Is there any logic/ Trick to identify if the word was used as adjective or verb?


Level has been reduced to one.
My pen has been broken.
Gold had been stolen.

In above sentence the word reduced, Broken, Stolen, can be use and verb if we use agent.


Level has been reduced by administrator.
My pen has been broken by my friend.
Gold had been stolen by thief.

Also if I use time expression like since then the word reduced, Broken, stolen would be use as adjective.


Level has been reduced since last year.
Since yesterday my pen has been broken.
Gold had been stolen but police are clueless.

  • The agent is implicit in the passive forms lacking a "by-phrase". "The stolen gold lay on the table." There, stolen is an adjective. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 6 '15 at 11:19

Either you have clear indications for a passive as by + passive agent or you have to decide by logic whether the structure describes a passive action or a state. In some cases both views can be right.

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