The grammar rules we've all been brought up with and live by? We hate to break it to you but... they might not all be true. We're here to debunk the fact from fiction as we break down 3 of the biggest English grammar rule myths. So buckle up and hold onto your metaphorical seatbelts as we explore conjunctions, consonants and syntax ditties.

*****

1. MYTH: Never start a sentence with 'and' or 'because'

One of the first things you were probably taught in English was to never start a sentence with a conjunction ('or', 'because', 'yet', 'and', however', 'so', 'but', 'for'). But this English grammar 101 is actually false! The rule seems to have originated from a style standpoint. Conjunctions usually connect two important parts of a sentence, e.g 'I will be late because I missed my stop'. By keeping it as one sentence, the message is more succinct. You could say 'I will be late. Because I missed my stop'. But it just sounds a little messier.

2. MYTH: Only use 'an' before vowels' and 'a' before consonants

The rule is actually to only use 'a' before words that start with a consonant sound and 'an' before words beginning with a vowel sound. For instance, you wouldn't say 'a hour', but 'an hour', just like you wouldn't say 'a honour' but rather 'an honour'.

3. MYTH: I before e, except after c

Dictionary publisher Merriam Webster explained this perfectly with their own witty ballad:

I before e, except after c
Or when sounded as 'a' as in 'neighbour' and 'weigh'
Unless the 'c' is part of a 'sh' sound as in 'glacier'
Or it appears in comparatives and superlatives like 'fancier'
And also except when the vowels are sounded as 'e' as in 'seize'
Or 'i' as in 'height'
Or also in '-ing' inflections ending in '- e' as in 'cueing'
Or in compound words as in 'albeit'
Or occasionally in technical words with strong etymological links to their parent languages as in 'cuneiform'
Or in other numerous and random exceptions such as 'science', 'forfeit', and 'weird.'


For more functional English tips, tricks and info on qualifications, check out our courses here.