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Starting Sentences with “And” or “But”

What is a union in English?

A conjunction is a service part of speech that logically connects words, phrases and parts of a sentence. Conjunctions in English differ in that they do not change and do not depend on any grammatical characteristics of the connected words.

Conjunctions can be classified by structure or by function in a sentence.

Can “And” or “But” Start a Sentence?

Very often students have a question: is it possible to start sentences with the words (conjunctions) “and "or “but"? Despite the popular opinion (which is little used in practice), from a grammatical point of view, there is no reason to prohibit a sentence from beginning with the conjunctions “and” or “but." The opposite opinion is just a popular myth about English grammar.

Pay attention to such offers:

  • Mary ran errands all day in the sweltering heat so that she could leave town on vacation the next morning. But that night, lying in bed, she remembered all the tasks that she had not yet completed
  • I usually add forty to fifty words per day, but today I only added seven. That's very sad: But the reason why I only did seven is that I was digging potatoes in my grandmother's garden the whole day.

Many people have been taught that it is wrong to start a sentence with a union, but almost all major style guides say that this is normal. Neil Whitman explores why there seems to be such a difference between what teachers say and what style guides say.

The conjunction at the beginning of a sentence creates a different sense of style.

The ability to do this from time to time (use conjunctions at the beginning of a sentence) allows you to be more flexible and control the tone of your writing, and also provides more variety. For example, listen to the following two sentences:

John submitted his application in time. But he forgot to include his entry fee.

Now let's assume that we have connected two sentences with a comma:

John applied on time but forgot to specify his entry fee.

Now the pause is not so big, so the surprise has decreased. If this is what you want, fine, but if you need a pause that occurs at the end of a sentence, then you can safely start a sentence with a union.

When write conjunction at the beginning of a sentence, we create a different sense of writing style. If want this information to be presented more convincingly, then the union of "But" and «And «is the best choice.

The use of conjunctions in everyday life

Especially in everyday life and literature, conjunctions are very often used at the beginning of a sentence. If you are in a circle of friends, there is no point in thinking about such a trifle as a union at the beginning of a sentence. Many famous writers before you have already violated this rule over and over again. Who are we to argue?

Please, one more example: But the emperor has nothing at all! Written by a writer - (Hans Christian Andersen, "The King's New Dress")

Some of the greatest writers of all time, for hundreds of years, begin sentences with "and “and "but. Of course, there are guidelines for writing styles that do not encourage such grammar, but at present, it is quite acceptable to start a sentence with conjunctions. But do not overdo it!

Let's turn to the real authority: fowler's notoriously boring and pedantic Modern English. This is considered an authoritative book on English grammar, which says that it is possible to start building sentences with conjunctions. And yet-a sentence starting with the union “and» or «but» will tend to attract attention to itself and its transitional function. Authors should consider such proposals taking into account two questions: will the sentence and the paragraph function as well without the initial connection? Should the proposal under consideration be related to the previous proposal? If the initial connection still seems appropriate, use it.

This means that yes, you can start a sentence with "and” or "but", if you take into account the function of the word and the message that you intend to convey by using it. Does this violate the rules of grammar? No, it's not like that. The rule that prohibits starting a sentence with a union is considered not a formal rule at all – it may have been once, but now it is not applicable.

Very often we were told and explained the rule - you should not start building sentences with conjunctions. Some clerks of the Ministry of Education seem to believe that this was done to prevent schoolchildren from writing in the way they often use their speech:

  • "Yesterday I was at my friend's house. And we decided to go to the shopping centre. And while we were there, we saw a whole bunch of our friends. And they were just hanging out, just like us. And since we didn't have any money that was all we could do.”
  • “But then John said it was his birthday, and we could all go for ice cream. But when we got to the ice cream parlous, he discovered that he had left his wallet at home.
    But that didn't stop us from having a good time together, teasing John for owing us ice cream."

You have to admit that this is a little too much. So, in conclusion, we will quote Oscar Wilde: "Everything is in moderation, including moderation.

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