Monday, July 11, 2011

Arbitrary Grammar Rules: Sentence Beginnings

Here is another rule that we can do without: Do not begin a sentence with a conjunction such as and, but, or or. Some of the best English-language writers begin sentences with conjunctions. Others agree with me: It offends those who wish to confine English usage in a logical straitjacket that writers often begin sentences with “and” or “but.” True, one should be aware that many such sentences would be improved by becoming clauses in compound sentences, but there are many effective and traditional uses for beginning sentences thus.

Daily Writing Tips: English teachers used to preach that one should never start a sentence with conjunctions like and or but. Does this rule still apply today? Not entirely. It is already acceptable to start sentences with such conjunctions.

Books by Philip Vassallo