"All you left with is nothing. " "All you are left with is nothing."

Which one is correct? The latter one makes more sense to me. Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    They mean something different but I'd say they are both correct. The first one means that you are no longer were you used to be (you left), and when you vacated that place, you took nothing with you. The second one means that at this moment you have nothing.
    – oerkelens
    Jan 16 '14 at 12:27
  • 1
    Would you like to proof-read the question title? Jan 16 '14 at 12:31

"All you left with is nothing" means that you left a place with nothing, eg, you went to an event that had prizes, but you didn't win anything, so you left with nothing. Note that the construction "All you left with is nothing" is non-standard and would be best said "And you left with nothing."

"All you are left with is nothing" means that you had something but now you have nothing, eg, you saved up lots of money and spent it on stupid things. Now, all you are left with is nothing. Again, this is non-standard. You could say it informally and be understood, but "Now you have nothing left" is better.


They are two different phrasal verbs:

  • "to be left with" means to possess something after an event has happened.
  • "to leave with" means to leave a place with an item

In the context of your question, "all you are left with" is the first of those, while "all you left with" is the second.


Both are correct; they just mean different things.

All you left with is nothing.


All you (had / took with you) when you left is nothing.

On the other hand:

All you are left with is nothing.


All you have now is nothing.

and it sounds like you previously did have something.

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