Starting a sentence with during comes with some very interesting punctuation rules. A lot of the answers you might be looking for come down to style. This article will explain how commas work after “during” when starting a sentence with it.
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Should I Place A Comma After “During” At The Beginning Of A Sentence?
You should punctuate “during” adverbial phrases when the comma helps to break up the flow of the sentence (generally if the adverbial phrase or remaining clause is wordy without a comma). You do not need a comma if the sentence is short and sweet.
There is no reason you should ever place a comma directly after “during.” It simply wouldn’t make sense to do this.
Instead, you have to set up an adverbial phrase with “during,” such as “during school time” or “during the winter.” These phrases are where the potential for comma punctuation rules comes in.
So, what does that mean? We’ve told you that you can use a comma and that you don’t have to use a comma. Until we show you some examples, we can understand how confusing that might sound.
- During the springtime, I make sure to do all of the garden chores for my friendly neighbor.
- During school hours I study hard for exams.
Both of the above sentences are correct. However, it’s more common to see a comma after the adverbial phrase in most cases.
Formally speaking, you’ll always include a comma after the adverbial phrase, no matter how long (or short) the sentence. So, if we’re looking at formal writing, the second example should look more like this:
- During school hours, I study hard for exams.
Informal rules are much more relaxed and allow us to drop commas from sentences. We can do this when the sentence is easy to read, even if the comma is removed (i.e., it’s too short of a sentence to trouble any readers).
As you can tell, the answer about punctuating “during” with commas comes down to style over anything else.
Can You Start A Sentence With “During”?
We think we’ve already answered this question with the previous section, but let’s touch on it more anyway.
You can start a sentence with “during” when you want to talk about something that happens throughout a particular time frame. Usually, there’s a start time and an end time that’s given to us as a phrase after “during.” This works to introduce the time we’re working with.
“During” works well as a sentence starter. It’s a preposition, which makes it a strange choice grammatically to start a sentence, but that doesn’t mean that it’s incorrect.
- During the winter, I like to wrap up warm.
- I like to wrap up warm during the winter.
- I like to wrap up during the winter to keep warm.
The beginning, middle, and end of the sentence are accessible when using “during” as a preposition. However, the beginning is appropriate when we want to specify the time frame before anything else.
What Does “During” Mean At The Beginning Of A Sentence?
“During” is a preposition that we can start a sentence with. We start a sentence with it when including more words to set up an adverbial phrase (like “during the summer”). This talks about a time that extends from the beginning to the end of a certain specified time.
Examples Of How To Use “During” At The Beginning Of A Sentence
Some examples will help you to understand a little more about how “during” works at the start of a sentence.
There are no cases where “during” works on its own and should be separated with a comma. Instead, you should always specify the time you’re talking about after “during.”
- During my mother’s marriage, I couldn’t help but stare out the window.
- During the movie, I found it difficult to stay engaged with the characters.
- During the entire event, I couldn’t keep myself from laughing out loud.
- During the summer, I like to go out to the fields and smell the flowers.
- During Christmastime, I make sure that my family is as happy as can be.
We can start a sentence with “during” followed by a specified time frame. It means that we do something during this time frame only.
Alternatives To Starting A Sentence With “During”
Some of the following alternatives are useful ways to start a sentence in place of “during.” You can take your pick from the following synonyms to try and convey the same meaning that “during” offers.
- Throughout the time of
- In the course of
- In the time of
Other than “through” or “throughout,” most of these synonyms are second-best to “during.” “During” is already a great word that can start many sentences successfully.
Can You End A Sentence With “During”?
While “during” works well at the start of a sentence, there are no cases where it can be the last word of a sentence. It doesn’t “end” a sentence in the traditional sense.
However, it’s possible to end a sentence in the same way that we start it. While “during” isn’t the exact last word, it’s still part of the last adverbial phrase.
At the end of a sentence, “during” means the same thing as it does at the beginning. We use an adverbial phrase in this way to specify a time frame.
- We don’t do much during our holidays.
- We couldn’t find anything fun to do during our time away from work.
While “during” isn’t the last word of the sentence, we do include it as the last adverbial phrase.
Can You Use “During” In The Middle Of A Sentence?
It’s much more likely that we’ll use “during” in the middle of a sentence than we would at the end of it. Technically, the information we provided above also applies when “during” is in the middle of a sentence.
“During” works in the middle of a sentence as a preposition to talk about two times. It works the same way as it would at the beginning or end of a sentence.
- He didn’t like to come to see me during my performance, and I’m okay with that.
- You should have been there during the rehearsals, but you didn’t feel like coming!