Often, students come to me with
grammar rules that were instilled in them in school. Because
students respect their teachers, they can find it difficult when I
say it's time to break the rules.
But, most of the time, students can
learn to let go. The use of the conjunction, "but," is a case in
point. From an early age we are told to "never use 'but' to begin
a sentence." I know I was.
Then, I had an editor. She
helpfully changed my buried "however" and made the sentence begin
with "but." Much more forceful and direct she argued. And, I had
So, here's the first rule to break.
Take a chance and use a conjunction to begin a sentence here and
there. You'll have plenty of company: novelists and journalists
and poets are doing it all the time.
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