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Convert the given sentence to passive voice.

She has learned many lessons in this camp.

I feel the answer is —

Many lessons were learned by her in this camp.

But the answer provided to me is —

Many lessons have been learned by her in this camp.

Which one is correct? Also, is it necessary to change 'this' into 'that' in this particular case?

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    The provided answer seems correct. You should leave the tense alone. You have changed from Present Perfect to Past Simple, which goes beyond voice conversion. Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 11:26
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    n. m. tells it the way the examiners require it. When you've jumped through there hurdles, you can worry about sounding more natural. And yes, 'Many lessons were learned by her in this camp.' (I've added the period to show the exact form of the suggested answer) sounds less clunky. But as @Damon implies, the active variant (using the past simple or present perfect as seems better to fit the context) is unclunkiest. Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 15:31
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    It's really unfair to force students to turn good English into bad as an exercise in active and passive. The correct results often serve as perfect examples of why passive produces backward forms that many are busy trying to avoid. Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 22:30

2 Answers 2

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With the active subject 'She', the focus is on her, and so the present perfect makes the most sense to describe her recent new experiences (She has learnt...).

However, with the passive subject 'lessons', the lessons are in the past if the camp is finished (Many lessons were learnt), but in the present perfect or even the present progressive if the camp is ongoing (Many lessons have been learnt / are being learnt).

But why use the passive voice at all? If we need to specify 'learnt by her', why not just keep the active, or otherwise build another reference, such as: "The way she has taken on the many lessons learnt in this camp is commendable / admirable / etc." Or: "The many lessons learnt at this camp will serve her well throughout her life."

On a related point, a lot of stand-alone sentences are grammatically and syntactically correct, but when you put them back into their paragraph, there are obvious concord / pronoun / stylistic problems. Oftentimes, people are assured that their sentence is totally correct (and it is - on its own), but the reviewer hasn't seen the context it came from, when the answer would have been, "Yes, but no. The sentence is not possible in this paragraph."

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  • "Why use the passive voice at all"? It's an exam question. :D
    – Sasikuttan
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 14:11
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Many lessons have been learned by her in the camp. is the correct answer, because in converting a sentence from active to passive or vise versa, tense does not change.

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