I think the question to ask NileCat-san is:
Do you want corrections on how the English should be written, or spoken? If wanting to learn how it is spoken, you can get away with nearly anything and still be understood. Many native English speakers themselves do not speak anything close to "textbook English."
As an example, here is something I hear several times every
"I seen a show." This is horrendous. It should be "I saw
a show." There are many people around who are still learning English, and take their cues from these people, so that they are learning to speak incorrectly--but this is how native English speakers are speaking, so it is seen (not saw!) as correct.
Grammar was not taught very effectively in school here--it is something I had to study on my own to grasp (not to say I understand everything). English has a very complex system for learning grammar in my opinion. Basically, either you learn it through use or you never learn it.
I apologize for the lack of explanation on "because". Because I want to flog a dead horse, I shall state yet more information.
The phrase "because I want to flog a dead horse" is a subordinate clause to the major idea in the sentence, which is "I shall state yet more information".
If you are going to start a sentence with "because", you must
ensure that you do not write a subordinate clause and then leave it on its own (without the major idea, or independant clause).
"Regarding my self-study, this forum is like a paradise to me. Because I might be able to be helpful to someone through my studying English here"
"Regarding my self-study, this forum is like a paradise to me" appears to be the major idea, so if you wanted the sentence to start with "because", you should do this:
"Because I might be able to be helpful to someone through studying English here, this forum is like a paradise to me regarding my self-study."
But, that's not necessarily what you want to say, since it is so long and the emphasis is diverted away from the main idea...
"Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly stopped for me." Emily Dickenson, of all people, certainly did not break the rules!!!
A good way to check your sentence structure and practice grammar is to re-arrange sentences. "Death kindly stopped for me, because I could not stop for him."
If you put the "because..." phrase at the end of the sentence, and it still makes sense, then you can be sure that starting the sentence with the "because phrase" is fine.
And a note about Passive Voice:
A few of my friends speak English as a second language. They overuse the passive voice (The ball was hit by that boy.) so much that it sounds out of character the few times they use the active voice (That boy hit the ball.).
The passive voice is appropriate when you want to emphasize the receiver of the action (the ball), or minimize the importance of the actor(that boy).
From Diana Hacker's "A Canadian Writer's Reference": "Use the active voice unless you have a good reason
for choosing the passive." (Italics mine.)
Some of the most beautiful things I've ever read in English used passive voice. Yet, they used it skilfully
. It's important to know the difference between active and passive, and choose
which to use, not simply use one or the other consistently.
Wow, wall of text...I'm gonna go now. (Note my use of spoken English???