Please let me know which sentence is correct. I have faced the first and third one in the Longman dictionary, but dictionaries are prone to typos and errors. So I couldn't be sure which one is correct and which one is not. Please help me know.

  1. The verb is in the past tense.
  2. The verb is in past tense.
  3. The verb is past tense.
  • 1
    the 1st and 3rd examples are correct, with the 1st one being probably the best of the two. – Rory Alsop May 2 '14 at 10:21
  • 4
    Only use the third if you want to indicate the verb is in a state of high anxiety. – Gary's Student May 2 '14 at 10:53
  • In which case, you could also describe it as 'beyond tense'. – Erik Kowal May 2 '14 at 11:02
  • ......elevense? – Edwin Ashworth May 2 '14 at 11:19
  • 2
    All three are fine and understandable. The term "correct" has no value here--for no one is grading or marking the prose, since this is not a school environment. – F.E. May 3 '14 at 19:56

The first is usual; the third is odd, but unambiguous and terse; the second is wrong.

It is most likely that a dictionary would deliberately use the third form for brevity.

  • 1
    Why is the second wrong? It seems fine to me. – MrHen May 13 '14 at 19:15

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