Vocabulary Worksheets

Fascinating Sharks: Vocabulary Worksheet with Fish Idioms

(Whale shark. Photo by Sebastian Pena Lambarri, Unsplash)

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PDF Printable – Fascinating-Sharks-Vocabulary-and-Idioms-Worksheet

Fill the gaps with these words:

diverse, fabrics, fearsome, flexible, kingdom, length, marine, prey, rough, rows, survived

Did you know that sharks are older than trees! They have been on our planet for around 450 million years and have a)_______________ several mass extinctions.

Unlike most fish, sharks have a skeleton made of cartilage and not bone. Cartilage is lighter than bone and much more b)_______________, which allows sharks to be more efficient swimmers. 

Whale sharks, which are the largest fish on earth, have huge mouths and about 300 c)_______________ of teeth, but these majestic creatures are docile and feed mostly on plankton.

Not all sharks are massive though. In fact they come in all sizes – the dwarf lanternshark is about the d)_______________ of a pencil!

Sharks have small tooth-shaped ‘scales’ on their skin known as dermal denticles. This is why their skin feels e)_______________ like sandpaper if you were to stroke them from tail to head. These ‘scales’ reduce friction allowing them to swim faster and in fact have inspired f) _______________ for Olympic swimsuits!

Sharks never run out of teeth. When they lose a tooth, it is replaced by a tooth from the row behind. They can go through thousands of teeth in a lifetime.

Sharks have a phenomenal sense of smell, one of the most powerful in the animal g) _______________. They can smell blood from hundreds of metres away.

They are also equipped with special sensory organs which allow them to detect electrical currents and vibrations in the water.  This gives them several advantages as hunters. For instance, it can help them detect the heartbeat of h)__________________ hiding under sand.

Not only are sharks fascinating creatures, but they have been a vital part of i)_______________ ecosystems for millions of years. One very important role they play is keeping other animal populations in check (= preventing them from expanding too much). This helps to ensure j)_______________ oceanic life.

Sharks have a k)_______________ reputation thanks in part to movies such as “Jaws” but most shark species are harmless, to humans at least. You are far more likely to be killed by a lightning strike, a bee or even a cow!

Not so fun fact

Alarmingly, shark populations have plummeted by 70% in just the last fifty years, mostly as a result of overfishing, bycatch* and shark finning. 100 million sharks are killed every year.

*Bycatch: the marine creatures caught unintentionally in commercial fishing operations


1. Karla is very nervous about her first public concert. It’s one thing to sing in front of friends and family but singing in front of a big crowd is a different __________ (bucket, kettle, pan) of fish

2. People were packed like __________ (cod, sardines, tuna) in the train so we decided not to get on and to wait for the next train.

3. I wouldn’t talk to the boss today about organising the office party. He’s got __________ (bigger, busier, grander) fish to fry (= more important things to do)

4. Harold needed money fast so he went to a loan __________ (leech, shark, squid) and now he has to pay it all back in a week with 400% interest!


A) a) survived b) flexible c) rows d) length e) rough f) fabrics
g) kingdom h) prey i) marine j) diverse k) fearsome

B) 1. kettle 2. sardines 3. bigger 4. shark

a different kettle of fish – a completely different situation

If people are packed (in) like sardines there are so many people in a space that it is difficult for them to move

If someone has bigger fish to fry, they have more important things to do

a loan shark is an illegal and sometimes dangerous lender

More Nature Worksheets

Beautiful Bees

Gentle Giraffes

Splendid Sloths

Test your Idioms!

Parts of the Body Exercise 1

Animals  Exercise 1

Idioms with ‘Give’  Exercise 1

Idioms with ‘Make’  Exercise 1  Exercise 2

Idioms with ‘Take’  Exercise 1

Idioms with ‘Keep’  Exercise 1

Idioms with ‘Think’  Exercise 1

test your English

Key Word Transformation Exercise (2)

Complete the second sentence so that the meaning is very similar to the first, using the key word in bold.

Use between two and five words, including the key word. Contractions (I’m, can’t, etc, count as two words)

1. We discovered a lovely little coffee shop on our walk through the old town. ACROSS

We _______________  a lovely little coffee shop on our walk through the old town.

2. If it’s okay with you, I’d prefer to stay at home. MIND

If _______________ , I’d prefer to stay at home. 

3. They don’t have permission to use the car park. ALLOWED

They _______________ to use the car park.

4. We were so surprised when Paul appeared at the party. TURNED

We were so surprised when Paul _______________ at the party.

5. The lift isn’t working so we’ll take the stairs. ORDER

The lift is _______________ so we’ll take the stairs.

6. I’ll have finished my homework soon. LONG

It _______________ to finish my homework.

7. It’s possible I forgot to lock the door. MIGHT

I _______________ to lock the door.

8. Who does this scarf belong to? IS

_______________ scarf?


There are lots more free resources here on my website for learning or teaching English, so please have a look around! My content is aimed at a B1 / B2 level of English.

Full list of vocabulary exercises
Full list of grammar exercises

Verb Drills

Verb Training (1) – Present Perfect Simple (Positive)

Change these sentences to the present perfect simple (short form). Check my study tip at the end of the exercise

eg. He speaks to Alba. → He‘s spoken to Alba.

1.  They have lunch.
2.  I drink my coffee.
3.  He catches the train.
4.  The train leaves.
5.  I shut the windows.
6.  It gets really cold.
7.  She breaks her arm.
8.  We spend too much money.
9.  I think about it a lot.
10.  She tells me everything.
11.  He writes them an email.
12.  She sends several emails.
13.  She takes the dog out for a walk.
14.  I throw the letter away.
15.  I keep the receipt.
16.  They ring the doctor.
17.  You do the dishes.
18.  He sees this film.
19.  We pay for the books.
20.  She buys new headphones.
21.  This tree grows so fast.
22.  The baby sleeps through all the noise.
23.  He quits smoking.
24.  I give up chocolate.
25.  She chooses this dress.
26.  We bring some snacks.
27.  I am quite tired this week.
28.  She meets his grandparents.
29.  I read that book.
30.  He goes to the supermarket. (Give BOTH possible answers here 😉)



When you’ve finished and you’ve checked your answers make a note of the ones you didn’t know or that you misspelt, and try to make a new sentence with them in the present perfect.

Whenever you can, make the sentences personal to you and your life, as it is much easier to remember things when they are relevant to us.

Put these sentences on post-it notes around the house, leaving a gap where the verb should be.

Every time you see these notes READ THEM OUT LOUD adding the missing verb. Then after a week do this whole exercise again and see how you have improved!


Verb Training (1) – Present Perfect

Verb Training (2) – Mixed Tenses

Verb Training (3) – Past Simple

Verb Training (4) – Present Continuous

Verb Training (5) – Past Simple Questions

Verb Training (6) – Mixed Tenses

Verb Training (7) – Advanced Irregular Verbs