Do you hesitate when you go to start a sentence with the word ‘and’? Does it bring back memories from school where your teacher told you to think of a better word? You will be pleased to know that it is acceptable to start sentences with the conjunction ‘and’. Although this style of writing is used by authors and professionals nowadays, people have in fact been doing this for centuries. It is worth noting, however, that starting sentences with ‘and’ may be viewed as informal.
The Cambrige Dictionaries Online displays two definitions of ‘and’ http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/and_1?q=and:
- used to join two words, phrases, parts of sentences or related statements together;
- also or in addition to
Although it doesn’t actually say you can start a sentence with ‘and’, what gave me comfort was that one of their examples was – “Tidy up your room. And don’t forget to make your bed!”
The Grammar Monster website http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/conjunctions.htm gives some tips on starting a sentence with a conjunction and makes a very good point that, whilst it is acceptable, “this practice should be limited and only used for effect and impact. If you find yourself using them too often, you should consider changing the style of your writing”.
My thoughts: I don’t tend to start sentences with ‘and’ but I will now feel a little more comfortable doing so occasionally. I do, however, think it’s good practice to use a different word or change the sentence around if possible, otherwise using ‘and’ can become a habit.
My tips: – Tailor what you are writing, to your audience (who you are writing for and who will be reading it). In more formal reports try (wherever possible) to vary the first word of each sentence to make them appear less abrupt and to ensure that one flows into the other. Consider starting with the words ‘in addition’ instead of ‘and’.
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Cambridge dictionary online – http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/and_1?q=and
The Grammar Monster website – http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/conjunctions.htm