What references, or your specific expertise tell about the permissibility of passages like: "We shall assume that 2x2=5. Which, of course, is not quite correct, but..."

  • Dear Dan Bron and all. Again my question is put on hold. I'm completely at loss and would be EXTREMELY grateful to anybody who will explain me what's wrong with it. I'm desperate, because I REALLY made my best in formulating it.
    – Serguei
    Mar 17, 2016 at 20:32
  • 2
    The relative pronoun which, which is present in your question, refers directly to the mathematical equation 2+2=5 the two clauses do not need to be separated by a period. See english.stackexchange.com/questions/78/…
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 18, 2016 at 15:56
  • 1
    Thank you. You are right: the example is ambiguous. The idea was to refer to the assumption, rather than to the equation
    – Serguei
    Mar 18, 2016 at 16:19
  • 1
    If you wanted to make it clearer that "which" refers to the assumption, you could say "...., which, of course, is an incorrect assumption".
    – TimR
    Mar 19, 2016 at 11:36
  • Aside from the start of a question (e.g. Which of these expressions are valid?), I don't think it's grammatical to start a sentence with which in a formal setting because which is a relative determiner or relative pronoun.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 19, 2016 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


Starting a sentence with which like that would be exceedingly rare.


...2x2=5 — which is, of course, not quite correct


...2x2=5, which is, of course, not quite correct

would do.

  • Dear @Tim Romano, could you please reopen the question. I have reworded it substantially
    – Serguei
    Mar 19, 2016 at 11:28
  • In contemporary English we do not start a new sentence with the word "which". That is not an opinion. That is a fact. Whether we could if we wanted to do so is a separate question.
    – TimR
    Mar 19, 2016 at 11:40
  • I fully agree with you. But, anyway, 5 users put my question on hold as "based on opinions", which spoils my record and endangers my ability to ask questions. That's why I'm asking you to reopen it
    – Serguei
    Mar 19, 2016 at 12:15
  • I can only vote to reopen, which I've done. Your question involves punctuation and typographic/orthographic conventions, which are not grammatical rules per se. But if we treat typography as a domain, we can extract the "rule" that which-clauses, even when they refer implicitly to an idea expressed in the main clause, are not placed in a separate typographic sentence. which is not treated as a demonstrative.
    – TimR
    Mar 19, 2016 at 13:51
  • Which of these sentences is correct? Both. I'm not a native English speaker, so the first sentence of this comment is probably wrong. Mar 21, 2016 at 20:58

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