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I sometimes hear comments on this sort of sentence:

In some cases, we find the solutions are actually. . . .

The comments are to the effect that one should not to put In some cases at the beginning because a sentence should always lead with the subject, like this:

We find the solutions to some cases are actually. . . .

But the first sort of sentence seems to appear everywhere, so does the comment not to use forms like that make any sense?

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The premise of those comments is nonsense. And by the way, your second sentence doesn't mean the same thing as the first. –  Robusto Aug 1 '13 at 17:49
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And I don't understand the last sentence "does the comment not do use forms like that make any sense?" –  TrevorD Aug 1 '13 at 18:03

2 Answers 2

Whoever is making these comments does not know the first thing about grammar—or English, it would seem.

In some cases, we find the solutions are actually …

‘In some cases’ functions here as a sentential adverb, and as such it stands outside the sentence—it does not belong to anything, syntactically. The sentence does in fact begin with the subject.

More generally and importantly, however, the idea that a sentence “should always lead with the subject” is utterly ludicrous. The basic word order in English is SVO, but there are hundreds of cases and structures where this basic word order is impossible or another word order is preferred for other reasons. In questions, for example, inversion makes the default word order VSO.

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Both of these sentences are correct. However, they have slightly different meanings.

In some cases, we find the solutions are actually. . . .

We find the solutions to some cases are actually. . . .

The first sentence is stronger, because it begins with the context. The context is "In some cases". When a sentence begins with the context, it is easier to follow through.

Compare:

In some cases, we find the solutions are actually. . . . We find the solutions are actually. . . .

We find the solutions to some cases are actually. . . . We find the solutions are actually. . . .

Which one has a greater difference? The second one should only be used when you try to purposely lower the significance of a sentence, or you've used to many type one sentences in your paragraph.

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