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Is it grammatically possible to begin a sentence with "but" ?

closed as off-topic by tchrist Dec 18 '18 at 21:49

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According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the following case (but it is not the only valid case) may apply

But for + reason

But for is used to introduce the reason why something didn’t happen:

But for the traffic, I would have been here an hour ago. (The traffic was very heavy – if it weren’t for the traffic, I’d have been here an hour ago.)

They would have been badly injured but for the fact that they were wearing seat belts. (They were wearing seat belts – if it weren’t for the fact that they were wearing seat belts, they would have been badly injured.)

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    But wait, there are many more cases than that one that are "allowed" ... – Robusto Dec 18 '18 at 21:15
  • But I could find no sources for other possibilities so far. – A Lambent Eye Dec 18 '18 at 21:17
  • The point is, you don't really need a source to validate every utterance. The best stylists in English (cf. Shakespeare, above) have begun sentences with conjunctions since, well, there was an English language. – Robusto Dec 18 '18 at 21:22
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    Saying "the following case is allowed" is tantamount to saying "except for this one case, all other cases are not allowed." This makes your statement prescriptive, and on this site we tend to plump more for freedom of expression. – Robusto Dec 18 '18 at 21:43
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    Use the case you listed as an example of the usage, just make sure you're not implying it's the only one. And welcome to EL&U. ^_^ – Robusto Dec 18 '18 at 22:09

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