Student or Learner
Is "with" necessary in the following sentence?
"With the way things are shaping up in the Playoffs, the Spurs might be second best in the West again."
I think the sentence is fine without "with."
Good morning, Jasmin.
(1) Your challenging question again sent me to my books and to getting input from three knowledgeable correspondents.
(2) This is what I learned:
(a) You are correct: You do not need an introductory word.
(b) If, however, you wish to introduce your sentence:
(i) Two correspondents say that the correct word is "Because of" -- not "with."
(ii) The other correspondent said that "with" is fine and that he would use it to introduce such a sentence.
(c) One of my books reminded us that the "complete" version of "the way things are shaping up" is: the way THAT ( = in which) things are shaping up.
(d) All three correspondents are in agreement that "(Because of) the way (that) things are shaping up in the Playoffs" is a sentence adverb or disjunct. There is no grammatical connection to your main sentence.
I learned a lot. Have a nice day!