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If I say 'fiction is written by those with a creative flair'; and 'Oliver Twist is written by Dickens', what part of speech is the word 'written' in each of these?

I recognise that it may not be the same for each of them.

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When you stick "by" after "written", you make it a verb and not an adjective. Constructions which treat it as both are ungrammatical. (E.g., *Oliver Twist is well written by Dickens.) – Peter Shor Feb 4 '14 at 16:45

Written is the past participle of write in both, and, as such, it is a non-finite verb, and used here to form passive constructions.

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But isn't it acting as an adverb, or as a complement of the verb 'to be'? – WS2 Feb 4 '14 at 20:06
Certainly not. They are perfectly normal passive constructions. In the active they would be ‘Those with a creative flair write fiction’ and ‘Dickens writes Oliver Twist’. (To be accurate it would have to be 'Oliver Twist was written by Dickens' and ‘Dickens wrote Oliver Twist’.) – Barrie England Feb 4 '14 at 21:14
On another posting elsewhere it seems to have been established that 'Macbeth is written by Shakespeare' is correct English. Also, though it is slightly different 'Code is written by programmers'. It is this idea of 'is written' which is concerning me. We have both present tense and past participle. But I am thinking, if I say 'Written by Shakespeare, Macbeth is a masterpiece', 'written by poor programmers, code is suspect'. I have now separated the verbs. What is going on? – WS2 Feb 5 '14 at 0:02
'Macbeth is written by Shakespeare' is certainly grammatical. Whether it makes sense to say it, rather than 'Macbeth was written by Shakespeare', is another matter. But you’re asking a new question, which you may want to post separately. – Barrie England Feb 5 '14 at 7:24

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