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I don't know is it okay to start a sentence like these.

  • Observed the experiments, I learned that "Failure is a mother of Success".
  • Run to me, I get you some place to hide.

I know that we can start the sentence with To-verb and verb+ ing. But I am not sure can we start a sentence like those.

2 Answers 2

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Run to me, I get you to some place to hide.

This sentence starts off just fine. Verbs that command to someone to do something have the "implied you" as the subject. This is called an imperative sentence. As it says at one website:

IMPERATIVE
An imperative sentence gives a command. For example: "Shut up and kiss me."
Note that an imperative sentence does not require a subject; the pronoun you is implied.

That said, the sentence could still be improved; "someplace" is one word, and the second half of the sentence should include the word "will":

Run to me, I'll get you to someplace to hide.


Observed the experiments, I learned that "Failure is a mother of Success".

This sentence has problems. The main verb here is learned, not observed. You could fix this in one of two ways:

Fix No. 1: Start the sentence with a prepostional phrase

This would require you to change the word "observed" to its gerund form:

By observing the experiments, I learned that "Failure is a mother of Success".

Fix No. 2: Start the sentence with the subject and use a conjunction

This could be accomplished by using a compound verb:

I observed the experiments and learned that "Failure is a mother of Success".

or by making it a compound sentence:

I observed the experiments, and I learned that "Failure is a mother of Success".

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The first example you gave is not grammatically correct. However, there are a couple of caveats to this:

  • In colloquial speech, people sometimes leave the "I" off the beginning of a sentence. So "I observed the experiments" will sometimes be said as "observed the experiments". In this case, though, the rest of the example would have to change.
  • As you noted, it is possible to start a sentence with an "-ing word", which is called a gerund. A gerund is a special form of a verb which turns it into an adjective. In this case, your sentence would become "Observing the experiments, I learned that 'Failure is the mother of success.'" This is perfectly grammatically correct, since "observing" is an adjective describing what the speaker was doing when he discovered what he did.

The second example you gave is an example of a command or instruction, a sentence used to tell someone what to do. Commands or instructions do not require a subject (a noun) in the sentence, since the subject is known to be the person who is receiving the command. A few example commands are:

  • "Come here."
  • "Run!"
  • "Hit the ball."

Your second example contains other grammatical errors, but rewritten as "Run to me, I will get you a place to hide," it is perfectly correct.

(The first error you made was leaving out "will" from "I will". The second is that "some" is used when referring to a quantity; two litres of water, ten baseballs, and so on. Since you will only give a place to hide, instead of a quantity of places, we say "a" instead.)

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  • "I observed the experiments" will sometimes be said as "observed the experiments" @J.R. Do you agree with this?
    – user6951
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 10:57
  • @pazzo - In colloquial speech? Yes, sometimes. Imagine a scientist, speaking into a voice recorder for lab notes: Observed the experiments again last night. Still have not replicated results from last month. Will try again tomorrow. Getting discouraged now. Starting to wonder if the results from last month were an instrumentation error, not the breakthrough we were hoping for.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 11:24
  • To me these examples are like "note-taking" English, written but not often spoken. Thanks for your time @J.R.
    – user6951
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 12:12
  • @pazzo - Perhaps so for that example, but there are other places where this construct shows up in everyday speech. Going to the game tonight? Hope they win!
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 12:24
  • I find it is quite common to use "some" to refer "place". There are some sentences I found from Internet. [T]hey’d blow into some place, get everybody out and dismantle the bomb. [Los Angeles Times] And we saw that Lee isn’t a bad runner when he has some place to run. [The Independent (article now offline)] Once we’re done, I would like for the AT-AT to find some place nice to be housed and admired as a monument. [Herald Sun]
    – Kam
    Commented Jun 14, 2015 at 8:55

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