Can You Start a Sentence With “Especially”?

The question of whether it's correct to start a sentence with "especially" has caused debates among linguists, grammarians, and writers alike. This article aims to clarify the issue and provide some practical guidelines. If you've been wondering about this, read on to discover the answers.

The Role of "Especially" in a Sentence

"Especially" is an adverb known for its role in emphasizing a point or singling out one or more elements above others. It's common uses include highlighting a particular person, thing, or situation in comparison to others. For example, "She likes all kinds of music, especially jazz." Here, "especially" makes it clear that jazz holds a special place in her musical preferences.

Instances Where Starting With "Especially" Works Well

There are scenarios where beginning a sentence with "especially" works perfectly fine. These typically involve the term being used to commence a separate clause or sentence that is providing additional information or emphasizing a point made in the previous statement. Here are some examples:

Sentence Explanation
Especially considering the circumstances, his reaction was quite mild. "Especially" is used here to emphasize the validity of the statement in the light of the given circumstances.
She loves flowers. Especially roses. "Especially" begins a new sentence that adds information to the previous one.
We should all be more eco-conscious. Especially given the current climate crisis. "Especially" is used to underline the importance of the previous statement considering the current situation.
He is always late. Especially on Mondays. "Especially" emphasizes a particular instance where the previous statement is more applicable.
They were all upset about the decision. Especially John. "Especially" is used to highlight a specific person for whom the previous statement is more true.

Instances Where Caution is Needed

While "especially" can comfortably start a sentence in some cases, there are instances where doing so may create confusion or awkwardness. It's crucial to ensure that the sentence maintains clarity and coherence. Here are some examples where caution is needed:

Sentence Explanation
Especially I don't like onions in my salad. Here, "especially" makes the sentence confusing and grammatically incorrect.
Especially is a word that I often use. The sentence is awkward and would read better if "especially" was placed after "is".
Especially running is a good exercise. This sentence is confusing and would be clearer if rephrased to "Running is a particularly good exercise."
Especially we should consider the consequences. Starting the sentence with "especially" makes it awkward and unclear.
Especially he didn't want to go. This sentence is awkward and would read better if "especially" was placed later in the sentence.

Tips for Using "Especially" at the Beginning of a Sentence

Starting a sentence with "especially" can work, but it's essential to do it correctly. Remember that "especially" is used for emphasis or additional information. Ensure that it refers to a clear antecedent – the person, thing, or concept that you're emphasizing. Avoid using "especially" at the beginning of a sentence when it could lead to confusion or awkwardness.

Common Misconceptions and Myths

One common misconception is that it's grammatically incorrect to start a sentence with "especially." However, this is not true. While it might not always be the most stylistically elegant choice, it is not a grammatical error. Here are some misconceptions that need debunking:

  • "Especially" can't start a sentence: This is false. "Especially" can start a sentence when it's providing emphasis or additional information related to a previous point.
  • Starting a sentence with "especially" is informal: This is not necessarily true. The formality of the language depends more on the context and the overall sentence structure than on the use of "especially" at the start of a sentence.


The question of whether you can start a sentence with "especially" has a straightforward answer: yes, you can. However, it's important to use this technique judiciously and ensure that it enhances, rather than detracts from, the clarity and coherence of your sentence. Remember to use "especially" for emphasis or additional information, and ensure it has a clear antecedent. With these guidelines, you can confidently use "especially" to start your sentences when appropriate.

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