Is it acceptable to start a sentence with e, or any other conjunction?

E come se non bastasse, nell'unico momento in cui ero libero, è arrivata Marisa.

I could write that sentence without e and it would be understood the same. Is there any rule against starting a sentence with a conjunction? If it is not acceptable, is it at least used in not formal contexts?


Conjunctions should be used to conjunct two different parts (sentences, words, ...) so, technically speaking, starting a sentence with them is broadly considered a misuse.

But exactly for being a misuse, such construct has the effect of drawing extra attention on the sentence itself.

Using the form


as opposed to


immediately highlights the absence of a sentence joined before it and makes the reader wonder what the author omitted.

Such omission can be for instance the situation in which SENTENCE_B takes place, and we find many examples in poetry.

As an example [1], G. Pascoli starts his poetry Il gelsomino notturno with

E s'aprono i fiori notturni,
nell'ora che penso ai miei cari

The sentence after the E describes something happening at night, but there a whole lot of content unexpressed before it, namely the situation of waiting during the night, before the flowers disclose.

In this other example [1]

E, dopo tanti discorsi, finalmente l'accordo!

The conjunction E implies a phase of discussion before the deal. Using the E allows the writer not to explicitly mention it, but rather to suggest that the current situation is a consequences of previous events.

[1] Examples taken from http://www.accademiadellacrusca.it/it/lingua-italiana/consulenza-linguistica/domande-risposte/sulluso-congiunzioni-allinizio-frase

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    Perfect explanation, I'd add that nowadays you can read a whole lot of sentences starting with "e", without any poetic background, neither a real meaning. It's just one of those linguistic abuses you can easily meet. – martina Nov 9 '13 at 17:34
  • @martina, since you support "creativita'" and "dinamismo" in language usage, do you have some parameter to distinguish "abuses you can easily meet" from them? In case, please tell me what they are; thank you. – Kyriakos Kyritsis Nov 10 '13 at 21:22
  • @KyriakosKyritsis This sounds like a criticism. I do not support anything, I'm only interested (and I study this from a scientific point of view) in language change. In the last sentence I was referring to sentences like, for instance (I'm making this up) "E poi ti accorgi che l'amore è più forte del dolore"... something like that, I read them a lot, especially on social media. They are abuses to me, no creativity, no need to add the "E" at the beginning, no actual right to use any "poetic licence". – martina Nov 10 '13 at 21:28
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    @martina I kind of disagree. When you say E poi ti accorgi ..., you are leaving something unsaid about the previous experience that led to the acknowledgment express by the sentence. It's likely not a well-thought intentional poetic license, but rather something the author didn't even think about. Still, this doesn't change the meaning and I don't consider it an abuse. – Gabriele Petronella Nov 10 '13 at 21:36
  • @GabrielePetronella Then it's a matter of style. I'm pretty sure it's something people use a lot in order to sound intellectual and well-educated. Unfortunately, I'm afraid we're falling in the territory of opinions here. – martina Nov 10 '13 at 21:39

It is not grammatically wrong, and is used to give emphasis to the sentence. In your phrase it makes the "come se non bastasse" even stronger.

It should not be abused, it would be like writing all in boldface.

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