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I feel like I've seen cases where the verb "held" is used for a future event, as in

I will attend the World English Conference held on January 10-15, 2017.

And I found the same sentence in an ESL textbook recently. However, I can't figure out what that "held" is doing; it seems to me that the grammar should more accurately be "will be held" (future passive), but I also feel like I've seen this pattern before. Is this an alternative use of "held", or is it more likely just an error in the book (and in other places)?

  • What makes you think "will be held" can replace "held"? How many verbs are there in the sentence if you use "will be held"? – user140086 Feb 20 '16 at 8:00
  • Ranthony: sorry, I meant "that will be held" or "which will be held". – bordergeist Feb 20 '16 at 13:47
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Held is a past participle modifying WEC. And, as you've figured out, combined with a date certain it refers to past time. So it's use is inapt in 2016 to describe a conference not scheduled until 2017. There are a number of ways to make this sensible. If you want to keep a participle:

I will attend the World English Conference being held on January 10-15, 2017.

You may use an infinitive:

I will attend the World English Conference to be held on January 10-15, 2017.

Or you may use a finite verb in the future tense by using a relative clause:

I will attend the World English Conference which will be held on January 10-15, 2017.

Note that held is acceptable to describe regularly-scheduled events:

I will attend the World English Conference held in the first month of odd-numbered years.

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    That all makes a lot of sense to me. I'm tempted to think that the textbook is simply wrong, as I would definitely prefer any of the alternatives you've offered to the original. – bordergeist Feb 20 '16 at 13:48
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The conference held on January 10-15, 2017 is short for a relative clause The conference that will be held on January... The verb has the basic forms hold held held.

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