We’ve to be asked this question countless times by reader of ours “word nerd” books and listeners of our NPR-affiliated podcast “You’re speak It Wrong.”
Maybe it’s due to the fact that it was drummed right into their heads as youngsters by well-meaning adults who assumed “don’t start a sentence v ‘because’” to be a ascendancy (like so numerous other “grammar rules,” it isn’t), or perhaps it’s due to the fact that they’ve viewed it used erroneously (it often is).
But for everything reason, people often avoid starting a sentence with “because.”
Can you start a sentence through because?
Because this wake up so often, let’s cut to the chase.
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Yes, you have the right to absolutely begin a sentence v “because.”
And…you caught that, didn’t you? appropriate there we started a sentence through “because,” and it’s completely correct.
Why? because it’s used at the opening of a subordinate clause that’s associated to a main clause and—
Wait a second! We just did it again, however in a different way! See, together you just read, there space actually two different but totally acceptable ways of starting a sentence with “because.”
Starting a sentence v because: Two methods that work
The thing with “because” is the it’s a subordinate conjunction, which method it’s usually supplied to attach two rule — a low grade clause and also a main clause. A subordinate i is, yes, low grade to the main one; it defines it.
As such, it’s not a stand-alone sentence choose the key clause is. As soon as you start a sentence with “because,” you have to be certain that you use both rule to do the sentence a finish one, prefer this:
“Because ns confused, I’m analysis about starting sentences.”
It’s a perfectly legal sentence. No grammar guru have the right to complain about it. If you separation it right into two discrete units, however, that guru would gain quite perturbed.
“Because ns confused. I’m reading about beginning sentences.”
This no work since the first clause no a complete sentence ~ above its own. The a sentence fragment. Come be correct grammatically, it needs to be adhered to by the second clause, the main one.
That’s the dominance of thumb about beginning a sentence with “because” — you need two parts to the sentence, two clauses associated by a comma, to make it work.
Nice and simple, right?
But this is English. And also English has a method of bending the rules, so below we go…
Another way to begin a sentence v because
There is one more time as soon as you have the right to start a sentence through “because” and not monitor that two clause rule: if you’re using it conversationally come answer a spoken or unspoken “why” question.
The perfect example of this is the time-honored kid-to-parent question: “Why can not I remain out later?” “Because I stated so” is a perfect acceptable (albeit infuriating) answer.
Persnickety nitpickers would certainly argue the it’s not correct, the it’s a fragment that demands a rewrite. They’re best …technically.
But most modern-day grammarians and also writers disagree and feel the fine to use in more casual writing, as soon as you’re trying come sound conversational, and, the course, when you’re composing dialogue.
Pick increase virtually any type of novel and you’ll watch a many questions gift answered with “Because ns …” constructs. Plainly this is among those times once it’s an excellent to rest grammar rules.
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And there you have actually it, 2 distinct and accepted methods of utilizing “because” to start a sentence: either as the opener come a subordinate i that preposes the following clause, or as a conversational way of answering a “why” question.
So don’t hear if anyone speak you the you can’t start a sentence with “because.” Why not? because we speak so, of course. (And, no, you can’t continue to be out later. Not until you’ve finished writing.)
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About the Author: Kathryn & Ross Petras
Kathy & Ross Petras are a sister and also brother composing team who’ve written several famous “word nerd” books, consisting of the brand-new York times bestseller You’re saying It Wrong, that Doesn’t median What you Think the Means, and the soon-to-be-published Awkword Moments. They execute a biweekly podcast—a sort of “Car Talk” about words—with NPR’s KMUW referred to as “You’re speak It Wrong.” They are longtime logophiles, proud polymaths, and also (they must admit) sometimes annoying grammar pedants (but they shot to restrain us …).