Starting a sentence with “with” doesn’t have to come with a whole set of rules. In fact, there are no rules that tell you that you can or can’t start sentences with certain words. This article will explore how you might be able to use “with” to start a sentence.
Can You Start A Sentence With “With”?
You can start a sentence with “with” when it’s part of a dependent clause that goes on to include further information. You can also do so when you’re signing a letter with a phrase like “with love” or “with best wishes.” It means that we’re including something extra.
Typically, we use “with” at the start of a sentence to talk about something that has had an obvious impact or effect on something else. We’ll start the first clause with “with” and then include the effect in the second clause.
It’s impossible to set up a dependent clause starting with “with” without a second clause, so we always need to make sure we are using a comma in the middle of the sentence to break up clauses.
What Does “With” Mean At The Beginning Of A Sentence?
Now that we’ve told you it’s possible, it’s time to go a little further in detail.
At the beginning of a sentence, “with” means that something is happening as a result of something else. It is synonymous with “because” and shows that something happens as a result of something else.
The definition of “with,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “because of or caused by someone or something.”
It’s best to use “with” at the start of a sentence when you want to explain an event further in the sentence. It’s also possible to switch the “with” clause around so that it comes after the second clause. Both methods of writing are correct:
- With the upcoming exams, it’s been hard to talk to her about anything.
- It’s been hard to talk to her about anything with the upcoming exams.
The only difference is that “with” doesn’t become part of a second clause when you include it at the end of a sentence.
Examples Of How To Use “With” At The Beginning Of A Sentence
To help explain how “with” begins a sentence, we’ll cover some helpful examples. From there, you’ll have a much better understanding of how you can begin a sentence with “with.”
- With all the changes coming up, it’s been tough for me to know how to carry myself around here.
- With the email that my boss sent to me out in the open, I don’t know what I’m going to do next.
- With the upcoming event taking up all my time, it’s going to be impossible for me to enjoy my social life.
- With all those things out of the way, I’ve got plenty of time to have some fun again.
- With all that said and done, there’s not much left for us to discuss.
- With love from your favorite son.
- With the consequences of the things I said, I’ve made sure that the people in my closest circle will be okay.
It’s most common to start a sentence with “with” when we want to talk about something that happened as a result of the following clause. The effect is usually explained in the second part of the sentence.
Where Should I Place The Comma When Using “With” At The Beginning Of A Sentence?
Comma and punctuation rules when starting sentences with words like “with” can get tricky. However, we’ll explain how to punctuate “with” correctly when you choose to use it in this way.
You do not need to place a comma directly after with” when you start a sentence with it. Instead, you need to wait until the end of the dependent clause to place the comma so that you can separate the two clauses from each other.
To help you understand this, we can show you some examples:
- Correct: With all of that finally out of the way, I’m free to do the things that I want to do.
- Incorrect: With all of that finally out of the way I’m free to do the things that I want to do.
The first example is correct because we include a comma after “way,” which indicates the end of the first clause. The second example is incorrect because there isn’t a comma to break up the two clauses.
Is It Informal To Start A Sentence With “With”?
Next, we’ll talk about the formality of starting a phrase in this way. You’ll be able to use it in professional settings once you understand whether it works.
It is not informal to start a sentence with “with,” and it’s a great way to introduce a causal effect of something. We can use it in both formal and informal writing to talk about something that might have happened as a result of something else.
Typically, we’ll see “with” at the start of a sentence in more formal situations because it comes with a cause and effect. It’s not often that you’ll use cause and effect sentence structures like this in informal situations.
Alternatives To Starting A Sentence With “With”
If you’re struggling with understanding how “with” works at the start of a sentence, or you’d rather try a different phrase to see if you’ve mastered the meaning, we’ve got a list for you. These synonyms will work well to replace “with” and have the same meaning.
- Because of
- As a result of
- Due to
- For the reason that
- Owing to the fact that
Can You End A Sentence With “With”?
You can also end a sentence with “with,” but only in very rare cases. It works best when you use it as a preposition to show who or what you might be doing something with. In any other case, there are no reasons why you would end a sentence with “with.”
- Who are you going with?
- I haven’t got anyone to go with.
- Who are you going to town with?
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.