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52

It is appropriate when you have simply flipped the clauses: I stayed inside because it was raining. Because it was raining, I stayed inside. What the teacher was trying to teach was that a a subordinate clause is not a complete sentence: I stayed inside. This is a complete sentence. Because it was raining. This is not; the conjunction ...


49

Small children have a particular writing style that teachers often mark as wrong. We had a field trip. And we went to the zoo. And we saw monkeys. And they were funny. And then we went home. And the bus was noisy. Nobody thinks that's a well-written story. So the teacher circles all the "And"s and says "don't start a sentence with and". But somehow we ...


37

What makes you think this is an error? All the greatest writers of English have started sentences with and. Mark Liberman, linguistics professor at the University of Pennsylvania wrote about this mythical “rule” in Language Log in 2005: There is nothing in the grammar of the English language to support a prescription against starting a sentence with and ...


37

It is perfectly all right to begin a sentence with a conjunction. It is a special form of emphasis, used to elevate a clause to a position of more influence and importance. I hold that all beets are red. And I will stick to that belief until you show me a green beet. We were tired, hungry, and exhausted. But we were home. It can also be used as a ...


33

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, third edition (1979), has a number of instances, as well. Hans Christian Andersen, "The Emperor's New Clothes": 'But the Emperor has nothing on at all!' cried a little child. Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy (1869): But that vast portion, lastly, of the working-class which, raw and half-developed, has long ...


30

Brand names You should never change a brand name. 'iPhone' should always be spelled as 'iPhone,' no matter where in the sentence it is. 'IPhone,' 'iphone,' 'I-phone,' 'i-phone' or 'I phone' are always wrong. 'iPhone' is the only good one: Good iPhones are the best selling smartphones. Wrong IPhones are the best selling smartphones. Terrible ...


29

The modern grammar requires that not must be contracted with the auxiliary verb to move from its normal position. If it is not contracted, it must stay in the same position it's in in a normal declarative sentence: Tom does not like Sally (normal negative sentence) Does Tom not like Sally (no contraction, not in normal declarative sentence position) ...


23

Yes. Sentences start with capital letters; abbreviations are no exception. A possible* exception is when a proper name starts with a lower case letter. E.g., if I changed my name to matthew then "matthew is awesome." would be correct. This is because the word is intended to be lower case. E.g., on the other hand, has no such association with it. * Don't ...


23

Examples from Tolkien’s Legendarium For my own demonstrative examples, I’ve chosen just one “great writer”, so that some measure of frequency of this phenomenon within a single writer’s works can be taken. Across The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien began sentences with these seven (potential) conjunctions the ...


22

The Grammar Girl has a good article on this topic, basically: It is fine to use however at the beginning of a sentence; you just need to know when to use a comma. If it means "to whatever extent", don't use a comma: However wrong it is, I will say it loud and clearly. If it means "nevertheless", use a comma: However, I don't give a ...


21

Because I don't know your teacher, I can't know her motivations. However, there is nothing wrong with starting a sentence that way if you are careful to write a complete sentence.


19

Certainly, it is correct to begin a sentence with also. All adverbs (also inclusive) can be used at the beginning of a sentence with the proper punctuation. For instance, the first sentence in this answer begins with an adverb. Other examples are: Furthermore, we have exhausted all the other options. Definitely, you can use my car. Surely, he ...


18

Yes. For example is capitalized at the beginning of a sentence, so is its Latin equivalent exempli gratia, and so is its abbreviated form e.g.


16

It is helpful to consider in each case whether the emphasis of the sentence should be yourself or something else. I've struggled for a while now to completely purge the passive from my own writing, and by swinging completely the other way, I ended up with awkward sentences that failed to get my point across in some instances. I suggest emphasizing "I" when ...


14

I'll admit to possibly having been an accomplice in the perpetuation of this Zombie Rule. When I taught writing to third grade students I did use the NIC proscription [I believe I can use this construction to mean the rule that proscribed IC.] I did so because without it a large percentage of my students would consistently compose paragraphs such as this: ...


14

I'd rather write your example using since like: Since I'm not feeling well, I'm unable to work. "Hence" is a synonym of "therefore", "consequently", "because of that", etc, and being a conjunctive adverb that connects a main clause and a subordinate one, it should appear within the subordinate: I'm not feeling well; hence, I'm unable to work. You ...


14

It's a discourse marker, like oh, well, now, and many others.


14

Starting a sentence with as is not a problem, and never was. The Corpus of Contemporary American English has 150000+ cites for sentences starting with as, across all registers and contexts, including academic writing. Your boss is completely alone in this. However, what your boss might actually be objecting to is the so-called dangling modifier. ...


14

Believing your teacher would be a mistake.  (Did you see what I just did?)


13

I think this advice comes from the (somewhat strange) idea that sentences should have one complete idea. If your sentence begins with the conjunction "however", then it's an extension of the idea in the previous sentence and is therefore not a "complete idea". The same reasoning is behind advice not to begin sentences with "or" and "and". Of course this ...


13

You can use hence at the beginning of a sentence, but not like that. Because it means "therefore", it needs to come after the cause. If you want a conjunction that can come before the cause, use since. Since I am not feeling well, I am unable to work. I am not feeling well, hence I am unable to work. I am not feeling well; therefore, I am ...


13

Perhaps he's heard of the King James Bible? It may be hard to read now but it's been called one of the greatest works of the English language. I recommend starting on the first page: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon ...


12

From Paul Brians’ book named "Common Errors in English Usage": “Anyways” at the beginning of a sentence usually indicates that the speaker has resumed a narrative thread: “Anyways, I told Matilda that guy was a lazy bum before she ever married him.” It also occurs at the end of phrases and sentences, meaning “in any case“: “He wasn’t all ...


12

While I'm not aware of a particular grammatical rule that would prohibit this, as a matter of style, I would prefer not to do what you're suggesting there, especially with something like ASP.NET AJAX. I would suggest something like: Instead, you’ll use a higher-level model called ASP.NET AJAX. This toolkit gives you a set of server-side components and ...


12

The problem is not that you used due to at the beginning of a sentence. The problem is that due to must be followed by a nominal phrase, since to is a preposition and prepositions are (almost) always followed by nominal phrases. For this reason, you need to use a verbal noun or a gerund after to: Due to having less features than an actual standard ...


11

Well, with certain words it's simply impossible to start a grammatical sentence: one such word that comes to mind is "ago". It always comes after other words (e.g. "one hour ago"), never at the beginning of a sentence or clause. [Before someone points it out: note the use-mention distinction. A sentence like 'Ago' is a word you cannot start a sentence ...


11

It's grammatical to start a sentence with a variable but the latter variant, "The variable Φ is treated in a special way", is less confusing in the following ways: The latter variant makes it clear that you're talking about the variable Φ and not about anything else, such as the sentence Φ or the function Φ. The latter variant makes it more explicit that ...


10

"I mean", like other discourse particles, is tough to nail down. But every discourse element does serve a function, it is just normally a function that is a bit different from other types of words. Here is some current theory on what "I mean" means. All of my information comes from Fox Tree & Shrock (2002). The paper has a slightly different focus, ...



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