When using (to be taught), should it be (was taught) or (has been taught)?
For example:

He taught her Russian, in other words, she _____ Russian.

  1. has been taught
  2. has taught
  3. taught
  4. was taught

And why?

  • 6
    If this is an exercise in some ESL class, it's a ridiculous exercise, because (1) and (4) are both correct. Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 21:10
  • Unfortunately, it is.
    – Hussain Biedouh
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 21:14
  • 3
    Then you have to apply ESL rules, and not native speaker rules. I'm only a native speaker; I don't know the answer. Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 21:19
  • @HussainBiedouh I’m going to migrate your questions over to English Language Learners where you can get an answer from people who better understand your needs.
    – tchrist
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 1:30
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Great Expectations [is written vs has been written] by Charles Dickens
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


In real life, both (1) and (4) are grammatically correct, as Peter Shor commented. Which one you choose depends on what you want to emphasize the present or the past respectively.

For the purpose of the exercise, since the active voice is a simple past tense, a straightforward conversion to the passive would yield (4), which I believe is meant to be the "correct" answer.

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