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Can You Start a Sentence With "Because"?

Editor Brian A. Klems answers the question of whether writers can start a sentence with "because" without breaking grammar rules.

Q: My grammar school teachers always told me that it was wrong to start a sentence with the word “because,” but I commonly see it in books today. What’s the rule? —Roger Allen

A: Grammar teachers across the U.S., please don’t hate me, as I’m about to expose the awful truth you’ve been trying to hide for years: It’s not poor grammar to start a sentence with “because.” That’s right, there’s no rule or law in grammar books that denies you the right to start a sentence with this conjunction. 

(Grammar rules for writers.)

A sentence such as, Because I needed money, I sold my body to science, is not only grammatically correct, it’s also more effective than if it were the other way around (I sold my body to science because I needed the money).

So why do teachers parade this nonexistent rule to our youth? They want to prevent the future scholars from writing in fragments, and kids have a tendency to write incomplete sentences like Because I can or Because he’s smelly. Instead of telling kids that they can’t start a sentence with “because,” it’d be more proper to make them complete their sentences. But I know how difficult it is to get kids to complete anything.

Can You Start a Sentence With Because?

*****

No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

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