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Can You Start a Sentence with a Conjunction?

There is nothing wrong with starting sentences with “and,” “but,” or other similar conjunctions. You may, however, encounter people who mistakenly believe that starting a sentence with a conjunction is an error, so consider your audience when deciding to structure your sentences this way.

Consider the example below:

Many people fear crashing in an airplane. But riding in a car is actually more dangerous.

Separating these sentences with a period is a dramatic way to emphasize the contrast introduced by but. Not everyone likes this style, though. It’s also possible to connect these sentences with a comma:

Many people fear crashing in an airplane, but riding in a car is actually more dangerous.

Some readers especially dislike seeing the conjunctions or, nor, and yet at the beginning of a sentence. While it may not be an error, starting sentences with these words does sometimes seem melodramatic.

Consider the examples below:

We can go to the drive-in. Or we can go to the roller rink.
We can go to the drive-in, or we can go to the roller rink.
Susan wasn’t feeling well. Yet, she still attended the meeting.
Susan wasn’t feeling well, yet she still attended the meeting.

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