Posted in Writing Help

“Do Not Use A Conjunction At The Beginning Of A Sentence” – Myth or Fact?|Writing-Tips

If you do not use conjunction at the beginning of your sentences, you deserve an accolade. Because I have and I am still using them like there is no other day.

Should we stop using them to start a sentence? My primary School Teacher screams, ‘YES!!!’

As a child, I was warned against using conjunction at the beginning of my sentence. I was told they were solely for linking two words, phrases, or clauses together.

The Mnemonic device; FANBOYS, is used to engrave these words in children’s ‘minor’ brains to keep it there.

The words are in my head that each time I type any of those forbidden words at the beginning of my sentence, I tend to lash myself in silence. I keep nagging myself, hey, you know this is wrong! Delete that word and replace it with a good sentence starter!

I remember how we chanted the words until our lips trembled, to keep them in there;

FANBOYS; 🎶 For, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.🎶

The words above, are the Coordinating conjunctions.

Here are some subordinating conjunctions we were also discouraged from using at the beginning of a sentence;

🎶 because, since, as, although, though, while and whereas 🎶 

But later in life, I came to know that there is a reason behind that particular lesson. It’s for my small brain. To prevent me from misusing or overusing those words.

In the quest to avoid bad writing, writers follow basic grammar rules to make their writing read great. And I won’t be mesmerised by a writer who avoids these words in his or her writing. There is no hurt in avoiding them. It’s called being extremly careful or fulfilling all righteousness.

If you look into the oldest and the most popular book of all times – the Holy Bible, you will notice that lots of these conjunction words sit at the beginning of sentences.

The Bible was translated to English by well read English Scholars of the old. These were the people who ate, drank and sang ‘unadulterated’ English. In those days, I believe, English communication/ grammar had rigid rules. Why then did they use those words in such manner?

Again, many great books we come across in our reading journey, have these conjunctions at the beginning of some sentences, even though they are credible books.

If these trusted sources used conjunction at the beginning of the sentences, why restrict ourselves?

In fact most English scholars think it’s a myth to say that we should not begin a sentence with a conjunction and I believe it is. There is no known basis for the rule. In other words, there is no grammar rule that says we should not use conjunction to start a sentence. It’s only a made up rule- by school teachers.

These teachers needed to curb the misuse and overuse of conjunction words by school children, hence the rule.

During the 19th century, some schoolteachers took against the practice of beginning a sentence with a word like but or and, presumably because they noticed the way young children overused them in their writing. But instead of gently weaning the children away from overuse, they banned the usage altogether! Generations of children were taught they should ‘never’ begin a sentence with a conjunction.Some still are.

David Crystal
The story of English In 100 Words.

So, feel free to use both coordinating and subordinating conjunctions at the beginning of your sentences. But bear the following in mind;

– You must not overuse them in your writing

No writer would like to start every other sentence with a conjunction. That’s the best way to make your writing look absurd, amateurish and vague. So, make sure you use them sparingly.

– You don’t want to use every conjunction word at the beginning of your sentence. Use your common sense when using them.

– Avoid accidental sentence fragments when using the conjunctions at the beginning of your sentence. A sentence fragment looks like a sentence but does not communicate a complete idea. Make sure your sentence make complete sense.

In a nutshell, as long as you can use them carefully, go ahead and use conjuction at the beginning of your sentence.

But if you think it is still wrong to begin a sentence with a conjunction, master the conjunctions below.

Again not all of the words below are right at the beginning of a sentence.

List of Conjunctions

after, although, as, as if, as long as, as much as, as soon as, as though, because, before, by the time, even if, even though, if, in order that, in case, in the event that, lest , now that, once, only, only if, provided that, since, so, supposing, that, than, though, till, unless, until, when, whenever, where, whereas, wherever, whether or not, while, after, although, as, as if, as long as, as much as, as soon as, as though, because, before, by the time, even if, even though, if, in order that, in case, in the event that, lest , now that, once, only, only if, provided that, since, so, supposing, that, than, though, till, unless, until, when, whenever, where, whereas, wherever, whether or not, while, for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so

If you have a different opinion, or a contribution, do share with us in the comment.

Posted in inspiration

About Accepting Mistakes

When you make an awful mistake, it could be a big slap on your face and the faces of the people who watched that mistake happen.

When you make a mistake, you want to go back in time and avoid it. The fire of regret keeps burning in your heart until your joy and confidence shrink.

The truth is that you do not want anyone to think you are erroneous.

In real life, mistakes (your mistakes and the mistakes of others) can help you have a clear view of the right way.

Trying new things and taking up new challenges means you are not afraid of making mistakes. Go ahead, fall and rise, fall again and rise again. Have no shame!Accept it! Correct yourself when you can and thank others for correcting you.

This is the time to humble yourself. It’s not the time to blame A, B or C. It’s not the time to blame your tools or your lack of knowledge. It’s the time to accept your mistake, take full responsibility of it and apologise when required.

Below is a story I was told. A man made a mistake and his son pointed it out;

A man once used the bathroom. Afterwards his son went in there and found out that he didn’t clear his crap. Disgusted by this, his son walked up to him and asked, ‘Daddy, you remember when you told us to always flush after using the bathroom? His father said, ‘Yes, I remember.’ His son said, ‘Well…you…’ At this point his father gasped.. He quickly apologised and went ahead to correct his mistake.

Truth be told, it is hard to watch those who you look up to make mistakes. Someone who coaches you and who advises you on the right things to do is the least you will expect to make mistakes. You need to accept the reality; when it comes to making mistakes. No one is immune. Professionals from all works of life make mistakes, no matter how long they spend studying in their field.

Feel free to correct people’s mistakes – in private. It’s important especially when it’s done out of ignorance. People who make mistakes out of ignorance do not realise it and will keep making the same mistake over and over again. Someone needs to step up and show them the way.

Do not worry about the reaction of the person whom you correct. It’s natural to feel bad when corrected. This is true for every individual that walks the face of the earth. This is the reason why people would rather keep quiet than embarrass someone who has made a mistake.

How good is that?

I feel that my errors and the errors of others should not be allowed to sit but should be pointed out in private. I believe that someone who corrects me is the one who means well for me and who wants me to succeed in life.

Posted in Stories

His Used Toy

She cried all night. To make matters worse, her mother blamed her for being so foolish.

‘I foresaw this day. I’ve been warning you from the onset that he is not a good man. I told you to stay away from him. But you wouldn’t hear since the death which will eventually kill a puppy does not allow it to perceive the stench of an excreta,’ Agatha raised her head to look at her mother. She made some sense but how could she have known that he was a wolve in a sheep’s clothing?

How could I have known that he would dump me after twenty years during which I enjoyed a true love?’

‘True love?’ Her mother laughed. ‘Did I hear you mention true love? Think girl! Think! He never loved you. You were only a toy to play with and time has taken you to the refuse dump. Here you are, back to ‘square one’

‘He did this to me, he will never find peace,’

‘ No. He will find peace. Tell me Agatha, which girl with a good sense, waits on an aimless man, in an aimless relationship? Tell me?’

As if she got overpowered by her mother’s words, Agatha got up, walked to the middle of the compound and knelt down. She raised her right hand to the sky and laid a curse on him. ‘Jeffrey Osondu, as long as there is night and day, light and darkness, you will never get married to another girl except me!.’ Her mother shook her head in disbelief.

‘How do you think your course will work on him when he didn’t promise you a lifelong commitment. Did he ask you to marry him? No’

‘No?’ She thought. It is true. He had not asked her to marry him. She had never thought about it. He was only too good to be true.

She went limp and calm. Her mother picked her up, cleaned her tears and told her to forget about him. ‘The right man is around the corner.’

Agatha got married a year later and up till now, she still wondered why her curse on him had failed to work after all he did to her. Her mother was right.

Tuesdays: Flash-fiction/Micro-fiction

Posted in culture, Uncaregorised

Culture Interest | Mexico

Mexicans are interesting people with interesting culture. Here are the three things that interest me about mexico.

Hat

This hat is spectacular and looks even more gorgeous on the head of mariachi music group. It is straight from Mexico and is called sombrero, pronounced in Spanish as (som’brero) meaninghat‘ or ‘shadower‘.

Sombrero is a hat with an extra wide brim and pointy crown. You will see it slightly upturned at the edge. A chin strap is used to hold it in place.

Music – Mariachi

Image source: liveabout

Overall, Mexican music is interesting.

I love the rich, relaxing and romantic mariachi music. I could listen to it all day. Although, I’ve only watched it in the movies…

Accent

National language is Spanish and the first language of a over 90% of Mexican population is Spanish. The sound of Spanish is great to my hearing.

I deeply love the Spanish English accent too. I could listen to it all day just like I could the mariachi music.

Facts

I found these interesting facts about Mexico. I hope you enjoy reading them.

Find out more about Mexico.


What else do you know about Mexico? Do share with us in the comment.