Can I use "In common" at the beginning of a sentence?

Ryokans

Member
Spanish- Latin America
"In common, people wear black clothing while in a funeral"

I know Usually or Commonly would perhaps be more adequate/natural for this sentence but my question is, it is grammatically correct [to use in common]?
 
  • Ryokans

    Member
    Spanish- Latin America
    Additionally,

    Can we use in common at the beginning of a sentence? If yes, can you provide an example?
     

    wolfram_beta

    Senior Member
    English - American
    No, you aren't using "in common" correctly here. As you noted, you should instead use "usually" or "commonly". I think you need an adverb here because you're modifying the verb "wear".

    You could ask, "What do people at a funeral have in common?".
    Answers could include: "They all wear black. They all have some affiliation with the deceased. They're all sad."

    I might have interests "in common" with someone else (i.e. we share interests) or we might have friends "in common" (we know some of the same people).
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "In common, people wear black clothing while in a funeral"
    I agree with post #3. You cannot say this. You also cannot say it with a different word order. It's a wrong meaning, not a wrong word order:

    People wear black clothing in common at a funeral.:cross:
    People all wear black clothing at a funeral.:tick:
     

    Ryokans

    Member
    Spanish- Latin America
    Thanks guys. Very helpful. I wanted to correct someone but didn't want to without being completely certain as to why.
     
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