Begun constructing the home in 2012, it was finally completed in 2016.

Flogger20

Senior Member
Persian, Iran
Hello,

I don't know what you call it in English grammar but I want to know if the following sentence is correct? If It's not would you please correct it? A native speaker of English from Australia told me it was not but he didn't correct it.

Begun constructing the home in 2012, it was finally completed in 2016.
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    If you start a sentence with a participle in this way, you have to relate it fairly quickly to a noun that it qualifies. In this case, who was it that had begun constructing the home? We aren't told. That leaves us with a "hanging participle" which is a grammar mistake.

    You can correct it in two ways:
    1. Remove the word constructing and rephrase: Begun in 2012, the home was finally completed in 2016.
    2. Don't use this type of sentence at all: The home was begun in 2012, and finally completed in 2016.
    When I'm translating from French, where this type of sentence construction seems to be almost universal, I alter it in nine cases out of ten. Format no.2 sounds far more English.
     

    Flogger20

    Senior Member
    Persian, Iran
    Thanks, but take the sentence below:

    imprisoned at home for 12 years, he finally died last year.

    who imprisoned the man? we are not told, but the above sentence is not wrong. I wonder why my sentence was deemed as an ungrammatical sentence while both of them have a similar structure!
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Begun constructing the home in 2012, it was finally completed in 2016.

    "Begun" is a past participle passive. The participial phrase here means "Something was begun constructing the home in 2012". This does not make sense because passive verbs do not have objects.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    imprisoned at home for 12 years, he finally died last year.

    who imprisoned the man? we are not told, but the above sentence is not wrong. I wonder why my sentence was deemed as an ungrammatical sentence while both of them have a similar structure!
    We are not told who imprisoned 'him' but we are told who was imprisoned, the same person who died last year.

    Imprisoned ...., he ....

    The participle used at the beginning modifies the subject of the clause beginning after the comma, and that's what is required grammatically.
     
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