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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gamel

Edit This Grammar Lesson: Is It Wrong To Start A Sentence With And Or But?

As far back as I can remember, I was told that it's wrong to start a sentence with and or but. In fact, I was told don't start a sentence with any coordinating conjunction, including or, for, nor, yet, or so. The funny thing is that I was never given a good reason why.

Usually, the response was something like, "It's grammatically incorrect."

Says who? Where does it say this?

I'll tell you where – nowhere.

As your friendly, neighborhood writer and editor at Edit This®, I'm here to tell you that it is perfectly acceptable to start a sentence with and or but. Just like anything else, you never want to overuse the privilege, which is probably why some uptight teacher way back when made this rule up in the first place. You also want to be careful that you don't end up creating a sentence fragment (incomplete sentence).

BUT if the situation calls for it, why not?

Starting a sentence with a coordinating conjunction has benefits.

* Your writing is easier to read.

* You can break up long sentences.

* You achieve a certain style or tone.

* Your writing becomes more impactful.

Examples of starting a sentence with and, but, or another conjunction

Here are a few examples of starting a sentence with and or but, and other conjunctions.

Can I start a sentence with a conjunction? And can you read this when I'm done?

Mike wasn't feeling well. Yet, he still got on the Zoom call.

John could take the trash out and empty the dishwasher for his wife. Or, he could do both of those things and also take her out for a nice dinner.

Alicia turned in her math test first. But she forgot to put her name on it.

It’s natural to get frustrated, show emotion, and feel the need to protect yourself during this difficult period. But as long as both sides are constantly fighting, the case will drag on.

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*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.

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