[Grammar] Saddened, Leo was not selected

Oceanlike

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In (a), I'm trying to say that Leo was saddened that he was not selected for the program, using the adjective "saddened" to start the sentence. However, it sounded weird.

(a) Saddened, Leo was not selected for the program. (This original sentence sounds weird to me)
- if (a) is wrong to express the intended meaning, why is it wrong?


In (b), I'm trying to say that Leo was saddened. As a result, he withdrew from the team.

(b) Saddened, Leo withdrew from the team. (This original sentence sounds right to me)
- if (b) is correct to express the intended meaning, why is it correct?
 

jutfrank

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You're right—(a) is no good. Since it's passive, Leo is not the agent here, so the relation you're going for fails.

(b) is better but I'm not sure you've got the logic quite right. I don't see the causal relation you're going for. I don't think it makes much sense to say that he withdrew because he was saddened. I think you probably mean that he was saddened and withdrew from the team both due to an unknown event.
 

Oceanlike

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You're right—(a) is no good. Since it's passive, Leo is not the agent here, so the relation you're going for fails..

(1) I don't understand what "agent" refers to. Also, what does "so the relation you're going for fails" mean? What relation?

(2) To use adjective and then a comma (like "saddened, Leo) to start a sentence, I cannot continue with helping verbs (eg. did, had etc)?
Eg: Saddened, Leo did not .....
Eg: Saddened, Leo had not
Eg: Saddened, Leo was not
 

jutfrank

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(1) I don't understand what "agent" refers to.

The sentence is passive. That means Leo is not the person 'doing' the selecting. The main clause is about something that happened to him, rather than about something he did himself. That's why the sentence doesn't work. When you use a participle or adjective at the beginning of a sentence, as you're trying to do, you need the main clause to be in the active voice.

Also, what does "so the relation you're going for fails" mean? What relation?

I mean the logical relation between the two clauses. In this case, the logical relation that I think you want to express is cause/effect. In other words, you want to say that Leo was saddened because he was not selected. Right?

(2) To use adjective and then a comma (like "saddened, Leo) to start a sentence, I cannot continue with helping verbs (eg. did, had etc)?
Eg: Saddened, Leo did not .....
Eg: Saddened, Leo had not
Eg: Saddened, Leo was not

You can, in principle, if the clause is active. In your sentence (a), the main clause is passive. In sentence (b) it's active.
 
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