As she falls down, she tries to catch something.

Is it a bad writing style to start sentences with "As" like above? I know the above sentence can be written as "She tries to catch something as she falls down", but my question is whether starting with "As" is considered as bad style or poor writing?

  • 2
    It's just a style choice. Some readers will like it; some won't. There's nothing grammatically or semantically wrong with it. Maybe, though, you don't need the word "down" & maybe "catch" should be changed: "As she falls, she tries to grab {hold of / onto [CHOOSE ONE]} something".
    – user264
    Commented May 26, 2013 at 7:33
  • I think this question is off-topic here; might be a better fit over at Writers.SE. I'll ask one of their mods to take a look at it!
    – WendiKidd
    Commented May 26, 2013 at 20:22
  • 2
    This would be a stronger question on Writers.SE if you explained (a) the context in which you're using this (blog? fiction with conventional publishing channels? conference paper? vanity press?) and (b) why you think it might be a problem (did you hear that somewhere, do you just not see it much, did you see it in a style guide, or what?). Thanks. Commented May 26, 2013 at 20:26
  • Thanks Monica! So T2E, if you'd like to edit this question and have it migrated please let me know. If not I'm afraid this question ought to be closed as off-topic.
    – WendiKidd
    Commented May 26, 2013 at 22:46
  • What you may have heard (or at least might legitimately hear) is that you must be careful when you start sentences with the preposition as, because phrases headed by this preposition are very often misused as 'dangling' modifiers. But in your example you use as as a conjunction, which is much more difficult to misuse. Commented May 29, 2013 at 1:44

1 Answer 1


It is neither good nor bad: it is an option available to you, which you may employ if it suits your narrative and your purposes. It really depends on where the sentence fits in the story you are telling:

Sarah chases the pursesnatcher and is almost on top of him when she stumbles. As she falls, she tries to catch his ankle, lunging desperately ... but he is just beyond her grasp and escapes.

Harold tumbles head over heels down the slope. He tries to catch the stunted firs as he falls, but he is going too fast, he cannot get a firm grasp, he cannot stop himself, he plunges down, down, down, and disappears at last over the lip of the abyss.

There's no rule, just your own sense of what you want your reader to 'see' when.

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