Is it okay to use the word "and" right after another sentence, and should I use a comma?

"And, as a member of my high school's entrepreneurship club, I participated..."

"And as a member of my high school's entrepreneurship club, I participated..."

  • 1
    There's no special reason for a comma when the and is at the beginning of the sentence. Use the comma depending on the sentence, not the position of and. They do not mean quite the same thing.
    – Kris
    Apr 8 '14 at 5:27
  • For this type of sentence should the comma go right after "And" or right after "club?"
    – Swiftor88
    Apr 8 '14 at 6:09
  • 1
    This Q is what we used to call a NARQ.
    – Kris
    Apr 9 '14 at 6:20
  • The house style at the publisher where I work is to omit the comma after a sentence-starting "And" in all instances (including apositives). This is strictly a matter of style, as far as I can tell, and other publishers take a contrary view.
    – Sven Yargs
    Apr 21 '14 at 19:34

Should there always be a comma after and when it is used to start a sentence?

No. However, in the examples you give above, having the comma is correct. This is because the clause as a member of my high school's entrepreneurship club is an appositive (an extra bit of information not necessarily needed to form a complete sentence). Appositives are typically surrounded by commas (but may also be surrounded by parentheses, like this phrase, or em dashes if they are fairly unrelated to the sentence's primary topic).

If you are using and as an appositive itself (which is common when starting sentences with it, but not universal), then whichever stylebook you follow will have its own opinion. I know, for example, that The Economist's stylebook says that appositives at the beginning of sentences (if they are short) need not require a following comma.

Having said all the above, the more pressing issue is whether or not you should be starting a sentence with and at all. Typically, starting a sentence with and indicates that you can rework the previous sentence and add the following clauses to make the whole thought more succinct and well-worded.

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