Why western people used to use “left confused” meaning their feeling?

For example

Typhoon Mangkhut left more than 600 sections of road across Hong Kong blocked by strewn trees and other debris, officials revealed on Monday morning. And commuters were left confused and angry as they tried to get to work during large-scale suspensions of rail and bus services caused by the storm.

The meaning of “leave” on dictionary is not “feel” / “become”, but why use this word to replace feel / become? I don’t understand (I’m Chinese)

  • 2
    It's quite natural to say things like He was left exhausted after [doing something strenuously tiring]. Think of to be left [adjective] as equivalent to to end up [being in some state, as a result of some event or activity]. You could interpret something like (often metaphoric) He was left holding the baby as meaning Others abandoned him, leaving him in that situation, but He ended up holding the baby is just as good a way of saying the same thing. Sep 17, 2018 at 14:18
  • 1
    You might be parsing the phrase "left confused" incorrectly. It can be expanded to "...commuters were left remaining in a state of confusion...". The mental image is of someone having a mix of reactions, and settling on a state of confusion.
    – jimm101
    Sep 17, 2018 at 16:08
  • Before the typhoon came, commuters were not confused. When the typhoon left, commuters were confused. So, the typhoon left the commuters confused. Or, in the passive construction you gave, the commuters were left confused. It's not specific to feelings (or states of mind)—it can apply to anything. It left the city in shambles. It left commuters late to work. It left residents without power. Sep 17, 2018 at 19:14

1 Answer 1


You can think of it like this, your friends go away for a few years

Your friends left you as a young man.

You were in a young state when they left.

The commmuters were confused when the storm left.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .