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People performing "critical" tasks including air traffic controllers will be exempt under new rules.

I saw this sentence from a news article. I was taught that will be is followed by past participle. Past participle of exempt is exempted.

Is "will be exempt" correct or is it a typo here?

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Both are correct, but convey slightly different emphasis, this is because of a slightly unusual situation that adjective and past participle are not derived the same way, as such exempted (p.p.) and exempt (adj) are distinct words.

Exempt - adjective and verb

Exempted - p.p. of exempt

Other examples:

  • Open/Opened

  • Legal/Legalized

Examples taken from: https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/140293-Exempt-vs-exempted

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