7 Listening/Speaking and Vocabulary Passive Voice Exercises

The passive voice is useful in academic writing  because it allows the writer or speaker to emphasize  a subject  by rearranging a sentence. In business the passive voice is often used to describe processes .  Exercises using pictures encourage students to use critical thinking skills and help illustrate the passive voice in a memorable way.

1 Passive voice listening/speaking exercise (with audio and answers)

Passive voice listening/speaking exercisee

This is a passive voice listening/speaking exercise for English language learners. First, students listen to the audio and match the items to the pictures. Then, they listen again complete the sentences.  

Passive voice listening/speaking exercise (PDF)

(Passive voice conversations Youtube video)

Passive voice listening

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2 Writing (and listening) to passive voice sentences (with  answers)

This is a  passive voice listening and sentence writing exercise. Listen and match a passive sentence to the correct picture.

Passive tense sentence writing worksheet .

Writing passive voice sentences (PDF)

Writing passive

3 Passive voice icebreaker/brainstorming

Passive voice icebreaker and brainstorming activity for teachers.

Sometimes really simple icebreakers work best. If you are teaching the passive voice, the exercise below should work nicely. Students have to complete the sentences ..ie. “Apples are grown in New Zealand.” And they can suggest sentences to fill in the chart. It’s a great way to assess students’ knowledge of the passive voice at the beginning of a class. It’s also a great way to begin a discussion about passive voice.

Passive voice icebreaker (PDF)

4 Passive voice worksheet (with answers)

This is a passive voice sentence writing exercise for English language learners. Students complete the sentences using their own ideas generated by the pictures. The verbs below the pictures and the “Useful vocabulary” at the bottom of the page may assist them. Click on the image below or the link  to download the PDF file.

Passive tense worksheet with answers.

Passive voice worksheet (PDF)

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5 Passive voice sentences for  environmental issues (with answers)

The exercise below is for exploring the language of environmental issues in the classroom by writing passive voice sentences. It is a good way to gauge the level of knowledge about environmental issues. While students work independently the teacher can walk around and choose some of the best sentences and write them on the the on the board.

Passive voice sentences for describe environmental issues.

Writing passive voice sentences for the environment (PDF)

6 Processing cotton writing exercise

This exercise helps students understand how to write sentences in the active or passive voice when describing a process.

A passive voice exercise and worksheet for language learners using the processing of cotton as the topic.

Processing cotton (PDF)

7 Passive toast classroom activity

This is a classroom miming activity for the passive voice. Below are the instructions.


Warm the class to this activity by miming and eliciting from them the instructions for making toast.

2. Group Work/writing

Next, give out the handout and tell the students to rewrite the instructions in the passive tense.

3. Speaking

Finally, with the students in groups of three, one looks at the instructions and mimes while the other two reproduce the instructions as they are acted out.

Passive toast handout (PDF)

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