Can 'with' be a subordinating conjunction? Is the comma in the following sentence correct?
With the reopening of the hotel, there are now 8 new floors for patrons.
I believe that "with" can be a subordinating conjunction and in this case, is one. I got this off the Internet since it is easier than voicing my own opinion:
The subordinate conjunction has two jobs. First, it provides a necessary transition between the two ideas in the sentence. This transition will indicate a time, place, or cause and effect relationship.
The second job of the subordinate conjunction is to reduce the importance of one clause so that a reader understands which of the two ideas is more important. The more important idea belongs in the main clause, the less important in the clause introduced by the subordinate conjunction.
"With" can take the place of words like "while", and "since", "because (of)", so I believe it rightfully can take its place among subordinating conjunctions.
But in the end, I don't think anyone would have a problem with comprehension of the sentence.
It all depends on what comes before/after. Strictly speaking the comma slows down the narrative in this case. It is superfluous. You could insert a comma if you wanted to make a point, i.e., that before (rebuilding) the hotel was smaller or lower. So the whole phrase would be, e.g., "The Excelsior has always been a popular tourist haunt. However, with the re-opening of the hotel, there are now eight floors for patrons" (in a narrative or prose account use the words, not the numerals).
Play around with the words, juggle them and see whether they look right. There is no fixed, single way a sentence has to be written. Read Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, Mark Twain, Len Deighton, Frederick Forsyth and so on. None of these writes exactly the same, none is right... or wrong
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