And Another Word: The Conjunction You Start Your Sentence With

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There’s this idea that it’s wrong to open a sentence with a conjunction.

Conjunctions are words like “and”, “or”, “nor”, “but”, “because”, “so”, and so forth. They connect other words, phrases, or sentences.

Conjunction

In other words, their function is to conjoin. That’s why they’re called conjunctions.

The whole topic can get very complicated: There are coordinating, subordinating, and correlative conjunctions. None of which we care about. Not here and now, anyway!

And so what do we care about? The fact that it’s perfectly correct grammar, in English, to start a sentence with a conjunction.

The preceding paragraph opens with not one, but two conjunctions. And that first sentence ends with a preposition – but it’s still correct.

Opening conjunctions are used by all the best writers, even in the most formal writing. Yet still we hear the “rule” that such things are wrong!

There, I did it again: “Yet” is yet another conjunction.

Wikipedia speculates that perhaps this bogus “rule” came from teachers wishing to discourage students from writing overly simple sentences.

Of course, there’s a better way to discourage such sentences: Tell students not to write overly simple sentences. Then take points off if they do. (I doubt that this is the source of the rule, though I don’t know what that source really is.)

And so it goes!

(This article is part of my series on words that are #worth1000pictures.)


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