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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.
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Hello, Officewriter, welcome to the Forums!
Your sentence looks quite fine to me, but maybe wait for another opinion?
I agree, Pieanne
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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.
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
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".
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What about the hyphenation, RH-- any interesting results?
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'.
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