Sometimes, we’re taught that starting a sentence with certain words is incorrect. This is a common English myth, and this article will debunk it. This time, we’ll look at starting a sentence with yet, and how we can make sure we’re using it correctly every time.
Can You Start A Sentence With “Yet”?
You can start a sentence with “yet” when it directly links to the previous sentence. We use it to talk about a consequence, result, or thing that happens despite something else occurring. It is incorrect if it doesn’t have another sentence before it.
Typically, we use “yet” to combine two sentences with each other. However, in certain forms of writing, it may be more beneficial to keep the sentences separate, while the need for using “yet” is still apparent in the piece of writing.
In these cases, it’s likely that we want to keep our sentences short and easy to comprehend. For this reason, we’ll place a period between the first sentence and the sentence that starts with “yet.”
Once we place this period, it’s simple to complete the second sentence. Any sentence that starts with “yet” usually means “despite that” or “but,” which works well when we want to show a further point to whatever we just mentioned.
What Does “Yet” Mean At The Beginning Of A Sentence?
Now let’s look closer at how “yet” works and what it means when it’s at the beginning of a sentence.
“Yet” means “in spite of” or “but” when we write it at the start of a sentence. We use it to show that while the first sentence might have had an obvious effect on something, the second sentence (starting with “yet”) was unaffected by that thing.
The definition of “yet,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “despite that; used to add something that seems surprising because of what you have just said.”
It’s a great way to show how two things might interact with each other. It can refer to the action that someone takes or the result of some form of experiment.
“Yet” is a fairly common word in English, and we use it in many ways to mean “despite.” At the same time, it can also mean that something hasn’t happened at this time, though it is bound to happen at some point in the future.
Examples Of How To Use “Yet” At The Beginning Of A Sentence
We’ll take a look at some examples of starting a sentence with “Yet.” From these examples, you’ll have a much better understanding of how you can do it yourself without making any obvious grammatical errors.
- She didn’t think she was going to catch her bus today. Yet, somehow she still managed to make it before it arrived.
- He wasn’t going to take this one lying down, and he was going to do something about it. Yet, when confrontation came, he failed to show!
- It wasn’t easy for me to steal all of these diamonds from the bank. Yet, I made short work of the security guards once I was on my way out.
- You should have been there because I was on top form. Yet all you seem to want to do is stay at home and waste your life away!
- I couldn’t believe what I was seeing unfold before my very eyes! Yet, there it was, as clear as day!
- He wasn’t supposed to be out tonight, and I didn’t expect to see him. Yet, I guess he changed his mind and wanted to hit the clubs.
- There have never been any sightings of an extraterrestrial spacecraft. Yet, I remain hopeful that one day we will spot them.
We can use “yet” at the start of a sentence to mean “however” or “up until now.” It works well when we want to show that it relates directly to the previous sentence, and the effect of the previous sentence has little to no overall effect on the current outcome.
Where Should I Place The Comma When Using “Yet” At The Beginning Of A Sentence?
Punctuation rules can be tricky to master. Learning how to punctuate “yet” at the beginning of a sentence comes with difficulties of its own since there are two different ways to use it. The comma rules can be particularly challenging.
You should place a comma after “yet” when using it to mean “however” or “despite that.” You do not need to place a comma when you want “yet” to mean “up until now.”
To help you understand the differences between comma usage, we’ll split the examples into two sections.
- You haven’t done anything good for me. Yet, all I can ever seem to do is stay with you.
Here, we use “yet” as a phrase to combine the two sentences while retaining the period before “yet.” In this case, a comma must always come after “yet” because it acts as a conjunction. It’s also possible to see a semi-colon come before “yet,” if the sentence allows it.
On the other hand, we might use “Yet” at the start of a sentence to mean “up until now.” In those cases, commas are not as necessary, and you can see that in the following ways:
- Yet no one has asked me about my birth certificate.
Here, “yet” means “up until now,” and this phrase works without a comma. However, it’s still likely that most people will put a comma between “yet” and “no” in this sentence because it works better for comprehension.
You might also like: Comma Before “Yet”: Here’s The Golden Rule + 12 Examples
Is It Formal To Start A Sentence With “Yet”?
Finally, let’s look into the formality of starting a sentence with “yet,” and whether it’s appropriate to do so.
It is formal to start a sentence with “yet.” “Yet” is an old-fashioned word that is synonymous with “however,” “still,” and “but.” It’s a really good word to use in most formal settings, which is why so many native speakers up to use it in formal situations.
Alternatives To Starting A Sentence With “Yet”
There are plenty of other suitable synonyms and alternatives to starting a sentence with “yet.” We’ve thrown together a list to help you understand what words work best and how we can follow the same general meaning.
- Just the same
- All the same
- Despite that
- In spite of that
There are plenty of solid options for replacing “yet” at the start of a sentence. In each case, we use it to talk about something that happens that is related to the previous statement or sentence.
Can You Start A Sentence With “And Yet”?
While “yet” works at the start of a sentence, it doesn’t mean that all words do. “And” is a valid word to start a sentence with, but using the phrase “and yet” changes the meaning and rules completely.
We can’t start a sentence with “and yet” because we need to use “and” in this way as a conjunctive word. It’s supposed to combine two elements together, and “yet” means “but” in this situation.
- Correct: We haven’t made any progress, and yet, we’re still making sure everything goes okay.
- Incorrect: We haven’t made any progress. And yet, we’re still making sure everything goes okay.
“And yet” is seen as a redundant phrase in any case because there is no reason to combine “and” with “yet.” Instead, we can simply use “yet” on its own to convey the same meaning that we’re trying to achieve.
Can You End A Sentence With “Yet”?
We’ve shown you how to start a sentence with “yet,” and it’s time now to look at ending one with “yet.” There are still no rules that dictate whether we can or cannot end sentences with certain rules.
You can end a sentence with “yet” when you want to talk about a specific time frame of something happening. It means that something hasn’t happened up until a certain point, and there’s no guarantee that it will happen at all.
You can see “yet” work at the end of a sentence in the following examples:
- I’m sorry, but we haven’t gotten around to it yet.
- I haven’t done the chores yet!
- That’s fine, but you can’t go in there yet!
How Do You Use “Yet” In The Middle Of A Sentence?
We can start and end a sentence with “yet,” and we can even include it in the middle of a sentence. There are a few ways in which we can do this.
We can put “yet” in the middle of a sentence when we end a clause with it (it’s subsequently followed by a comma and a second clause). We can also do it when we use it as an adverb to mean that something hasn’t happened as intended yet.
To explain these rules, look at the following:
- We haven’t gotten around to it yet, but we will.
- I’m sorry I haven’t done it yet, but I’m working on it.
- We haven’t yet had the time to make sure everything works.
- I have yet to find a valid reason to do this!
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.