Many of us were taught not to start sentences with conjunctions such as and, but,
and so. But, according to some grammarians, it is perfectly acceptable to start sentences
C. Edward Good, author of A Grammar Book for You and I…oops, Me!, says the following:
"Never start a sentence with a conjunction. Poppycock! Not only can you start sentences
with a conjunction, but you must – if you ever want to become a good writer, that
He goes on to say:
"When you exercise your new writing muscles and use conjunctions to start sentences,
make certain you do not put a comma immediately after the conjunction.…You will use
a comma when you begin a parenthetical pause ….But a single comma does not follow
the conjunction beginning a sentence." 2
The Chicago Manual of Style reiterates Good’s thoughts in the following discussion:
"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." 3
Some writers may never feel comfortable starting sentences with conjunctions. But
it is good to know that doing so is not a rule breaker.
1 Good, Edward C., A Grammar Book for you and I…oops, Me! (Herndon, Virginia: Capital
Books, Inc., 2002), 157.
2 Good, Edward C., A Grammar Book for you and I…oops, Me! (Herndon, Virginia: Capital
Books, Inc., 2002), 160.
3 The Chicago Manual of Style, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003),