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Is "having disappeared" correctly used in the following? If not, why?

Before I left my room this morning, I found my watch having disappeared from the desk.

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  • Your version is definitely invalid. But depending on what you want to convey, it could be I found my watch had disappeared from the desk (what I discovered was the fact that my watch had disappeared), OR I found my watch that [had] disappeared from the desk (what I found was the missing watch itself). Dec 3, 2021 at 13:37

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It would normally be "... I found my watch had disappeared ...". In this sentence the object is the clause "(that) my watch had disappeared ...", which describes the situation that I found.

An alternative would be "... I found an empty space, my watch having disappeared ...", where "an empty space" is the object.

The phrase "my watch having disappeared ..." means "because my watch had disappeared ...", and it is an adverbial phrase giving a reason. The verb "found" needs a noun or a noun phrase as its object, but in the original sentence there is no such object.

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  • I wouldn't agree with what you say. In "I found [(that) my watch had disappeared] ...", the bracketed element is not a noun phrase but a declarative content clause functioning as complement of "found". There's no object in this example.
    – BillJ
    Dec 3, 2021 at 18:03
  • @BillJ correction noted, and answer emended.
    – Peter
    Dec 4, 2021 at 11:27

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