Monday, May 01, 2023

A Grammar Lesson

Just in case anyone out there has been on pins and needles over this, according to, it is permissible to begin sentences with coordinating conjunctions such as and and but. They gave the following examples of acceptable form.  

  • My neighbor is a nice guy who helps with yard work. And he gets me free coffee.
  • The author announced another delay of her new book. And the reaction was just what you’d expect..
  • It slices. It dices. It will file your taxes for you. But that’s not all!
  • The comedian told all his best jokes. But nobody laughed.
Would I write this way? Sometimes, especially informally, such as in a blog post. But However, I would keep it to a minimum and often seek alternatives as I did in this sentence by substituting however for but. But sometimes it seems less pedantic to stick closer to what we would commonly say in speech.

They advise that we can also do this with the other coordinating conjunctions.
  • I didn’t tell my teacher I enjoyed her class. For that would be a lie.
  • She didn’t hurt that poor kitty. Nor would she hurt any animal.
  • We could say we saw an alien. Or we could pretend none of this ever happened.
  • Dash ran as hard and as fast as he could. Yet he still only finished third in the race.
  • My daughter really doesn’t want to clean her room. So she has been hiding from me all day.
Finally, they write that we can also use subordinating conjunctions in this same way. However, I don't think that I would do this, or not very often anyway. I think that I am too uncomfortable with sentence fragments to be happy about writing like this.
  • My kids would never steal something. Because they know stealing is wrong.
  • I didn’t call his bluff. Although I was really tempted to.
  • This puzzle is really easy. Even a baby could solve it.
  • We will catch Bigfoot. If we can ever find him.
  • She said she was going to meet Bart in Springfield. Wherever that is.
  • Nate can be the best player on the team. When he feels like it.
  • This mystery is all but solved. Now that Sherlock Holmes is here.
  • The two brothers need to work together. Before it is too late.
The whole link is here.


DJan said...

Thanks for the grammar lesson. I use But and And to begin sentences all the time on my blog, I realize. :-)

Barbara Rogers said...

I just realized I have stopped beginning sentences with SO. As a continuation sort of. Yep, I'm much more casual in writing posts here. Sorry to the grammarians out there!

Marie Smith said...

Anything goes these days. And don’t we know it!

Margaret said...

I do sometimes use those, perhaps more than I realize. For emphasis, mainly!

RedPat said...

I just relax and write is as I feel on the blog. But I do watch my apostrophes.

Granny Sue said...

I read a book by Louise Penny and was surprised that she wrote with so many srntence fragments, and very short sentences. It was almost like reading a book written in the old 40-character Twitter style. I did not enjoy reading that book, and will pass on others by her.
I do, however, sometimes use a sentence fragment on my blog, and probably break a few other grammar rules along the way! I see a blog as a more casual writing place, more like a conversation with readers.

Boud said...

I like to begin paragraphs with so. It annoys a lot of people, but that's fine. I do love literate writing, and that includes informal adaptations in informal contexts.

William Kendall said...

I can think of one teacher of whom I really didn't enjoy her classes.

Christina said...

My English grammar is all over the place.... I had very little formal tuition and I sometimes feel a bit self conscious about making mistakes. I should maybe write my blog in German! I have a much better grasp of German grammar and it seems more logical, too.

Anvilcloud said...

Cleverly done comments Red Pat, Margaret, and Marie. Well played.

Jenn Jilks said...

Your droll readers are catching on to you!
I am having to let go of all those grammatical thingies as I text my kids. I am late to texting!

Bindu said...

It happens to me sometimes. Starting with "and" sometimes feel right. When writing a blog, it can be okay I guess.

The Furry Gnome said...

Makes me feel fine about my own writing!

Kay said...

Oh gosh! But I know I break rules all the time on my blog. Sigh...

peppylady (Dora) said...

I hear less grammar is being taught in school.
Coffee is on and stay safe.

Debby said...

It may be acceptable but it just looks odd to me. I'll stick to doing things incorrectly. My biggest problem is commas. They infest everything I write. And I hate it.

Patio Postcards said...

Interesting lesson in grammar. They do say, always beware when a woman starts a sentence with "And another thing". :)

MARY G said...

Interesting. I do some of these things, especially in posts where I am writing colloquially. Just checked the spelling there; it is a type of word that I misspell. I do not think that would use a sentence fragment with a subordinate, or only for a very definite kind of emphasis.
It does seem that a lot of the rules that were pounded into us in school are there for the advantageous abrogation of.
(It is late, you do understand.)
I do enjoy it when you pull these things up.