One grammar rule you may have heard in school is to never start a sentence with a conjunction (such as “and” or “but”). This is actually another one of those made-up, recent inventions that has no basis in fact.
Actually, English speakers have started sentences with conjunctions for 1,200 years.
In his book Descriptive Syntax of the Old English Charters, Charles Merritt Carlton analyzes several charters written in Old English. His findings (see page 37) show that although the initial sentence in each document never started with a conjunction, subsequent sentences did. Not only did sentences start with conjunctions, but it was by far the most popular part of speech to start subsequent sentences. In fact, 69.1% of sentences in the 9th century documents, 48.6% in the 10th century documents, and 72.4% in the 11th century documents started with conjunctions.
So, if you ever want to write something like:
She dared us to eat the hot peppers. And we did.
feel free, and ignore anyone who tells you it’s wrong.
With that being said, there is one caveat. Starting sentences with conjunctions tends to lend a conversational tone, so you may want to avoid it in formal documents.
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