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Rules for AND or BUT : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Rules for AND or BUT

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
Albertalyn
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Rules for AND or BUT

Postby Albertalyn » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:26 am

When I was in school I was taught to never start a sentence with the word AND or BUT. Are we throwing out the rules of grammar? Are there any rules anymore? I am confused as I find myself also starting a sentence with the word AND. What is appropriate?

I have seen this everywhere from newspaper articles to published books. Yesterday was the first time I have ever seen a professional do this, and I found it very inappropriate, but maybe I'm wrong. I received a two-page letter from a Senator in regards to donations for his campaign. Not only did this letter start sentences with the word BUT seven times, he also started paragraphs off with BUT six times. The word AND started five sentences throughout this letter.

I find that using those two words with a certain tone or voice of a story sometimes works, but what are the rules? When I am ready to submit any of my work to an agent, I am afraid I will not be taken seriously if I have written this way and it is not correct.

Just a bit confused. Thanks!

TerryRodgers
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Re: Rules for AND or BUT

Postby TerryRodgers » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:59 am

It's not wrong to use and, or, but, or other conjunctions to start a sentence, but overusing will make the writing seem poor. I use it in my writing, but I use it at the appropiate time of a scene and I don't do it a lot. Sounds like the Senator went a little overboard.

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updog
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Re: Rules for AND or BUT

Postby updog » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:28 am

Depends on what kind of writing you're doing, imo. Formal writing has different rules than informal writing, and to me, a letter from a senator should have been formal. Novels narratives are more informal, so you can start sentence with "and" and "but" if you choose to, and use fragments, contractions, and slang words that you wouldn't use in an academic paper. I'm not particularly fond of news articles written informally, but I'm seeing a lot of that now, too.
"Is it weird in here, or is it just me?" ~ Steven Wright



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MookyMcD
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Re: Rules for AND or BUT

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:32 am


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pls
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Re: Rules for AND or BUT

Postby pls » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:37 am

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James A. Ritchie
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Re: Rules for AND or BUT

Postby James A. Ritchie » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:50 am


Albertalyn
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Re: Rules for AND or BUT

Postby Albertalyn » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:09 am

Thanks to all of you who replied.


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