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Is the following sentence correct, regarding the starting of the sentence with "because" followed by a comma?

Because, I have more of it, then I know what to do with.

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  • I'm not sure if you're asking if one can start a sentence with because (which one can) or if one does, does one need to place a comma after it. The answer to the second question is it depends. A sentence such as yours doesn't need it, and placing a comma there makes the sentence awkward. The same is true of the other comma. You don't need either one. Oct 25, 2017 at 15:08
  • In your example, did you mean "then" or "than"
    – James K
    Oct 25, 2017 at 15:26
  • Yes, providing there is a main clause somewhere. In your example, "because" is a preposition so the whole expression is just a PP which cannot stand as a main clause (complete sentence), but merely function as a dependent in some larger construction.
    – BillJ
    Oct 25, 2017 at 15:49

1 Answer 1

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MY INITIAL RESPONSE

A few improvements are possible here.

First, I think that you wanted the word "than" where you wrote the word "then." It is easy to confuse these words.

I would also remove those commas.

Next, the word because is a subordinating conjunction. This means that it creates a dependent clause, not an independent clause. So the words "because I have more of it than I know what to do with" are not a sentence. See here or here for some discussion of this point.

You could grammatically say "I have more of it than I know what to do with." Or you could use because to join that thought to an independent clause: "I gave some candy away because I have more of it than I know what to do with."

AND LATER...

After re-reading the question, answer and comments in the afternoon, I realized that the title of the post, "Starting a Sentence with "Because,"" attracted more attention from my colleagues than it attracted from me.

You may certainly begin a sentence with the word because, but the sentence must contain an independent clause in addition to the dependent clause that contains that because.

BAD GRAMMAR:

  • I bought two pies. Because I really, really like pie.

GOOD GRAMMAR:

  • I bought two pies because I really, really like pie.

  • Because I really, really like pie, I bought two pies.

The bad grammar treats the dependent clause ("Because I really, really like pie") as if it were an independent clause. The problem is not exactly the placement of the word because. Good and bad examples can both begin with the word because.

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  • @Clare I did not object to starting a sentence with because. The example there, at the end of the 10-point answer, is a complete sentence: Because he was hungry, he went to the store. It would be the same as if the order of the clauses were reversed: He went to the store because he was hungry.
    – Chaim
    Oct 25, 2017 at 14:59
  • I take "because" to be a preposition, so it's not a clause at all but a preposition phrase. For those who take "because" as a subordinator, it's a dependent clause. Either way, it is not a main clause/sentence.
    – BillJ
    Oct 25, 2017 at 15:55
  • @BillJ What's the object of the preposition?
    – Chaim
    Oct 25, 2017 at 16:12
  • It doesn't have an 'object' - it has the clause "I have more of it than I know what to do with" as complement. Prepositions don't take just NPs as complement, but also predicatives, PPs, ADvPs and subordinate clauses.
    – BillJ
    Oct 25, 2017 at 16:32
  • @BillJ Is it equally possible to describe every subordinating conjunction as a preposition? I'm not sure if there's a substantive difference here between your analysis of the original question and mine.
    – Chaim
    Oct 25, 2017 at 17:14

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