English Grammar Exercises for A2 – The passive (present and past simple)

1. Circle the past participles of these irregular verbs. What sound do they all end with? Listen and check.


past participle

1   do

did / done

2   write

written / wrote

3   draw

drawn / drew

4   wear

wore / worn

5   take

taken / took

6   steal

stole / stolen

7   break

broke / broken

8   throw

threw / thrown

Show answers

1) do -> done

2) write -> written

3) draw -> drawn

4) wear -> worn

5) take -> taken

6) steal -> stolen

7) break -> broken

8) throw -> thrown

All of these irregular past participles end with the sound /n/.

2. Complete the sentences. Use the present simple passive form of the verbs in brackets. Use the affirmative or negative to make the sentences true.

1) Coffee __isn’t grown__ (grow) in Iceland.

2) The Olympic Games ________ (hold) every year.

3) Spanish ________ (speak) in Argentina.

4) English ________ (teach) in Polish schools.

5) Tricks ________ (play) on April Fool’s Day.

6) Uniforms ________ (wear) by most police officers.

7) Meat ________ (sell) in a greengrocer’s.

8) Easter ________ (celebrate) in every country of the world.

Show answers

2) aren’t held   3) is spoken   4) is taught   5) are played

6) are worn   7) isn’t sold   8) isn’t celebrated

3. Complete the sentences. Use the past simple passive form of the verbs in the box.

bring     build     drop     kill     paint     write

1) The Hobbit __was written__ by J.R.R Tolkien.

2) The Empire State Building ________ in 1931.

3) Potatoes ________ to Europe from America.

4) More than 1,500 people ________ when the Titanic sank.

5) In 1985, a bottle of wine worth $250,000 ________ by a waiter.

6) The Mona Lisa ________ by Leonardo da Vinci.

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2) was built   3) were brought   4) were killed   5) was dropped

6) was painted

4. Complete the text. Use the present or past simple passive form of the verbs in brackets.

The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian stone tablet with words on it from 196 BC. The words 1) __are written__ (write) in three different languages, including Egyptian picture-writing. The stone 2) _____ (find) in 1799 by French soldiers who were fighting in Egypt. After the war, it 3) _____ (take) to England. Over the next few years, most of the words on the stone 4) _____ (translate), but nobody could understand the picture-writing. That stery 5) _____ (not solve) until 1822, when a French academic called Champollion translated them. The fact that ancient Egyptian picture-writing 6) _____ (understand) today is mostly thanks to Champollion’s work. Today, the Rosetta Stone 7) _____ (keep) in the British Museum, where many ancient Egyptian treasures 8) _____ (see) by millions of visitors each year.

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2) was found   3) was taken   4) were translated   5) wasn’t solved

6) is understood   7) is kept   8) are seen

5. Rewrite the sentences in the passive, present or past simple. Include by ___ if necessary.

1) They don’t make cars in Wales.


2) They wear uniforms at most British schools.


3) John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola.


4) They do a lot of shopping online.


5) British people send 2 billion text messages a week.


6) They produced wine in France in Roman times.


Show answers

1) Cars aren’t made in Wales.

2) Uniforms are worn at most British schools.

3) Coca-Cola was invented by John Pemberton.

4) A lot of shopping is done online.

5) 2 billion text messages are sent a week by British people.

6) Wine was produced in France in Roman times.


Think of two examples for each of these things.

1) Books that weren’t written by a man.


2) Things that are made in your country.


3) Things that are eaten at Christmas.


4) Fruits that aren’t grown your country.


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