Nov 14th, 2011, 03:20 am
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Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
| | Re: starting from 1st January, I will
It depends how the sentence continues and in this case, probably yes. A non-finite verb ( = one without a subject) forming an initial subordinate clause is used when the subject of the verb is "recoverable" from the context. Generally it will have the same subject as the subsequent main clause. So if the sentence is eg: Starting from 1st January, I'm going on a diet, then it's fine, as the meaning is I'm going on a diet and I'm starting from 1st January - same subject for both verbs.
But if the subject is not the same for the participle as for the main verb, then it becomes ungrammatical - and this is a common mistake. An example would be something like: Kicking and screaming, we dragged the kids away from the playground It's not "we" (presumably the parents) who were kicking and screaming, but the kids. This is a common mistake in writing.
However, participle clauses don't always refer to the subject of the main clause - move them away from the initial position for example and they may refer to the object : She stared in exasperation at the child kicking and screaming on the ground. Here you need to understand kicking and screaming as a reduced relative clause : ... the child who was kicking and screaming on the ground.
The "grey area" comes, it seems to me, when the participle clause modifies not the subject or the object alone, but the whole main clause. Eg : Starting from January 1st, the company will introduce flexitime in five departments. Here, it's not the company which starts from Jan 1st, nor simply flexitime, but the introduction of flexitime. The participle clause is acting as a time adverbial modifying the clause - it's syntactically equivalent to Between January and March, the company will introduce flexitime in five departments.
The grammars I've checked don't deal explicitly with this one. However, it's fully comprehensible and used all the time. So I'd give it the go ahead.