1

I know "to leave someone alone" and "to let someone be on their own".

What happens when the adjective is followed by a verb (in the infinitive)?

Is it "*Leave me free to do whatever I want." / "*I was left free to do whatever I wanted."

or

"*Let me free to do whatever I want." / "*I was let free to do whatever I wanted."

?

2
+50

In English, neither "Let me free to do X" nor "Leave me free to do X" (nor "Let me be free to do X") is as commonly used to convey the meaning "Don't try to hinder or prevent me from doing X" or the meaning "Release me from restrictions that prevent me from doing X" as this simple form:

Let me do X.

The problematic element in your original alternatives is the word free, which can mean anything from "untroubled or not bothered" to "released from bondage." Perhaps the breadth of possible meanings—and in particular the extreme relationship implied at the "released from bondage" end—encourages most English speakers to omit the "free" component from their plea or request.

10

Both are grammatical, but they imply different prior states and conditions.

left free means you are otherwise free and will not be specifically impeded.

let free means you are presently restricted and would like this lifted so that you may do what you otherwise would like.

0

Answering what you asked in the question not the title, they seem to be two different questions...

It is

Leave me free to do whatever I want

Although this is probably more what you want:

Leave me alone to do whatever I want

You could also use:

Let me be free to do whatever I want.

0

"Left free" is correct. "Let free" is used for literal removal of physical restraints... it can be used metaphorically, but I would think the more evocative "unleashed" is more used in that sense.

0

The correct construction is to be left free, meaning that the subject is free of outside interference.

Example:

Her boss had a piercing headache, so the employee was left free to solve the computer error herself.

Left in this construction is the past participle of leave, with the meaning of allow, permit, or, interestingly enough, let. Unlike the many other common constructions involving leave, this one is unique - most other constructions imply that the subject is alone whereas with this construction that isn't necessarily the case.

Your other alternative, to be let free is grammatical, but unusual to my ears. It either needs an auxiliary verb and object (to let something be/go free) or a different primary verb (to be set free) to sound more accurate. Contrary to the usage with left discussed above, these mean that the subject was released from some bondage or constraints, and not that they were free of outside interference.

Example:

After its non-stop barking, the dog was finally set free.

After ten years in prison, the wardens let me go free.


A brief assessment of the sentences you provided:

Leave me free to do whatever I want. Ungrammatical (wrong formation of imperative of passive construction)

I was left free to do whatever I wanted. Correct (implies lack of interference)

Let me free to do whatever I want. Ungrammatical (needs be)

I was let free to do whatever I wanted. Okay but weird (implies release from constraint)

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