2 years ago
in English · 9,003 Views
likes 27clips 8comments 6
Start Your Sentence with a Conjunction
Here's another grammar rule that we have pounded into our heads during early year grammar lessons that isn't exactly true. "Do not begin a sentence with a conjunction, such as and, because, if, but, etc." Wrong, wrong, wrong! I suspect that this began because teachers needed an easy way to teach students about joining sentences properly, and about proper sentence construction, but because of it, people all around the world believe that you cannot begin a sentence with a conjunction if you want to be grammatically correct. Don't believe me? Nearly all major style guides say that it is OK, and it is indispensable to do this when clauses or sentences become too lengthy to be easily understood. Here's a quote from the Chicago Manual of Style, which reads: "There is a widespread belief—one with no historical or grammatical foundation—that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as and, but or so. In fact, a substantial percentage (often as many as 10 percent) of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with conjunctions. It has been so for centuries, and even the most conservative grammarians have followed this practice." So, remember that it's alright to do for coordinating conjunctions, which includes: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. To listen to a longer lesson on this topic, visit this link, where linguist Neil Whitman discusses the topic in a great podcast: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/can-i-start-a-sentence-with-a-conjunction
greggr clipped in 1 collections
View more comments
@greggr I like you're point that we should just write what we write, anyways, but it's good to know the rules so that any deviations form them aren't unintentionally distracted to those that are grammatically minded!
@timeturnerjones @hikaymm Yes, it's always good to follow the basics of conventional grammar when writing, unless there is a reason that you're not doing it.
I love this post because while it's true, what speaks even louder is the freedom that comes from expressing oneself in terms that are either uncommon or wrong to make a point. Double negatives are a prime example, yet it does what it's supposed to do, which is an imperative declaration.
@marshalledgar The beauty of language rules is often in the fact that when we break them, something even more interesting happens.