Tom was accepted by the university after he______(save) a primary school child who _____(fall) into an icy lake four years ago.

The answers are:
had fallen

had saved

To me, the sentence seems like a strange non-sequitur with uncertain time sequence however it’s completed, and I would not know what answer was expected. What does saving a child have to do with being accepted by a university? The answer “saved … had fallen” also risks conjuring up an image of the child being in the lake for four years before being rescued, which is even dafter than the original non-sequitur.


I would suggest the sentence is rescuable if you use ‘had saved’ and ‘had fallen’ suggesting that both the saving and the falling happened in the same time frame after Tom was accepted. But I agree there doesn’t seem much of a connection between these events. Maybe the university was looking for local heroes!


Yeah, or maybe it was a life-saving course!