The Bicycle- Reading and Passive Voice Exercise (Advanced)

VOCABULARY: Match the words to their definition


The first bicycle patent was registered in Germany, in 1818 by Karl von Drais. His invention was called the Draisine or velocipede. It was very heavy, because it was made mostly of wood and iron. It weighed 22 kg (1)! Imagine trying to carry that up and down a fight of stairs.

There are many different types of bicycles, but two of the most common are road bikes and mountain bikes. Road bikes have narrow tires and drop handlebars, and are designed for recreational use. They are more lightweight than mountain bikes. Mountain bikes have straight handlebars and wide, knobby tires, that are better for off-road riding. Shock absorbers are often installed, to accommodate for rough trails, hills and mountains.

Bicycles have been used by people all over the world for a long time, both for fun and as a method of transportation. In an age when humans are becoming more environmentally conscious, this old invention is more welcome and important than ever.

(1) “The History of the Bicycle”. Retrieved December 2, 2020.

QUESTIONS FROM THE READING: Answer in your own words.

A.) What were the first bicycles like?
B.) What are the main differences between a road bike and a mountain bike?
C.) Why are bicycles especially important now?


1.) Identify and write all of the sentences in the reading that are in passive voice. Write in your notebooks, or as directed.
2.) Write the same sentences in active voice. If you need a subject, you can invent one, or use “somebody”.

For example, here is the first sentence:

PASSIVE: The first bicycle patent was registered in Germany, in 1818 by Karl von Drais.
ACTIVE: Karl von Drais resistered the first bicycle patent in Germany, in 1818.

You can refer to a handy ‘to be’ conversion here.