1 2 3 4
Is the following sentence correct related to hyphens and using "served" rather than "serve"?
"All sponsors will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis."
Thank you.
New Member03
Hello, Officewriter, welcome to the Forums!
Your sentence looks quite fine to me, but maybe wait for another opinion?
Veteran Member7,461
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
I agree, Pieanne
Senior Member2,657
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
I believe both can be used since the sentence describes what and not who or when something will happen in the future...

If you are the first person to come, you will be the first person I serve, she serves or the person who gets served.

It's really a matter of choice or preference in this case.
New Member02
Hi ludikris. fair point, but I'm afraid in this instance it is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of usage. The expression is First-Come, First-Served
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
Googled:

Results 1 - 10 of about 1,550,000 English pages for "first come first serve".

Results 1 - 10 of about 3,520,000 English pages for "first come first served".

UK Pages Only:

Results 1 - 10 of about 265,000 for "first come first served".

Results 1 - 10 of about 30,300 for "first come first serve".
Junior Member81
What about the hyphenation, RH-- any interesting results?
Veteran Member92,262
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
I didn't check, Mr Micawber. I don't think, though I could be wrong, that that type of Google search recognizes hyphens. Also, hyphens mark newer collocations in English. They aren't necessary for well established idioms.
I was just curious. Yes, I recall that Google does not sort by them. I just had a quick look, and both forms ('serve' and 'served') seem to be represented in both the hyphenated and unhyphenated forms. Interestingly-- but also expectedly-- it is the adjectival form that seems to require hyphenation, e.g. 'first-come, first-served campgrounds'.

I've been trying to reconstruct the grammar. Although the BrE results are weighted toward 'serve', I see the original as something like:

'(Those who) first come (are) first served.'

I can't find a grammar for 'serve'.
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Show more
Live chat
Registered users can join here