All our articles are "run" through copyscape.

I know that run and run are past and present tense, although this is the sentence I see on some websites. Which one is correct and why?

  • 1
    Observe that if you take another verb instead of to run (run, ran, run), like e.g, to do (do, did, done), you get “All our articles are done...” which sounds like proper English, hence, you need the past participle. “All our articles are do...” and “All our articles are did...” are incorrect. – userr2684291 May 14 '16 at 16:31
  • @user2684291 'Doh! Of course I meant past participle. I'm exceptionally careless today. Fixing . . . – StoneyB May 14 '16 at 16:33
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    This is a passive construction, built from a form of BE and the past participle of the lexical verb. The past participle of RUN is run, so the articles are run through the program. Dictionaries will tell you the "principal parts" of irregular verbs; for RUN these are run (plain/present), ran (past), and run (past participle). – StoneyB May 14 '16 at 16:34

As Stoney stated, this is a passive construction involving "be".

The passive is used to denote that the topic of the sentence is acted upon by something else, and the "something else" need not appear in the sentence.

The boy was attacked.

Exams are written at the end of the year.

The passive is constructed with the appropriate form of "be" followed by the past participle of the verb.

Since you need the past participle for the passive voice, "run" must be used as it's the participle we need. ("run" is an irregular verb, as you knew already.)

All our articles are run through copyscape.

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