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I don't understand this phrase "beginning with its development". What does that mean? I think "beginning with" does not mean as it normally means, which is " start with someone or something; to have someone or something be the first in a series."

The skin of the zebra fish is transparent for its first few days of life, beginning with its development in a clear egg, so the egg can be placed under a microscope, and the growth of the entire nervous system can be viewed in real time.

I suppose just "begins" seems much more plausible. ("begins its development")

2 Answers 2

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Maybe you have in mind:

The zebra fish begins its development ...

(notice the final "s" after "begin")

But this sentence does not use the present simple to talk about development.


In the sentence you gave as an example:

beginning with its development = from the start of its development

The skin of the zebra fish is transparent ... from the start of its development ...

It could have been said like:

The skin of the zebra fish is transparent ... from the beginning of its development ...

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  • The sentences I provided are correct, but I cannot exactly explain why :(
    – virolino
    May 28, 2019 at 12:03
  • The sentences you provided seem okay to me as well :) . Could you explain the using of "with" in the sentence I provided? May 28, 2019 at 12:15
  • I cannot explain much. It is one of the prepsitions used with "begin": "beginning with me", "beginning from 5", "beginning at the train station", "beginning in the morning"...
    – virolino
    May 29, 2019 at 6:12
  • Hi, Is this a reduced relative clause which qualifies the whole independent clause? I mean : The skin of the zebra fish is transparent for its first few days of life, which begins with its development in a clear egg... (which refers to the whole independent clause "The skin of the zebra fish is transparent for its few days of life") Jun 1, 2019 at 8:01
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The sentence is saying that it is the transparency which begins with its development in an egg; that is, the skin will be transparent starting from its development in a clear egg and continuing for several days.

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