Writing for Business

Aug 3 2009   1:35PM GMT

Starting a sentence with “because” — comma required?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

typing Which is correct?
Because the power wiring system was designed for _____ its ability to carry higher frequencies is limited.
a. AC,
b. AC

Answer: a

Explanation: You need a comma because the sentence starts with because. I like John’s short answer on Snippets: Essentially, if you can write a sentence starting with because without a comma (“Because I said so,” for example.), you know what you’ve got on your hands is a sentence fragment rather than a sentence.

If you turn the sentence around, the comma is optional — depending on what style you follow.

AP style is to omit:

The power wiring system has a limited ability to carry higher frequencies because it was designed for AC.

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