1. CAN YOU START A SENTENCE WITH “AND” OR “BUT” ?
Many prolific, notable, writers do it. As do bloggers, journalists, and copywriters.
Conjunctions connect two thoughts or ideas -- “and” & “but” are coordinating conjunctions.
Here are some common coordinating conjunctions:
and -- but -- or -- nor -- for -- so -- yet
There is no true grammar rule that says you can’t ever start a sentence with one of these conjunctions.
However, you should also take into consideration what you are writing. Different types of writing call for different approaches. The use of “and” or “but” at the start of a sentence sometimes brings a sense of informality. It might be right for blog posts, whereas more formal coordinating conjunctions like “additionally” or "moreover" may read better in an academic paper. The bottom-line is though, it’s never truly off limits. And sometimes it can be impactful to be informal.
In most business writing -- especially digital marketing copy like blog posts, emails, and social media posts -- you shouldn’t worry too much about using “and” or “but” to start your sentence. No-one is going to point it out. No-one is going to laugh at you.
But, there are times when you’ll want to follow the general rule. Data-driven content -- case studies, statistic-focused white papers, text book content -- are places where you might not only see less opportunity to start a sentence with a conjunction, but also where it could be beneficial to avoid doing so.