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  1. #1
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default can you start a sentence with the conjunction "and"?

    I have always been tauhgt that an English sentence should not start with the conjunction "and".
    However, I read a sentence in an English textbook beginning with "and":
    "...Firms' demand for the factors of production is satisfies by households(the owners of production factors) who supply them. Thus the services of labour and other factors flow from households to firms. And in exchange firms pay household money in the form of wages, salaries, rent, dividends and interest..."

    Does it mean that "and" can stand at the beginning of a sentence?

  2. #2
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: can you start a sentence with the conjunction "and"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    I have always been tauhgt that an English sentence should not start with the conjunction "and".
    However, I read a sentence in an English textbook beginning with "and":
    "...Firms' demand for the factors of production is satisfies by households(the owners of production factors) who supply them. Thus the services of labour and other factors flow from households to firms. And in exchange firms pay household money in the form of wages, salaries, rent, dividends and interest..."

    Does it mean that "and" can stand at the beginning of a sentence?
    It is possible but I would not do it often, if ever. I think a semi-colon could have been used instead of a period (it is hard to tell since you did not show the complete sentence). Personally I don't even think the word "and" is necessary here at all.

    But is it an illegal construction? Nope, but as is often the case there are usually better ways to write a sentence.

  3. #3
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: can you start a sentence with the conjunction "and"?

    OK, thank you for your answer!

  4. #4
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: can you start a sentence with the conjunction "and"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    I have always been tauhgt that an English sentence should not start with the conjunction "and".
    However, I read a sentence in an English textbook beginning with "and":
    "...Firms' demand for the factors of production is satisfies by households(the owners of production factors) who supply them. Thus the services of labour and other factors flow from households to firms. And in exchange firms pay household money in the form of wages, salaries, rent, dividends and interest..."

    Does it mean that "and" can stand at the beginning of a sentence?
    That was simply just another silly prescription, Lenka. Of course you can start a sentence with 'and'.

  5. #5
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: can you start a sentence with the conjunction "and"?

    That was simply just another silly prescription, Lenka. Of course you can start a sentence with 'and'.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: can you start a sentence with the conjunction "and"?

    It is still widely taught and believed ( as I strongly do!),that conjunctions such as "and" (also "but" and "because") should not be used to start a sentence, the argument being that a sentence starting with "and" expresses an incomplete thought and is therefore incorrect.
    Writers down the centuries have ignored this advice, for its particular effectiveness in rhetorical questions: : "What are the government's chances of winning in court? And what are the consequences?"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: can you start a sentence with the conjunction "and"?

    It is usually better from a stylistic point of view to avoid putting a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence as a general rule of thumb. But general rules of thumb don't have to be slavishly followed -- especially if, as in the lines I am writing now, the result would be a very long and almost indecipherable sentence.

    This rule is often quoted as, as riverkid puts it, "a silly prescription", and some self-appointed guardians of the English language have understood it this way. However, it's not completely irrelevant, as it is a good way to avoid this kind of composition:

    Peter got up at 8 o'clock. And he had a shower. And he got dressed and went downstairs. And he had breakfast and read the newspaper. And...

    In other words: it's a guideline for inexpert writers. Part of becoming an expert writer is knowing when such guidelines can be ignored.

  8. #8
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: can you start a sentence with the conjunction "and"?

    Thank you all very much, indeed! :)

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