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.
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.
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.