the four skinny trees.

2. No, Nenny doesn’t even hear them.

3. The trees tell Esperanza to “keep.”

4. The trees have skinny necks and pointy elbows, and, like her, they don’t belong on Mango Street.

5. She likes the trees because they understand her and give her strength.

6. They guess she won’t come out because she is too fat, because there are too many stairs, or because she can’t speak English.

7. Mamacita knows eight words in English: “He not here,” “No speak English,” and “Holy smokes.”

8. Esperanza’s father ate “hamandeggs.”

9. Mamacita’s husband wants her to learn English.

10. The baby learns a Pepsi jingle.

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