Grammar 14



Can you start a sentence with "because"? Certainly!

"Because" is a subordinating conjunction; it introduces a subordinate clause. And there is nothing wrong with starting a sentence with a subordinate clause—as long as the sentence also includes a main clause.



Because I was tired.

Because I was tired, I took a nap.

Because I was hungry.

Because I was hungry, I ate lunch.

Because I love her.

Because I love her, I let her go.


Remember: Subordinate clauses cannot live alone; they always need a main clause in order to survive.



While you were out.

  • While you were out, someone called.
  • Someone called while you were out.

After I got home.

  • After I got home, I did my homework.
  • I did my homework after I got home.

If it rains.

  • If it rains, I will stay inside.
  • I will stay inside if it rains.


Why did my elementary school teacher tell me that I cannot start a sentence with "because"?

They were trying to keep it simple. A more complete answer would have sounded something like this:

Answering in Complete Sentences

Imagine that you are in Social Studies class, filling out a worksheet. The question is:

You answer:

Some teachers might accept that answer; others might not—because it's not a complete sentence. If you have a strict teacher who insists that all your answers must be written in complete sentences, then that answer would certain be wrong. To answer that question in a "complete sentence," you'd have to write something like this:

Instructions for the Quiz

The quiz consists of 10 (mostly silly) multiple-choice questions. Choose the answer that is a complete sentence.


The correct answer is the answer that is a grammatically correct "complete sentence". (A complete sentence has at least one independent clause).

Some students mistakenly think I'm trying to test them on their knowledge of history, or whatever. No! I don't care about that. The purpose of this quiz is to test your ability to recognize a complete sentence.