Here's my example. It is a sentence that begins in the middle of a paragraph and I'm using it as a transition.

"Living in Costa Rica also gave me the opportunity to interact with the local population."

Or can I re-write the sentence like this:

"Additionally, living in Costa Rica also gave me the opportunity to interact with the local population."

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    Whenever it gives an idea voice. Why would it be unacceptable? Mar 8, 2014 at 3:03
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is based on a non-existent rule of grammar. Mar 8, 2014 at 3:37
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    If every question that was based on a non-existent rule of grammar were declared off-topic, we'd have no ELU left. Mar 8, 2014 at 4:59
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    The point would be, What made you think a sentence cannot start with a gerund? Why did it sound odd to you? Unless you can expand on that, it would be difficult to answer. All that one can do is post a comment saying there's no additional need for additionally or any other starting word. I'm not voting to close, yet.
    – Kris
    Mar 8, 2014 at 9:53
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    Gerunds are often used to start sentences: "Fishing is my favourite sport." "Seeing is believing." "Living in Costa Rica also gave me the opportunity to interact with the local population." Participle clauses are also often used to start sentences: "Seeing an accident ahead, I stopped my car." "Becoming colder by the second, we hurried to the refuge." Mar 10, 2014 at 16:01

3 Answers 3


Starting a sentence with a word ending in -ing is perfectly ordinary, accepted, unremarkable English. Beginning, middle, or end of a paragraph; gerund, participle, or simply a word with that particular spelling— it does not matter. Living in an English-speaking environment, you would quickly realize that there is no proscription against it, as it is natural in speech as well. Fling this rule away, wherever you heard or misheard it.

Observing of rules though we may praise, identifying what "rules" are true is as worthy an activity.

Writing advice is off-topic, but as commenters have noted, additionally is redundant with also, and one or the other should be removed.

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    Seeing what you did there, I have written a comment noting this fact.
    – Kaz Dragon
    Mar 12, 2014 at 15:59
  • Adding silly comments to gain a few extra upvotes is also appropriate.
    – McGafter
    Dec 3, 2014 at 11:34

English has no such rule regarding gerunds. I'd be interested to know what language does.

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    The way I use the term, 'gerunds' form a subset of '-ing words'. Mar 10, 2014 at 16:03

Just to answer the curiosity of Conan776, which might be a little late... Portuguese doesn't have such a rule, but in many situations we do need to avoid it. Mostly in formal writing if I would make a "general rule" for you. There are cases that it really ruins a good text and shows poor writing skills. In reason of all this, that's why I ended up in this page... I'm writing and essay (in English) and decided to googled it to check if the same happened in English. :)

  • Please support your answer (sources are nice). That makes your answer stronger, and more likely to be viewed as correct. Otherwise it's only opinion. The site tour and the help center will give you guidance on how to use this site Dec 3, 2014 at 4:56

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