Grammar Tips > 5 supposed grammar rules to boldly ignore > Starting a sentence with a conjunction

Starting a sentence with a conjunction

The "Rule": Don't even think about it.

The Reality: It's OK—no ifs, ands, or buts.

Starting a sentence with a conjunction probably earned you some red ink in school, but fret not—prominent psycholinguist and grammar scholar Steven Pinker sees no need for this rule and believes that it teaches children "misinformation."

Pinker insists that "[t]here is nothing wrong with beginning a sentence with a conjunction. "'And,' 'but' and ‘so’ are indispensable in linking individual sentences into a coherent passage, and they may be used to begin a sentence whenever the clauses being connected are too long or complicated to fit comfortably into a single megasentence."

Pinker also points out that "[t]he conjunction 'because' can also happily sit at the beginning of a sentence" especially "when the clause serves as the answer to a why question: 'Why can't I have a pony?' 'Because I said so.'"

But what do you think?

Complete English Grammar Rules is available for purchase as Paperback and Kindle eBook.
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