Using ‘with’ at the start of a sentence has traditionally been regarded as ‘weak’ writing. Writers also need to be wary about joining sentences by using ‘with’, as:

‘With is not a conjunction’.

That bold statement is a section heading in the Australian Government Style Manual.

However, many people do use ‘with’ in this way, so I’ve been getting on top of the subject.

What is a conjunction?

And, but and so are all conjunctions. They link two parts of a sentence together, generally after a comma.

Like this…

✅ Jamie travelled to the UK last year, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 he has been unable to get home again.

✅ Sally had a slight fever, 𝘀𝗼 she stayed away from the office.

But not like this…

Asha came top in her year, 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 straight-A grades in every subject.

What to do?

There are a gazillion good and proper uses of ‘with’ (✅ I am coming with you to town), but a conjunction is not one of them.

Instead, reword or split the sentence:

Fire seasons have been more severe, 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 the 2019–20 summer the worst in Australia’s history.

𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗵 fire seasons more severe, the 2019–20 summer was the worst in Australia’s history.

✅ Fire seasons have been more severe. The 2019–20 summer was the worst in Australia’s history.

Get in touch if you’d like help making your writing clearer or more grammatically accurate.

Example sentences, similar to in the blog itself