Few months ago, in my school, someone checked my writing, and said, “I’m not a big fan of starting a sentence with ‘and’,” and I don’t see a problem with it. Can anyone answer why some people dislike starting a sentence with ‘and’?
2Aside from the fact that "some people dislike" it, there is no problem. It's grammatical. To use it or not is stylistic and a matter of personal opinion.– Jason BassfordJul 28, 2020 at 2:49
2Does this answer your question? Although the title is for "but," it's also about conjunctions in general, as is the answer. Is it acceptable to start a sentence with the word "But"– Jason BassfordJul 28, 2020 at 2:51
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3Duplicate of this on ELL– SF.Jul 28, 2020 at 9:07
1And why are they not a fan?– ChronocidalJul 28, 2020 at 9:58
There are two parts to this question. One is about starting a sentence with 'and' and the second is about school.
To take the second part first: at least in primary school, teachers try to get you to write what is considered to be Standard English. Standard English is what any English reader in any country could understand. There are certain 'rules' to Standard English, like you start sentences with capital letters. Starting a sentence with 'and' isn't Standard English. When you do an English exam, the examiner expects you to write in Standard English. In fact, in England, there are marks allocated to using correct language in many subjects. Therefore, your teacher doesn't want you to start sentences with 'and'.
The other part of the question is why you want to start with 'and'. It is a coordinating conjunction and so is used to join two main clauses, usually. What purpose is served by placing it at the beginning of sentence? Personally, I very rarely start a sentence with 'and' unless it is part of dialogue.
1If you are going to downvote an answer, please leave a comment why. Jul 29, 2020 at 20:01
1I upvoted because you're right. There is nothing grammatically incorrect about using 'and' or 'but' in a sentence. The only people you'll be making upset are your strict English teachers who'd take off 50 points for forgetting your name on a major assessment. In fact, if everyone followed this rule, the dialogue could even be choppy. Sometimes saying 'and' and 'but' instead sounds more authentic for many characters. "Moreover, he was moving the truck!" "And he was moving the truck!" One of these sounds more likely to come out of a child's mouth than the other. It's the 'and' Oct 24, 2020 at 17:52
I'd probably phrase the issue about school English as "teachers expect you to use formal, written English". Standard English makes it sound like this is an issue of local dialect, and it's not - all dialects of English have to make adjustments when it comes to the written language as expected in (for example) an essay.– TauOct 25, 2020 at 8:27
I agree with the first comment.
You can start a sentence with anything you like. In writing a story, sometimes it makes more sense or looks better if you break a few writing guidelines. You'll only piss off certain strict english majors. And in dialogue that's just how people talk.
We use sentence fragments all the time, proper English syntax is so laborious we only keep it in formal meetings or when speaking to non-native speakers for clarity reasons.
Why is starting sentences with "And" a problem?
"And" is a conjunction. Conjunctions are meant to join thoughts, ideas, phrases, actions. Placing "and" at the start of a sentence means it is joining nothing -- exactly opposite of its intended usage.
Sentences that start with "And" are often "sentence fragments." Sentence fragments are a no-no in formal writing.
Starting a sentence with "and" can be a sign of lazy writing. Starting several sentences with "and" can be a sign of very lazy writing, or a compulsion.
In creative writing -- song lyrics, poetry, essays, dialogue -- there's nothing wrong with starting a sentence or two with "and." In school papers, business writing, and similar situations in which formal grammar is expected, it's bad.
General wisdom says starting sentences with conjunctions, conjunctive adverb, etc. can weaken your sentences, especially if done frequently in the same text.
Plenty of good writers start sentences in this way. As with all general rules, you should understand why people say don't do it before you decide to break it.
"Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively." -- The Dalai Lama
Teachers have a problem with doing it.
In real life there is a time when starting with 'and' or 'but' is better than further compounding an already long sentence.