14

I think both started and starting make sense. Which is preferred? Is there any subtle difference in meaning?

Started in 1987, the festival exhibits more than 550 varieties of mangoes and provides a rare opportunity to taste them all for free.

Starting in 1987, the festival exhibits more than 550 varieties of mangoes and provides a rare opportunity to taste them all for free.

23

The two sentences are both grammatically correct, but they mean different things.

Started in 1987, the festival exhibits more than 550 varieties of mangoes and provides a rare opportunity to taste them all for free.

The above sentence says two things: that the festival was started in 1987, and that the festival exhibits mangoes. (This sentence would be clearer if it said "First held in 1987" instead of "Started in 1987".)

Starting in 1987, the festival exhibits more than 550 varieties of mangoes and provides a rare opportunity to taste them all for free.

The above sentence says that the festival exhibits mangoes, and that 1987 is the year that the festival started doing that.

This sentence still sounds a little awkward, though. I would phrase it like this:

Each year starting in 1987, the festival has exhibited more than 550 varieties of mangoes and provides a rare opportunity to taste them all for free.

  • 2
    My gut feeling says there should be a comma after "Each year" - or you have to switch it: "Starting in 1987, each year the festival..." Is it a good gut? – mic Mar 19 at 12:46
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    The present tense "exhibits" doesn't work with "Starting in 1987", to me. You need some kind of past tense, as you bring in at the end. – David Richerby Mar 19 at 13:48
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    I don't believe the "starting in" sentence particularly conveys that the exhibition of mangoes started in that year. It only says the festival itself started that year. However, "Starting in 1987, the festival has exhibited..." does make that link, because, just as in your third example, "starting" refers to "has exhibited" rather than to "festival". – Monty Harder Mar 19 at 15:03
  • Your rewording says they exhibited more than 550 varieties of mangoes each year. I expect the festival started smaller and grew. Maybe the first year it only exhibited 100 varieties of mangoes, and now it's more than 550 varieties. The original sentence is trying to say two different things: when the festival started, and what it does now. Your rewording is trying to combine the two ideas together so you end up with when the activities started. – CJ Dennis Mar 19 at 22:42
5

Your first sentence sounds fine and natural to me.

Started in 1987, the festival exhibits more than 550 varieties of mangoes and provides a rare opportunity to taste them all for free.

We are standing in the present ("exhibits" and "provides") looking back into the past ("started"). In the past it was started, now it exhibits. It's clear that the festival itself started in 1987, and that the present activities are "exhibiting" and "providing".

Your second sentence sounds a little odd.

Starting in 1987, the festival exhibits more than 550 varieties of mangoes and provides a rare opportunity to taste them all for free.

We are in the past ("starting") progressing towards the future (or the present, or the more recent past). Then suddenly we're in the present ("exhibits" and "provides") and (grammatically speaking) we don't know how we got here! It sounds like the "exhibiting" and "providing" started in 1987, not the festival.

A third way is:

Starting in 1987, the festival (has) exhibited more than 550 varieties of mangoes and (has) provided a rare opportunity to taste them all for free.

Now everything happens in the past, however, I don't think this is what you want. It would appear this festival is still being run, so you want to use the present tense. Of course there are other tenses you could use as well as some that wouldn't work, and whichever tenses you decide to use should be consistent with each other. Fix your grammatical feet in once base tense (most likely the present), and go from there.

  • 1
    "Since 1987, the festival has exhibited..." solves the problems in the "third way". – David Richerby Mar 19 at 13:49
1

There is a thin difference in the meaning of both the sentences which becomes very obvious if we look closely. To summarize:

Started in 1987, the festival exhibits more than 550 varieties of mangoes and provides a rare opportunity to taste them all for free.

Meaning: The festival held in 1987 for the first time.

Starting in 1987, the festival exhibits more than 550 varieties of mangoes and provides a rare opportunity to taste them all for free.

Meaning: The festival exhibited varieties of mangoes in 1987 for the first time.

0

The second version uses a present participle to refer to a past action. At best, it is awkward and arguably, it is grammatically incorrect.

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