Can You Start A Sentence With “So”? Learn It Here! (With Examples)

There are no specific rules in English that prohibit us from starting sentences with certain words. Take starting a sentence with so, for example. Some people believe it shouldn’t happen, but they buy into a myth. This article will explore how to start a sentence with “so.”

Can You Start A Sentence With “So”?

You can start a sentence with “so” as a discourse marker or a filler word. We do this when trying to think of something to say before we say it. We can also use “so” to start a new clause related to the previous one, like how “therefore” works.

Can You Start A Sentence With "So"?

There are no rules that tell us that we can or cannot start a sentence with a specific word. It’s a common myth that’s passed around that words like “and,” “so,” and “but” cannot begin sentences, but we have proven before how wrong this tale is.

What Does “So” Mean At The Beginning Of A Sentence?

“So” is synonymous with the conjunctive “therefore.” We need a clause or sentence to come before it so that it makes sense. Depending on the content of your writing, you might find that a period is sometimes more suitable than a comma or semi-colon.

For example:

  • I didn’t want to do that, and I wasn’t going to be happy about it, so I made sure to stay away from them.
  • I didn’t want to do that, and I wasn’t going to be happy about it. So I made sure to stay away from them.

As you can see, the first example is grammatically correct, but it’s too long and wordy. Many people will shy away from wanting to read it, and they’ll be put off by the number of commas and the seemingly endless breath they need to take.

The second example removes the third comma before “so” and replaces it with a period. Here, we start a new sentence with “so.” It still relates to the previous sentence, but we’re doing it in a way that makes it more readable and much less wordy.

Examples Of How To Use “So” At The Beginning Of A Sentence

As we’ve mentioned before, it’s most likely that you’ll use “so” as a filler word or as a way to link back to a previous sentence. We’ll include both cases in this section to understand what we mean.

Filler Word

  1. So, would you like to do anything with me tonight?
  2. So, I’ve got this great story to tell you about what happened!
  3. So, is there anything else you’d like to tell me?
  4. So, do you know how long it will be until they get here?
  5. So, I found the funniest little piece of information at the workshop today!

As a filler word, “so” is just a way for people to stall for time or to set up a conversation. We can use it before a statement or a question to try and get someone’s attention or to give us time to think about what to say next.

Linking To The Previous Sentence.

  1. I wasn’t going to have it, and I wanted them to know that. So I wrote them a strongly worded email.
  2. He didn’t need to be here, and I wish you didn’t invite him. So next time, make sure you don’t make the same mistake.
  3. You shouldn’t have done that because everyone’s mad at you. So you’ll need to apologize when you see everyone again.
  4. We did everything that our parents asked of us, and they still expect more. So we decided that we’d rather come to school earlier!
  5. They thought they got away with it, and they made jokes about it. So I thought I’d remind them about what they did!

“So” can start a sentence as long as it relates to the previous sentence. We use it as a connective word, which can have a comma before it, but we often replace the comma with a period when the previous sentence would be too wordy with “so” a part of it.

Can You Start A Sentence With “So Much So”?

There are a few other “so” constructs that you might come across. It would help to understand how they work to learn whether “so” can still start a sentence in these forms.

You can start a sentence with “so much so” when we want to talk about the extent to which someone is willing to do something. It has to relate back to the previous sentence when written in this way.

  1. He was in love with me. So much so that he sent me flowers every single day that he was in my city.
  2. She didn’t want to be here. So much so that she threw a tantrum so that she could be escorted out.

We do not need any punctuation after “so much so.” It works in a similar way to “so” on its own, where no commas are needed to break it up directly after.

Can You Start A Sentence With “So Far”?

You can start a sentence with “so far” when you want to talk about something that’s happened as expected up until the current time. It doesn’t need to link to any previous sentences, making it a useful way to start a sentence with “so.”

  1. So far, nobody has given me any bright ideas to play around with.
  2. So far, you’ve all failed to impress me!
  3. So far, I’m not looking forward to going to college in the new year.

When using “so far,” we must place a comma after “far.” It requires the comma because it becomes its own clause that adds extra information to the sentence but can also be removed.

Can You Start A Sentence With “So That”?

You can start a sentence with “so that” when you want to talk about what will happen due to an event or what has happened related to a previous sentence. You don’t always need a sentence prior to “so that” for it to work.

  1. So that nobody gets any bright ideas, I’m going to take away this television set!
  2. So that people can see I mean business, I’m going to make sure you all know what I’m capable of.

“So that” requires no extra punctuation and can come at the start of a sentence to demonstrate the expected effect of something.

Where Should I Place The Comma When Using “So” At The Beginning Of A Sentence?

Let’s go back to using “so” on its own at the start of a sentence. We need to know about certain grammatical rules related to commas when using it.

You should place a comma after “so” when it’s used as a filler word. It adds nothing to the sentence and is its own clause, allowing us to remove it and keep the original meaning. However, no commas are required when “so” relates to the previous sentence.

  • So, do you think you can dance?

As a filler word, the comma must come directly after “so.” This shows that we can remove the filler word if need be, and it added nothing extra to the conversation or question.

  • He wasn’t there. So I made his bed for him.

When linked to the previous sentence, we instead need no commas. “So” continues on the next clause and is a part of it, meaning that we can’t include a comma, and it can’t be removed as the sentence won’t make sense.

Can You Use “So” At The Beginning Of A Sentence In Formal Writing?

Since no grammatical rules tell us what words we can and can’t use, there is nothing wrong with using “so” at the beginning of a sentence in formal writing.

We can use “so” at the beginning of a sentence in most cases. When linking back to a previous sentence, you can use “so” formally at the start to demonstrate this. However, “so” should never be formally used as a filler word.

Filler words don’t exist in formal writing, and they should never be used.

Alternatives To Starting A Sentence With “So”

We’ve briefly mentioned that “so” has the same meaning as “therefore” when we start a sentence with it.

There are also a few other alternatives that work in the same way, and we believe these synonyms will be your best hope of starting a sentence with something other than “so.”

  • Therefore
  • Hence
  • Ergo
  • Accordingly
  • Thus
  • Wherefore
  • In consequence
  • Due to this
  • For this reason

Can You End A Sentence With “So”?

Again, there are no specific rules that tell us we can or cannot put a certain word in certain parts of a sentence. The only thing that dictates whether words can go at the end of a sentence is whether they make any logical sense.

There are no logical or grammatical cases where “so” works at the end of a sentence. In most cases, we will avoid using it. The only acceptable case would be the question “how so?”

  • How so?

This is the only case where “so” works at the end of a sentence, and it’s because it’s a short question format that people use to ask for further clarification.

In sentences, “so” never works at the end because it’s a conjunction, which works best at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence.