Writing Skills

Can You Start a Sentence with So?

Team FEG

Can You Start a Sentence with So

Starting a sentence with “So” is a common practice in everyday English communication. Some people wonder whether it’s acceptable or grammatically correct.  

So, can you start a sentence with ‘so’? Yes, you can! Using “so” at the beginning of a sentence can make your writing more conversational, clear, and engaging. But use it in moderation and with purpose.

Can You Start a Sentence with So?

Starting a sentence with “So” is perfectly fine in both spoken and written English. It can be a powerful way to connect your thoughts and make your writing more engaging.  

Here are some examples to illustrate the use of “so” at the beginning of a sentence:

  • So, what did you think of the new movie? Starting a question with “so” can make it sound more conversational and less formal. Also, it can signal that you’re ready to move on to the next topic.
  • I’m feeling a bit tired today. So, I think I’ll take a nap after lunch. Using “so” to introduce a consequence or result can make your writing more clear and direct. It shows that one thing (in this case, feeling tired) leads to another (taking a nap).
  • She was nervous about the presentation. So, she practiced it for hours. Starting a sentence with “so” can also help you show cause and effect. It shows that one thing (being nervous) led to another (practicing the presentation).

Understanding “So” as a Conjunction

“So” is a conjunction in English, functioning as both a coordinating and subordinating conjunction.

As a coordinating conjunction, “So” connects two independent clauses of equal importance, indicating a relationship of cause and effect, result, or consequence.

  • Example: “We finished our work early, so we decided to go for a walk.”
  • Here, “so” links the two independent clauses “We finished our work early” and “We decided to go for a walk,” showing the cause-and-effect relationship between them.

“So” can also function as a subordinating conjunction, introducing a dependent clause that depends on the main clause for its meaning. “So” as a subordinating conjunction typically indicates a reason, result, or consequence.

  • Example: “Henry overslept because he forgot to set his alarm, so he was late for work.”
  • In this sentence, “so” introduces the dependent clause “He was late for work,” which provides the consequence of forgetting to set the alarm.

When Can You Start a Sentence with “So”?

Informal Conversation

In everyday conversations, people often use “So” to begin their sentences. It helps to transition from one topic to another or to provide context for what they’re about to say.

  • Example: “So, what are your plans for the weekend?”

Providing Explanation or Reason

“So” can be used at the beginning of a sentence to provide an explanation or reason for something that was previously mentioned or implied.

  • Example: “I didn’t get much sleep last night. So, I’m feeling a bit tired today.”

Starting a Story or Narrative

When telling a story or narrating an event, starting with “So” can draw attention or signal the beginning of the narrative.

  • Example: “So, there I was, standing in the middle of the forest, when I heard a strange noise.”

Setting the Tone

Using “So” at the start of a sentence can set the tone for what follows, whether it’s casual, informative, or contemplative.

  • Example: “So, let’s discuss the plan for the project.”

When to Avoid Starting a Sentence with “So”?

While starting a sentence with “So” is generally acceptable, there are situations where it’s best to avoid it to maintain clarity and appropriateness:

Formal Writing

In formal writing contexts such as academic papers, business correspondence, or professional reports, you should limit your use of “So” at the beginning of sentences.

Opt for more formal transition words or phrases to maintain a professional tone. For example: Instead of “So, let’s discuss the results,” you might write, “Now, let’s delve into the results.”


Using “So” excessively at the start of sentences can sound repetitive and distract from the message you’re trying to convey. Vary your sentence structures and beginnings to keep your writing engaging.

For example: Instead of starting every sentence with “So,” consider alternative sentence starters like “Furthermore,” “Moreover,” or “Additionally.”


In situations requiring assertiveness or directness, starting with “So” might soften the impact of your message. Opt for a more straightforward approach to ensure clarity and effectiveness.

For example: Instead of saying, “So, could you please complete the report by Friday?” you might say, “Please complete the report by Friday.”


Avoid starting a sentence with “So” when it doesn’t logically connect to the previous context or when it may seem out of place or irrelevant.

Example: Instead of saying, “So, I heard it’s going to rain tomorrow,” when there’s been no previous mention of weather or related topics, you might directly ask, “Have you heard about the weather forecast for tomorrow?”


In conclusion, starting a sentence with “So” is common practice in spoken and written English. It serves various purposes such as transitioning between ideas, providing explanations, and setting the tone of communication. While it’s generally acceptable in informal contexts, it’s crucial to consider the appropriateness of its usage in formal writing or situations requiring a professional tone.

By understanding when to use “So” effectively and when to avoid it, you can enhance the clarity and impact of your communication. So go ahead, and experiment with “So,” but always remain mindful of the context and audience to ensure effective communication.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is starting a sentence with “So” condescending?

No, starting a sentence with “So” is not inherently condescending. However, the tone and context in which it’s used can affect how it’s perceived. In casual conversations or informal writing; it’s unlikely to be seen as condescending. Still, in formal or authoritative contexts, it’s essential to consider the appropriateness of its usage.

Can I start a formal email or letter with “So”?

No, it’s best to avoid starting formal emails or letters with “So.” Formal writing requires more polite and professional openings.

Is it okay to begin a sentence with “So” in academic writing?

No, using “So” to start sentences in academic writing isn’t recommended. Academic writing should use formal language and transition words suitable for scholarly discourse.

Does starting a sentence with “So” make my writing sound less professional?

Using “so” inappropriately or overusing can make your writing seem less professional. It’s better to vary your sentence beginnings to maintain professionalism.

When is it good to start a sentence with “So”?

It’s good to start sentences with “So” in casual conversations, storytelling, or when giving explanations. It helps engage listeners and clarify connections between ideas.

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