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Regardless of their guilt or innocence, they did not get a fair trial.

I am not sure if this is OK in terms of grammar to rewrite the above sentence this way.

Regardless (of) they were guilty or innocent, they did not get a fair trial.

Is it possible that a full sentence comes after "regardless". And if so, is the preposition "of" needed?

  • The object of of in "regardless of" is a nominal of some kind. Regardless of the fact that they may have been guilty....regardless of their guilt or innocence... – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 17 '16 at 10:47
  • If you want to use a clause, they were guilty or innocent, instead of using their guilt or innocence, you need to use whether: regardless of whether they were.... – user8399 May 17 '16 at 11:23
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Yes, using 'regardless' in the beginning of a sentence is perfectly acceptable, and infact, is used extensively by many people.

To understand the usage of the word 'regardless', try going through these examples. Notice how almost all sentences that use the word 'regardless' is followed by the preposition 'of'.

One can roughly translate "Regardless of" as 'Even though'.

It is generally seen that 'regardless' is usually succeeded by an 'of' when used in a sentence. There may be sentences that omits the preposition after 'regardless', none of which are in my head though. So, one can say that this is a general rule, but yes, there can/ may be exceptions.

It is a general usage to say "Regardless of something".

Try going through this post and this one also.

  • Thank you for your answer. But I have still doubts regarding my second sentence. Is not a better choice this version: Regardless of whether they were guilty or innocent, they did not get a fair trial. – bart-leby May 17 '16 at 10:31
  • That sounds okay, but if you can convey something with a smaller number of words, it is far more efficient. The meaning hardly changes if the sentence "Regardless of their guilt or innocence, they did not get a fair trial" is reframed as "Regardless of whether they were guilty or innocent, they did not get a fair trial.". – Varun Nair May 17 '16 at 10:36
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    We could say "Whether they were guilty or innocent, they did not..." – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 17 '16 at 10:49
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    @TRomano, yes, "Regardless of their guilt or innocence, they did not..." and "Whether they were guilty or innocent, they did not..." are widely used, when compared to "Regardless of whether they....." – Varun Nair May 17 '16 at 10:54
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    We could even say "Guilty or innocent, they did not..." :) – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 17 '16 at 13:25

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