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Can You Start a Sentence with "Because"?

How to start a grammatical sentence with because.

By
Mignon Fogarty
because

"Razorwife" wrote, "I just heard for the first time in my life that you can't use 'because' at the beginning of a sentence. True or false?"

False. It's OK to start a sentence with "because"; you just have to make sure you're writing complete sentences and not sentence fragments.

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"Because" heads up subordinate clauses, which means if you have a clause that starts with "because," you must also have a main clause in your sentence. A main clause is something that could be a complete sentence by itself. The main clause can come first or last; if it comes last, you need a comma.

  •  Because Squiggly woke up late, he had to postpone the fishing trip. (subordinate clause first, note the comma)
  •  Squiggly had to postpone the fishing trip because he woke up late. (subordinate clause second, no comma needed)
  •  Because he woke up late. (sentence fragment)

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

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