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1.

I understand that there is no rule against starting a sentence with a conjunction, but I am a little unclear on when it is best to do so.

Which is of the following is correct, and why?

A) I wanted to see the movie, but I didn’t have any money, but it was okay because my friend paid for my ticket.

B) I wanted to see the movie, but I didn’t have any money. But it was okay because my friend paid for my ticket.

2.

I sometimes see people use a comma and speech marks to express their own thoughts, but I have never seen any rule that suggests you should do so.

Which of the following is correct?

A) I thought, “We should buy one of these.”

B) I thought we should buy one of these.

3.

I have only ever heard the expression “[show] one’s true colors” used in a negative sense. For example, “He showed his true colors when he stole my wallet.” But can it also be used in a positive sense? For example, “His acts of kindness revealed his true colors.”

4.

Is it fair to say that if you use the idiom “after all” at the start of a sentence, it can only mean “because ultimately” and not “despite what happened”?

5. If “support with love” is written as a title, do you capitalize the preposition “with”?

If I have made any grammar mistakes when writing my questions, please highlight those for me as well.
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Comments  
There are too many questions for one reasonably short reply, so I will just answer your #3 regarding the expression "show one's true colors"
The word "colors" refers to the national flags. Ships are required to fly the flag of their own nationality. The saying refers to the devious practice of pirate ships that would fly the flag of a friendly nation. A captain of a merchant ship, seeing a friendly flag from a long distance, would sail close to the "friendly" ship.. At the last minute, the pirate ship would "show his true colors" - that is the skull and cross-bones pirate flag, and then attack the unsuspecting merchant ship.

Hi!

Thank you for your reply. It was very informative.

I'm sorry, I didn't see any guidelines for posting. In future, should I limit each post to one question?

Thanks for your time.
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Hi Ditch,

Welcome to the forums.

Yes, in the future, it would be better to ask only one type of question in a thread. If they are related, then of course they can be in the same post.
Ditch
1. I understand that there is no rule against starting a sentence with a conjunction, but I am a little unclear on when it is best to do so.

This isn't exactly true. Informal writing accepts this, but formal writing does not.

Which is of the following is correct, and why?

A) I wanted to see the movie, but I didn’t have any money, but it was okay because my friend paid for my ticket. No, you can't string two "But..." clauses together.

B) I wanted to see the movie, but I didn’t have any money. But it was okay because my friend paid for my ticket. Okay in the most informal writing.

2. I sometimes see people use a comma and speech marks to express their own thoughts, but I have never seen any rule that suggests you should do so. This is a matter of style. Some people use the quotes. Some people use italics. Some make it more like reported speech.

Which of the following is correct?

A) I thought, “We should buy one of these.” OK

B) I thought we should buy one of these. Would be better with a "that" to indicated the "reported speech" nature of the thought.

C) I though, we should buy one of these.

3. I have only ever heard the expression “[show] one’s true colors” used in a negative sense. For example, “He showed his true colors when he stole my wallet.” But can it also be used in a positive sense? For example, “His acts of kindness revealed his true colors.”

Already answered, but in my opinion, if you say "his true colors" it means that you have developed an opinion of someone and this opinion turns out to be false as demonstrated by later acts. Usually it's negative, but in the right context, I suppose it could work.

4. Is it fair to say that if you use the idiom “after all” at the start of a sentence, it can only mean “because ultimately” and not “despite what happened”?

Yes, or "when you consider the thing in total." It does not draw a contrast to what came before, as you would expect if using "despite."

5. If “support with love” is written as a title, do you capitalize the preposition “with”? Another style question. Usually prepositions and articles are not capitalized. It's an odd title. (And of course the S and L would be.)

If I have made any grammar mistakes when writing my questions, please highlight those for me as well.

Thank you, Grammar Geek!

If I use italics to set off the thought (as in C), should I start the thought with a capital letter (as in A)?

I thought, We should buy one of these.

If so, would the same sentence be acceptable without italics?

I thought, We should buy one of these.

Yes it is an odd title. It's not mine. Emotion: big smile

Thanks again for all your help.
DitchIf I use italics to set off the thought (as in C), should I start the thought with a capital letter (as in A)?

I thought, We should buy one of these.

If so, would the same sentence be acceptable without italics?

I thought, We should buy one of these.
It's a matter of style. I would prefer it to have the italics, and the capital letter makes sense, but as long as you are consistent, whatever you do will probably be okay. If you are writing for someone else, then you should ask if they have a "house style" that you should follow.
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Ditch1.

I understand that there is no rule against starting a sentence with a conjunction, but I am a little unclear on when it is best to do so.
You usually must start a sentence with a subordinating conjunction if your sentence begins with a subordinate clause:
If he asks me, I'll tell him the truth.
When it stopped raining, we went out.
Even though I knew the answer, I said nothing.
But is not a a subordinating conjunction and therefore it's a good idea to avoid starting a sentence with it in serious writing.
CB
There is a long-respected course on business writing based on the book "Put it in Writing" by Albert Joseph. I personally took this course more than 20 years ago. It was offered by my company to executives and professionals in order to promote clarity in written communications. .
Albert spends one chapter on busting taboos in English writing. There are 3 "big taboos".

1) Thou shalt not begin a sentence with "and" or "but".
2 ) Thou shalt not end a sentence with a preposition.
3) Thou shalt not repeat words
In a compelling argument, he shows with many examples why these three are taboos to be ignored.
I found that Google Books has on-line exerpts from the book. You can read the last part of the section on taboo 1. (page 53), and nearly complete sections on taboos #2 and #3. (pages 54-57). Sorry for the long hyperlink.
http://books.google.com/books?id=jtlSDmiSV7cC&pg=PT31&lpg=PT31&dq="put+it+in+writing"+joseph+but+...
I have recently ordered a used copy of the book from Amazon. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it again, and recommend it for anyone who wants to improve their writing.
Thanks, Cool Breeze.

That you should not start a sentence with a conjunction in serious/formal writing seems to be the majority opinion.
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