Category Archives: Suggested exercises

Passive voice made easy (la veu passiva feta fàcil)

Although the passive voice may sound something from another world, especially when it is not in your mother tongue, the truth is that it is not as hard as it looks.

Tot i que la passiva soni a marcianades, especialment quan no és en la teva llengua materna, la veritat és que no és tan difícil com sembla.

This is the structure for the passive voice in the present simple:

SUBJECT + {AM/IS/ARE} + PAST PARTICIPLE (-ed, or 3rd column) + BY …

Si no recordeu quan es fa servir ‘am’, ‘is’ o ‘are’, feu aquests exercicis.

  1. Exercise
  2. Exercise
  3. Exercise
  4. Exercise
  5. Exercise
  6. Exercise
  7. Exercise
  8. Exercise
  9. Exercise
  10. Exercise

And this is the structure for the passive voice in the past simple:

SUBJECT + {WAS/WERE} + PAST PARTICIPLE (-ed, or 3rd column) + BY …

Remember that WAS goes with ‘I’, ‘he, ‘she’, ‘it’.

Recorda que WAS va amb  ‘I’, ‘he, ‘she’, ‘it’.

Try to think of some passive sentences!

12 most frequent verbs in English

According to the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (1999) the list of the top 10 verbs of the English language is:

  • Number 10.Want (voler). Just a normal, regular verb.
  • Number 9.Take (agafar). The first irregular verb in the list!
  • Number 8. Come (venir). Irregular!
  • Number 7. Make (fer). Irregular too!
  • Number 6. See (veure). Erm… irregular again? Yes!!
  • Number 5. Think (pensar). Irregular, yes!
  • Number 4.  Know (conèixer) Yet another irregular verb.
  • Number 3. …
  • Number 2. …
  • Number 1. …

Can you guess these three verbs? Send me your comments and see if you win this little competition. Oh, one clue: it’s not ‘to be’ nor ‘to have’ and they are all irregular verbs!

Past simple or present perfect?

Past simple or present perfect? That’s a difficult situation in some sentences. In the introduction to unit 7 I gave you a list of words that can immdediately tell you if you need a past simple or a present perfect. They are the following:

AGO (… 5 years ago = fa cinc anys) FOR (… for two months = durant dues setmanes)
IN + time reference (… in August, in 2004, in winter) SINCE (… since 2005 = des del 2005)
YESTERDAY (ahir) YET (encara no)
LAST (… last week = la setmana passada) JUST (tot just, acabar de)
  ALREADY (ja)
  EVER? (algun cop?)
  0 (cap paraula)

However, as you learn more and more English, you might find examples of sentences that contradict this rule. Don’t worry. Languages are complex and full of exceptions.

Practice what you know with these activities:

Some questions about 2007…

All the information you need is here.

  1. Which two national teams played the final match of the Copa América in July?
  2. On December 27th, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. In which country?
  3. Which famous videogame made $170 million in its first 24 hours?
  4. Which famous painting by Pablo Picasso was stolen from the Sao Paulo Museum of Art in December this year?
  5. When did Mr Tony Blair resign as Primer Minister of the UK?

When you find the answer, please type it here.

It will add to your 20% attitude percentage for the second term.

Benazir Bhutto