"For" at beginning of sentence.

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jotham

New Member
English
We all know that for acts as a coordinating conjunction as opposed to a subjunctive conjunction, so it is clearly okay to begin a sentence with "for," though some misinformed teachers would tell us not to.
Now, my question is, does anyone think it a little strange that it appears in the middle of the sentence with a comma, (which I suppose is theoretically okay)? Though this isn't the case with "and" or "but," I think it actually feels better when there is a strong break (period or semicolon) before beginning the independent clause with "for," much like it is done with "otherwise" or "nevertheless." Anyone agree or disagree?
 
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  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi jotham - welcome to the forums!

    It's always perplexed me that traditional grammars listed "for" as a co-ordinating conjunction - I really can't see the logic....

    That aside (;)), could you give us an example of what you mean by
    Now, my question is, does anyone think it a little strange that it appears in the middle of the sentence with a comma? I think it actually feels better when there is a strong break before beginning the independent clause with "for," much like it is done with "otherwise" or "nevertheless."
    Do you mean that
    - you don't like It would be an excellent match, for he was rich and she was handsome.
    - you would prefer It would be an excellent match. For he was rich and she was handsome.
    ?

    If so, Jane Austen and I disagree with you!:D
     

    jotham

    New Member
    English
    Yes, you are correct about my meaning. They are both permissible. I never thought to check Jane Austen, but did she never start a sentence with "for"?

    Or perhaps in some contexts, like the above, the quick comma and "for" is better for a more casual effect (which we probably don't use these days). I think my greater preference for a break is based on the greater weight that seems to come with "for." (Maybe because "for" seems more weighty, stiff, and formal than in Jane
    Austen's days.)

    When I go to work tomorrow or Thursday, I'll provide the paragraph in which I employed the usage. Thanks for the feedback.
     
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