Can You Start a Sentence with Because?

Yes, you can start a sentence with because!

This is a follow-up to my previous post about the word becauseI’ve always wondered why so many people are afraid to start sentences with because!

My friend Neal Steiger came up with a likely reason. He remembers being told that if you answer a question with because, you’ll probably end up with a fragment:

Why did you ride your bike to school today?

Because my mother didn’t have time to drive me here.  FRAGMENT

That’s great advice when you’re eight or nine years old! But let’s dig a little deeper. You need to know that anything that starts with because is an extra idea.

That’s no problem (despite what Mrs. Wilson told you in the third grade!) if you attach your because idea to a real sentence. (Think of a garage or a porch – they’re nice to have if you have a house to go with them.)

Here’s how you could use because to answer a question correctly:

Why did you ride your bike to school today?

Because my mother didn’t have time to drive me, I hopped on my bike.  CORRECT

I think this sort of thing happens all the time in school. A teacher gives you an answer that works fine if you’re eight or nine years old. But eventually we all have to grow up!

 I hereby give you permission to start sentences with because. Just remember to make sure they’re complete.

Because Big Bang Theory is such a funny TV show.  FRAGMENT

Because Big Bang Theory is such a funny TV show, I never miss it.  CORRECT

Because of the heavy rainfall last weekend.  FRAGMENT

Because of the heavy rainfall last weekend, we had to cancel our plans.  CORRECT

My thanks to Neal Steiger!

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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