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I often see sentences starting with the prepositions "In", "With", "To", and "For". However, a sentence starting with "Of" seems to be quite rare. Is that grammatically correct? For example, what about the following complicated sentence?

Of our shelves A, B, C, and D, for B and C, you can take any book from there; for A and D, you cannot.

closed as off-topic by AmE speaker, tchrist Dec 25 '17 at 20:13

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  • Of the many reasons for . . . .Try a Google Ngram search with Of * (it's case sensitive if you don't check the box). Of course you can figure out an odd sentence, as you have, that sounds awkward. – Xanne Dec 10 '17 at 2:10
  • Your use of 'of' sounds odd in your example because one wouldn't say, "You can take any book of our shelves." – pablopaul Dec 10 '17 at 3:49
  • Of course, you can use "of" at the beginning of a sentence! :) – Livrecache Dec 10 '17 at 4:43
  • Your sentence is not natural. Where did you find it? – BillJ Dec 10 '17 at 9:33
  • I appreciate you all responded my question. The awkward sentence is what I devised for asking my question. Thanks again your helpful comments! – Dee Yee Dec 11 '17 at 4:10
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Of the comments on the question, one is yours and the rest are by other people.

Note that valid sentences of this form can be rearranged:

Of the comments on the question, one is yours and the rest are by other people.

One of the comments on the question is yours and the rest of the comments on the question are by other people.

Because "of the comments on the question" occurs twice, you can bring it to the front. This is rather like factorisation in algebra: ax+bx → x(a+b).

However, to start a sentence with of, that preposition must make sense. In your example sentence, you have also included the prepositions for and from. You have too many prepositions. Any sentence is awkward.

✗ Of our shelves A, B, C, and D, for B and C, you can take any book from there; for A and D, you cannot.

✗ Of our shelves A, B, C and D, you can take any book from B and C; you cannot from A and D.

✓ From our shelves B and C, you can take any book; from shelves A and D, you cannot.

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