Many of your teachers have probably explained that you should only start sentences with certain words or parts of speech. Conjunctions have always been a no-no, but what about adverbs?
You can start a sentence with the adverb “also.” It is specifically a conjunctive adverb that we use to connect two independent clauses. “Also” indicates the addition of something, so when you use it to begin a sentence, it shows the relationship of the two clauses where one adds to the other.
Many people think adverbs are just words that modify adjectives or verbs differently. However, there is much more to them and how we use them in a sentence. Read on to find out more.
What Does “Also” Mean?
“Also” means “in addition” or “too.” We use it to add information to a previous clause or indicate the repetition of something someone said previously. It can appear within a sentence or at the start of a new one.
- I have to pack up the whole house and also get ready for the arrival of a new baby.
- Mr. Darcy may have been proud, but he was also kind.
- I’m going to the housewarming, and Mary said she would also be attending.
“Also” is a conjunctive adverb, which means that, like a conjunction, we use it to connect two independent clauses. This causes it to function more like a subordinating conjunction, showing the relationship between the two clauses (source).
- The magician showed everyone his hat. Also, the stage was quite empty.
- I kept my eyes down to avoid someone noticing me. Also, I was afraid.
- They walked for hours under the hot sun. Also, they were exhausted.
The previous examples show that “also” provides additional information. It creates an emphatic effect primarily but can also appear at a different point in the sentence. If you want to give more information but make it stand out, use “also” to start the next sentence.
How Do You Use “Also”?
Using “also” depends on the purpose of the sentence. Suppose you are using it to provide general additional information. In that case, you can use it at any logical point in the sentence. If you are using it for effect, it should appear at the start of a new sentence.
Using “also” as part of a sentence only provides additional information. It can also mean “as well as” or “too,” so it can agree with the previous part of your sentence.
- The movie was great, and it also had my favorite actor!
- We have 10 fingers, and we also have 10 toes.
- I didn’t think we were also in danger, but they were coming for everyone.
When you use “also” at the start of the sentence, it should appear with a comma directly after the word. This creates a pause in the sentence, emphasizing the next part as necessary. When you use it without a comma in the middle of a sentence, the sentence remains declarative.
- He’s coming over tonight and also bringing his girlfriend.
- He’s coming over tonight. Also, he’s bringing his girlfriend.
- They were born on the same day, at the same hour, and also in the same hospital.
- They were born on the same day at the same hour. Also, it was the same hospital.
Syntax with adverbs requires a lot of thought. Read “Which Is Correct: Not Yet or Yet Not?” to help you understand word order and how exactly to assemble sentences.
As you’ve seen in the previous sentences, the function of “also” does not change — it continues to provide additional information. But the addition of the comma does create a dramatic stop that makes the sentence after it more emphatic.
When Can You Use “Also”?
You use “also” when you wish to provide extra information or state that something or someone is doing the same action as the previous subject. “Also” has to appear next to the clause for which it provides extra information; this can be part of the same sentence, as a secondary clause, or as a separate sentence.
When “also” appears in the middle of the sentence, it should generally appear just before the main verb.
- She looked terrific, and he had also worn his formal suit.
- Is Joseph also worried about his looks?
- You’re writing a book? I’m also writing one!
However, we use “also” after when there is an auxiliary verb. If a sentence has two auxiliary verbs, then “also” should only appear after the first one.
- She looked amazing, and he also dressed up for their fancy date night.
- Different holiday destinations are also in the pamphlet.
- In this class, you will also be working on your pottery pieces.
There are occasional exceptions, especially when describing something or someone with an adjective or directly referencing the object itself.
- Not only was he caring, but he was also great at cooking!
- I’m also his friend, so he should have invited me.
- There is also a weekly newspaper released in the small town.
When “also” appears at the start of a sentence, you can then follow it with the rest of the independent clause, as long as it has a comma right after.
In What Context Can You Use “Also”?
There is no specific context where “also” should be the only word you use. Its purpose is to contextualize extra information. Hence, you should use it to tell your audience more about something.
You can use “also” in formal and informal writing and verbal communication.
“Also” works for many different scenarios. It is more likely to appear in a written text than in spoken communication because we prefer the simpler adverb “too” while speaking.
Because it has a similar meaning to “as well” and “too,” you can use “also” to express these ideas when showing the relationship between two clauses. “Also” does not fall under the usual adverb types like manner, degree, or frequency.
“Also” is a conjunctive adverb. It functions as a conjunction while telling us that the second part of the sentence or clause relates to the first by providing extra information. Another conjunctive adverb that provides additional information is “in addition.”
There are a few scenarios where you may want to provide extra information. One of the ways to do this is through a list, but when you want to emphasize a point, then using the adverb “also” sets apart the additional information to make it more noteworthy.
I bought everything for the tacos: beef, peppers, lettuce, and cheese.
I bought everything for the tacos. There’s beef, peppers, lettuce, and also some cheese.
Edward was the King of the United Kingdom and the Emperor of India.
Edward was the King of the United Kingdom. Also, he was the Emperor of India.
As you can see, the addition of “also” is not always necessary, and there are other ways to provide additional information, but it does provide a more emphatic element to that information.
When Not to Use “Also”
You should never place “also” at the end of a clause. We use “too” and “as well” instead at the end of the sentence. We only use “also” in positive statements because there are other words that function better in negative statements.
Because we use “also” to provide extra information, and the assumption is that the extra information follows the conjunctive adverb, you cannot place “also” at the end of a sentence because there is no other information that follows.
We have already discussed where you should place “also” within a sentence. However, there are specific points where its usage is definitely incorrect.
If you do wish to indicate that there is additional information at the end of the sentence, then “too” or “as well” are grammatically accurate synonyms that you can use instead of “also.”
- I bought the tickets, and I also booked the limo for our prom.
- I bought the tickets and booked the limo for our prom as well.
- I bought the tickets and booked the limo too!
You cannot use “also” as part of a negative statement. This is because additional information in a negative form uses “either,” “nor,” or “neither.” For example, the sentence “I don’t have a good relationship with my brother and also with my sister” is incorrect.
- I don’t have a good relationship with my brother, nor with my sister.
- I’m not coming to the party, and neither is he.
- They’re not under pressure, and they’re not fine either.
If adverbs mix you up, you may be interested in an article discussing the difference between “well” and “good.” Read “Doing Well or Doing Good: Can Both Be Correct?” to understand when you should use these specific words.
What Can You Use Instead of “Also”?
“Also” has several synonyms that you can choose from. As we’ve mentioned previously, “too” and “as well as” are common synonyms with similar meanings.
- I wanted to help them, but everyone in the town wanted to help as well.
- Since my sister rejected him, I told him I had a cousin, too, who might be interested.
- As well as his younger sister, he had many older brothers.
Other words and phrases that we can use instead of “also” are “additionally,” “furthermore,” and “moreover.” Their connotation is somewhat formal, though, so we cannot use these as perfect synonyms.
Furthermore, she informed him about the problems before he signed the lease.
Additionally, we believe this is an entirely new discovery that will revolutionize modern medicine.
Moreover, we are waiting for her response to continue the acquisition.
On the other hand, there are decidedly less formal synonyms, and we are more likely to use them in verbal communication instead of written. Phrases like “on top of that” and “over and above” are examples.
- Not only did I get a new phone, but I also got a new smartwatch on top of that.
- Over and above, we are fighting for the end of the war.
Not all of these phrases are perfect synonyms, but they all suggest the same idea; hence, they are all viable alternatives you can use instead of “also.”
Using “Also” in a Full Sentence
As we’ve discussed, we can use “also” in a variety of ways. We can use “also” to provide extra information and set off a statement providing additional information.
When it appears in the second clause, it provides additional information to the initial clause. When it appears in a clause on its own, some context does need to be provided to explain the additional information.
- I enjoyed sitting on the beach, but we also went swimming every day.
- Even though things seem bleak, there is also kindness and good in the world.
- Jenny is also my boss.
In the final sentence, we assume that there was some kind of discussion about bosses that prompted this utterance about Jenny being someone’s boss. “Also” also helps to focus the reader’s attention.
“Also” is a focusing adverb. Others know it as an adverb of focus or focus adverb. A focus adverb is an adverb that sets apart a clause or makes it more obvious. It generally points to verb phrases, although it can also work for other phrases like nouns, prepositions, adjectives, and adverbials.
As a standard adverb, “also” appears in the middle of the sentence. It gives us more information about the clause, telling us who, where, or what is also doing something (source).
- She wasn’t impressed, and it seemed like she had also lost her sense of humor.
- I also go running every week.
- While I was there, I also met a celebrity chef. Her food was amazing!
As a focusing adverb, “also” brings the reader’s attention to a specific clause. We often use it for effect, both serious and humorous. “Also” is not the only focusing adverb. Other focusing adverbs include “especially,” “just,” “only,” and “particularly” (source).
Focus adverbs can both limit and add to the sentence. “Just” and “only” are examples of limiting focus adverbs, while “also” and “as well” are examples of additive adverbs. This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
- He only wanted to go to the party.
- Just Shawn will be coming to the party.
- Also, Leah is bringing the snacks for the party.
- I’ve hired a clown for the party, as well as organizing the cake.
“Also” is one of the more common adverbs in the English language. We use it in both written and verbal communication, and it has an important function: providing additional information. Especially in our time, additional information is key for positive, clear communication.
As a focusing adverb, “also” sets off a statement or idea. When we use it at the start of the sentence, it draws the reader’s attention and emphasizes your point.