Take another look at the sentence:

To ensure that the ragged edges of his essay did not inspire Mrs. Varner’s rage, Jack carefully __________ the fuzzies from the sheets of paper.

The sentence requires the simple past of tear, an irregular verb. Tore is the simple past form.

Verb Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle
tear tear(s) tore torn

Had torn, the form you chose, is the past perfect tense. You only use this tense if you have two verbs in the sentence, one indicating an action that comes before the other. Before you continue, review the rules for irregular verbs.

Try again to escape Grammar Hell!

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