Narrative tenses: Excerpt 2 from Roald Dahl, Lamb to the Slaughter (Koen Van Cauwenberge)

Gap-fill exercise

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!
Put the verbs between brackets in the correct tense.

For her, this was always a blissful time of day. She (know) he (not want) to speak much until the first drink (finish), and she, on her side, was content to sit quietly, enjoying his company after the long hours alone in the house. She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this man, and to feel - almost as a sunbather feels the sun - that warm male glow that came out of him to her when they were alone together. She loved him for the way he (sit) loosely in a chair, for the way he (come) in a door, or moved slowly across the room with long strides. She loved the intent, far look in his eyes when they rested on her, the funny shape of the mouth, and especially the way he remained silent about his tiredness, sitting still with himself until the whisky had taken some of it away.

'Tired, darling?'

'Yes,' he said. 'I'm tired.' And as he (speak), he did an unusual thing. He lifted his glass and drained it in one swallow although there was still half of it, at least half of it, left. She (not really watch) him but she (know) what he (do) because she (hear) the ice cubes falling back against the bottom of the empty glass when he lowered his arm. He paused a moment, leaning forward in the chair, then he (get up) and (go) slowly over to fetch himself another.

'I (get) it!' she (cry), jumping up.

'Sit down,' he said.

When he (come) back, she noticed that the new drink was dark amber with the quantity of whisky in it.

'Darling, (get I) your slippers?'


She watched him as he (begin) to sip the dark yellow drink, and she (can) see little oily swirls in the liquid because it was so strong.

'I (think) it's a shame,' she said, 'that when a policeman (get) to be as senior as you, they keep him walking about on his feet all day long.'

He (not answer) , so she (bend) her head again and (go) on with her sewing; but each time he lifted the drink to his lips, she (hear) the ice cubes clinking against the side of the glass.

'Darling,' she said. 'Would you like me to get you some cheese? I (not make) any supper because it's Thursday.'