War leaves too many young men cut off in their prime. (Source)

I just came across this sentence. Is "cut off" here used as an adjective or passive voice?

I know I can use this structure: "Leave + something + adjective"

For example: Please leave the door open.

If "cut off" is used as passive voice there, don't we need "to be" ? As in:

War leaves too many young men to be cut off in their prime.

  • It's a reduce clause: who have been cut off
    – Lambie
    Jul 23, 2019 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


No, if it's a verb, it is past participle: "War leaves too many young men who have been cut off in their prime" (Cut is past participle as well as infinitive).

But I think it's an adjective. You don't find this phrasal verb in the active in this sense:

? The war cut him off in his prime.

  • It's a reduced clause, as you show. These books leave too many questions unexplored in depth.
    – Lambie
    Jul 23, 2019 at 18:33
  • @Colin Fine Do we always use "past participles" this way when they were used with "leave". "Leave + somebody/something + past participle" For example: I left my bag unattended at the airport. Jul 24, 2019 at 7:22
  • @TalhaÖzden: I don't know about "always", but yes "I left my bag unattended" is grammatical and idiomatic.
    – Colin Fine
    Jul 24, 2019 at 9:01
  • @Colin Fine I want to ask one more opinion if possible. "I left my cargo to be picked up." Can I say the previous sentence as in: "I left my cargo picked up." ? Jul 25, 2019 at 5:03
  • @TalhaÖzden: No. "I left my cargo picked up" is grammatical, but hard to make sense of, because it means "I left my cargo which was (already) picked up", and "Picked up" is not a state in which you would normally leave something. "To be picked up" means "for the purpose of being picked up" or "In order that it would be picked up", and you cannot omit the "to be" without changing the sense.
    – Colin Fine
    Jul 25, 2019 at 18:32

You must log in to answer this question.

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