Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts
Purdue University College of Liberal Arts
Apply to Liberal Arts
OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.



Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.


Exercise : Tense Consistency Exercise 3

In the following passage from Alex Haley's Roots, some of the verbs have been deliberately omitted. Supply the appropriate tense for each missing verb, the plain form of which is given in brackets.

In Banjuh, the capital of Gambia, I met with a group of Gambians. They [tell] me how for centuries the history of Africa has been preserved. In the older villages of the back country, there are old men called griots, who [be] in effect living archives. Such men [memorize] and, on special occasions, [recite] the cumulative histories of clans or families or villages as those histories [have] long been told. Since my forefather [have] said his name was Kin-tay (properly spelled Kinte), and since the Kinte clan [be] known in Gambia, the group of Gambians would see what they could do to help me. I was back in New York when a registered letter [arrive] from Gambia.

Words [have] been passed in the back country, and a griot of the Kinte clan [have], indeed, been found. His name, the letter said, [be] Kebba Kanga Fofana. I [return] to Gambia and [organize] a safari to locate him.

Go to Answers
Apply to Liberal Arts

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.