In elementary school, many students are taught that it is incorrect to start a sentence with the word "because." The reason why teachers perpetuate this "white lie" is because young students will often write something such as, "Today I went to the park. Because it was sunny. I had a swell time," and think that it's correct. When students later go on to middle or high school, they will often adamantly correct someone who correctly begins a sentence with "because," and they have a hard time accepting the fact that they were misinformed for so long. This article shows you the steps to properly begin a sentence with "because," and discusses the linguistic reason why it can be correct to do so.

In grammar we have what are called independent clauses and dependent clauses. An independent clause, in simplest terms, is a group of words that forms a valid sentence on its own. An example would be, "Giada threw the mascarpone cheese at Rachael." The sentence has a subject, a verb, and in this case, an object as well.

A dependent clause is a group of words which does not qualify on its own as a sentence. This is often the case when the phrase begins with a conjunction (connecting word) such as "because," or "although," or "when." For example, the phrase, "Because I am hungry" is not a sentence on its own. It does have a subject and verb, which is all a sentence needs, but the fact that it starts with a conjunction means that something else, namely an independent clause, must follow.

As another example, the phrase, "Although it was a nice day" is a dependent clause and not a sentence on its own, but it becomes a sentence when combined with the independent clause, "the park was quite empty." We combine the dependent and independent clauses with a comma.

To address the topic of the article, the following sentence is completely valid: "Because it was raining, I decided to take my umbrella." It follows the rule explained above. It is absolutely wrong to say that it is not a sentence just because it begins with the word "because."

Students and of course business writers should feel fully comfortable with this concept. Writing becomes more interesting when we utilize a combination of dependent and independent clauses in accordance with the rules of grammar. Because of that fact, we should try to do it!