The following practice text comes from http://www.esl-lounge.com/student/grammar/2g31-penguin-story.php:

One day a husband and wife _____ (1) (drive) to the countryside to visit their friends when they realised they needed to stop for gas. The man was filling up the car when he _____ (2) (see) a penguin standing by a pump. He _____ (3) (think) it was very strange and when he went to the cashier to pay, he asked, 'why is there a penguin standing next to the pump?' The cashier replied, 'I don't know. It _____ (4) (be) there all morning.' The man replied.'Well, we can't leave it there, it's too dangerous. He might have an accident. What should I do?' The cashier suggested, 'you should take it to the zoo.' 'That's a good idea,' the man said. 'I _____ (5) (take) him now.' So the man and his wife put the penguin in the car and _____ (6) (drive) away. One week later, the man and his wife _____ (7) (return) to the same garage to fill up the car...and the penguin was still in the car. When the man went to pay, the cashier said to him, 'I thought you _____ (8) (take) the penguin to the zoo.' The man replied, 'we did. It had a really good time so tonight, we _____ (9) (take) him to a fish restaurant.'

The answer to (8) is given as took. Why it is not I thought you had taken, as it is a flash back it relates to the first part of the story?


It is direct speech - you can see the quotation marks. That is exactly what the person said when he saw the penguin. To him, it's just the past. Thus it is took.

  • Please don't feed the bears. It would be better to edit the question to include whatever material from off-site was necessary to understand and answer the question before posting an answer. Links can go dead, pages can be changed, which part of the page a question refers to may not be clear, and some of the people looking for answers on ELL live in countries that block some websites. – ColleenV Mar 17 at 15:09
  • @ColleenV: I wasn't aware that following links was beyond the pale, sorry. I shall bare that in mind in future. – SamBC Mar 17 at 15:10
  • 1
    It's just a quality problem - it's fine if you would like to answer the question, but please put the information you used to figure it out into the question to benefit future learners (and help them find it by searching). Sorry if it came across a little abruptly, but I'm frustrated that a nearly 5-year veteran user of the site would post such a low quality question. Editing by anyone should pop this into the reopen queue. – ColleenV Mar 17 at 15:12
  • @Sam - Thanks for taking the time to transform a very sorry question into more of a model question. I hope 5577 will follow your lead in future questions. – J.R. Mar 17 at 18:31

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