You can start sentences with the word “of” in formal and informal writing. The term “of” can have several functions at the start of a sentence. E.g., “Of all the battles he fought, this was his finest hour.” or “Of course, you can come in.”
When you combine “of” with “all” to say “of all,” you are referring to a specified number from a plural quantity.
- Of all the players, Jones and Baddick are the best at the moment.
- Of all the decades, the 1960s lifestyle seems like the most desirable.
You can also use the phrase “of course” to start a sentence indicating that something is likely or obvious.
- Of course, the project failed because we lacked IT expertise.
- Of course, I will come over and help you later.
Now you have seen the basics of starting a sentence with “of.” In the rest of the article, you can learn more about how to use it in formal and informal writing.
We’ll also show you formal alternatives to starting a sentence with “of.”
Can You Start a Sentence With “Of” in Formal Writing?
You can start a sentence with “of” in formal contexts. However, starting a sentence with “of” can come off as relatively informal.
Therefore, if you use it, make sure that the rest of your sentence is written in formal language.
The two most common ways to start a sentence with “of” are:
- Of course
- Of all
Using the term “of all” is more common in formal writing than “of course.” However, that does not mean that you will not see “of course” in a formal context.
Firstly, you can use “of course” to indicate that something is obvious or that there is no hindrance or difficulty.
- Of course, the electorate liked him because he was charming.
- Of course, we can offer assistance in this project should you require it.
Also, “of course” often follows directly from the previous sentence.
- He stood for election. Of course, the electorate liked him because he was charming.
Secondly, you can use the term “of all” to specify one or more things from a particular group.
- Of all the tests we performed, the first yielded the best results.
“Of” is relatively informal and it is better to start with a more formal alternative. Therefore, if you do not want to start a sentence with “of,” you can choose an alternative such as the ones listed below.
- From (Of all)
- Obviously (Of course)
Can You Start a Sentence With “Of” in Informal Writing?
It is more common for people to start sentences and paragraphs with “of course” and “of all” in informal writing than in formal writing.
Below, you can see some examples of the terms in informal contexts.
You can use “of all” to select one or more items from a group. The noun that comes after “of all” is plural, but you can then specify a singular or plural quantity from that group.
- Of all the people to invite to our wedding, he asked his ex-wife.
- Of all the people to invite to our wedding, he asked both his ex-wives.
Furthermore, the term “of course” means that either something is “no trouble” or there is no impediment to something.
- Of course, you can come over. I am free tonight.
Alternatively, it can mean that something is obvious or inevitable.
- Of course, it rained every day on our trip to London. It always rains in England.