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issue 57

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Training Bulletin Issue 58

June 2015

But I like starting sentences with ‘but’

And another thing: should you start sentences with ‘and’? Or with ‘or’? Yes, with summer finally arriving, these are the sorts of things that occupy some people’s minds rather than pedicures and sun block.

While most of us can remember having been told at school not to start sentences with ‘but’, ‘and’ or ‘or’, what about ‘while’? After all, it is also a joining word. So is ‘so’ but lots of people start sentences with ‘so’ and only a determined pedant would object.

If you start sentences with joining words, will people think your writing is poor? I just did it again: ‘if’ is a joining word, so the last sentence should have been ‘Will people think your writing is poor if you start sentences with joining words?’ Did any of you even notice? More importantly, will your readers notice if you do it?

What the heck is a conjunction anyway?

Conjunctions are words that join parts of sentences, or even whole sentences, together. They are very common. They are very useful. They prevent your writing from sounding bitty. Like that.

There are different types of conjunctions. People are more likely to object to your starting sentences with coordinating conjunctions. They won’t worry so much if you do it with subordinating or correlative conjunctions.

You what?

All the terminology makes it sound much more complex than it actually is. You can impress people with your extensive grammatical knowledge more easily than you’d think if you can throw those words around confidently.

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