Using Although in a Police Report

I hear more usage questions about although than any other word. Officers are especially concerned about when to use commas and where the commas go. So today I’m going to give you a quick refresher.

Here’s how one officer used although a police report. What do you think? Is it written correctly?

Bates told me that he liked Lindt and trusted her. Although, he had caught her in lies several times over the years.

If you found two problems, you’re right. First, you can never put a comma after although. Second, any sentence that starts with although is an extra idea and can’t stand alone. It has to be attached to another sentence.

It’s easy to solve both problems, and there are two ways to do it:

Bates told me that he liked Lindt and trusted her although he had caught her in lies several times over the years.  CORRECT

Although he had caught Lindt in lies several times over the years, Bates told me that he liked her and trusted her.  CORRECT

Here’s one more question I sometimes hear: Can you start a sentence with although? Yes, of course. You can use any word in the English language to start a sentence.

Like and which can be tricky, however. I’d avoid starting sentences with them. But you can start sentences with but, and, because, although, and just about any other word.

I’m a professional writer, and I have to be careful with English usage. And because you write in connection with your career, you’re a professional writer too.

On the job training OJT

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