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Recently I came across the below statement in a quote.

"In a crisis when one has done wrong, wrong repentance is required. When one has been wronged, a vigorous defense must be mounted"

What is the difference between "has done wrong" and "has been wronged"?

  • "has done wrong" means, he literally "did" something bad/wrong, but "has been wrong" does NOT imply that he did something, he just had a wrong/bad idea or he was wrong about what he was thinking. – tkausl Nov 29 '14 at 2:24
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    Check your source - I think you've got an extra wrong in there. It should be "...when one has done wrong, repentance is required". – StoneyB Nov 29 '14 at 13:28
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Passive Voice: "one" as object of action

When one has been wronged, a vigorous defense must be mounted

In this sentence, the verb "to wrong", meaning "to do something bad to someone", is used in the Passive Voice.

Let's illustrate:

John wronged Jim. (Meaning: John did something wrong to Jim)

Here, the same verb is used in the active voice. Let's remodel to the passive voice:

Jim was wronged by John. (Meaning: John did something wrong to Jim; the verb is in the Passive Voice)

Here, the meaning is the same. We can change was to has been, shifting the tense from Past Simple to Present Perfect:

Jim has been wronged by John. (Meaning: John has done something wrong to Jim)

Finally, we can remove "by John", because the Passive Voice makes emphasis on what has happened to a person, and this makes the mention of the agent (John) less important:

Jim has been wronged. (Meaning: Someone has done something wrong to Jim)


Active voice: "one" as agent

In a crisis when one has done wrong, wrong repentance is required.

Here, the Active Voice is used. The meaning is: Someone ("one") has done something wrong, hence, a repentance is required.

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    Nice answer! +1 for a step-by-step explanation. Even I learned good things here! – Maulik V Nov 29 '14 at 5:41
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    Good answer. Worth noting that using "wrong" as a verb (e.g. "John wronged Jim" etc) comes across as rather formal/old-fashioned. – psmears Nov 29 '14 at 10:07
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In

In a crisis when one has done wrong, wrong repentance is required.

wrong means something "one" actually did. But in

When one has been wronged, a vigorous defense must be mounted.

wrong means something was done to "one". In this example it seems to be about being accused of something unjustly, hence the "vigorous defense".

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Has done wrong vs has been wronged

If somebody has done wrong, it means that he has done something that is not honest, legal or morally acceptable.

If somebody has been wronged, it means that he has been treated in an unfair or unacceptable way.

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