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    #1

    beginning sentences with prepositions.

    Swine flu outbreak poses medical, and political, risks

    We don't know yet how bad this outbreak of swine flu is going to get. At worst, it could turn into a full-fledged pandemic. At best, the outbreak could burn out in the USA with a domestic tally not much larger than the 200 mostly mild cases suspected or confirmed as of Monday.
    Much of this is up to the nature of the virus itself. But for insight on how the situation should be handled, the nation's last encounter with swine flu is instructive. It was a fiasco.
    .....


    ----------------


    Hi,

    Above paragraphs are extracted from a opinion on USA today. My questions is regarding to the last sentence.

    But for insight on how the situation should be handled, the nation's last encounter with swine flu is instructive.


    I'm having troubles to understand above sentence. Why the sentence begins with a preposition "for"? As a guy who have studied English with classic grammar books, I'm not familiar with sentences begging with prepositions?


    Following are my questions.
    1. Is there any way to understand the sentence easily?

    2. Why does the sentence start with a preposition? To emphasize something?


    Thanks,


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    #2

    Re: beginning sentences with prepositions.

    The sentence begins with the word "but," which is not a preposition but a co-ordinating conjunction. And the sentence is in standard English.

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    #3

    Re: beginning sentences with prepositions.

    In THIS sentence, the word "but" means "Except for"

    (Ddo yourself a favor and never categorize a word UNTIL you see its function in the sentence. English will drive you crazy if you try to do this)

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    #4

    Re: beginning sentences with prepositions.

    Quote Originally Posted by soleiljy View Post
    Swine flu outbreak poses medical, and political, risks

    We don't know yet how bad this outbreak of swine flu is going to get. At worst, it could turn into a full-fledged pandemic. At best, the outbreak could burn out in the USA with a domestic tally not much larger than the 200 mostly mild cases suspected or confirmed as of Monday.
    Much of this is up to the nature of the virus itself. But for insight on how the situation should be handled, the nation's last encounter with swine flu is instructive. It was a fiasco.
    .....


    ----------------



    Hi,

    Above paragraphs are extracted from a opinion on USA today. My questions is regarding to the last sentence.

    But for insight on how the situation should be handled, the nation's last encounter with swine flu is instructive.


    I'm having troubles to understand above sentence. Why the sentence begins with a preposition "for"? As a guy who have studied English with classic grammar books, I'm not familiar with sentences begging with prepositions?


    Following are my questions.
    1. Is there any way to understand the sentence easily?

    2. Why does the sentence start with a preposition? To emphasize something?


    Thanks,


    "but for" is an idiom which means "without" or "had it not been"

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