German Passive Voice – The Interactive Exercise

Written By: Emanuel Updated: June 12, 2024

 

Hello everyone,

And welcome back to the most bestest German grammar course on the web.
Today, it’s time for the first big

Exercise for Passive Voice

And it’s also time for a world premiere.
Because today, I’ll show you a new type of exercise that I have created that I have never done before. And actually, I don’t think I have seen it anything like it in any of the many learning apps and tools out there either.
I have made… drumroll please…

An AI exercise assistant

*cyberpunk intensifies

Well, actually, calling it an assistant is maybe a bit of an overpromise. I know that every language learning app and their mother is rolling out AI tools at the moment, but I think the AI we have now is not good enough to really be a learning assistant or tutor, simply because it’s not reliable enough. One explanation is on point, the next one is fail.
What it is really good at though is generating sentences and that’s kind of exactly what you need when you want to practice some grammar.

And what I made is essentially that… an interactive exercise generator. 

Here’s how it works

It creates a short sentence in English passive voice for you that you then translate, and it’ll give you quick feedback for your version and show you the solution.
Sounds boring enough, but the key feature is:

You can make the tool modify the example in various ways.

So you can tell it to give you the same sentence, but in past tense, or with a negation, or with a modal verb, or just longer, with more stuff.
This allows you to practice several versions of the same core sentence and really see how things change and move around. And you practice the vocabulary of the sentence at the same time.

So basically, it’s like a premade exercise with a bunch of sentences, but there’s a virtually unlimited amount of sentences for you to practice with and you can practice all these variants.

Now you might be like “Oh, nice, and I can talk to it about my mistaks to me as well and have it answer some questions.”

But unfortunately, that’s not really a good idea, because the stuff you get is just not reliable enough. Even giving feedback on your sentence and listing errors was a bit unreliable, when I was testing the tool. So I have made it so you can’t really have a free form conversation with it.

I’ll play around some more and see how the new GPT4o fares and also the other LLMs like Claude or Gemeni. But I really don’t think it’s useful to have a tool that answers questions, when 30% of what it says are just plain wrong.

You can ask it for some translations, though, if you lack some vocabulary in the example.

Anyway, I think it’s best if you just try it out.
Oh, if you want to read up on the Passive voice again, you can find the first two episodes of my module here:

And now, viel Spaß and do let me know in the comments what you think.

German Passive Practice – AI Generator

One more quick note: all the examples are about the werden-passive. So also if you see something like “was closed”, it’s about the process of getting closed, not the state.

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So yeah, that’s my new tool.
It’s not perfect, but I think just the fact that you can circle through various versions of similar sentences makes it a great way to study.
I’m super curious how it went for you and how you like it, so please let me know all your thoughts and ideas and of course any glitches you ran into.
If you vibe with the tool, I will make more of them, like for example for practicing past tense, conditional, relative sentences or other grammar topics.
And actually, I do have something in the pipeline as well, but more on that soon.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Can’t wait to read your feedback, good, bad or neutral. I want it all.
I hope you enjoyed this, have a great week and I’ll see you next time.

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