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Quiz XXVIII. Mixed Tenses IV. Active & Passive Tenses (A Story)

Gap-fill exercise

Read this traditional story from northern Canada. Put the verbs in brackets into an appropriate tense, either active or passive, and then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints!


I (1 go) to tell you an Eskimo story. Nobody (2 know) how long the Eskimos (3 live) in northern Canada on the shores of the Arctic Ocean. Their life (4 be) usually very hard and although it (5 become) a little easier with the arrival of electricity and other modern conveniences, it (6 still/dominate) by the harsh climate and the need to hunt for food. Before the time of supermarkets and imported food, in winter the only way to get fresh meat (7 be) by killing a seal. Seals (8 spend) most of their time swimming in the water under the ice but from time to time they (9 have) to put their noses through a hole in the ice so that they can breathe. This (10 be) the moment when a patient hunter could strike at the seal with his weapon, a harpoon. This story (11 be) about one of these hunters. (12 You/sit) comfortably? Then I (13 begin).
One day an old man (14 go) seal hunting on the ice a short distance from the land. Near to his chosen hunting spot there (15 be) a steep cliff, on top of which there (16 be) a high bank of snow. Below this cliff some children (17 laugh) and (18 shout) while they (19 play) a game.
The hunter (20 wait) silent and motionless beside a breathing hole where he (21 see) a seal the day before. For a long time nothing (22 happen); then he (23 hear) the sound of a seal breathing. Just as he (24 raise) his harpoon, ready to strike, the silence (25 break)! The noise of the children playing at the foot of the cliff (26 distract) the old man and (27 warn) the seal, which (28 escape).
The old man (29 lower) his harpoon in a bad mood and (30 grumble), 'Those children! I wish they (31 not be) so noisy. If only they 32 not shout) just then. I hope the cliff of snow (33 fall and 34 bury) them!'
Once more the hunter (35 wait) by the breathing hole. Again the seal (36 return). And again just as the hunter (37 go) to strike, the children (38 burst) out laughing and the seal (39 get) away unharmed.
The old hunter now (40 call) upon his magic powers. He (41 speak) to the spirits which (42 bring) bad luck: 'When the children (43 shout) again, send snow to bury them!'
Suddenly an avalanche of snow (44 fall) from the top of the cliff and (45 swallow) the children. Their cries (46 hear) for a long time, but gradually they (47 grow) weaker until at last everyone (48 be) silent.
When the parents of the children (49 realise) what (50 happen) they (51 want) revenge. Just as they (52 go) to catch him, the old man (53 call) upon his magic powers one last time and (54 lift) himself into the air. The parents (55 watch) him rise into the sky and turn into a shooting star. On a clear night, if you (56 look) carefully, you (57still/see) the old man running away across the sky.