Starting a Sentence With Because

I’m going to be honest with you, there are some grammar rules that I really don’t care about. Actually, there’s a lot of them. Really, most of them. That being said, sometimes it’s important to know and follow the rules, because other people care about them no matter how silly they are.

And so, today, we are going to examine one of the sillier rules of grammar: whether you can or cannot start a sentence with “because”. A lot of people will say that you can’t start a sentence with “because” and be using “proper” grammar. While it is true that starting a sentence with “because” is usually “incorrect”, it’s only because it results in an incomplete sentence. Thus, sometimes you can start a sentence with “because” and still be in the clear. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

“Because” is a subordinating conjunction. A subordinating conjunction is a word that joins two clauses, one of which is independent and one of which is dependent. I know that’s a lot of jargon, but basically what we’re looking at is this: we have a sentence with two parts, and “because” joins them together. The two parts have to be in the same sentence for the use of “because” to be “correct”. Otherwise, one of the clauses becomes a sentence fragment, which is a problem.

The reason you can’t usually start a sentence with “because” is because the sentence needs two parts for because to join together. Usually, “because” goes in between the two clauses, so if we start a sentence with “because” there is often only one clause in the sentence. Put simply, if “because” is in a sentence, the sentence needs two parts to be “correct”. Let’s look at an example.

We decided to go to the pool because it was hot outside.

The two clauses we are looking at are “We decided to go to the pool” and “it was hot outside”. “Because” links them together and makes them friends. Let’s look at what would happen if we were to split the sentence up into two.

We decided to go to the pool. Because it was hot outside.

Now that the two clauses are in different sentences, “because” can’t really join them together. The clauses can’t be friends and now they’re lonely, making the second sentence “incorrect.”

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. There is a circumstance in which we can start a sentence with “because” and not be violating any silly rules. If we start a clause with “because”, then insert a comma, and then a second clause, then both of the clauses are in the same sentence and everyone is safe. As an example:

Because it was hot outside, we decided to go to the pool.

Since both of the clauses are in the same sentence, they aren’t lonely and the sentence is technically “correct”.

So, there it is. Those are the circumstances under which you can and cannot start a sentence with because. It’s definitely a silly rule, and it’s not one that I would personally be strict about. That being said, I hope this was informative. If you want some more information, here are some resources that may be able to explain it a little better than I did:

10 thoughts on “Starting a Sentence With Because

  1. It’s hard to take your grammar advice seriously, when your article is full of grammatical errors. It is not proper grammar to put commas and periods outside of quotation marks as you do repeatedly. For instance your, “If we start a clause with ‘because’, then…” should instead be “If we start a clause with ‘because,’ then…”

    1. It’s hard to take you seriously when you think that punctuation is a feature of grammar. Also, you don’t know how to use commas either; your first sentence does not need a comma at all. Similarly (in your third sentence), “For instance your” requires no comma before going into the quoted example. Additionally, your mixed use of the contraction “it’s” and the full form “it is” is sloppy. Finally, you have failed to place a sentence-terminating period at the end of your comment (which should, as you have correctly asserted, go inside the quotes).

      1. If your super power is commenting on posts and not creating helpful dialogue relevant to the subject, then you should be the God of the Justice League. Unfortunately, it’s not very helpful and you’re out of context. You’re not really helping to solve the issue that this post was created for. Is her answer to starting a sentence with the word ‘because’ correct or not?

        1. My perception is this. If the only criticism of the article is of its perceived sloppy punctuation by someone who follows an obscure punctuation rule that I don’t know, I would suggest that the content of the article is indeed factual and of worth 🙂 Because I love English so much, I am happy to leave a comment thusly on such a page 😀

    2. It is correct to put commas outside of quotation marks when that punctuation is isolating a fragment or highlighting the distinction of a particular word. The comma goes within the quotation marks when direct speech or a complete quote is being quoted. Similarly, there should be a comma after prepositional phrases at the start of a sentence that come before the sentence’s subject.

    1. Maybe you should rewrite the article?? I don’t think people care as much as you do if the answer she provided to the topic is correct. Anyway, have fun writing your own piece.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *