I recently wrote a scientific paper and I don't know if it is correct to start a sentence directly with a verb-ing, for ex.:

Keeping these conditions in mind [...].

Or should I use:

By keeping these conditions in mind [...].

I am not an english speaker, so this might be a stupid question... However, which sentence is correct ?

  • 1
    Welcome to ELU. It sounds all right (add a comma after mind), though more context (like the complete sentence) would be helpful. – alwayslearning Jan 10 '17 at 13:04

The first way is the most natural sounding. The second way sounds unnatural because it puts too much emphasis on the phrase.

I'd say: "Keeping this in mind you can see that x leads to y"

But by saying: "By keeping this in mind you can see that x leads to y" it makes it sound like "keeping this in mind" is more than an expression and is something the reader should do.

That being said, the second way isn't terribly strange, but I'd definitely go with the first.

  • 1
    Thank you, so I used it well. A reviewer insisted to add "By" before the verbs-ing, but as you said, it sound a bit weird. Thanks again. – Siau Jonathan Jan 10 '17 at 13:19

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