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Regarding participle adjectives (amazing, amazed, sending, sent..), when the verb is a phrasal verb (fill up/in/out), where should it be placed as an adjective?

The filled out form will be sent to the store.

The form filled out will be sent to the store.

I know that when the participle acts as a single adjective, without any modifier, it comes attributively (before the noun) - The amazing boy is here; however, when there are other modifiers, it comes as a post-modifier (after the noun): The boy amazing the girls is here.

So, since "out, up and in" in "fill" belong to the verb, should I treat it as an "additional information" and place it as a post-modifier, or treat them as elements that make up the verb and place them attributively?

Thank you.

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  • "The boy amazing the girls is here" isn't something I normally hear. Where did you get the example?
    – user178049
    Jul 8, 2017 at 13:57
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    @user178049 I had the same gut reaction, but you can make yourself reparse it: The boy (who is) amazing the girls is here. It's become a participle instead of an adjective (and we have "the girls" because "amaze" is a transitive verb). Asker: From this we can naturally draw the conclusion that both are fine - we just have to realize that the internal structure of the sentence changes a lot more than it looks like. "The filled-out form" vs. "The form (you have) filled out." Note the hyphen. Jul 8, 2017 at 14:14
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    @LukeSawczak I see. I was confused because the OP said it has more than one modifiers. I see only one here, The boy [amazing the girls] is here. It's a good question, btw.
    – user178049
    Jul 8, 2017 at 14:21
  • Nice answers. @user17809 When I say "modifiers", it also includes "objects"; and Luke got it right, "amaze" is a transitive verb, but we normally don't hear such things as: I will amaze you; instead, we are more likely to hear: I will get you amazed. Which is also a participle that derives from that verb.
    – Davyd
    Jul 8, 2017 at 16:48
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    @Prodigy Actually, "I will amaze you" would be better. Maybe "You will be amazed", though. Jul 8, 2017 at 16:51

1 Answer 1

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Honestly, in formal writing, I would probably avoid either one of those. Possible alternatives include:

  • The completed form will be sent to the store.
  • Once the form has been filled out, it will be sent to the store.
  • The form will be sent to the store after being filled out.

But in everyday English, it's fine to use filled out as a premodifier. Personally, I would hyphenate it for clarity:

The filled-out form will be sent to the store.

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