Ending and Starting Sentences with Conjunctions

In short, a conjunction is a word that connects two parts of a sentence (clauses) together. This is elementary knowledge that most of us know.

However, at school, you may have been taught that a sentence cannot begin or end with a conjunction. The most common example called out is ‘and’:

“And that’s where it all began.”

‘However’ is another good example:

“This is not the end, however.”

Many hard-line prescriptivists discourage such use of a conjunction, the logic being that the conjunction no longer serves its purpose of connecting two independent clauses.

Although it is entirely possible to rework the above phrases to comply with traditional grammar rules, I don’t believe it is necessary.

Those who read my article on the use of ‘literally’ will know my views on stringent pedantry. And though I consider myself a perfectionist pedant myself, this is one rule I think we can do without.

Sometimes the flow of a story can be hindered by grammatical accuracy, turning an otherwise poetic piece into something stiff and clinical.

The rules were made to be broken.

There are plenty of classic and successful authors who use conjunctions like this, from Charles Dickens to Stephen King.

Use conjunctions as you please!


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