Sentence Starters: Words and Phrases [Complete Guide]

Sentence Starters Words and Phrases

Sentence starters or sentence openers describe ways to start a sentence using words or phrases. With the right starter words, you’ll find it easier to communicate while talking or writing. Sentence starters are helpful for people who want to improve their writing too.

There are different writing styles, and therefore, there are different types of effective sentence openers for these writing types. Writing without good sentence starters leave your sentence void of structure and, sometimes, meaning.

This article will cover the meaning of a sentence starter and the various types of sentence starters. You’ll also get sentence starters examples that are easy to start using right away! So keep reading to learn all you need to know about sentence starters!


How To Start a Sentence

Starting a sentence could be difficult for a new English speaker. And sometimes, even for people who speak English as their first language, constructing a proper English sentence can be pretty tricky sometimes. “How do I start this sentence?” “What words do I string together?” These are typical concerns. And sometimes, you know what your thoughts whisper to you but can’t just seem to be able to get those thoughts on paper.

Knowing the right words to start a sentence with is essential because they show that you have a rich vocabulary and a good language proficiency level. However, with the right essay sentence starters, writing that essay should no longer be difficult! So, here are some sentence starting words that you can use to start your essay!


Words to Start a Sentence

Sentence starters can either come in words or phrases. If you need good ways to start a sentence, then this aspect of the article is for you! There are varieties of them, so you can be assured that you won’t be repeating the same thing over and over again. This article will cover different sentence starter words in various categories! But for now, here’s a list of sentence starters for you!

  • Generally
  • To be very honest
  • Once upon a time
  • As a matter of fact
  • Even though
  • However, and lots more!


Good Sentence Starters

Since there are different types of sentences or scenarios where we use sentence openers, there is also the need for the numerous kinds of sentence starters. Do you plan on writing a summary, a commentary, an explanation? Whatever the case might be, there is a sentence opener for it. From paragraph openers to ending sentence starters, there’s something here for every category! So let’s look at different categories or types of sentence starters!


Types of Sentence Starters

Here’s a list of some of the types of sentence starters that you can find in the English language.

  1. Introduction Sentence Starters
  2. Time Connecting Sentence Starters
  3. Paragraph Sentence Starters
  4. Story/ Narrative Sentence Starters
  5. Explanation Sentence Starters
  6. Closing/ Concluding Sentence Starters
  7. Comparison Sentence Starters

These types of sentence starters are easily defined based on their titles, but we would be examining a few of them.

Body Paragraph Sentence Starters

A paragraph starter or a paragraph opener is a word or a phrase that you can use to start a paragraph. Since paragraphs are primarily used in essays, we can refer to these as “essay openers.” This type of sentence starters for essays help you to transition smoothly between two paragraphs. They ensure that there is still a connection between the last sentence and the new sentence of a paragraph. Some examples might include:

  1. I know
  2. First and Foremost
  3. Some may say
  4. The fact is
  5. In my opinion
  6. We all know
  7. Without a doubt
  8. Clearly
  9. Additionally
  10. Furthermore


Story Sentence Starters

As the name implies, this sentence starter is commonly used to begin a story or a narrative essay. They can be used in the beginning, middle, or concluding part of a narrative essay. These different ways to start a sentence when telling a story to add variety to the story to make it more engaging and exciting. They are primarily used to specify the time when an event took place. Some of these great sentence starters include:

  1. Suddenly
  2. Once upon a time
  3. In the twinkle of an eye
  4. To my greatest surprise
  5. A long time ago
  6. Let me tell you about
  7. Next time
  8. After that
  9. It all began when
  10. There once lived


Closing Sentence Starters

These types of sentence starters are used when you want to round up your speech or essay. Ending sentence starters notify the listener or the reader that they are at the concluding paragraph of your work. This is why they cannot be used in other parts of your work except in the latter part of your writing. They can also be called summary sentence starters. Some examples of this type of sentence starter are:

  1. In conclusion
  2. Finally
  3. Therefore
  4. Lastly
  5. Overall
  6. As a result
  7. To sum it up
  8. At the end of the day
  9. After all has been said and done
  10. In the end


Compare and Contrast Sentence Starters

This is another interesting type of sentence starter. It is used when making a comparison between 2 or more things. They can also be referred to as Comparison Sentence Starters. They are used to start sentences that point out the similarity or differences between two or more things. Some examples of this type of sentence starters include:

  1. Similarly
  2. In the same way
  3. As opposed to
  4. Alternatively
  5. On the other hand
  6. Equally
  7. So does
  8. Both
  9. Likewise
  10. Complementary to this


Explanation Sentence Starters

These are sentence starters that are used when you are explaining. They are used when you need to explain formal or textual facts. They can also be used when you are explaining step-by-step procedures. They show coherence and ensure that the words transition properly. Some examples might include:

  1. Subsequently
  2. Then
  3. Next
  4. Another
  5. The following step
  6. That suggests
  7. Following that
  8. This means
  9. This proves
  10. This is because


Commentary Sentence Starters

Commentary sentence starters include:

  1. This means
  2. This reveals that
  3. It is evident from this information
  4. It is important to note that
  5. This proves
  6. This conveys
  7. This fact states
  8. This demonstrates
  9. This forces the reader to
  10. This raises the question of


Uses of Sentence Starters

The importance of sentence starters cannot be overstated. They have many uses that range from giving structure to a sentence to simply adding context to sentences. The uses of these sentence starters in general include;

  1. We can use them to make emphasize. For example, sentence starters can emphasize the importance of an object in a sentence. Some of these sentence openers that show importance include; It is essential to state, In essence, Emphatically… and many more like this.
  2. They can also be used to show time connectives. Examples of time connecting sentence starters include; At first, Prior to, Formerly, Previously, Customarily… and many more like this.
  3. They make your speech or writing sound more authentic to native English readers or listeners.
  4. They make your writing more engaging and appealing to your reader.
  5. They can be used to introduce ideas to your audience. They tell your audience that they are about to hear an example, your opinion, or a statement. They are also called introduction sentence starters. Some examples of introduction sentence starters include; For instance, for example, Imagine that… and so on.
  6. They allow for your work to transition smoothly from paragraph to paragraph. This transition fosters coherence and understanding in your audience.



Sentence starters are very important to English learners. We encourage them to implement them more frequently in their spoken and written grammar. You can also get on the internet and search for more examples to widen your vocabulary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a good starter for an essay introduction?
The introduction section of your essay is the first thing people will read, and its first paragraph means a lot. First off, the first sentence, which is also called the hook, should not be ordinary. Use strong language, the element of surprise, a fascinating story, catchy quote, or impressive statistics.
Does it matter what sentence starts your body paragraph?
The sentence you use in starting your body paragraph should continue where your introduction sentence starter stops. To write great sentences in your body paragraphs and improve your essay’s overall quality, make use of transition words. Examples of transition words you can use include afterwards, besides, consequently, especially, firstly (etc.), and on the contrary, among others.

With over a decade of experience in the industry, Evelyn Henderson is a highly accomplished freelance translator, research writer, and essay writer. She has established herself as the best in the business; she has a reputation for delivering high-quality projects and ensures that she meets and exceeds the client’s expectations.

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