«A favorite rule of schoolteachers (but curiously absent from the tradition of usage commentary) is that a sentence must not begin with because. Sometimes, however, because is perfectly appropriate as the opening word of a sentence, as in the beginning of one of Emily Dickinson's best-known poems: "Because I could not stop for Death/He kindly stopped for me." In fact, sentences beginning with because are quite common in written English.»
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I think that it's an over-generalization to the "rule" of using a full sentence to answer a question.
Why was John late?
Because he stopped to help a lady paint her fence vs John was late because he stopped to help a lady paint her fence.
Even in formal writing, a sentence can start with Because as long as it's recognized as a dependent clause: Because John stopped to help a lady paint her fence, he was late getting home.
I think Grammar Geek hit the nail on the head (although I thought John stopped to help the lady paint her face).
What you should not have is really a non-sentence, that is a sentence fragment, that starts with a because clause and never introduces a main clause to go with it.
-- Why didn't you finish your spinach?
-- Because I don't like it.<< This is the sort of thing that is frowned upon. It's fine in ordinary conversation, but not in a paper for classwork.
Nevertheless, for stylistic reasons, you will probably find that even this construction is used by some authors!
Be cause it was cold outside, I put on my jacket.
So yes, as long as the sentence makes sense.
i.e., this doesn't make sense: Because it was raining.
Well what about it was raining?
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