English Grammar Exercises for B1- The passive

1. Complete the sentences with the passive form of the verbs in brackets. Use the correct tense.

1) Romeo and Juliet ________. probably ________. between 1591 and 1595. (write)

2) ‘________. these glasses ________.?’ ‘No, they haven’t.’ (wash)

3) he told me that the show ________. two days before. (cancel)

4) I’m sharing sister’s bedroom because mine ________. at the moment. (decorate)

5) I walked into the office while a job applicant ________. (interview)

6) The exam results ________. by post next week. (send)

7) ‘What language ________. in Hong Kong?’ ‘Cantonese.’ (speak)

Show answers

1) was, written   2) Have, been washed

3) had been cancelled   4) is being decorated

5) was being interviewed   6) will be sent   7) is spoken

2. Complete the text with the passive form of the verbs in brackets. Use the correct tense.

Until 2004, composer Mamoru Samuragochi 1) _________ (know) as ‘Japan’s Beethoven’. He is most famous for his Hiroshima Symphony No. 1, which 2) _________ (compose) in 2003 in memory of the people who 3) _________ (kill) by the atomic bomb in 1945. It 4) _________ (perform) for the first time in 2008 in front of many of the world’s most important politicians. But Samuragochi now admits that this piece and many others 5) _________ in fact 1) _________ (not write) by him, but by another musician. The real composer of the musician’s works 6) _________ yet ____________ (not name), but a man called Takahashi Niigaki recently claimed to have written them. Although a talented composer, it is sad that in the future Samuragochi 7) _________ (remember) as a fraud.

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1) was known   2) was composed   3) were killed

4) was performed   5) were not, written

6) hasn’t, been named   7) will be remembered

3. Write passive sentences with by.

1) Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.


2) A group of young men will perform the dance.


3) The Queen has opened a new art gallery.


4) JJ Abrams directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


5) In The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne plays the role of Stephen Hawking.


Show answers

1) The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci.

2) The dance will be performed by a group of young men.

3) A new art gallery has been opened by the Queen.

4) Star Wars: The Force Awakens was directed by JJ Abrams.

5) The role of Stephen Hawking is played by Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything.

4. Make the active sentences passive. Use modal verbs. Don’t use by + agent.

1) You shouldn’t eat those mushrooms.

  Those mushrooms shouldn’t be eaten.

2) They might have cancelled the concert.


3) You can often see foxes in garden.


4) We mustn’t use mobiles during lessons.


5) You have to write your name in capital letters.


6) You can’t trust Toby!


7) We must hand in homework on time.


8) You should leave dirty shoes by the door.


Show answers

2) The concert might have been cancelled.

3) Foxes can often be seen in garden.

4) Mobiles mustn’t be used during lessons.

5) Your name has to be written in capital letters.

6) Toby can’t be trusted!

7) Homework must be handed in on time.

8) Dirty shoes should be left by the door.

5. Some of the sentences are incorrect. Rewrite them correctly. Tick the correct sentences.

1) I think we are been followed.


2) Peugeot cars make in France.


3) Set Fire to the Rain was written and performed by Adele.


4) The book must be returning to the library.


5) Was German teaching in your school?


6) Oh no! mobile has been stolen!


Show answers

1) I think we are being followed.

2) Peugeot cars are made in France.


4) The book must be returned to the library.

5) Was German taught in your school?


6. Complete the sentences with the passive form of the verbs in brackets.

1) This concert should ______________ on TV so that everyone can see it. (show)

2) The new art gallery ______________ by the mayor next Tuesday. (open)

3) That TV drama ______________ by many people every evening. (watch)

4) How many Hunger Games films ______________ so far? (make)

5) The painting Sunflowers ______________ by van Gosh. (paint)

6) An opera ______________ in the concert hall later this evening. (perform)

Show answers

1) be shown   2) will be opened   3) is watched

4) have been made   5) was painted

6) is being performed / will be performed

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