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When you want to summarize a list of items, can you use "Starting with" at the beginning of a sentence in order to explain the first item?

For example, is the following grammatically correct?

I love all kind of animals. Starting with kittens and puppies, the cutest animals in the world. I'm rather fond of little ducklings as well.

To further clarify, I would think this is grammatically incorrect and a comma is required to connect "starting with" with the first sentence.

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possible duplicate of Is a sentence always grammatically incorrect if it has no verb? –  FumbleFingers Jan 12 '12 at 23:38
    
That should probably have been: "I love all kind of animals -- starting with kittens and puppies, ...". –  Kris Jan 13 '12 at 5:59

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Many people would object to your second sentence as not having a verb. They might accept

I love all kinds of animals. Starting with kittens and puppies, I particularly like baby mammals. I'm rather fond of little ducklings as well.

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And what about the following scenario? "I went to visit the farm. Not only to visit the cows, but also to ride the horses." There is a verb here, but I'm not sure about the subject. –  Steven Jeuris Jan 12 '12 at 23:50
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@Steven Jeuris, there is no verb in your second fragment, but two infinitive phrases. Change the period to a comma and it becomes grammatical, or repeat it: I went to visit the farm. I went not only to visit the cows, but also to ride the horses. –  choster Jan 12 '12 at 23:55
    
I had to google to see if ducks were mammals...I feel silly now, but they're not. They're birds. Go figure... –  silvermaple Jan 13 '12 at 0:15
    
If find that the "starting with" clause feels better with the first sentence. I love all kinds of animals, starting with kittens and puppies. [And so on.] –  Adrian Ratnapala Jan 17 '12 at 4:41

Your example is not grammatical as your second "sentence" does not form a complete thought: you have the participial phrase "starting with kittens and puppies" but do not indicate who or what is starting, then "the cutest animals in the world," a noun phrase again with no action suggested.

I could rephrase as

I love all kind of animals, starting with kittens and puppies— the cutest animals in the world. I'm rather fond of little ducklings as well.

I love all kind of animals. To start [with], I love kittens and puppies, the cutest animals in the world. I'm rather fond of little ducklings as well.

I love all kind of animals. First of all, I love kittens and puppies, the cutest animals in the world. I'm rather fond of little ducklings as well.

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Yes, you can start a sentence with 'starting with' - it is a perfectly grammtical construction (it is a sentence modifier).

As has been noted, whereever you put the phrase that begins with 'starting with' or any phrase for that matter, it is only grammatical as part of a complete sentence. There is nothing special about 'starting with' that makes it grammatical or not in your example sentence.

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I agree with the other posters that your proposed sentence isn't grammatical, but I'd find it in perfectly acceptable for emphasis or if you're trying to convey an informal tone.

However, it's not suitable for formal writing, such as business or academia.

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