Hi,

Which sentence is correct? How do we use  'start' in a situation like this below?

1. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to barking.

2. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to bark.

3. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood barking.

Thanks a lot.

Original Post
kuen posted:
1. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to barking.

2. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to bark.
3. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood barking.

Hi, Kuen,

None of those sentences works.

You could use "starts them off with his barking":

4. He starts off every other dog in the neighborhood with his barking.

This thread reminds me of a song named “I started a joke”. 

A line of the song reads like this : “I started a joke, which started the whole world crying”

I believe the line is a full sentence.

5) I started a joke, which started the whole world crying.

 Is sentence 5) grammatically correct?  The “structure” of this sentence looks like the sentence 3) in question.

Thank you very much in advance

Hi David,

I'm afraid I'm still confused about your example #4.

David, Moderator posted:
kuen posted:
1. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to barking.

2. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to bark.
3. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood barking.

Hi, Kuen,

None of those sentences works.

You could use "starts them off with his barking":

4. He starts off every other dog in the neighborhood with his barking.

Do you mean the dog makes every other dog in the neighborhood bark?

According to Longman Dictionary, we can use start in this way:

start somebody doing something

What Kerry said started me thinking (=made me start thinking).

https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/start

Do you think it's correct?

Thank you very much.

 

kuen posted:

I'm afraid I'm still confused about your example #4.

Do you mean the dog makes every other dog in the neighborhood bark?

Yes, Kuen.
kuen posted:
According to Longman Dictionary, we can use start in this way:

start somebody doing something
What Kerry said started me thinking (=made me start thinking).
Do you think it's correct?

There can be no doubt that some people use "start" that way, but I am not one of them. I would use "get somebody doing something" instead. You could use (3) if you changed "starts" to "gets," or you can put your trust in Longman.

 

Hi, Kuen,

Actually, both are similar and carry the meaning of "persuade" or "force." In the Longman Dictionary both patterns (with infinitive and V-ing) appear under the same entry:

to persuade or force someone to do something

get somebody to do somethingI’ll get Terry to check the wiring for me. We couldn’t get him to sign the agreement.

get somebody doing something: In the end, we got the children clearing the playground.

The use of V-ing suggests that an action (barking, in your example, and clearing, in the example above) was caused to start and then continued (durative action). Instead, the use of the infinitive may refer to a short action with an immediate effect, as is the case with check and sign above.

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