+0
A co-teacher and I are teaching in a 7th gr. classroom on the topic of subordinating conjunctions. A student stated today that last year her teacher said, "you should never begin sentences with because." The co-teacher and I believe differently. What is/are the general rule(s) pertaining to the word "because?"
1 2 3 4
Comments  
After a brief google search I found this:
«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.»

(TheFreeDictionary.com)
Lahlah, welcome to the forums.

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.
Try out our live chat room.
Welcome to English Forums!

I think Grammar Geek hit the nail on the head (although I thought John stopped to help the lady paint her face). Emotion: smile

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!

CJ
can i start a sentence with the cojunction because?
Read the prior posts in the this thread.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Because there was no more room in the hotel, we had to spend the night elsewhere.
A common way of starting a sentence with because is, for example:

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?
good
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Show more