Below is an example sentence from Collins English Dictionary. I wonder if there is a mistake in this sentence and if we should replace "is buried" with "was buried," as the first part of the sentence is past tense.

He died a pauper and is buried in an unmarked grave.


1 Answer 1


"Buried" is both the past participle of the verb to bury and an adjective to describe the state of being under the ground.

  • You would say "he was buried" (verb) if you were referring to the event of his burial.

  • You would say "he is buried" (adjective) if you wanted to refer to his current state or location under the ground.

  • 2
    You might also say, "he was buried in an unmarked grave until he was exhumed and moved to a new cememtary."
    – Kirk Woll
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 23:13
  • 3
    +1. This is a very common pattern in English; we can also say "The window is still broken. It was broken by a stray baseball" and "The door is still locked. It was locked with the master key" and "Your clothes are still packed away. They were packed away by the cleaning staff" and so on.
    – ruakh
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 4:05

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