English Grammar Exercises for B2 – The passive: advanced structures

1. Complete the passive sentences with the correct form of the modal verbs and verbs in brackets.

It isn’t true that sleepwalkers ________ (can’t / wake) safely.

It seems that more research into the new drug ________ (ought to / do) before it was made available.

Surely the results of the tests ________ (must / check) before they were published?

Our sleep ________ (can / disturb) by artificial lighting.

Perhaps not all health ths ________ (should / dismiss) completely.

We ________ (might / lie) to for decades by the drinks industry about how much water we need.

Some health advice ________ (may / misunderstand) in the past.

Do you think most smokers ________ (could / encourage) to quit by using e-cigarettes?

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1 can’t be woken   2 ought to have been done

3 must have been checked   4 can be disturbed

5 should be dismissed   6 might have been lied

7 may have been misunderstood   8 could be encouraged

2. Complete the text with the correct passive infinitive or -ing form of the verb in brackets.

Imagine 1 _____. (wake up) by a member of your family to discover that you have not only got out of bed and turned on your computer while asleep, but have emailed your friends without knowing it. Apparently, cases of ‘zzz-mailing’ are starting 2 _____. (report) more frequently, and experts say they expect 3 _____. (tell) about even more of these strange events. Robert Wood, who suffers from bizarre night-time wanderings, desperately hopes 4 _____. (cure) after his wife, who didn’t expect 5 _____. (meet) by such a worrying sight, found the Scottish chef cooking chips in their kitchen while fast asleep! However, another sufferer, nurse Lee Hadwin, definitely doesn’t want 6 _____. (prevent) from sleepwalking and admits 7 _____. (amaze) by his unconscious talents! He certainly deserves 8 _____. (know) as a gifted artist after producing amazing drawings on tablecloths, clothes and walls – although it seems he has no such ability while he’s awake.

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1 being woken up   2 to be reported   3 to be told

4 to be cured   5 to be met   6 to be prevented

7 (to) being amazed   8 to be known

3. Rewrite the sentences in two ways using passive structures. Begin with the words given.

We know that too much sugar is bad for us.

  It is __________________

  Too much sugar __________________

They estimate that a third of babies born in the UK in 2013 have a life expectancy of 100.

  It is __________________

  A third __________________

They say that vitamin C is good for colds.

  It is __________________

  Vitamin C __________________

People once thought that carrots were good for you eyesight.

 It was once __________________

 Carrots were once __________________

People believe that the ancient Egyptians were great doctors.

 It is __________________

 The ancient Egyptians __________________

They say that the actor put on ten kilos for this film

     It is __________________

     The actor __________________

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1 It is known that too much sugar is bad for us. Too much sugar is known to be bad for us.

2 It is estimated that a third of babies born in the UK in 2013 have a life expectancy of 100. A third of babies born in the UK in 2013 are estimated to have a life expectancy of 100.

3 It is said that vitamin C is good for colds. Vitamin C is said to be good for colds.

4 It was once thought that carrots were good for your eyesight. Carrots were once thought to be good for your eyesight.

5 It is believed that the ancient Egyptians were great doctors. The ancient Egyptians are believed to have been great doctors.

6 It is said that the actor put on ten kilos for this film. The actor is said to have put on ten kilos for this film.

4. Complete the text with one word in each gap.

Do you have 1 _______ told that you should be drinking more water? 2 _______ is often reported that we ought to drink at least two litres a day, but there are many people who believe this advice must have 3 _______ spread by companies wanting us to buy their bottled water. Humans are known to 4 _______ evolved in conditions of extreme heat and dryness and it 5 _______ now thought that too much water is worse for us than too little. According to one scientist, it’s like saying we should all 6 _______ encouraged to breathe more oxygen, because if a little is good for us, more must be even better!

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1 being   2 It   3 been   4 have   5 is   6 be

5. Rewrite the sentences in two different ways using passive structures. Begin with the words given.

1 People think the new coach is a woman.

 It ________

 The new coach ________

2 We believe the manager resigned last night.

 It ________

 The manager ________

3 They say the rules are straightforward.

 It ________

 The rules ________

4 The press reports that some athletes have made a complaint.

     It ________

     Some athletes ________

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1 is thought (that) the new coach is a woman / is thought to be a woman

2 is believed (that) the manager resigned last night / is believed to have resigned last night

3 is said (that) the rules are straightforward / are said to be straightforward

4 is reported that some athletes have made a complaint. / are reported to have made a complaint.