Because we told you so!

The right and wrong way to begin a sentence with “because”


Many of us can remember our third-grade teacher emphatically telling us that it’s always wrong to start a sentence with “because.” Undoubtedly, their declaration stemmed from reading and hearing hundreds of fragments like the following:

  • Because she hit me first!
  • Because my dog ate my homework.
  • Because my dad likes fishing.
  • Because I was hungry.

Unfortunately, over time, we have used our teachers’ admonition to forge a (fallacious) rule. When we read a sentence that begins with “Because,” our immediate reaction is “Wrong!”

In this article, we’ll try to dispel the age-old myth that it’s always wrong to begin a sentence with “because.” The following sentences all start with “because”—and they’re all grammatical:

As along as we establish a cause and effect relationship, and as long as we follow the opening “because” clause with a complete sentence, we can use “because” as the first word of a sentence:

  • Because of x, a complete sentence is true.

Because the Doctor has a TARDIS, he can go anywhere in time and space. Because the Doctor doesn’t like to travel alone, he has companions.

On a related note, there was a big commotion last year when “Because (x)” became a topic of discussion—and celebration—among linguists. While words such as “twerk,” “selfie,” and “bitcoin” were hailed as several dictionaries’ and publications’ word of the year, the American Dialect Society made “because” its selection.

You can read all about how “because (x)” works here.

Because we’ve said everything we wanted to say, we bid you adieu. Because lunch.