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Linking Words

Linking words help you connect ideas and sentences, so that people can follow your thoughts. Find below a list of the most common linking words with examples on their use.

Giving examples

For example               For instance               Namely

The most common way of giving examples is by using for example or for instance.

Namely refers to something by name.

“There are two problems: namely, the expense and the time.”

Adding information

And       In addition      As well as       Also          Too        Furthermore      Moreover    Apart from    Besides   On top of that            Anyway            Indeed not only…but also

Ideas are often linked by and. In a list, you put a comma between each item, but not before and.

We discussed training, education and the budget.”

Also is used to add an extra idea or emphasis. “We also spoke about marketing.”

You can use also with not only to give emphasis.

We are concerned not only by the costs, but also by the competition.”

We don’t usually start a sentence with also. If you want to start a sentence with a phrase that means also, you can use In addition, or In addition to this

As well as can be used at the beginning or the middle of a sentence.

“As well as the costs, we are concerned by the competition.”

“We are interested in costs as well as the competition.”

Too goes either at the end of the sentence, or after the subject and means as well.

“They were concerned too.”

“I, too, was concerned.”

Apart from and besides are often used to mean as well as, or in addition to.

Apart from Rover, we are the largest sports car manufacturer.”

“Besides Rover, we are the largest sports car manufacturer.”

Moreover and furthermore add extra information to the point you are making.

“Marketing plans give us an idea of the potential market. Moreover, they tell us about the competition.”

He left early- and on top of that, he didn’t pay for his share of the meal.

Timing

When        As soon as      The moment         On+ing           from…    After           Before    Up to that time      Throughout

When/As soon as/ The moment they arrived, the meeting began.

On hearing the news, we immediately phoned to congratulate them.

From early childhood/an early age, she showed great aptitude for music.

Throughout his adult life, he has dedicated himself to helping others.

Up to that time, she had never even been abroad.

Sequencing idea

The former, … the latter      Firstly, secondly, finally         The first point is      Lastly        The following Last but not least

The former and the latter are useful when you want to refer to one of two points.
“Marketing and finance are both covered in the course. The former is studied in the first term and the latter is studied in the final term.”

Firstly, … secondly, … finally (or lastly) are useful ways to list ideas.

It’s rare to use “fourthly”, or “fifthly”. Instead, try the first point, the second point, the third point and so on.

The following is a good way of starting a list.

“The following people have been chosen to go on the training course: N Peters, C Jones and A Owen.”

Giving a reason

Due to / due to the fact that          Owing to / owing to the fact that         Because        because of       to the extent that            Seeing that                  Because of                  Since               As

Due to, because of and owing to must be followed by a noun.

“Due to the rise in oil prices, the inflation rate rose by 1.25%.”

“Owing to the demand, we are unable to supply all items within 2 weeks.”

If you want to follow these words with a clause (a subject, verb and object), you must follow the words with the fact that.

Due to the fact that oil prices have risen, the inflation rate has gone up by 1%25.”

“Owing to the fact that the workers have gone on strike, the company has been unable to fulfil all its orders.”

Because can be used at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence. For example, “Because it was raining, the match was postponed.”

“We believe in incentive schemes, because we want our employees to be more productive.”

Since and as mean because.

“Since the company is expanding, we need to hire more staff.”

As the company is expanding, we need to hire more staff.”

Giving a result

Therefore           So                 Consequently             This means that        As a result        thereby      thus     in such a way           as a consequence      as a result    accordingly   hence

Therefore, thus, as a consequence, accordingly, so, consequently and as a result are all used in a similar way.

The company are expanding. Therefore / So / Consequently / As a result, they are taking on extra staff.”

So is more informal.

He became a citizen in 1999, thereby gaining the right to vote.

Many areas have been modernised in such a way as to make the city more attractive to tourists.

This will cause us financial loss hence my reservations

Contrasting ideas

But      However    Although / even though     Despite / despite the fact that     In spite of / in spite of the fact  that Nevertheless         Nonetheless        While          Whereas    Unlike In theory… in practice…                  in contrast       conversely        on the contrary          instead

But is more informal than however. It is not normally used at the beginning of a sentence.

He works hard, but he doesn’t earn much.”
“He works hard. However, he doesn’t earn much.”

Although, despite and in spite of introduce an idea of contrast. With these words, you must have two halves of a sentence.

“Although it was cold, she went out in shorts.”
“In spite of the cold, she went out in shorts.”

Despite and in spite of are used in the same way as due to and owing to. They must be followed by a noun. If you want to follow them with a noun and a verb, you must use the fact that.

Despite the fact that the company was doing badly, they took on extra employees.”

Nevertheless and nonetheless mean in spite of that or anyway.

The sea was cold, but he went swimming nevertheless.” (In spite of the fact that it was cold.)
“The company is doing well. Nonetheless, they aren’t going to expand this year.”

While, whereas and unlike are used to show how two things are different from each other.

While my sister has blue eyes, mine are brown.”

“Taxes have gone up, whereas social security contributions have gone down.”

“Unlike in the UK, the USA has cheap petrol.”

In theoryin practice… show an unexpected result.

“In theory, teachers should prepare for lessons, but in practice, they often don’t have enough time.”

Other examples:

She was very kind. By/In contrast, he seemed very shy.

Some people learn languages easily. Conversely, others find it very difficult.

It wasn’t a good thing; on the contrary, it was a huge mistake.

They decided not to take the car. Instead, the caught the train.

Summarising/Concluding

In short                      In brief                       In summary                To summarise           In a nutshell                To conclude                In conclusion              All in all              To sum up                   Overall          At the end of the day

We normally use these words at the beginning of the sentence to give a summary of what we have said or written.

Although the day was not a complete success, all in all, it went as well as could be expected.

To sum up/In short, it was a highly successful visit.

Overall, what I most admire is their determination to succeed.

In conclusion/Finally/To conclude, it seems clear that tourism is having an adverse effect on the area.

The team played well, but, at the end of the day, they just weren’t good enough to win (informal).

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  1. rachel
    April 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm | #1

    very heelping lesson thanks

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