Which of the following sentences is correct?

1) If Found, Please return to

2) If Find, Please return to

Please give me reason too


In English, you can use the participles of a verb as adjectives. Using the past participle in such a way is very common:

Marry -> participle married -> John is married, John is a married man.
Write -> participle written -> The book is written, it is a well-written book.
Forget -> participle forgotten -> The song is forgotten, it is a forgotten song.

In the same way, you have:

Find -> particple found -> the key is found, it is a found key.

Your sentence is a shortened version of

if (something is) found, please return (it) to...

The infinitive (find) is not used in this way, so your second sentence is not correct.

You could, as someasw mentions, rewrite the second version into something like if you find it, please return it to....

  • Thank you, By the way, so we can use all past participles as adjectives in this way?
    – Joann
    Aug 2 '16 at 9:52
  • 1
    In principle, yes, you can, but in some cases the result may not be very well understood. You have to consider semantics (the meaning) of such phrases. A trained dog makes more sense than an understood dog, even if I think I understand what the dog wants. There are probably verbs that can cause trouble, so don't assume this rule has no exceptions (like any "rule" in language!)
    – oerkelens
    Aug 2 '16 at 9:57

You should use "If found, please return to..." here (I also corrected other typos).

"found" is needed because you need the passive form here: "If something is found, please return it to..."

2 is wrong the way you phrased it. Possible variation: "If you find it, return it to..."

  • i thought if i used "i found" that would be second conditional. Thanks for correcting me
    – Joann
    Aug 2 '16 at 9:46

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