Consider these two ways of saying something:

  • Testing complete.
  • Testing is completed.

This is just an example. I want to understand any differences between the two constructions “ᴠᴇʀʙɪɴɢ ᴀᴅᴊᴇᴄᴛɪᴠᴇ” versus “ᴠᴇʀʙɪɴɢ ᴠᴇʀʙꜱ ᴠᴇʀʙᴇᴅ” in the present tense.

Anyone, please explain to me whether these phrases have any differences or not? Do they mean the same thing? Are they interchangeable? Where would you use one and where the other?

  • 1
    No difference, other than the first is extremely terse and would only be used in a status display.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 10, 2019 at 12:48
  • @HotLicks Thanks a lot. You have confirmed my thoughts.
    – Junior L
    Jun 10, 2019 at 13:03
  • 1
    @HotLicks Please don't write answers in comments. If you know the answer please write an answer. Jun 10, 2019 at 22:16

2 Answers 2


First, I should point out that the first sentence is an abbreviated form of "testing is complete". This kind of abbreviated form is used in newspaper headlinese, notices and computer status displays.

As an adjective, complete means whole, so the following sentence means that all of the pieces of testing have been put together... probably not what you meant.

Testing is complete

As a verb, complete means finished, and I think that this is the meaning that you are looking for: the completed form is a past participle which, in this context, is used to form a passive voice sentence. You could use present simple to say

Testing is completed

but it is not what a native English speaker would say: they would be more likely to use present perfect

Testing has been completed

The difference is that present simple is used to talk about the way things are now, and present perfect is used about something that happened in the past (completion of the testing), that has an effect that lasts until the present time.


For the example given, there is no difference in meaning. And a comment to the contrary notwithstanding, i have written "testing complete" in emails and project logs thousands of times. I would not however use that without the "is" in a formal report.

As for the general issue of

“ᴠᴇʀʙɪɴɢ ᴀᴅᴊᴇᴄᴛɪᴠᴇ” versus “ᴠᴇʀʙɪɴɢ ᴠᴇʀʙꜱ ᴠᴇʀʙᴇᴅ”

That is going to depend on the specific adjective (or noun) used. (Note that in "testing complete" "complete" is a noun, this is short for "The testing process is complete.")

Running fast

fits the pattern meaning '"It is running fast" "or it is running rapidly".

"Steer small" (a specifically nautical usage) means "steer so as to keep closely to the specified course" -- there is no -ed form with much the same meaning that I know of.

  • 1
    "Complete" is a noun? Complete is still an adjective. To be honest, I'm not too sure what you're trying to say after that point. Jun 12, 2019 at 4:17
  • Thanks for your reply. But I have a question like @the-baby-is-you . I have always been thinking that complete is adjection or verb (IMHO in that case it is a verb). Not a noun. Lexico (ex. Oxford Dictionary) confirmed my minds. Please tell me where do your information from? Or maybe is it typo?
    – Junior L
    Jun 13, 2019 at 3:16
  • @Jun It was not a typo. But it may have been an error. I need to rethink this one. Jun 13, 2019 at 16:36
  • Note that "running fast" and "steer small" are participle-adverb and verb-adverb respectively: they bear no relation to the OP's sentence.
    – JavaLatte
    Aug 20, 2021 at 13:54

You must log in to answer this question.

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