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I want to know firstly if it's grammatically correct to start a declarative sentence with "Am". For example:

Am excited about the game today.

Secondly, if it is grammatically incorrect, then I wanted to ask how much "head room" there is for the above usage. I can't think of an example now, nor find one here at english.stackexchange. However I imagine there are usages of the english language that grammatically are illegal, yet have somehow become accepted as colloquial or idiomatic perhaps.

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hey guys, any reason why this question has no upvotes? is it not a useful question? cheers –  andy Feb 17 '12 at 10:47
+1 Agreed. Good question. –  Urbycoz Nov 8 '12 at 11:27

5 Answers 5

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Some languages are subject-drop languages, but English is considered a subject-obligatory language. The sentence as it stands is non standard. It's the type of telegraphic language you might see in a text message.

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+1 @Brett. Ah interesting, I din't know about that "subject-obligatory" rule. I think that's the clincher! –  andy Feb 17 '12 at 0:57
Also social networking sites, forums, etc., normally "auto-preface" every comment with the username. So when I see FumbleFingers appearing on a chat log in front of whatever I type, it looks "grammatical" to omit "I", switch to third person, and enter a comment like thinks the moon is made of green cheese. –  FumbleFingers Feb 17 '12 at 1:05
Never implied? No. Not true. –  Robusto Feb 17 '12 at 2:33
@Robusto: What are you referring to? –  Brett Reynolds Feb 17 '12 at 2:47
@BrettReynolds: Don't know? –  Robusto Feb 17 '12 at 3:56

There is a style of English speaking which drops subject pronouns, which I associate (perhaps wrongly) with Colonel Blimp-type figures. Something like:

Went up to town this morning. Met Caruthers at the club. Just got back from Africa. Ate a well lubricated lunch together for old times' sake. Am now coming home by train.

It is not standard English, and is prone to ambiguity. But it exists.

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+1 ah ha! interesting. I'm not very grammatically knowledgable and so didn't pick up that it was all about the dropping of the subject pronoun. So with that now established, I guess starting a sentence with "Am..." is as acceptable as starting one with "Went...". However I'd say "Am..." is a little different no as there is no ambiguity? –  andy Feb 17 '12 at 1:07
@andy: I would seriously suggest you just ignore this style. As Henry says, it's non-standard. Using it most likely won't give people the impression you have extensive knowledge of English and can fluently use all variations - it'll make them think you haven't been well taught. –  FumbleFingers Feb 17 '12 at 3:02
@FumbleFingers: +1 cool, thanks fumble –  andy Feb 17 '12 at 10:44
"You're late!" ... "Am not!" –  GEdgar Aug 14 '12 at 18:38

I think you need to say "I am...." or your sentence is missing a subject. In other languages, such as Greek, you might say "Ego..... " but that translates to "I am;" in that case there is an understood first-person subject caused by the conjugation of the verb "to be."

This is not, however, acceptable in English.

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+1 @ncmathsadist: hey, yeah I understand "I am" is the correct form, but was wondering on the acceptance of "Am". As you say, in greek "Ego..." is accepted because there is an understood first-person subject. However, wouldn't you say that "Am..." also suggests a clear first-person subject? –  andy Feb 17 '12 at 0:54
But, according to standard English usage, you are omitting the subject. The "am" is a verb in the predicate. –  ncmathsadist Feb 17 '12 at 1:48
Ego doesn't mean I am by the way. Ego just means I in both Greek and Latin. Ego eimi is I am in Greek, and sum is I am in Latin (sum, es, est, sumus, estis, sunt). –  Phoenix Feb 17 '12 at 2:37

Scottish English has a common replacement Am for I am:

Am going to be late tonight.

This can be compared to the contraction of the negative form, which doesn't drop the I:

I amn't going to be late tonight.

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I noticed that on some dating sites females begin their sentences with "Am". I also found out the hard way that most of them were scammers and probably from another country that doesn't know how to use "I". Please use I in front or the other acceptable way. "Am I". Am I not right?

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