Exercises for The Clever Woman

Back to the story


A. How much did you understand?


This is a long story, with six "scenes" or parts. 

The sentences below describe each scene. Put the scenes in the right order.

  1. The ignorant man gave his wife's clever answers to the judge, but then he made a mistake. "My dear wife told me," he said. The judge told the ignorant man to go home and get ready to give his wife to the clever man.
  2. The clever man had an ignorant wife, and the ignorant man had a clever wife. The clever man wanted to exchange wives with the ignorant man.
  3. The ignorant man went home unhappily, and tried to count the stars in the sky. His wife gave him clever answers to tell the judge.
  4. The clever wife told her husband to invite the judge and the clever man to dinner. She gave their guests a horrible dinner. The clever man decided not to marry the clever woman.
  5. The clever man and the ignorant man asked the judge to decide between them and the judge asked the ignorant man some questions. The ignorant man couldn't answer the judge's questions. The judge told him to come back the next day.


B. Questions and answers


Who asked these questions, and who answered them?

Fill in the gaps from the list below.

  1. "You want to take my wife?" …… asked ……
  2. " Tell me, sir, how many stars are there in the sky?" …… asked .…..
  3. "Where is the navel of the earth? …… asked ……
  4. "What are you doing?" …… asked ……
  5. "Are you ready to see the judge?" …... asked ……
  6. "Don't you believe me?" …… asked ……
  7. "Did someone give you the answers to my questions?" …… asked ……
  8. "He's stupid, isn't he?" …… asked ……
  9. "What has happened? Why are you sad?" …… asked ……
  10. "Don't you want this clever woman?" …… asked ……


the clever man, the ignorant man, the judge, the clever woman


C. What were they feeling?


Fill in the gaps from the list below.

  1. When the clever man saw the ignorant man's wife, he was ……
  2. When the ignorant man couldn't answer the judge's questions, he was very ……
  3. When the ignorant man gave clever answers to the judge, the clever man was ……
  4. When the clever man went away, the ignorant man and the clever woman were ……


happy, angry, jealous, unhappy


D. What do you think?


What do you think makes a happy marriage?

Can a clever person be happy with an ignorant person?

Is it better to be clever, or kind?

What kind of person do you want to marry?


E. Brain teasers


Clever questions like the ones in this story are called "brain teasers". Here are some others. Can you and your friends answer them? It's fun to try and think of the answers! 

  1. The day before yesterday, Marcos was seven years old. Next year, he will be ten years old. How is this possible?
  2. Three big ladies are standing under an umbrella, but none of them get wet. Why not?
  3. Which is heavier, a kilo of feathers, or a kilo of gold?
  4. A girl and her father go out in the rain, but only the girl gets her hair wet. Why?


Do you know any other brain teasers?


Check the answers