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I always stuck on this.

Withania somnifera has proven itself in treating depression and anxiety. OVER
Withania somnifera has proved itself in ...

Whether to use past participle is confusing in such cases. Both seem okay. Another such case is light-weight software that opens fast and light-weighted software that opens fast.

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  • My first thought, "The past participle form of prove is proven, isn't it?" So I was surprised by a dictionary (Macmillan) which lists both proved and proven as the past participle forms of prove. – Damkerng T. May 14 '14 at 10:57
  • I think they can be used interchangeably. Both are accepted past participles of "prove" – Sandeep D May 14 '14 at 10:57
  • light-weight- adjective, light-weighted- past participle of verb light-weight used as an adjective(if light-weight is used as a verb, as in "Use better algorithm to light-weight this program"). Sounds odd though. – Sandeep D May 14 '14 at 11:08
  • I suppose it's a past-participle used as an adjective, whereas Light-weight is a pure adjective. – Sandeep D May 14 '14 at 11:12
  • More comprehensive answers here: english.stackexchange.com/questions/1608/… – Lucian Sava May 14 '14 at 11:16
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They are actually different cases:

In the case of proved/proven, both your sentences are simply a present perfect. The thing is that proved and proven are both accepted as participles for prove.

Just make sure you do not use both of them in the same text, as a matter of consistency.

As for light-weight versus light-weighted, weight is a noun in the first case, used as an adjective in combination with light. In the second case, you have the participle of the verb weight, also used as an adjective.

In this case there is a difference in meaning as well: the common expression is light-weight, meaning that is is not heavy. Light-weighted however implies that someone has weighted it, meaning that weight was deliberately added, but not much (as it was done lightly). Usually that is not the implication that is meant :)

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  • What about a light-weighted software - a punch line that can be used to market my product? It's really light-weighted as compared to other software that take too much time to load and thus useless. – Maulik V May 14 '14 at 12:18
  • I would call that light-weight actually :) – oerkelens May 14 '14 at 12:34
  • that won't be correct I guess. Compare a proofread (past participle) article over a proofread article (simple present). – Maulik V May 14 '14 at 12:43
  • Light-weight means the opposite of heavy-weight. Why can you not call a piece of software light-weight, and what does that have to do with proofreading? (a software, by the way? it's a mass noun ;) ) I would certainly not worry about people reading light-weight as a verb. In 15 years in IT I have never heard of anyone light-weighting something. Same for 40 years outside IT by the way... – oerkelens May 14 '14 at 13:07
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    I still do not understand your issue with light-weight. Nobody thinks a heavy-weight boxing champion is weighting anything. As for software: it is a mass noun, even if it may seem acceptable in some circumstances to use it differently. I guess then you process informations with it. - A proofread article cannot possibly be a present simple by the way. The article makes it a noun with an adjective. – oerkelens May 14 '14 at 13:16

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