0

I have seen sentence structures like the following:

Once opened, the chicken broth is good for 2 days.

My two questions:

  1. what tense should be used after once? past, or the past participle? So, which one is correct:

    Once drunk, the bottle should be disposed of properly.

    or

    Once drank, the bottle should be disposed of properly.

?

  1. Can such a sentence structure be used in formal contexts?
3
  • There is an error in your sentences that unintentionally makes them very funny. The original sentence is about the chicken broth: "Once opened, the chicken broth..." but your sentences are about you: "Once drunk, you..." This actually says that once you are drunk, you should dispose of the bottle! A more accurate phrasing would be "Once drunk, the bottle should (etc.)" But don't worry; even many native speakers make this kind of mistake.
    – stangdon
    Sep 20, 2018 at 16:52
  • @stangdon Haha, this was actually pretty funny, too bad that it's fixed now and the future readers will be deprived of a good laugh :)
    – narengi
    Sep 20, 2018 at 16:58
  • It's still there.
    – Lambie
    Sep 20, 2018 at 17:46

1 Answer 1

1

The words "opened" and "drunk" here are functioning like adjectives; they describe the state of the broth/bottle. For this purpose, use the past participle. It's the same as in the sentence:

That seat was taken.

And yes, this structure is OK to use in formal contexts.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .