2
  1. It left the German Embassy looking as though it had been racked by an earthquake.

  2. It left the German Embassy looked as though it had been racked by an earthquake.

Is the #2 a correct sentence? What is the difference between the two?

1

The news left me stunned.

The drink left me feeling queasy.

The boiler explosion left the building in ruins.

The boiler explosion left the building looking as though it had been hit by an earthquake.

to leave [something/someone] {complement} can be understood to mean "to put [something/someone] into the state expressed by {complement}.

States are expressed by adjectives, prepositional phrases, and non-finite forms of verbs used adjectivally as object complements (phrases introduced by the present participle, or the past participle as adjective).

To express a resultant state, we cannot use a finite (tensed) verb like looked:

It left the embassy looked... ungrammatical

and the past participle of look, looked, does not express a resultant state and thus cannot be used as an adjectival object complement. If we look at something, it does not become looked (but looked at). Look is unlike see in that regard. When we see something, it does become seen.

In the explosion example, look means "to seem, to appear". The past participle of that verb does not express a resultant state either.

P.S. To hone this a bit, it not just a resulant state but a state that is the direct result of subject's action. The verb whose past participle form is used as the object complement must express an action that the subject does. For that reason, we cannot say:

The storm left many trees fallen. ungrammatical

0

#2 is incorrect. Not many native speakers will be able to give you a good answer as to why and you will receive different answers from different people. You could say:

The German Embassy looked as though it had been racked by an earthquake.

This means that it looked that way in the past and does not look that way now. In 1, at the time that the person leaves, the German Embassy looks as such which is why looking is used.

Also, racked is quite a rare word and you're not likely to encounter it again soon.

0

It left the German Embassy looking as though it had been racked by an earthquake.

The verb - leave - can license carious complements. Among them, this is quite a common and natural pattern -

  • Complement (Subject) + LEAVE + Complement (Object) + Objective Predicative Complement.

Example -

[He] LEFT [the knife] [sticking to the butter].

The elements in brackets corresponds to the functions referred above in the same order. Here the Objective Predicative Complement is realised by the Gerund-Participle clause - sticking to the butter. The subject of the clause is implied; it's the Object of the sentence - the knife.

[He] LEFT [the child] [seated in his favourite chair].

Here in this sentence the Objective Predicative Complement is realised by a Past-Participle clause - seated in his favourite chair.

So the verb - leave - can license both a Gerund-Participle Clause and a Past-Participle Clause as its Objective Predicative Complement. Favouring one over the other depends on situations. In your sentence -

It left the German Embassy looking as though it had been racked by an earthquake.

The only correct option is looking. We can't use looked.

Past-Participle clause is only possible if we could write - something or somebody looked the German embassy as though it had been racked by as earthquake.

0

Your first sentence is correct using a participle phrase

It left the German Embassy looking as though it had been racked by an earthquake.
(The storm) left the German Embassy looking as though it had been racked by an earthquake.

meaning the state of the embassy was in tatters.

Your second sentence could be rephrased as

The German Embassy looked as though it had been racked by an earthquake.

where the "final" state of the embassy is implied.

The meaning of both is the same, that "the embassy received a high degree of damage.".

  • Peter, that's my downvote. What is the subject of looked in the second sentence? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 3 '17 at 12:24
  • Whatever "it" refers to is the subject. That should be obvious "It left the German Embassy" + "It looked as though it had been racked by an earthquake" = "It left the German Embassy and (it) looked as though it had been racked by an earthquake." – Peter Jun 3 '17 at 16:12
  • Although it's grammatically possible to construe the sentence so that "left" means "exited", semantically it's somewhat far-fetched. But I can't remove my downvote unless you make an edit of some kind. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 3 '17 at 16:30
  • Interesting, it never occurred to me to read the sentence as you are suggesting, I thought along the lines of "The car left the German Embassy looking as though it had been racked by an earthquake." – Peter Jun 3 '17 at 16:45

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