My house wrecked by a tornado

Robby Zhu

Senior Member
China - Mandarin
Hello, everyone.

1. My house wrecked by a tornado is something I don’t ever want to see.
The Cambridge grammar of the English language p.1430)

It's an example sentence in the book, without context. How would you understand the bold part?
1a. The speaker doesn't want to see his house that has been wrecked by a tornado.
or
1b. The speaker doesn't want to see the scene where his house is being wrecked by a tornado.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree with grassy. In "see my house wrecked", the wrecking has taken place; it's not taking place at the point the house is seen.
     

    CaptainZero

    Senior Member
    English
    I'm a little mystified, Loob. Doesn't "My house wrecked by a tornado is something I don’t ever want to see" point to an imagined future event? Doesn't it mean "Something I don't ever want to see (in the future) is my house wrecked by a tornado?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm a little mystified, Loob. Doesn't "My house wrecked by a tornado is something I don’t ever want to see" point to an imagined future event? Doesn't it mean "Something I don't ever want to see (in the future) is my house wrecked by a tornado?
    Yes, i agree that's what it means. I think we're just interpreting Robby Zhu's question differently.
    I'm interpreting the question as asking whether the quoted sentence means "I don't want to see my house in a state of having been wrecked" or "I don't want to see my house in the process of being wrecked", and I'm voting for the former.
     

    puli_dog

    Senior Member
    I feel that the original sentence My house wrecked by a tornado doesn't give per se much hints about the timing of the event.
    It is that ever that qualifies, imho, the feeling of the sentence. I hope I won't ever see the destruction of my home, be it during the tornado or in the aftermath, it makes no difference since this is an event I wish won't ever happen.
     
    Last edited:

    puli_dog

    Senior Member
    And, by the way, consider the sentence
    "My mother slapped in the face by my father is something I don't ever want to see".
    There's no being specified, nonetheless it's natural to infer "while my father is slapping her" rather than "seeing the resulting bruises".
     
    Last edited:

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I agree that the original sentence is a way of saying "I hope this never happens in the future". It's not about sight, and eyeballs, per sé. They are saying they want to avoid ever going through the experience of having their house wrecked by a tornado.

    It's not that they don't want to see it visually, it's that they don't want it to happen. "Seeing" is a figurative use, in that sense. A blind person could say it.

    see

    12. to have knowledge or experience of: [~ + object] to see combat.

    They don't ever want to have that experience. The physical sight of it will only be one part of the seeing, if it happens.
     
    Last edited:
    Top