Passive Voice: Practice

Passive Voice Examples in Texts, Proverbs and Quotations


Concentrate on the use of the verbs in the Passive Voice.

Text 1.

How Towns Have Arisen

Most villages and towns on the British Isles came into being because of their favourable situation for trade.
Rather more than a hundred years ago, a great change came over the land. Many machines were invented about that time. Spinning and weaving, for example, which hadpreviously been done by hand, were done by machinery that were driven by water or steam-power.
The work which usually was done in the houses of the people began to be carried on in large mills or factories, and workers found it convenient to live near them.
More and more factories were built and men and women left the country districts in great numbers and crowded into towns.
Since then the movement of people into towns has been going on until now. England is dotted with great cities.
All over Britain, and especially in those parts were the coal needed for power is to be found, there are mining and manufacturing areas, such as the Lancashire cotton district, the Black county of Midland, and others. A great many towns are found close together in those districts, and a great many people live within a small area, so that the population is very dense.

(After “The British Isles, Their Life and Work” by S. Bryson and Maxton)

 Text 2.

Britain’s Roman Villas

Numerous monuments recall the 400 or so years when Britain was part of the Roman Empire. Ancient city walls, old roads, front defences. But it is at the villas that one feels closest to the everyday life of Roman Britain.
The villas were homes. In their kitchens bread was baked.  Along their corridors echoed family conversations. They were well built and handsomely decorated. The first villa was built around A.D. 80-90. It was a small farm. Later on the house was extended, kitchens and baths were added.
It is known that many villas were destroyed by fire. Their ruins remain hidden for years and it is often by accident that the site is discovered.
So in Hampshire a number of oyster-shells were found by a farmer, and the shells, remnants of a long-ago feast, led to the discovery of the villa at Rockbourne.

(From “Mosaica”)


Text 3.

A Skillful Piece of Work

Once Birmingham and Sheffield, two of the largest towns in England, began to quarrel. The quarrel started as each of them claimed to be able to produce the most skillful piece of work.
A special jury was chosen to decide which city would show the greatest skill.
The day arrived. A steel spider with long thin legs was produced by representatives of Sheffield. The spider was made by the best workers. It was as small as a pea. It ran about on the table as if it were alive. A wonderful mechanism had been put in that little body. Everybody was sure that the first place would be given to Sheffield.
Then a sewing needle was laid on the table by representatives of Birmingham. A smile appeared on the lips of the jury when the needle was noticed.
Then the top of the needle was screwed off and 4 needles were drawn out, one from another.
The first needle, as it was, had been the case of the four other needles. The needles were handed over to each member and examined with great interest.
In whose favour did the jury decide?


Memorize the following proverbs with the passive form of the verb-predicate used in the A). Present, B). Past and C). Future Indefinite Tense. Concentrate on the use of the verbs in the Passive Voice.


  1. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
  2. A man is known by the company he keeps.
  3. A fox is not taken twice in the same snare.
  4. Old birds are not caught with chaff.
  5. Never ask pardon before you are accused.
  6. A liar is not believed when he tells the truth.
  7. Advice when most needed is least heeded.
  8. Desires are nourished by delays.
  9. Forewarned is forearmed.
  10. Marriages are made in heaven.
  11. A threatened blow is seldom given.
  12. Danger foreseen is half avoided.
  13. Little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape.
  14. What is done cannot be undone.


  1. Rome was not built in a day.
  2. Fingers were made before forks.
  3. Acorns were good till bread was found.


  1. Youth will be served.
  2. The fish will soon be caught that nibbles at every bait.
  3. Ask no questions and you will be told no lies.



Define the tense form of the verb in the Passive Voice in each of the following quotations. Explain them.

  1. Wisdom is only found in truth. (J. W.  Goethe)
  2. An injury is much sooner forgotten than an insult. (Ph. Chesterfield)
  3. He who commits injustice is ever made more wretches than he who suffers it. (Plato)
  4. If on Parnassus Top you sit You rarely bite, are always bit. (J. Swift)
  5. Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered. (Aristotle)
  6. When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger. (F. D. Roosevelt)
  7. What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure. (S. Johnson)
  8. New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common. (J. Locke)
  9. The die is cast. (Caesar)
  10. Draw the curtain, the farce is played. (F. Rabelais)
  11. Libraries are not made, they grow. (A. Birrell)
  12. Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it. (R. Descartes)
  13. Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempted to find a plot in it will be shot. (M. Twain)
  14. When Thales was asked what was most difficult, he said, “To know on one’s self.” And what was easy, “To advise another.” (Diogenes)


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Tenses: past, present and future.

Conditional sentences: all types and mixed.

Alternatives to “if”.


If only.

Subjunctive: I’d rather, It’s time.

Short stories: The Darling, My son the fanatic and The Story of an Hour. (Analysis, comparisons of characters and vocabulary)

Writings: diary entries, dialogues, letters, summaries.

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Tenses: present and past tenses, future forms.

Idioms of colours.

Idioms with parts of the body.

Passive Voice. (all tenses)

Short stories: A Devoted son, Robert and the dog. (characters, plot , messages, themes, point of view)

Vocabulary from these stories.

Writing: reports, dialogues, interviews,diary entries and letters.

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Passive Voice: Cooperative work.

Watch this tutorial together then answer the following sentences: Google any necessary information. Prepare a google doc.

1)When do we use passive voice? In which cases?

2) What is an agent?

3) Write examples of your own in passive. Create headlines that could be published in a magazine. Make sure you use all these tenses: simple present, simple past, present continuous, past continuous, present perfect and past perfect. Make a post in your blog. Use colours to highlight the passive constructions.

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Project on Starvation.

Image result for photos starvation

We are working on our project on starvation. Each of us has been sharing the answers of these questions:

1-Have you ever been in contact with someone suffering from starvation?

2-Do you or anybody in your house helps or contributes with time in any organization which helps people suffering from malnutrition?

3-How can we help stop the problem of starvation in our country? Can we all help?


No, we have never been in contact with someone who suffers from starvation. The areas of our country that are affected by starvation are Salta, Corrientes, Jujuy, Formosa and Chaco.

No, we don’t know someone that works for an organization that deals with starvation.

We think that the government could help the people that suffer from starvation by opening job posts so that these people could generate money.

In our country, there is a lot of poverty. According to INDEC there are 11.000.000 people suffering from this problem. Many do not have enough money to buy food, because of this, they suffer from starvation. Especially you can find these people in provinces like Santiago del Estero, Corrientes, Tierra del Fuego (especially Ushuaia) and CABA.

We know about an organization called “Banco de Alimentos” because we went there with the school to help. What they do is to separate rotten or defeated food from food that can be eaten. This food is donated by companies that give them because they are very near to the expiration date. After being separated, they are donated to people that are suffering from hunger.

Yes, all of us can help these people with donations to organizations that help people suffering from hunger like FAO, FIDA or PMA so that they can buy food for these food. Also, we could all help donating to organizations.

Margarita Barrientos works for an organization, in Argentina to help the people that are suffering from starvation, some organizations could be “The Huerta Niño Foundation”, “Love volunteers” and “Barrios de Pies”, “Cáritas”, “Plato lleno” These organizations have helped many kids who suffer from starvation.

To a certain extent, everybody can help against starvation, by donating food or giving money to organizations. Also, they can help spending time with the people and encouraging them to keep going and to be strong.

Now we need to work on the following task.

Prepare a presentation (between 6 and 8 slides) describing the areas or communities in our country which are suffering from starvation or malnutrition. Include:

A-maps of the affected areas.

B-infographics describing the living conditions of the areas.

C-mindmaps collecting the vocabulary used to refer to cases of starvation or malnutrition. Remember to use these terms in examples of your own. Use one of these tools to create your mindmap:

  1. ttps://


D-psychological and physical effects that starvation could have on our bodies.

E-Suggestions of possible solutions to the ailment of starvation.

Remember to include visual aids, pictures, and figures to justify and support your ideas.

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Working with connectors.

In order to improve the quality of our writings, we need to incorporate the use of a variety of connectors and linkers. Have a look at the following list, check their meaning. Then choose one from each column and use them in examples of your own. Prepare a post of this list in your blog and add your own examples!! Once you have finished work on these online exercises.

Image result for connectors and linkers


Exercise 2

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World News: Notre Dame on fire.

Watch the video on Notre Dame news. Prepare a summary of what has happened. Use the vocabulary from the video to present the news. Prepare a mind map about vocabulary connected with fire. Prepare a presentation with at least five slides about the history of the monument and the difficulties it has overcome. Prepare some visual aid to support your presentation.

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Writing Rubrics:peer correction.

Using the following rubrics correct your classmate’s piece of writing. Justify your correction.

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How to prepare our lending libraries.

Here´s the guide on how to prepare our lending library. Read it carefully and check any doubts you may have. We´ll discuss them in class.






It´s impossible to cover all the aspects of your book. Focus on one or two only.


-Discuss the characters in the story and the events that take place around them.

– Tell the story from the point of view of one of the characters.

– Describe the book cover and explain how it relates to the story you have read. Create one of your own.

– Discuss the title of the book. Think of other possibilities. Explain why.

– Express how you felt about the book and why.

– Choose two or three quotations from the text (depending on their length).

Explain their context. What caught your attention from them? How do they contribute to the development of the story?

– Find two or three reviews about the book. Read them and decide whether they do justice to the book. How would you make them more appealing?

– Choose a section of the story and rewrite it (from the point of view of another character/ as a diary entry/ as a monologue/ as another chapter/ etc).

– Add another chapter, either as prequel or sequel.

– Create a dialogue / chat between characters in which they discuss, at least, two important events in the story.

– Build a fakebook of one of the characters.

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Watch this Tedtalk and prepare a summary of the main ideas.

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