Writing Techniques

Starting Sentences with Conjunctions

Conjunctions are words like "and," "but," and "yet" that link words, phrases, and clauses together. While it's not grammatically incorrect to start sentences with conjunctions, you should decide whether joining the two sentences is actually more effective. Consider the purpose of your sentences. Sometimes, you'll want to separate the sentences to make a dramatic point. But if you're not trying to make a point and your ideas are closely linked, try joining the sentences instead.

Here's an example:

  • My mom wanted to go to the store. But my dad wanted to go home.

Both sentences are grammatically correct. However, the ideas are so closely linked that it makes more sense to join them than to have them in two separate sentences:

  • My mom wanted to go to the store, but my dad wanted to go home.

We recommend that less than 30% of your sentences should start with conjunctions.

When to Use Conjunction Starts

Conjunction starts are great at adding dramatic effect. By using a period to separate the two ideas, you're adding emphasis to the relationship between them:

  • I ate an entire tray of macaroni and cheese, then an entire bowl of mashed potatoes for dinner. And I was still hungry for dessert!

The conjunction start emphasizes the subject's surprise at eating so much.

Using a conjunction at the start of your sentence creates a different feeling for your reader. As the writer, it's your job to decide when to deploy your conjunction starts. Keep them in your back pocket as a tool to add dramatic emphasis, but don't overuse them or you'll make your writing feel disjointed and melodramatic.

Common Questions about Starting Sentences with Conjunctions

No articles found

Your Personal Writing Coach

A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.

Try for free today

Back to School Sale

25% off

Browse Offers
Ends Wednesday, September 30 at midnight PST.