1. Health facilities reported 1000 people killed and 3000 wounded since March 19.

  2. Health facilities reported that 1000 people were killed and 3000 were wounded since March 19.

Isn't 'killed' an adjective in the first sentence and a verb in the second? I'd be grateful if anyone could please explain in detail. Thank you.

  • 1
    Essentially, they're the same sentence, the first one with deducible words deleted. It becomes a meaningless exercise reclassifying 'ex past participles'. Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 19:32
  • 1
    See Word order of participial modifiers and proper nouns, and John Lawler's posts on deletions. Although I seem to have weakened and called the things 'adjectives' there. But try 'reported 1000 people tall'! Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 19:35
  • You might want to also consider that the first construction is common in journalism, especially for headlines. The second is more formal and a real sentence structure. Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 20:04
  • Or try replacing the "wounded" in #1 with "stole"...
    – DJohnM
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


This is an example of elision: Both sentences use the past participle, but elements of the sentence have been left out for the sake of brevity in the first example. The rather terse style of #1 seems much like that of TV news shows, which generally try to cram as many stories into a programme slot as possible.

Consider that you could insert the phrase "by the fighting" after the word "wounded" - each sentence would carry the same meaning.

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