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Can you start a sentence with 'then'?

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sharrons | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 17, 2009 at 5:09 AM via web

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Can you start a sentence with 'then'?

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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted June 12, 2010 at 3:55 AM (Answer #1)

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Of course you can, especially for narrative effect (storytelling).

Grammatically speaking, 'then' is a sentence adverbial - that is to say an adverb which describes a whole clause instead of just a word or phrase (sentence fragment functioning as one part of speech). Since it introduces the idea of 'what happens next,' it is clearly connected to whatever has been stated in the preceding sentence.

Incidentally, adverbs which express chronology (first, next, then, afterwards, finally, etc...) are called sequence adverbs since they indicate order of events.

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tessixomg | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 17, 2009 at 6:52 AM (Answer #2)

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It can, but it doesnt look mature in a formal essay

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