The TES is reporting that a primary school pupil has written to a children’s author to ask her why she has started a sentence with a conjunction.
Joanna Nadin is a children’s author who has published more than 50 books. She writes speeches. She goes into schools and talks to children about writing…
But she has also committed, in the eyes of the national curriculum, an unforgivable sin: she has started a sentence with a conjunction…
.. one of her primary-aged readers has written a letter to advise her of it.
“Dear Joanna,” the letter states. “In your book The Stepmonster you start a sentence with the word and. We have been taught not to start with a conjunction. Why have you done this on page 5?”
“Part of me loved it,” Ms Nadin tells TES. “The pedant that I was and am has learnt the rules of grammar, and has to enforce them from time to time.
“But this is no longer a rule anywhere but in schools. There’s no reason not to start a sentence with a conjunction.
“I’m in no way having a go at the teachers who have to teach this. It’s the absurdity of it being on the national curriculum…”
But do we still need to teach children the rules, even if we encourage to break them sometimes?
And do let us know where you are more broadly on the debate over grammar rules in school…
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