Poll: Can you start a sentence with "and"?

Can you start a sentence with "and"?


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This Poll:

  • Votes: 14,037
  • Comments: 175
  • Added: August 2003



You can start a sentece, a paragraph or even a text with 'and', IMO.


Of course you can. Find any writer acknowledged to be a great who doesn't.


And yet, there are many people, who say that a sentence should not start with "and"; though I disagre with them, I wouldn't abuse it as a starter.


No you cant start with and. And you should know this! :D


The Nenerable Bede, the first great English author, starts his book with 'and', and he was writing in Latin.


Sorry, the Venerable Bede.


You are all obviously Americans.


You can, but you shouldn't.


I'm British. :-)


Of course you *can* start a sentence with "and," but that's artistic license, not grammatical correctness. No journalist will write a hard news article containing a sentence that starts with "and." It's grammatically wrong.


I guess those guys who wrote the Bible weren't hard jornalists then...


oops "journalists"
See Genesis 1:25


Every grammatical source I have checked including some authors and English professors state that it IS grammatically correct to start a sentence with "AND." It can be overused; however, it is not incorrect to use it.

Have you ever seen "Finding Forrester"?


It is absolutely wrong to start a sentence with and. And only serves as a conjunction b/w 2 phrases, sentences, or words.


i dont think so god people r gettin crazy starting a sentence with and


it is perfectly acceptable to start this sentence with But even tough it is a part of FANBOYS -for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so- I can start a sentence with it because of the usage to coordinate two independent clauses (groups of words that can stand alone as sentences). Here are two examples, with the independent clauses in brackets: [We started to go home], but [we had run out of gas]. Most likely, many people believe they should not start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction because their grammar teachers in grade school discouraged them from doing so. Yet such a rule is completely unjustifiable. When grammar teachers teach youngsters the essentials of sentence structure, they most likely explain that coordinating conjunctions are used to hold together elements within a sentence. Therefore, they may discourage students from starting sentences with coordinating conjunctions because they are trying not only to explain conjunctions but also to help their students learn to avoid sentence fragments like this one: She was a nice girl. And smart, too. In this example, using "and" after the period is wrong because the second "sentence" is not really a sentence at all: it has neither a subject nor a verb. Thus, youngsters carry forward into adulthood the notion that a sentence should never begin with a coordinating conjunction, especially not with "and" or "but." In fact, however, professional writers have started sentences with coordinating conjunctions throughout history


You wouldn't be against someone starting a sentence with "Additionally..." or "In addition..." - meaning, "Here's another point that complements the last." So why can't "And" be used the same way, even in a scholarly essay?


I guess im old school,I was taught not to begin a sentence with and.


no cause it dose not make any sence and if you want to make sure go back to school and ask!!!


And they said it couldn't be done.


No, you can't, however the english language would be much easier on all of us if we could.

Aquesha Stith

I believe you can't because and is a conjucntion and it should be in a sentence not at the begining.

john b

As far as I can see there is no rule anywhere that says you can't start a sentence with a conjunction. In fact, it can add a great deal of emphasis to the written word. And that's a fact!


It depends, according to the Plain English rules you can if it makes the sentence clearly and it can be a way of cutting down long unwieldy sentences. It is best to avoid it if you can though!

Keijo Sandvik

"And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth." Hmmm. It looks like this grammatical "misconception" has been around for quite some time.
Naughty King James!


It's not grammatically correct, it's often used in advertising text where space is at a premium. And it makes a sentence stand out when it is!


Your old grammar school teacher probably taught you not to start a sentence with a conjunction. This is a good rule for children learning English, and a good practice in many applications, however it is not an absolute rule of any sort. Many accomplished authors recognize the value in bending such "rules" to manipulate the language.


Not in legal documents.


you cannot start a sentence with "and". and is a coordinating conjunction.Coordinating conjunctions, also called coordinators, are conjunctions that join two items of equal syntactic importance. As an example, the traditional view holds that the English coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so (which form the mnemonic FANBOYS). Note that there are good reasons to argue that only and, but, and or are prototypical coordinators, while nor is very close. So and yet share more properties with conjunctive adverbs (e.g., however), and "for...lack(s) most of the properties distinguishing prototypical coordinators from prepositions with clausal complements" [1]. Furthermore, there are other ways to coordinate independent clauses in English.


I find it amusing that many of the people posting comments stating, "No, you can't start a sentence with and," have some of the worst grammar errors and typos in this poll.


My opinion is that you cannot start a sentence with "and", however, English is a living language which incorporates neologisms all the time. Are there any actual English teachers who can help with this debate? Opinions seem to be so divided!


It actually depends in which instance you're starting "and" off with.
In a formal or even a general essay, it should not be used; however, in literature, it is allowed.
Those who do not believe, that even in literature, "and" could be used to start off a sentence has been concealed from good literature for much too long. >_>;;


Of course you can, it just depends on the context, especially on sentence structure. You can easily start a sentence with and, so long that it is a simple sentence inversion technique where "and" is heading a dependent clause, though it usually shouldn't, except in select cases. As a simple sentence, though, it is grammatically incorrect.


It is not really a question open to opinion; it is perfectly valid to start a sentence with 'and'. As Paul says in his post of 2nd December, it has been embedded in the masses by teachers.
Imagine a specific example; you are writing a letter explaining your impoverished position and asking for money. You have a few paragraphs explaining the situation and then it would be fine to say: "And so I turn to you for support....."

Obviously it must be used correctly, all words can be used incorrectly, so can 'and'.

Re: ntianu's post of 14th March.
He/she says "It is absolutely wrong to start a sentence with and. And only serves as a conjunction b/w 2 phrases, sentences, or words."

We are mature enough to not mock you for using the word to start a sentence as it is used as a noun describing the word. However, you say it can be used to join sentences. If you do not start a sentence with the word, how do you manage this?


no you cant start a and.


The person should have written... The word "and" only serves as a conjunction between two phrases, sentences, or words.


I see no problem with starting a sentence with 'and' if you are writing informally. I doubt you will see sentences beginning with 'and' in formal writing. Many well-respected authors start their sentences this way and I think it is a matter of style and purpose rather than a hard and fast rule of grammar.


The word "And" joins two phrases. If there is nothing before "And" then the word is incorrect.


you can start a sentence using anything you want. in other words, yes it is certainly possible.


And that's why the Tigers lost the baseball game.

but is it grammatically correct?


"they are just words, they don't control us."
-Dane Cook


Is Hemingway famous?


Of course you can start a sentence with the word and, however whether this is gramatically correct is a different matter.



I believe you can use a and at the begining of a sentence. P.S. To the British- The American english is a bit different than yours.


Excuse me. I meant to say "an" and.


And I think you can. Because I said so. Ain't that da truth. Grammar don't matter!


YES, you can begin a sentence with "and" as long as you use it properly.

"And" is an interesting word.
The question was "Can you start a sentence with "and"? Not many but you can!


Yes you can. Sometimed you don't have other choice =) !

Judy Taylor

When writing in a conversational tone it is appropriate. It is not appropriate in more formal communications.

Jonathan Richards

Shakespeare, Milton, Heller, Cervantes.... All have used "And" at the beginning of a sentence. Oh, and the Oxford Dictionary of English Usage says it's okay. And the bible too.


it is done in the NYTimes everyday.


The word "and" is not only a conjunction." And" can be used to capture a meaning or concept other than its common use in traditional thought. Our schooling should not limit our use of words. It is not just about "artistic license" .

"And then there was the word, and the word became ....."


Of course you can start a sentence with the word and. You can also start it with the word but. I have asked quite a few people I know what they thought about this. Most who have taken any type of writing class in addition to required courses such as business writing or writing ettiquette agree that you most certainly are able to do this. Folks I asked who have taken only required courses or no course at all seem to go with the thought this is not acceptable...


Of course you can start off a sentence with "and"! Although this would not be good to write in a grade school paper.




"And," "but" and "or" are conjunctions - they join sections of sentences into one complete thought. You *can* begin a sentence with a conjunction, but you must take care to make sure that your sentence is a complete thought. For example - "But if you take a wrong turn, you will end up in Timbucktu" is a complete sentence but "And pro golfers are not athletes is a fragment.

That's the reason teachers told us so often, "don't start sentences with prepositions," people were too careless...


no you can't! it is not proper! :P

Faiz khan,English lecture

Because that is not a completely professional or a casual way to start an initial sentence.however, we can adjoin a sentanec and use it in between the two sentences.


And," "but" and "or" are conjunctions - they join sections of sentences into one complete thought. You *can* begin a sentence with a conjunction, but you must take care to make sure that your sentence is a complete thought. For example - "But if you take a wrong turn, you will end up in Timbucktu" is a complete sentence but "And pro golfers are not athletes is a fragment.

That's the reason teachers told us so often, "don't start sentences with prepositions," people were too careless...

melissa - 18th April 2008 01:37
no you can't! it is not proper! :P

Faiz khan,English lecture - 19th April 2008 04:02
Because that is not a completely professional or a casual way to start an initial sentence.however, we can adjoin.


Sometimes. For example. And that was the end of that.


one can star a sentence with "and : and there is no harm in it.


Writers use it for emphasis or effect.
A good writer will use it to good effect, it is also a easy way out if you are too dumb to construct a proper sentence. It should not be taught to students learning English!


According to an Australian Government publication 'Choosing Your Mark" by Dr George Stern " conjunctions ... dont't - join only clauses: they can also link sntences or paragraphs to each other,"


I'm thick so I don't know


im pretty sure u cant but i wish u cud cos i need 2 in this history essay!


No you cant! didnt your teatcers ever teach ya that????????

Charles Whittlesey

Not only can you start a sentence with "and," but even if the rules specified you couldn't, the best writers understand that most rules of English can be bent or even broken on a case-by-case basis if they're handled judisciously. The goal is good writing, not the meticulous and slavish adherence to a set of standards. That's for bureaucrats and listmakers, not people who want to communicate efficiently.

I agree with Emerson: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Microsoft Word

I agree entirely with Charles Whittlesey (19th August 2008 17:38).

Most people here who answer no have incorrect grammar. That tells me something.


you CAN start a sentence with and, cause in every book i've read in my life there has been at least one sentence that starts with and in it. in school i was taught no to do that on papers and essays. but for some sentences it is necessary. so therefore you CAN start a sentence with the word "and"
and if anybody disagrees, heres another reason : because i said so and im cool.
thank you have a nice day.


IT IS perfectly acceptable to start a sentence with AND and BECAUSE and BUT--simple-minded English teachers tell you not to and they wanted to help you guards against writing sentence fragments. But they were wrong not to tell you the truth (probably because they didn't know the truth!) Look it up in Fowlers and the Oxford Guide to Writing! And, yes, I saw Finding Forester and during the scene where he explains that you CAN start a sentence with AND and BECAUSE, I nearly jumped up and cheered!!!!

Lance Crossley

KJV of old testament starts many a verses with And - and is perhaps the reason the education system frowns upon it.


no you can't, some say u can write "And in conclusion, ...." but you should say "So in conclusion ..." this is just like all the other examples, IF YOU CANT WRITE IT IN SCHOOL, YOU CANT WRITE IT IN COLLEGE SO YOU SHOULDNT WRITE IT AT ALL. thanks



Of course you can. Read the bible and read some more books. You will see that many professional journalists and authors begin sentences with "And."

Alyssa Emily Anderson

It is perfectly acceptable to begin a sentence with a conjunction, such as "and." However, a writer must remember that a conjunction is used to relate two or more things to each other. As long as it serves it's purpose, then it is correct. There is no hard and fast rule in English grammar that says you can't begin a sentence with "and." I am an English teacher and am currently taking a linguistics course at a university. According to various reknowned sources, people have been beginning sentences with "and" since the time of the Anglo-Saxons. The "rule" became popular around the 1800s, and has fuctuated over time. This was just a made up convention, not a specific rule. Remember...if you can say it and have it sound correct, then it is correct. If it is commonly used in speech and/or written text, then it is correct.




To Melissa Emily Anderson --- the english teacher ---- shouldn't it be "its" purpose instead of " it's" purpose, since "it's purpose would signify the conjunction of it and is = it's. At least that's what I learned when I was taught English back in Germany.

Richard Owsley

Why are you even asking, the strange so-called rule that you can't is just an old superstition that all writers laugh about.

"None of your business!"

I am not really sure... My english teachers in school always tell me it is grammaticaly wrong. The thing is the author Agetha Christie started her book title with "and."
"And Then There Were None" also called "Ten Little Indians" I am writing a book right now and i was needing to know if it was grammaticaly correct or not... but i guess im gonna have to go with my instincts...


For years, people tell you never start a sentence with a conjunction. However, rules are changing. So yes now you can =]


it is a conjunction


What a brilliant debate. And it's been going for eight and a bit years. Love it. Thank God we're all still so passionate about how language is used... I think using and at the start of a sentence is fine if it allows the thought to flow easily into the readers mind.


I have read 'and' at the beginning of a sentence many times, but it looks clumsy. If the subject or topic is related to the previous clause, why not use a semi-colon? Or is that too difficult?


In no other language than Hebrew (and sister languages) is it common to start sentences with and. If you notice in the New Testament which is allegedly from the Greek, most of the verses start with And. Yet the Greek language does not. It is therefore logical to assume that the NT was originally in Hebrew and that what we have of the NT Greek texts are a translation thereof.


For a fiction writer, sure-
but in academic writing.
AND of course not.
Maybe I am old skool but don't begin sentences with And, Because or But!!!


I think its ok tostart a sentence eveyonce in a while as long as you dont do it to much!


It is perfectly acceptable to start a sentance with "and" or even "but". BUT it is probably best not to do so on official documents.

Alan Foos

Of course you can, it's called a logical inductive in that context, NOT a conjunction, and was always correct usage in any context. The common notion that start a sentence with and stems from popular fascination with being correct without having ever had a real eduction, though popular conceptions do end up affecting formal style, so what the hell

Alan Foos

Sorry, my keyboard is sticking, "the notion that you cannot start a sentence with and..." also, education, not eduction, sorry...

Emma Kinnaird.

Of course you bloody can. If used within the correct context. If you read a book...yes A BOOK *shock horror* you will see many many many, perhaps all authors start sentences with "and".


No you cannot start a sentence with aned. solely because you're tired of reading, does not mean it's the end of a sentence.

that's my story, and i'm sticking to it.

Hannah Montana

you can start a sentence with and if you want to

Miley Cryus

ands are cool.
i start sentences in my songs with the word and.
then again....my songs suck!

Corbin Bleu

Ands are nice :)


I love starting sentences with 'And'!! Purely for artistic license, and to rattle the cages of the grammar police.


No, never! English is not a LIVING language and the Constitution is not a LIVING documents. Some things are just plain right or wrong. The fact that 99% of people do something a certain way does not change wrong to right; it simply makes a lot of people wrong.


"And" cannot be used at the beginning of a sentence because "and" joins clauses or sentences or words. I was taught this in English class.


If you look up "therefore" in any thesaurus, the first entry will always be "and so". Its 100% acceptable.

Jono M

It is not something that should be done often or in formal circumstances. But in an informal context, sure, you can. And it can serve as a useful way of emphasising an afterthought.


um.... u cant start a sentence with and? n you should its just clear english

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