Can You Start a Sentence With “Whereas”?

You can use “whereas” to start sentences in formal and informal writing. You use it to introduce a contrast or comparison, or you can use it to refer to the previous sentence. E.g., “Whereas my wife prefers living in the city, I prefer living in the country.”

The word “whereas” is similar to the term “although” or “while.”

You can use the term to compare and contrast two things in the same sentence.

  • Whereas he says he is going to change, he never does.
  • Whereas his strategists were astute, the Senator was prone to saying the wrong thing.

You can also use “whereas” to continue an idea from the previous sentence.

  • She does not enjoy being a teacher. Whereas her husband enjoys working in education.
  • Wolves catch their food in the wild. Whereas domestic canines depend on humans for food.

Now that you have seen the basics of using “whereas” at the start of a sentence, keep reading to learn more about using it in formal and informal contexts.

Can You Start a Sentence With “Whereas” in Formal Writing?

You can start sentences with “whereas” in formal and academic writing.

For example, it is common to do it when you want to contrast two things, concepts, or states.

You can either compare the things in the same sentence. When you do this, it is the same as saying:

  • “One thing is like this, but the other is like this”

For example:

  • Whereas some cactus species cannot withstand cold, others survive in low temperatures.

Alternatively, you can start the sentence as a continuation of the previous information.

  • Some people believe in trickle-down economics. Whereas other people think high taxation is more effective at raising money.

In conclusion, “whereas” is appropriate in formal writing. However, if you wish to vary your vocabulary, you can use these synonyms for “whereas”:

  • Although
  • In contrast
  • Though
  • While

Can You Start a Sentence With “Whereas” in Informal Writing?

You can start sentences with “whereas” in informal writing.

However, it is quite formal, so you see it more in business emails than in conversational messaging.

Alternatives to using “whereas” at the beginning of a sentence in informal writing include:

  • But
  • Compared with/to
  • In fact

These synonyms will often be more appropriate than “whereas” when you write in casual language.

Nonetheless, if you use “whereas” to start sentences in informal writing, this is how it looks:

  • Whereas I prefer meat, my wife likes seafood.
  • We didn’t take a vacation last year. Whereas the year before, we went on three trips.