"different from" in the beginning of a sentence

Byakuya

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi,

According to this pdf http://www.abes-tt-schl.com/public_img/M_goyaku_je.pdf, "different from" should not be used in the beginning of a sentence. The examples of this pdf are the followings:

a. ??Different from Drug A, Drug B can also be administered orally.
b. Unlike Drug A, Drug B can also be administered orally.

(a) is not so good, so you should say as in (b), using "unlike".

Is this correct? If so, does anyone know why (a) is not so good?
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I can't read your linked page - perhaps it is in Japanese?

    I wouldn't start a sentence with "Different from..." but I'm not aware of any "correct/incorrect" reason for this. I just wouldn't ever think of starting a sentence that way :)
     

    Byakuya

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you, panjandrum.

    Yes, it is in Japanese.

    If "different from" is put in the end of a sentence, does the sentence become good?

    (e.g.) Drug B can also be administered orally, different from Drug A.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I wouldn't use "different from" there either, Byakuya:

    :cross:Drug B can also be administered orally, different from Drug A.
    :tick:Drug B can also be administered orally, unlike Drug A.
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    It's an interesting observation. I really don't know why unlike should act any differently from different from, but it does:

    (1) Drug B is unlike Drug A, in that Drug B can also be administered orally.
    (2) Drug B is different from Drug A, in that Drug B can also be administered orally.

    Both are perfectly fine in (1) and (2), and yet only unlike is acceptable in the sentences below:

    (3) Unlike Drug A, Drug B can also be administered orally.
    (4) ??Different from Drug A, Drug B can also be administered orally.

    Other phrases, like unlike, that can be used in (3) are as opposed to and contrary to. These, however, cannot be used in (1) and (2).
     

    Skin

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Just a little doubt: couldn't we use the corresponding adverb instead, to construct a correct sentence?
    I'm positive that I could safely say that "drug A acts differently from drug B", but I wouldn't be so sure that it would work at the beginning of a sentence, even though "grammatically correct": would it be natural to say that "differently from drug A, drug B can also be administered orally?"

    Thank you
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Just a little doubt: couldn't we use the corresponding adverb instead, to construct a correct sentence?
    I'm positive that I could safely say that "drug A acts differently from drug B",
    Yes, that would be fine:).
    would it be natural to say that "differently from drug A, drug B can also be administered orally?"
    No, that doesn't work for me, Skin:(.

    I think the difference is that "differently..." in the first sentence modifies the verb "acts"; in the second sentence, it would :cross:modify the whole of "drug B can also be administered orally".
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    I think the difference is that "differently..." in the first sentence modifies the verb "acts"; in the second sentence, it would :cross:modify the whole of "drug B can also be administered orally".
    I don't think this is necessarily a problem, given that we say things like:

    Consequently, Drug B can also...
    Unfortunately, Drug B can also...
    Luckily, Drug B can also...


    where the entire clause "Drug B can also..." is modified by the adverbs ending in -ly.

    Moreover, the really odd thing is that, at least to my ears, similarly to - with OR without the -ly! - can appear at the beginning of a phrase:

    Similarly to Drug A, Drug B can also be administered orally.

    So there's something peculiarly different about different(ly) from, regardless of the -ly.
     
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