I saw the following sentence in an essay I'm reading.
"How did her mother let her go out looking like that?"
In this sentence, does "looking like that" modify "her"?
I may be asking something strange, but the structure of the sentence isn't familiar to me.
pls tell me in deep what is going on? i can't understand it .sorry....
The daughter is dressed inappropriately. We don't know how - perhaps she looks like a street-walker. Perhaps is 0 degrees out and she is in a mini-skirt and short-sleeved blouse. There is something wrong with the way she is dressed that makes it wrong for the situation. The person can't understand why the girl's mother didn't step in and correct it.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
looking like that = how she looked.
"looking like that" is an idiom/expression that makes a judgment about how things appear, usually a negative one.
She won't get a job if she goes out looking like that.
(1) You want to know what "looking like that" modifies.
(2) I do, too.
(3) I have an answer to share with you. (Remember: if a
teacher gives you a different answer, the teacher's
answer is always to be accepted as the correct one.)
(4) A great scholar, George O. Curme, analyzed this sentence:
He was drowned bathing in the river.
(a) What does "bathing in the river" modify?
(i) Yes, of course, "bathing in the river" refers to "He."
But Professor Curme says that -- technically speaking -- it
modifies the verb "was drowned." How is this possible?
(b) Professor Curme says that the sentence "He was
drowned bathing in the river" is really a shorter way to
say "He was drowned [while he was] bathing in the river."
(i) I think all books and teachers agree that "while he was
bathing in the river" is an adverbial clause that modifies the
VERB. So that is why "bathing in the river" actually modifies
"was drowned" -- not "he."
(5) Returning to your sentence, if we follow Professor Curme's
theory (or, at least, my interpretation of it!!!), your sentence is
How did her mother let her go out [while she was] looking like that?
(a) Yes, "looking like that" certainly refers to "her."
(b) But -- technically speaking -- it appears that "looking like that"
modifies "go out" (the verb).