WANTED PC in good condition

“WANTED PC in good condition. Must be at least a 486. See Alan.”
In the above advertisement, is “wanted” a past tense or a past participle?


I think that “wanted” is a past participle, and the meaning is " It is wanted" or maybe “it has been wanted” as a passive voice, but I 'm not sure.


Wanted here is an adjective.


It is a nice surprise! An adjective.
Please, sir. Is it correct to say " It (has been wanted)/is wanted a personal computer in a good condition?"


No, I’m afraid this won’t work. How about I’m looking for a used PC in good condition?


In the advertisement page of a newspaper, especially in India, you will find such short insertions. In my opinion, here wanted is a participle though a participle can also function as an adjective as in: He is a wanted criminal.

WANTED PC in good condition (five words) is short for A personal computer in good condition is wanted (eight words) which means ’ We/I want a PC in good condition.’ The more the number of words, the higher the advertisement tariff.


Ha ha ha ha… thank you, sir.


Hello sir Anglophile,

The sentence, in this case, will be “Wanted a personal computer in good condition” perhaps the absence of the article “a” between “wanted” and personal computer indicates that wanted is an adjective of the computer.
Please, why we do not say “in a good condition” instead of " in good condition"? Thanks


In any case I cannot say that wanted is an adjective in this case.

The word condition has two meanings, one state and the other circumstance. While the first is non-count, the second is count.

Before uncount nouns we cannot use the non-definite article a or an.


I agree that saying that “wanted” is an adjective describing the PC does not make that much sense to me. In fact, the person is in search of an unwanted PC ! :slight_smile:

But seriously, “want ads” have the standard format
Wanted: description of something.

I think treating this as a sentence or trying to figure out the tense of “wanted” just doesn’t really work here.


Thank you both very much, Lawrence and TJ for your explanations which make perfect sense. Upon reading them and thinking about the question again it’s clear that ‘wanted’ is not an adjective. I clearly was mistaken. @Teo, I’m sorry if I caused any confusion, I was in a bit of a hurry and wanted you to give you an answer since you had already been waiting for it for more than a day.

We have a similar construction in German where you will often find the category ‘Gesucht’ in the classified ads section. “Gesucht” is the past participle of ‘suchen’ (search) and it’s the short form of ‘die folgenden Dinge werden gesucht’ which is a passive construction (the following items are sought). So, ‘wanted’ here is the past participle as you pointed out. Vielen Dank nochmals.


Thank you, sir Anglophile.

1- Yes, that is right. The word “condition” is a non-countable noun. I studied that many times. No way, sir. I’m still making mistakes!

2- A personal computer is a countable noun. Why do they write " “WANTED PC in good condition” and do not write “WANTED a PC in good condition”? Is it because “a personal computer” is written as an abbreviation “PC”.

Many thanks


Lawrence, what do you make of the following sentence and the phrase ‘in quite a good condition’ in particular?

Germany’s labour market was in quite a good condition in autumn 2018.


Oh, wonderful. This topic is very useful to me.


[ S or U ] singular or non-count
The word condition has two meanings, one state and the other circumstance . While the first is singular or non-count , the second is count .


Thank you very much, sir Torsten. for this attractive point.

According to :- in <a?> good condition | WordReference Forums I understood that, “in a good condition” is used for the comparison among different or several other conditions, which converts the word “condition” from non-countable noun expressing state to countable noun expressing number.

PaulQ, Nov 10, 2014

Both are the same. To my BE ear, “…in a very good condition” is normal and natural.

In the first example, condition is uncountable, but in the second case condition has been qualified -“in a very good condition.” and this qualification of an uncountable noun changes it to a semi-countable noun, and thus it can be prefaced by ‘a’ which acts adjectivally. (NB condition still cannot be prefaced by a number.)

Wordsmyth, Nov 11, 2014

To my BE ear (which must be a different shape from Paul’s :)) “in a very good condition” sounds odd.

“Condition” can be a mass noun or a count noun, depending on the context. I’ve never heard of a ‘semi-countable’ noun; (out of curiosity I googled for it, and found only two sources: PaulQ and a single facebook hit!).

I see what you’re getting at, Paul: the fact that it can take an indefinite article but not be prefaced by a number (for semantic reasons); but it’s nonetheless countable, grammatically speaking, if it’s preceded by a/an acting as a determiner.

What’s odd about “condition” is that, in two instances of effectively the same context, it would normally be countable in one, but (say I) uncountable in another.

  • The road is in a dangerous condition. We wouldn’t normally say The road is in dangerous condition .
  • The road is in good condition. We wouldn’t normally say The road is in a good condition . (Well, apparently Kate and I wouldn’t.)

The above can be compared, respectively, to “The road is in a dangerous state” (definitely countable) and “The road is in good repair” (definitely uncountable).

Maybe the apparent anomaly is down to the fact that we can envisage several possible conditions that could make a road dangerous, and that with “in a dangerous condition” we’re probably referring implicitly to only one (or one set) of them. Whereas “in good condition” is just saying that it’s good: it’s not a good condition among several possibilities … Or maybe that’s too contrived, and it’s actually just down to random usage!



Here is something interesting I’ve found:

The road is in a dangerous condition. We wouldn’t normally say The road is in dangerous condition.

Here is another one: If a person is critical or in a critical condition in hospital, they are seriously ill.


Thank you very much, Sir Torsten.


The singular ‘condition’ refers to the state somebody or something is in, e.g. the state of a person’s health or fitness. The plural ‘conditions’ refers to the situation around somebody or the circumstances someone is in. It may be helpful to think of ‘condition’ as internal and ‘conditions’ as external. (David Bunton)


This immediately sprang to mind: “Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In” :slight_smile: