In an answer to this ELL question, one of our users provided this example sentence, claiming it was grammatical:
He sighed starting cleaning the floor.
That sentence seems to clash in my native ear. I suggested that it wasn't good grammar, and that (assuming I'm understanding the gist of the sentence) it should be restructure to something like:
He sighed, and started to clean the floor.
He sighed and started cleaning the floor.
In a comment, though, the user who wrote the sentence stuck by the claim that the original example sentence doesn't violate any grammatical rules.
Rather than start a protracted debate under the comments over there, I figured I would simply ask about the matter here in a new question.
Is this sentence acceptible from a purely grammatical standpoint? Is it colloquial?
I did find some sentences online that used the "starting cleaning" word pair, but they weren't really using them as consecutive verbs. For example:
A broom, mop, sponges, dish soap, hand soap, paper towels, and all-purpose cleaner should serve well as a starting cleaning package.
In this case, both starting and cleaning modify package adjectively, so, even though that sentence uses the two words, it's meaning and grammatical structure are quite different.
Should I retract my comment? Or keeping sticking [sic] to my guns?