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Exam Study Expert

70+ Connective Words To Power Up Your Essays [COMPREHENSIVE LIST]

by Kerri-Anne Edinburgh | Aug 5, 2021

When you’re writing an essay or assignment, you need to use every trick in the book to maximise your marks. And one of the best tools for radically improving your writing is the power of connective words .

Used correctly, connective words can give your writing new depth and meaning, improve readability (important for your examiner!) and demonstrate the logic of your arguments.

Luckily for you, we’ve got plenty of categories, definitions and connectives examples to help you get started…

Psst – this article uses loads of connectives. See if you can spot them in use: we’ve italicised the best examples!

What are connective words?

Simply put, connectives are words – or phrases – that link parts of your writing together.

You’re probably familiar with the most common connective words: and, as, because, but, if, or, so . In fact, I’ve used a few of them already – did you spot them?

Don’t limit your essay writing to the basics though, because there are hundreds of connectives that can help you to demonstrate different ideas, such as cause and effect , or the chronology of events .

We’re going to explore ten types of connectives below, but first , here’s a quick refresher on the grammar behind connective words:  

Definitions: The grammatical bit

Understanding the grammar behind your writing might not be your thing – but bear with me, because remembering these six definitions will help you know which connective to use when, and where to place them!

(If you’re just looking for examples of connectives, feel free to skip straight past this bit!)

Connectives fall into three grammatical categories: conjunctions, prepositions, and adverbs.

  • For example: and, but, for, or, yet .
  • Today , I finished my history assignment but forgot to workout .
  • Such as: at, in, of, on, under .
  • I need to finish the conclusion of my essay before I go to dinner.
  • For instance: upwards, quickly, fortunately .
  • My deadline is tomorrow. Fortunately , I proofread my thesis chapter already .

Using adverb and preposition connective words adds specific meaning – and thus clarity – to your writing. They are particularly useful for successful essay signposting .

connectives for english essay

Definitions part 2: Connectives in sentences

When using connectives, it’s also important to remember that not all sentences are created equal in importance . And so , when connecting them into longer sentences, different types of connectives create different results:

  • For example: I find French tricky but I love learning Spanish.

On the other hand,

  • A subordinate clause relies on the main clause to make sense. Therefore, these connectives give information about the relationship between the clauses by specifying an order or place to events, or a cause and effect link.
  • Here’s an example: I need to do my homework if I want to get a good grade .

A useful type of subordinating connective for essay writing is the:

  • For instance: Firstly , I carried out the experiment, and secondly , I analysed the results.

And that’s your grammar refresh done!

If you’re struggling with essay-writing grammar, a great tool for checking your writing is Grammarly * – we use it at Exam Study Expert because it catches a broad range of mistakes. Their blog is also a great place to learn how to use conjunctions , prepositions , adverbs and more.

How to use connective words

So how do you go about using connectives?

In this section, we’re going to discuss the where, what and how …

connectives for english essay

Where to add connectives:

As we’ve seen , connective words are often found in the middle of a sentence, joining two clauses. But don’t forget you can also use them at the beginning of a sentence to link two consecutive sentences – OR two ideas within your paragraphs (did you see what I did there?).

Some of your connectives will even be linking entire paragraphs and sections – these are often examples of signposting to guide the reader through your section or argument.

What’s more , many connectives are not just single words but phrases. These connectives are particularly useful for essay writing and academic vocabulary. For example: as well as, for an example of this, for instance, in addition to, on the other hand, such as .

What to use connectives for:

When you’re writing an essay or assignment there are plenty of tasks you need to achieve: presenting evidence, making arguments and more.

Happily, connectives can help you achieve all these tasks by clarifying your meaning. You can use connectives for:

  • Reinforcing or emphasising a point
  • Exemplifying and showing results
  • Comparing and discussing points of view
  • Constructing a timeline or sequence of events
  • Listing points (and signposting them)
  • Explaining your argument
  • Drawing together conclusions

It’s a long list! So master using connectives and you’ll drastically improve the readability of your writing across all sections of your essay.

How to add in useful connective words:

You’re probably already using basic connectives in your writing.

But if you want to get serious about the benefits to your grades, make sure you’re systematic about how you add them during your essay construction – and (later) proofreading to check they make sense on a large(r) scale!

From experience, I would suggest that the best method for choosing and adding effective connectives is to:

  • Sketch out a rough draft of your paragraph or essay section
  • Are they separate arguments for the same thing? Or opposite points of view? Do they follow on logically (cause and effect) or chronologically?
  • Mark where you want to add signposting connectives to indicate structure
  • Check your examples of connective word types and choose options that convey the meaning you need…

And for that purpose, we’ve compiled four lists of connective words for you – including the TOP 70 connectives for effective essay writing! So read on…

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Types of connective words

So let’s get down to the really useful stuff: examples of connectives you can use in different situations in your essays!

There are three main types of connectives that we’re going to explore in turn:

  • Comparative , Causal, and Temporal

Comparative connective words

These helpful words and phrases are perfect both for comparing similarities in data and arguments, and for pointing out their differences and oppositions. Use them to compare, discuss and argue.

When comparing points, you’ll often be adding to your argument, so these connectives are used for “ addition ”. The most common connectives for addition are: and, also, furthermore, moreover .

Here are some examples in practice:

  • Leonardo Da Vinci was an artist and inventor, and also an influential Renaissance humanist.
  • Exam Study Expert’s psychologist William offers expert one-on-one exam coaching . Furthermore , you can sign up for a free introductory session!
  • My empirical data demonstrates that … ; similarly , theoretical models projected …

On the other hand , you might need to demonstrate and contrast your argument with the opposing point of view with a connective for “ opposition ”. The most commonly used are: alternatively, except, however, unless .

connectives examples

These examples all demonstrate opposition:

  • Winston Churchill is best known for his wartime leadership of the United Kingdom, yet he was already in his 60’s when he took office.
  • Some students find great study motivation from starting the day with their hardest task. In contrast , others find getting the ball rolling with smaller tasks more effective.
  • Our first questionnaire was comprised of six questions. However , for our second questionnaire we …

Causal connective words

Causal connectives are effective for discussing cause and effect – relationships that have logical links that you want to point out and prove.

As such , academic writing is often full of causal connectives, and many of them demonstrate a very academic vocabulary (great for bonus points in your assignment!).

Most essays and assignments have a section (or several sections!) where you need to draw together your facts, ideas and arguments and point out the connections. These are the connectives to turn to at those moments!

The most commonly used are: as such, as a result (of), because, consequently, therefore, thus .

connective words

Here are some examples:

  • The brains of London taxi drivers have a larger than usual area that deals with memory because they are required to memorise and navigate thousands of streets.
  • Flashcards are a highly effective learning and memory tool, provided that you use them correctly.
  • This study surveyed over 3,000 students. As a result , we were able to …

Temporal connective words

Whether you’re explaining the sequence of events that led to a historical battle, or demonstrating the steps in your experiment, temporal connectives are a highly valuable tool.

They’re all about discussing time and the chronology of events – what happened before, during and after . Therefore , they make for great signposting words too!

temporal connective words

These examples explore each of the four sections in our temporal connectives lists:

  • The law of gravity was not widely understood until it was mathematically formulated by Sir Isaac Newton in 1687.
  • If you’re stressed about your exams, mindful meditation can be a great help. At the same time ,an inspirational quote might give you the boost you need!
  • Initially , the experiment was expected to demonstrate … Eventually , we came to the conclusion that …

The TOP 70 connective words for effective essay writing!

To make sure that you’ve got the tools you need to improve your grades, we’ve compiled this epic list of all the best connectives to use in academic writing.

This is just a selection from the hundreds of connective words and phrases available. So there’s no need to make your essay stale by over-using the same one or two!

If there’s nothing else you grab when you’re ticking off Step #4 from the connectives methodology above – make sure you grab this list!

It covers all the stages of essay structuring and writing, from introduction to conclusion . And includes lists of connectives for:

  • Signposting and listing
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Illustrating your findings
  • Demonstrating cause and effect
  • Emphasising points
  • Qualifying your arguments

We’ve highlighted the best and most commonly used connectives for each section to ensure you’ve got THE best resource to improve the quality of your essay immediately.

connective words list

To finish off , here are some examples to get your essay-writing inspiration flowing:

  • Firstly , it is well-known that retrieval practice is an effective learning method as compared with re-reading study texts and notes.
  • I’m feeling tired tonight. Nevertheless , I must finish my homework and I want to take the dog for a walk.
  • When it comes to …, however , there are several effective methods to …, in particular , …

Good luck with your essay!

Now you’ve mastered adding effective connective words to your essay you’re ready for the next step. Be sure to check out our guide on proofreading your assignment before you hand it in. Good luck!

And for more expert, science-backed study resources, sign up to the Exam Study Expert newsletter right here:

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Linking Words – Full List, Examples & Worksheet

Photo of author

| Candace Osmond

Photo of author

Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Worried that your essay lacks structure and coherence? Perhaps you should use linking words, transition words, or connectors to give it a boost.

Linking words join separate sentences to improve writing flow. You can also find them mid-sentence to connect clauses.

Read on as I show you the definition and types of linking words in English. I also list examples of linking words under every category, and I whipped up a helpful worksheet to test your skills.

What Are Linking Words?

Grammarist Article Graphic V4 77

Linking words, transition words, or connecting words in the English language help connect ideas and sentences when speaking or writing.

Linking words and phrases are connectors or transitional phrases. They are also part of formal language, so you’ll find them in academic writing, opinion writing, critical essays, dialectic essays , journalism, and business documents.

Some linking verbs link clauses within a sentence, such as although, in case, and whatever. That means you can find them in the middle of sentences from time to time. Others link two complete sentences, such as besides, as a result, and however.

List of Transition Words

Now that you know the meaning of transition words, let’s look at the usage of transition words in sentences and clauses. Don’t worry, I’ll break it all down for you!

Below, I’ve got a list of linking words and phrases to serve as alternative choices for connecting ideas in writing. Note that there are several types of transition words which we will discuss later.


Linking words may help the reader understand additional comments or ideas in a statement. They may also express agreement or similarities. These words are also called additive transition words, commonly found in expository essays and narrative essays.

  • In the first place
  • As a matter of fact
  • In like manner
  • In addition
  • Not only, but also
  • Coupled with
  • In the same way
  • In the same manner
  • First, second, third
  • Not to mention
  • In the light of
  • By the same token
  • Additionally
  • Correspondingly
  • Furthermore
  • Comparatively
  • At the same time
  • Together with
  • Identically

Here are some examples of additive linking words in a sentence.

  • The group found that a constructivist approach leads to higher test scores. Moreover, essay examinations show higher levels of learning.
  • The resort has tennis courts. Furthermore, it has an Olympic pool.

Negative Ideas

Some linking words come in pairs to join negative ideas.

  • Not, neither
  • Neither, nor

Here are sentence examples of linking words showing negative ideas.

  • I haven’t seen Lory, neither have I talked to her friend.
  • I neither drink nor smoke.


Whereas some linking words show an extra idea, these transition phrases and words express contrasting ideas in writing.

  • Although this may be true
  • In contrast
  • (and) still
  • Notwithstanding
  • Different from
  • Of course…, but
  • On the other hand
  • On the contrary
  • Be that as it may
  • Nonetheless
  • Even so/though
  • Nevertheless
  • In spite of

Here are some sentences with linking words of opposition.

  • The short story can be analyzed using a functionalist lens. However, its historical theme is better understood with a critical perspective.
  • As much as I want to go, I must take care of my sister.

Some linking words show relationships between ideas by accepting an idea with reservation instead of showing complete opposition. Here are some examples.

  • All the same
  • Regardless of this
  • Up to a point

Here are some sentence examples.

  • Many citizens opposed this unfair policy, which the president nevertheless enacted.
  • I like him even if we have different views in life.


You may also use linking words in your writing piece to show conditions and purpose for a logical flow of ideas. Words like reason get the reader ready to understand why. These words are commonly found in hypothesis essays.

  • In the event that
  • Granted (that)
  • Provided that
  • On (the) condition (that)
  • For the purpose of
  • With this intention
  • With this in mind
  • In the hope that
  • Inasmuch as
  • To the end that
  • For fear that
  • In order to
  • Seeing/being that
  • The researchers used this method so that the results would be valid, reliable, and aligned with the objectives.
  • I will not be attending the seminar due to a high fever.


You can also use transition words in your piece of writing that show examples or support of an idea.

  • In other words
  • To put it differently
  • For one thing
  • In particular
  • As an illustration
  • In this case
  • For example
  • For instance
  • For this reason
  • To put it another way
  • To demonstrate
  • That is to say
  • With attention to
  • By all means
  • To emphasize
  • To enumerate
  • Particularly
  • Significantly
  • Specifically
  • Surprisingly
  • Important to realize
  • Another key point
  • On the negative side
  • First thing to remember
  • Must be remembered
  • To point out
  • Point often overlooked
  • She visited several cities, namely Portland, Jacksonville, Charleston, and Hartford.
  • Transition words improve writing flow. For instance, we use further to add extra ideas related to the previous statement.


Grammarist Article Graphic V4 78

You might also spot transitional devices for essays that show consequences, results, and effects.

  • As a result
  • In that case
  • Under those circumstances
  • Accordingly
  • Consequently

Consider the examples below.

  • We watered the plant for seven days. In effect, it grew three inches taller.
  • Because she didn’t study for the test, Anna failed and had to retake it.


These words and phrases show transitions between sentences to show conclusions. You’ll find these words in essay conclusions of different essay types.

  • In simple language
  • In explanation
  • In lay terms
  • In a nutshell
  • As can be seen
  • In simple terms
  • Generally speaking
  • All things considered
  • As shown above
  • In the final analysis
  • In the long run
  • In either case
  • Given these points
  • As has been noted
  • In any event
  • On the whole
  • By and large
  • For the most part
  • In conclusion
  • To summarize

Note that in lay terms and in explanation are formal alternative choices to “ in a nutshell.”

Here are some examples.

  • Matter is a material that occupies space and has mass. In simple language, it is any physical substance.
  • I don’t want to climb the corporate ladder. After all, money isn’t everything.


Linking words’ other role in writing is to show sequence or chronology. Under the time category, these phrases add a meaning of time. You can find these words in an essay introduction when the writer explains how the paper is structured.

  • In due time
  • From time to time
  • At the present time
  • Sooner or later
  • Up to the present time
  • To begin with
  • Straightaway
  • In the meantime
  • In a moment
  • Without delay
  • All of a sudden
  • At this instant
  • First, second
  • By the time
  • Immediately
  • Occasionally
  • I watched the movie on television. Eventually, I fell asleep.
  • First, fill the pan with water. Then, bring it to a boil.


The following transition words are famous adverbial expressions that limit or modify space. Some of these words and phrases are also transition words of time.

  • In the middle of
  • To the left/right
  • In front of
  • On this side
  • In the distance
  • In the foreground
  • In the background
  • In the center of
  • Adjacent to
  • Opposite to

Below are sentence examples using transition words of space.

  • My house is located behind the building.
  • To the left of the supermarket is a flower shop.

Common Mistakes With Transition Words

Transition words help you create a flow of arguments for readers to understand what you’re saying. But misused transition words and phrases will make your writing unclear. Avoid these mistakes to give your readers a better experience.

Starting a Sentence With So, And, and Also

Both so and and are coordinating conjunctions, which means they can start independent clauses that stand on their own. But it’s not recommended to use these words and also as sentence starters in formal writing. For example:

  • Incorrect: Also, there are unauthorized charges on my credit card account.
  • Correct: Furthermore, there are unauthorized charges on my credit card account.

Combination of Transition Words And/Or

When writing an essay, avoid English transition words and/or because it makes your paper look messy. Instead, consider whether you need both connectors or only one of them. If you need them both, try this alternative.

  • Incorrect: boat and/or plane.
  • Correct: boat, plane, or both.

Using As Well As as Alternative to And

As well as has a different meaning from the transition word and. And means you’re listing something of equal importance. Meanwhile, as well as is for additional, less essential information. Here’s an example.

  • Incorrect: In this paper, I discuss my movie analysis as well as provide recommendations for improvement.
  • Correct: In this paper, I discuss my movie analysis and provide recommendations for improvement.

Archaic Words

Your writing may not make any sense to readers if you overuse archaic transition words like therewith .

For example, hereby means as a result. We can replace it with more modern and explicit phrasing expressing how the current statement is connected to the previous statement.

Linking Words Summary

A linking word is a term that connects different ideas in your text, whether they are contrasting, supporting, or adding. They can improve your writing and help it flow better, I promise!

Regardless of the style of writing, every piece of writing contains linking words to show perfect transitions. I hope my guide on the definition and list of transitions helps you use these words and phrases correctly. Memorize each category, and don’t overuse them in essays.

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Linking/transition words: Things you need to know...

All assignments are written in formal language.   You need to ensure that you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding alongside your ability to answer the question/solve the problem. 

Below are some ideas to help you to develop your structure and flow.

  • Linking / transition words and phrases join ideas, sentences and paragraphs together. They should be used within sentences and to move from one idea to another (between sentences).   

These words and phrases indicate the direction, order and flow of ideas. Significantly, they strengthen the quality and structure of your work.

  • Redundant Words - less is more.  P articularly when trying to reduce the word count, it is important to look for phrases which can be replaced with a single word.

Linking/Transition Words

Transitions link one main idea to another separated by a semi-colon or full-stop.  When the transition word is at the beginning of the sentence, it should be followed by a comma:

Among other functions, they can signal cause and effect or sequencing (see examples in the table below).

Linking words: conjunctions

Linking words within a sentence  are referred to as coordinating conjunctions.  Do not worry about the term: think about the function.

Conciseness / redundant words

Microsoft Word now has an additional feature within the Edito r - it is called conciseness or wordiness.  

  • If you cannot see the Editor menu a quick tip is to hold down the function (fn key at the bottom left of the keyboard) + F7 (top line of keys).
  • From the Refinements section - select Conciseness - if there are any suggestions a number will appear in the box alongside this option
  • A dotted line will appear under any groups of groups
  • Either select the identified text by clicking with your right mouse button OR click on the down down next to the Conciseness menu.
  • MS Word will display any alternative words which you can either select and they will be replaced in your text or reject if you want to keep the original phrases.

Examples:  try to replace phrases with a single words which mean the same.

Need to know more...

  • Related pages
  • External links
  • Academic writing Illustrates the main features of academic writing so that you are aware of what it is and what it involves
  • Critical Thinking Academic work involves thinking, not just accepting what you read or are told.
  • Terms and Definitions Important words appear in your assignments and examinations. The aim of this factsheet is to help you to fully understand what they mean.

Additional resources to help you to improve your confidence and grades:-

  • Writing Effectively  demonstrates the importance of: clarity, structure, relevance, argument and precision.
  • Writing Mechanics  gives further examples and resources on areas including: sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Linking/Transition words - Scribbr  https://www.scribbr.co.uk/syntax/transition-words-examples/ [Accessed 10 February 2023]

There are many books concerning academic writing, look around Dewey number  808

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Connectors in English: How to Use Them to Make Your English Flow Beautifully

Are your essays in English marked poorly despite your grammatically correct sentences?

Have you ever been told that your paragraphs don’t connect to each other even though they talk about the same topic?

This is where English connectors come in—a.k.a., the words I’ve marked in bold above!

Today, I’m going to talk about what connectors in English are, the most common ones you’ll come across and how to practice them.

Once you’re done with this article, I hope you’ll agree that these words and phrases are simply magical!

What Are English Connectors?

English connectors for cause and effect, english connectors for illustration, english connectors for emphasis, english connectors for comparison, english connectors for contrast, english connectors for sequence, english connectors for conclusion, tips for practicing english connectors, and one more thing....

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

English connectors are little words and phrases that help you connect sentences, paragraphs and ideas. Used both in spoken and written English, they help make your English sound more logical and structured.

You can think of connectors as like the thread that holds a necklace’s beads (i.e. sentences, paragraphs and ideas) together.

In fact, you probably already use them without even realizing it!

Note that English connectors are different from English conjunctions . While conjunctions link two or more words or clauses within a sentence, connectors establish that two separate sentences or ideas are related to each other. 

To help you understand further, I’m going to walk you through some of the most common connectors in English and how they’re used. Some are used formally, while others are more casual. Some are even  interchangeable —that is, you can use them in place of similar words.

In everyday conversations , we often need to explain things.

Perhaps you were late for school because your car ran out of gas. Or you want to buy chocolates because you want to surprise your mother on her birthday.

Explaining things will be much easier if you throw in these important English connectors.

Let’s take a look at them!

Giving illustrations or examples helps us prove our point and convince other people to believe us. These words help people understand what you’re trying to say and can help them see why you believe what you believe.

While discussing an issue or idea, you may want to focus on a particular point or example. To make the listener understand the importance of that specific idea, you can use the following connectors.

Sometimes, we need to draw attention to certain similarities to make a point or explain something. This is especially important in writing!

To make better comparisons, use the following English connectors.

Sometimes, we need to express different or contradicting ideas side-by-side. Doing this helps the listener or reader focus on important differences and makes them aware of the many sides of a topic.

These connectors are useful when you’re giving step-by-step instructions or listing points.

Finally , how do you let your reader know that you’ve reached the end? (See what I did there?)

There are certain connectors that we usually use during conclusions or when we’ve reached the end of what we wanted to say. When writing or stating conclusions, you usually repeat the most important points.

Here are some quick tips that’ll help you learn English connectors more efficiently.

Make Your Own Sentences

To explain the meanings and uses of different connectors, I’ve provided example sentences for each. However, you’ll remember them much better if you come up with your own examples.

You can start by using connectors in your diary entries, notebooks, essays and the like. Soon, you’ll find yourself using these connectors in everyday speech as well!

Write a Short Story or Essay

To see the huge difference English connectors can make, try writing a paragraph without any connectors and then rewrite it using some of the connectors above. You’ll quickly realize that your sentences will flow better, sound more logical and become easier to understand.

Learn English with Authentic Content

You probably want to speak English like a native (or at least try to). So why not learn from natives? Try watching a speech in English to get a good idea of how these fit together. Look for the ones with transcripts that you can write notes in, maybe even circling all of the connecting terms as you see them. 

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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Do Online Exercises

Finally, to check whether you’ve understood how to use connectors correctly, you can try online exercises from websites that cover English grammar .

For example, the ones on English Daily  and English Grammar are pretty short and can be completed in a few minutes.

There’s also ToLearnEnglish , which provides a brief list of common connectors before you solve the exercise, making it a great resource for review.

Now that you know the most commonly-used English connectors, you can use them in sentences and paragraphs with great confidence. Try your hand at some of the exercises I’ve suggested for practice.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and start incorporating these useful English connectors into your everyday life!

If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials , as you can see here:


If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it.

The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.


FluentU lets you learn engaging content with world famous celebrities.

For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:


FluentU lets you tap to look up any word.

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.


FluentU helps you learn fast with useful questions and multiple examples. Learn more.

The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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connectives for english essay

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Writing: flow and coherence

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Making your essays clearer

Improve your work and make your assignments easier to understand with clear writing

Writing clearly and structuring your assignments can help make your work clearer and improve your grades.  

Writing clearly involves using good sentence structure and using connectives to link your ideas. Using connectives properly makes your work easy to read and understand, but using them unnecessarily can confuse readers. 

Language choices 

Different assignments in your degree may need different styles and encourage different word choices. Your university assignments will usually use an academic and formal style. You should choose your words carefully to demonstrate your point clearly and succinctly. 

Tips to improve word choices in your writing:  

  • learn your subject’s technical and theoretical terms – this won't happen overnight and will continue throughout your degree
  • don't use fancy words and phrases just to sound more academic – make sure you understand a word or phrase and how to use it first
  • avoid using a thesaurus – there are very few exact synonyms in English and some terms have very specific meanings in particular fields (particularly for technical and theoretical terms)

Connectives and transition signals

Connectives link sentences, phrases and ideas in your writing to guide your reader through your work. Transition terms are a type of connective that specifically indicates some kind of change or development.

Connectives can demonstrate your analysis and criticality, the flow of your work, the development of your material, or a different angle or change in direction.

Connective examples: 

  • The first claim, [topic] can be explained by…..
  • For example...
  • However; in contrast; on the other hand...
  • Nonetheless; despite this; although...
  • In addition; furthermore...
  • Therefore; consequently; as a result...
  • Similarly...

Appropriate assertion

Avoid stating that something is 'definite' in your work because you probably can't explore all potential outcomes of the statement in your essay. Use academic caution to suggest conclusions in your writing, and avoid terms like 'obviously', 'undeniably', 'certainly' and 'definitely' (unless you're quoting someone else).

Instead of using casual terms like 'surely' or 'everybody knows', you should use phrases like 'It is common knowledge' or 'It is generally accepted...'.

You could use these phrases:

  • This shows...
  • It is evident that...
  • It is therefore possible to conclude that...
  • The argument strongly suggests that...
  • This is supported by...
  • This demonstrates...

Cautious language

Academic caution is about not making absolute statements of fact. 

Example of cautious language:

  • Seems to; tends to; looks like; appears to show; indicates; could be seen as...
  • Thinks; assumes; believes; suggests...
  • May; might; could; perhaps...
  • Probably; possibly; perhaps; conceivably...

Challenging arguments 

You can express doubt about or challenge your evidence, an argument, or a claim in your resources. You can also express doubt about something you've said. 

Five examples of phrases to express doubt:

  • It is possible that this means...
  • This could indicate that...
  • The argument is plausible because...
  • This claim is debatable because...
  • Therefore, it is an implausible argument...

Using evidence

Evidence can come from a range of sources. Your field will have specific requirements and reputable sources. Your evidence could come from data, results, findings, newspapers, databases, documentaries, or sound logical thinking and argument.

Examples of phrases to introduce evidence:

  • The evidence shows...
  • Table 1 demonstrates...
  • Figure 2 indicates...
  • According to the results...
  • The argument suggests...
  • The author implies that...

Remember that writer implies something, and the reader infers something, when making your word choices. 

Expressing what comes first or is most important

When you need to highlight a key point in your word you could use phrases like: 

  • The primary issue...
  • The key point...
  • The principal argument...
  • The main point...
  • First, this essay will...

Expressing sequence

Your reader should be ware of where they are in your work. It's easy to lose your place when reading extended writing so you should include some guidance in your assignment. Expressing sequence also demonstrates that you're thinking logically and systematically to present your points or argument, and keeping in touch with how elements relate to each other.

Examples of terms to express sequence: 

  • Previously...
  • Secondly...
  • Furthermore...
  • Subsequently...
  • In addition...
  • Moreover...

Expressing finality

Your conclusion will usually summarise the information in your essay. You can use terms like: 

  • Ultimately...
  • In conclusion...

Download our writing flow and coherence revision sheet

Download this page as a PDF for your essay writing notes.

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Writing clear sentences

essay connectives

50 Persuasive Examples of Essay Connectives In Use Today

Essay connectors are words or phrases used to show the logical relationship between the points. They help to achieve an essay flow – preventing the essay from appearing as a loose collection of points, among which the reader ‘jumps about’ randomly. An article without essay connectives may lead to a disconnect of the reader from what the writer intended.

Connectives to use in an essay are carefully assembled and creatively applied to achieve a top-notch piece. The writer should ensure that the sentences make sense to him/her first before settling on special connectors for essays.

In the following extensive paragraphs, we are going to explore some of these top connective words and phrases. Where possible, a sentence example may be added for each connector to give you an idea of how to use the connectives in speech.

Connectors Showing Reason and Cause

They are used when justifying why an action or an event seemed possible or appropriate. Some of the top connector words for reason or cause include:

  • Consequently
  • As a result
  • Seeing that
  • On account of
  • Accordingly
  • It suggests that
  • It follows that
  • For this reason
Example in a Sentence: Because of the government directive, we decided to stay at home.

Connective Words for Adding Information

When writing your essay, you can use such paragraph connectors to emphasize a point. The following are some top-class connectives used to add information.

  • For example
  • To illustrate
  • First, second and third
  • For instance
Model in a Sentence: Apart from washing hands, we can prevent Corona Virus by using a face mask and social distancing.

Connectives for Succession

One can use these transitions for essays when showing the progression of actions or events. They include the following:

  • First of all / firstly
  • To begin with
  • Second / Secondly
  • Third / Thirdly
  • The next stage
Example in a Sentence: To begin with, you have to get your hands, then apply soap, wash for at least 20 seconds and finally dry your hands.

Showing Comparison and Contrast

Connectives in speech used here show either differences or similarities expressed in a particular essay. Examples include:

  • Alternatively
  • In contrast
  • Nevertheless
  • On the other hand
  • On the contrary
  • All the same
Model in a Sentence: Although he stayed indoors, he still contracted the dreaded COVID-19 and died.

Connectives for Expressing Personal Opinion

These are essay connectives used to show a personal view or attitude towards a particular subject. They include:

  • According to my understanding
  • As far as I am concerned
  • I think that
  • in my opinion
  • To tell the truth
  • It is true that
  • To be honest
  • From my point of view
Example in a Sentence: As far as I am concerned, wearing a sweater on a cold day may not be practical as wearing a trench coat.

Connectors for Explaining

Such transition words are used when making an essay idea clear to the reader. One may opt to use the following transition words list.

  • More or less
  • In other words:
  • On the whole
  • To a certain extent
  • Essentially
  • In particular
Example in a sentence: Basically, different types of face masks need a doctor’s authorization before use.

Summarizing Essay Connectors

They are used to mark the conclusion of your essay. The readers can ascertain the finality in your article when such a summarizing connector is used. They include:

  • In conclusion

Connective words ensure clarity and conciseness as much as possible. It can only be achieved when the right words are used to convey your argument.

Do you need writing help to achieve a smarter paper, without generally detracting from your ideas? Contact our able team of professional writers today.

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Formal Linking Words / Cohesive Devices

Linking words can also be referred to as connectors, conjunctions, and cohesive devices. This webpage includes a useful lesson on helping improve students’ knowledge of these linking words. It includes a lesson plan using a kinaesthetic matching activity and worksheet.

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Connecting ideas

How to connect ideas at the sentence and paragraph level in academic writing.

What is cohesion?

Cohesion refers to the way we use vocabulary and grammatical structures to make connections between the ideas within a text. It provides flow and sequence to your work and helps make your paragraphs clear for the reader.

Cohesive devices are words and expressions that show relationships between parts of text and ideas, such as cause and effect, time, addition, or comparison and contrast.

Watch the video to learn how to make your ideas link together and your narrative flow.

How can I create cohesion?

Let’s look at types of cohesive devices.

Linking words

Academic writing usually deals with complex ideas. To enable the reader to follow your thoughts, they need to be clearly and smoothly linked. To join ideas and sentences, we use a number of connecting words and phrases. For example:

Additionally, and, also, apart from this, as well (as), in addition, moreover, further, furthermore.

If, in that case, provided that, unless.

Correspondingly, equally, for the same reason, in a similar manner, in comparison, in the same way, on the one hand, similarly.

Alternatively, although, but, conversely, despite, even so, even though, however, in contrast, in spite of, instead, on the contrary, contrary to, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, on the other hand, rather, still, though, yet, whereas, while.

Again, in fact, interestingly, indeed, it should be noted (that), more important(ly), most importantly, to repeat, (un)fortunately, unquestionably.

A further instance of this is..., an example of this is…, for example, for instance, such as, thus, as follows.

In other words, more simply, namely, simply put, to put it differently / another way, such as, that is.

A / the consequence of, because, due to, for, the effect of …, since, the result of …

Accordingly, as a result/consequence, consequently, for this reason, hence, so, therefore, thus.

Admittedly, although, clearly though, even though, however, indeed, obviously.

As a rule, for the most part, generally, in general, in most cases, normally, on the whole, usually.

First, second, third (etc), next, before, earlier, finally, following, given the above, later, meanwhile, subsequently, then, to conclude, while.

A note about presentation and style

Check a usage guide for exact rules for punctuation. Many introductory phrases have a comma after them. For example, 'therefore,' and 'in addition,'.

Referring backwards

To avoid repeating words and phrases many times, we use cohesive devices to make references to other parts of a text, such as:

  • Pronouns: it, he, she, his, her, they, their
  • Demonstratives: this, that, these, those
  • Articles: a, the
  • Adverbs: previously, subsequently

The Australian prime minister has called an early election. The date was selected to coincide with the start of the Olympic Games. This decision was based on the views of his ministerial advisors, who predicted that voter confidence in the government’s policies would be strong at this time . As previously mentioned , decisions on the timing of elections are based on predictions of voter confidence in the existing government.

In the example above:

  • The date - refers back to the election date
  • This decision - refers to the prime minister calling an early election
  • His - refers to the Australian prime minister
  • this time - refers to the start of the Olympic Games
  • As previously mentioned - refers to all of the earlier information about the selection of election dates

Looking forward

We often use words and phrases to highlight new information for the reader. This helps make a smooth transition from one point to another. Such phrases include: the following, as follows, below, next, subsequently .

The following dates have been proposed for the forthcoming election: September 8, September 15 and 3 October.

The next issue to be discussed is the influence of the media on voter confidence in the government.

Connecting paragraphs

Apart from using the linking words / phrases above, showing the link between paragraphs could involve writing ‘hand-holding’ sentences. These are sentences that link back to the ideas of the previous paragraph. For instance, when outlining the positive and negative issues about a topic you could use the following:

Example (from beginning of previous paragraph):

  • One of the main advantages of X is…

When you are ready to move your discussion to the negative issues, you could write one of the following as a paragraph opener:

  • Having considered the positive effects of X, negative issues may now need to be taken into account…
  • Despite the positive effects outlined above, negative issues also need to be considered...

It is always important to make paragraphs part of a coherent whole text; they must not remain isolated units.

Checking for paragraph links in your own work

When you are editing your next written assignment, ask yourself the following questions as you read through your work (Gillett, Hammond, & Martala, 2009):

  • Does the start of my paragraph give my reader enough information about what the paragraph will be about?
  • Does my paragraph add to or elaborate on a point made previously and, if so, have I made this explicit with an appropriate linking word / phrase?
  • Does my paragraph introduce a completely new point or a different viewpoint to before and, if so, have I explicitly shown this with a suitable connective?
  • Have I used similar connectives repeatedly? If yes, try to vary them using the above list.

Strategies to improve cohesion

  • Select a piece of writing, preferably from a textbook or journal article, from your area of study.
  • Choose a paragraph and underline or highlight all the different forms of cohesion used, such as using linking words, referring backwards, looking forwards or adding synonyms.
  • Which forms are the most common?
  • Choose a couple that you think are effective and practice using them in your own writing.
  • Try to use a variety of ways to show the relationship between your ideas.

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Linking Words: List of Sentence Connectors in English with Examples!

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Struggling to connect ideas? ‘Connectors in English’ have your back. Connect, express, and impress – all with Connectors in English!

Connectors Definition

Linker Words or Word Connectors are used to link large groups of words: phrases and sentences . You can also use them to connect paragraphs to give them coherence. Sentence connectors are usually placed at the beginning of a sentence and may be categorized as follows:

  • This restaurant has the best kitchen in town. However, their staff are quite rude.


  • House prices have gone up this year. In contrast, car prices seem to be stagnating.


  • I was in so much pain I didn’t want to get up in the morning. Nevertheless, I went to football practice as usual.


  • I don’t think Sean has serious behavioural problems. Nonetheless, I’ll talk to him first thing in the morning.
  • I’ve asked you a thousand times not to leave your dirty socks on the floor. Yet, you keep doing it.


  • England has the best language schools. On the other hand, it has the worst weather.


  • Going out with Jim has its risks. By comparison, being with Tim is as easy as falling off a log.


  • I don’t hate Jim. On the contrary, I’m rather fond of him.
  • I didn’t want to take a side in the argument. Instead, I put my headphones on and listened to some smooth jazz.


  • I was thinking of going round Jim’s place. In any case, I haven’t been invited.


  • Yes, he’s very good-looking. All the same, I don’t think you should go out with him.

Read more: Other ways to say ON THE OTHER HAND!

transition in a sentence



  • You can’t give your phone number to every man who asks for it. Likewise, you can’t go out with everyone who fancies you.


  • You’re not allowed to use your phone here. Similarly, you have to switch it off when you’re in the library.


  • She’s an excellent photographer. Correspondingly, her paintings are works of art.


  • Cutting down on sugar will help you lose weight. In the same way, doing more exercise will help you get rid of a few kilos.
  • I want to talk to Prince Harry when I’m in England. Also, I want to meet his sister-in-law.

Read more: Difference between COMPARED TO and COMPARED WITH

linker words


  • I’ve done a pranic healing course. As a result, I’ve been able to cure my neighbour’s sick cat.


  • Zack has skipped school on many occasions. As a consequence, he’s failed his French test.


  • We’re going to experience some meteor showers in the next few days. Therefore, the number of miraculous self-healings will rise.
  • You didn’t tell me you wanted to come. Thus, we won’t be taking you with us.


  • Plenty of tourists visit the area in summer. Accordingly, selling hand-made objects is the main source of income for locals.

Read more: 6 Ways to Improve Your English Writing Skills




  • First of all, I’d like to talk about the benefits of having a pet pig.


  • To begin with, pet pigs are cleaner than dogs.


  • For one thing, they’re completely loyal to their owners.


  • Secondly, their impressive numeracy skills must be mentioned.


  • For another thing, you might want to consider how cute they look in pyjamas.


  • In the third place, you can always count on your pet pig to perform some tricks for you when you’d like to impress a pretty girl.
  • Also, they don’t eat much.
  • Besides not eating much, they won’t ever chew on your electric cords.


  • In addition, they can be taught to feed themselves if you allow them access to your pantry.


  • Furthermore, they make wonderful walking buddies.


  • Moreover, they’ll show you the way home when you’re drunk.


  • Finally, pet pigs are fantastic guards. No burglar would ever have the heart to hurt a pet pig.


  • Lastly, your reputation as an eccentric will rapidly grow in the neighbourhood if you’re seen walking a pet pig on a leash every morning.

Read more: 18 Powerful Websites to Improve Your Writing Skills in English




  • I’d like to talk to you about how to keep calm at your workplace. Most importantly, never go to the canteen while your boss is there.


  • You’ll have to focus on your immediate surroundings. Primarily, on your computer screen.


  • Above all, don’t ever look up from your notes when people are around.


  • Most significantly, avoid eye-contact at all costs.

5. ESSENTIALLY, BASICALLY (usually spoken)

  • How can I put this? Essentially, having an affair with one of your colleagues should be the last thing on your mind.

Read more: 7 Special Apps To Quickly Improve Your Typing Speed




  • Nearly a third of marriages end in divorce. In particular, it’s middle-aged couples that yearn for much more from life.


  • Couples tend to argue about financial issues. More specifically, they argue when one of them is out of work.

Read more: How Many Types of Expressions there are in English?

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  • To solve this problem, you might want to try making small gestures. For example, making your spouse’s favourite meal for dinner or giving him a massage after a tiring day.


  • Appreciate the small things your spouse does for you. For instance, leave thank-you notes for them every now and then.


  • Misunderstandings can be highly destructive. To illustrate, if your spouse sees you with a friend of the opposite sex in a café, he might not understand why he hasn’t been invited and demand an explanation.

Read more: Other ways to say for example?



  • Keep romance alive. That is to say, don’t let your lovelife fall into routine.
  • I have a very good reason for not trusting my ex. Namely, he’s a convicted felon.


  • Don’t be unsociable. In other words, go out and make some friends.


  • John has managed to get over Jane. Put differently, he’s started seeing other women.

Read more: 10 Common English Expressions with Explanation (Video)



  • I love sleeping with my pet pig. As a matter of fact, I can’t fall asleep unless he’s in my bed.
  • I told them not to invite Rachel to the party. In fact, I was the only person who saw what a party pooper she really was.


  • I think it would be a good idea to send her some flowers. Actually, you should get her a hundred orchids.
  • He may be the best-dressed man around. Indeed, he has a really good taste in fashion.

Read more: Essential Academic Writing Examples and Phrases!


1. AS FOR (often suggests disinterest or dislike)

  • I’m going to Janet’s party at the weekend. As for Mary’s, I think I’ll pass.


  • Starting your own IT company may be the one of the best things you can do right now. With respect to opening a pet shop, it’s hard to say the same thing.


  • Start your day with making the most important phone calls. Regarding emails, you might put them off until later.


  • With regard to handling complaints, you might want to keep in mind that your customers are always right.


  • Working from home has many advantages. As regards disadvantages, it might be difficult to keep your cat off your keyboard.


  • Talking of cats, you can’t trust them to keep you company when you need it. They’re quite selfish creatures.


  • As far as dogs are concerned, they might give you a chance to get up from your desk and get some exercise during the day.

Read more: English Grammar: Sentence Structure in English



  • In conclusion, it may be said that pigs make the best pets.


  • Meeting my boss at the pub was an interesting experience. In brief, it was a disaster.


  • In summary, it may not be the best idea to frequent the same pubs as your boss.


  • To sum up, some people are better suited to working from home than others.


  • All in all, you have to make sure both you and your customers are satisfied with your work.

Read more: What are the other ways to say in conclusion ?


  • I thought it was a good idea to get a ferret. Rather, it had always been my dream to get one.


  • You might want to change a few things. To be more precise, I think you should start again from scratch.

Read more: Best English Grammar and Spelling Checkers Online


  • It wasn’t a piece of cake to learn English. At first, I couldn’t pronounce all the words correctly.
  • Then, I couldn’t spell all the words correctly.


  • Afterwards, I had a hard time understanding the tenses.
  • Later, I couldn’t memorize phrasal verbs and idioms.


  • In the meantime, I was getting some help from MyEnglishTeacher .


  • Meanwhile, I was enjoying my skype lessons more and more.

Read more: A Visual List of 100 English IDIOMS FOR TIME with Examples


(of what was said before)

  • I couldn’t get my head around the Passive Voice. Anyway, I don’t think it’s important to use it all the time.
  • Anyhow, I’ve just decided to learn Russian next.


  • At any rate, I don’t want to become a simultaneous interpreter in five languages.

Linking Words Quiz › TEST YOURSELF

  • As far as / thinking
  • As far as / concerned
  • However / asked
  • As for / treated
  • Likewise / equally
  • Another / like
  • Just as / so too
  • To begin with
  • Nevertheless
  • On the other hand
  • Furthermore
  • Accordingly
  • All the same
  • In particular
  • In the back
  • For one thing
  • Subsequently
  • Despite this
  • On top of that
  • In other words
  • Along those lines
  • In contrast
  • At any rate
  • Firstly / Secondly
  • Now / Later
  • Soon / After
  • Before / After
  • On the other side
  • As a result

👉  Connectors Synonyms

Connectors are not only used in grammar . Connectors are things that are used to connect or tether two, or more, things together. There are many different synonyms for connectors:

  • Bond, coupling, joint, link, adapter, clamp, fastener, junction, tie, terminal, plug, fitting, splicing, fastener, sleeve, etc.

👉  Sentence Definition

A sentence is a set of words that forms a coherent and complete thought and message. This means that a sentence says something concrete. It has to be structured and logical in order for the sentence to be correct.

Sentences are made up of various parts , such as: nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, articles, etc. Within a sentence, there are parts that relate the thought and message , such as: subject, predicate, object, phrase, punctuation, etc. Each of these parts is important for a sentence to be complete.

Through sentences we tell other people what we think, feel, or what we want to do . In order to relate those thoughts we string together words into groups. These finally relate our message to other people and the world.

There are four different types of sentences , and each has its own specific goal and structure. These types are: declarative, imperative, interrogative, and exclamatory.


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Complex Sentences and Compound Complex Sentences in English

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One of the best posts I’ve ever read here. Congrats!!

It’s awesome so useful and practical thanks a million. I’m gonna share it with my friends.

Daniel Deressa

I liked it so much. Thank you Mr/Mrs tutor.

Durga Karki

Indeed, it refreshing our vocabulary


Thank you very much!! This must be by far one of the greatest post I’ve seen to improve my writing skills and expand the vocabulary of connectors. Therefore 😉 , I will add to my list of resources and share with my friends

So glad! 😃❤️


Thanks a ton, teacher!

Sure, anytime!

Simran kalsi

Thankyou soo muchhh for this usefull info..

pathmawathy anuratharan

Thank you so much for this useful

Mathew TD

Excellent exercise

My great thanks

It is highly appreciated


Thanks a lot

you are welcome!


Helpful post! You have nicely divided all the connectors in group like result, time, explanation, conclusion …. and present them with accurate examples. Everything is easy to grab. Thanks for sharing this rare post.

Thank you so much Mohan! I’m glad you loved it!

Akande Kola

Thanks for this usefull lessons. They are highly educattive.

Thank you so much!


So far this is the best post I’ve ever seen. I find it hard to use those connectors in statements. I can speak basic English and sometimes not concise with my statements because I’m not good in using connectors in English. Thank you for this great post. It will help a lot of speakers to become articulate with the language.

Thank you so much Oscar for your feedback!


Thanks millions for posting the tables of connecting sentences. Have a great life


I love this array of connectors. Great selections to fit our lesson. Thank you to all who are part of this website and contributors. God bless you all!


Thank you so much Mica.

Concept Mastery

Linker words, also known as sentence connectors, play a crucial role in connecting phrases, sentences, and paragraphs for enhanced coherence in writing. In terms of contrast, words like “however,” “in contrast,” and “nevertheless” emphasize opposing ideas. For expressing similarity, “likewise,” “similarly,” and “correspondingly” are effective. Result-oriented connectors include “as a result,” “therefore,” and “accordingly,” signaling outcomes or consequences. These words help create a logical flow within text, ensuring a smooth transition between ideas. Whether highlighting differences, similarities, or results, these connectors contribute to cohesive and well-structured writing, facilitating the comprehension of complex information.


Its very useful , thank you.

Thank you so much Himali!


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Linking Words and Phrases: connectives in essays

Linking Words and Phrases: connectives in essays

Subject: English

Age range: 14-16

Resource type: Worksheet/Activity


Last updated

22 February 2018

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A resourse that is aimed at helping pupils structure their essay correctly. It provides lists of connectives that students can use to provide structure, sum up, compare or contrast, persuade or analyse in essays.

Tes classic free licence

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Many thanks. I will use this in the New year.

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Useful for writing plans, improving power of speech, etc.

Handy for talking about informal connectives.<br />

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There are words in the English language that act like glue to help you stick your sentences together and show the relationships between the ideas that you want to express. These words are called 'connectives' (or 'linking words'). Connectives help your essay 'flow' and read more coherently. More specifically, connectives help you:

  • illustrate a point,
  • compare and contrast ideas,
  • sequence ideas,
  • conclude or summarise ideas,
  • show a causal relatioship.

Are you in the process of proof-reading your essay? See if you can add a few of these words, especially at the beginnings of sentences.

  • as a result of
  • at the same time
  • consequently
  • echoing this
  • even though
  • firstly... secondly...
  • following on from this
  • for instance / for example
  • for this reason
  • furthermore
  • in addition
  • in conclusion
  • in spite of 
  • in the same vein 
  • nevertheless
  • nonetheless
  • not only... but also...
  • notwithstanding
  • now we look at
  • on the one hand
  • on the other hand
  • one reason why...

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  • Connectives and Linking Words

This section is all about aconnetcives and linking phrases.

Levels of Difficulty : Elementary Intermediate Advanced

  • CON016 - IN ORDER TO - SO THAT - IN CASE Intermediate
  • CON015 - Connectives and linking words Intermediate
  • CON014 - Connectives and linking words Intermediate
  • CON013 - Connectives and linking words Intermediate
  • CON012 - SO and NEITHER Advanced
  • CON011 - Linking words and phrases Advanced
  • CON010 - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Intermediate
  • CON009 - Linking Words - ALTHOUGH - IN SPITE OF - BECAUSE - BECAUSE OF Intermediate
  • CON008 - Linking Words Intermediate
  • CON007 - Linking Words Intermediate
  • CON006 - WHICH or WHAT Elementary
  • CON005 - Connectives - Sentences Advanced
  • CON004 - Connectives - Sentences Intermediate
  • CON003 - Environmental Problems Intermediate
  • CON002 - Nice to hear from you - Linking words Elementary
  • CON001 - Connectives - Sentences Elementary
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IELTS Podcast

Connectors in English

There are a number of connectors in the English Language that can be used to help you show contrast, similarity, outcome, result, sequence and order or relevance or importance, exemplification, emphasis, explanation, dismissal, summarising or concluding, particularising, focusing, timing, and correction.

Connectors are especially useful when it comes to your IELTS writing exam and the Speaking exam.  

Below is a list of all the connectors in the English language categorized by what they are used for.

There are also examples to help you see how they are applied. 

Connectors for the Writing and Speaking Exam

  • Likewise (can be used for both the writing and speaking tests)

In his budget the Minister of Finance increased spending on higher education, he likewise improved spending on social development.

  • In the same way (can be used for both the writing and speaking tests)

Religious doctrine is used to teach people right from wrong in the same way as fables were used to teach simple human truths.

  • Similarly (can be used for both the writing and speaking tests)

Italian painters are renowned for their innovative works. The Greeks are similarly known for their philosophies.

  • Also (can be used for both the writing and speaking, but there are more academic sounding alternatives to “also” to use in your essays). 

Employees of any large organisation expect fair treatment. They also expect to earn a fair wage.

  • Correspondingly (writing)

The cost of living in large cities is higher than in the country but the salaries are correspondingly higher.

  • Simultaneously (writing)

Most governments simultaneously tackle crime and unemployment as they are seen as two sides of the same coin.

  • In the same breath (writing)

Many countries express the view that climate change must be halted. In the same breath they throw suspicion on the whole global warming issue. 

Connectors for Outcome and Result (writing)  

  • Therefore (ok for both)

Most governments believe in the importance of education. They are, therefore, willing to invest large amounts of money in improving the quality of the education.

  • As a consequenc e (ok for both)

The nuclear disaster at Fukushima was worse than the scientists had anticipated. As a consequence the Japanese government has changed the way that nuclear power plants are built. 

  • Thus (more for writing)

The local council received additional funding for the arts. They were, thus able to renovate the art gallery on the city centre. 

  • As a result (neutral, can be used in the speaking and in your essays)

It rains quite often in Europe, as a result, most Europeans tend to vacation in sunnier destinations.

  • Accordingly (writing)

The quality of products started to decrease rapidly so the government acted accordingly and started to inspect all incoming goods. 

Contrast (writing)

  • Nonetheless

Humans only use on average about 10% of their brains. They are, nonetheless , able to compute huge amounts of data, coming up with ever more innovative ideas.

  • Nevertheless

I really wasn’t feeling very well, I, nevertheless , went to work because I had a presentation to do.

  • In contrast

Coastal tourism is on the rise. In contrast , visits to urban areas are declining as people reduce business travel and confine meetings to video conferencing.

The government planned to re-introduce the death penalty. There was, however , a public outcry and they had to halt the legislation.

Today most people are aware of the dangers of smoking and yet many people continue to damage their health by smoking

  • All the same (more suited for spoken English)

Tourists are often drawn by inner city art otherwise known as graffiti. All the same many city councils regularly remove the art. 

  • In any case (more for spoken English)

The much anticipated outdoor exhibition was called off at the last minute. In any case the weather was awful so the exhibition would not have drawn many visitors

  • Instead (ok for both)

America should consider amending their gun laws, instead , they ignore the problem.

  • On the contrary (ok for both)

The curator of the museum was of the opinion that the Antiquities room would draw the most interest. He found, on the contrary , that the natural sciences display was much more popular.

  • By comparison (ok for writing)

Tourism in the 20th century has been driven by the availability of high speed transport. By comparison , in the 19th century, tourists had to rely on ships and trains to get to their destinations. 

  • On the other hand (more used in writing but can be used when speaking too)

Some people contend that antibacterial soaps and detergents are good because they ensure a bacteria free environment. On the other hand , there are those who disagree arguing that ridding the environment of microbes robs us of the ability to form an immune response.  

Connectors to illustrate a sequence (speaking)

  • For one thing

He was asked why he seldom read the newspapers. His reply “For one thing, the news is depressing, for another, I prefer to spend my spare time watching documentaries.”

  • To begin with

He found that the work was easy to begin with , but it got progressively more difficult as he went along.

  • For another thing

People with common sense should quit smoking. For one thing it costs a fortune. For another thing it is dangerous and can lead to a number of nasty diseases. 

The charity was looking for volunteer workers to man the stalls. They also needed people who were prepared to stay overnight and look after the valuable goods that would go on sale over the weekend.

Connectors to illustrate a sequence (writing)

  • First, Firstly, In the first place, First of all

The local council should not allow people to sleep on the streets in the first place.

  • Second, Secondly, In the second place

It is first and foremost the government’s responsibility create employment. In the second place they should ensure that employers treat their workers fairly and with respect.

  • Third, Thirdly, In the third place

In seeking employment she wanted to ensure that she followed her dreams. Secondly she wanted a decent wage and thirdly she hoped that there were opportunities for promotion. 

  • Last, Lastly, Last of all (can also be used in your speaking)

Lastly it is the responsibility of the most senior member of staff to ensure that the offices are locked and secured at the end of the day

  • In addition

The organisation offered to make amends for any problems that had been caused by the misinformation that had been published in their magazine. In addition , they discounted the next edition of the glossy publication.

Besides the medical aid costing too much, it fails to offer even the most basic of out of hospital services

Over the years computers have become more and more powerful, moreover they have also become less expensive.

  • Furthermore

The houses in the neighbourhood were large and spacious. Furthermore , they had easy access to public transport. 

The shipment of computers was three weeks late, but when it finally arrived the staff agreed that the quality and high speed made the wait worthwhile. 

Order of relevance or importance

  • Most importantly (suitable for both the speaking and the writing tests)

We should discuss how to maintain a work life balance, most importantly , how organisations can ensure that employees are not overworked.

  • Most significantly (suitable for both the speaking and the writing tests)

The president said that the year ahead would be different. Most significantly he indicated that he would re-allocate funding to obtaining additional resources.

  • Essentially, Basically (suitable for both the speaking and the writing tests)

The manager said that it was basically the responsibility of every employee to ensure that the customers were delighted with the service that they received.

  • Above all (suitable for both the speaking and the writing tests)

The leader of the opposition said that it was his responsibility to ensure that the government was transparent. Above all he was concerned that corruption is kept at bay. 

  • Primarily (more common to write this word than say it) 

The government is primarily responsible for the welfare of the people.

Exemplification – Giving Examples

  • For example (suitable for both)

If, for example , we could put the well-being of others before ourselves the world would be a much happier place for all. 

  • For instance (suitable for both)

Modern urban populations are battling lifestyle diseases brought on by obesity. Diabetes, for instance , is growing in prevalence and more and more people have to take chronic medication. 

  • To illustrate

Misinformation can cause many disagreements. To illustrate , a company advertising goods at an incorrect price could lead to disgruntled customers.

  • In fact (suitable for both)

It could be argued that trade sanctions are trouble for the economy. In fact , many would say that the imposition of sanctions could start a war.

  • Actually (more commonly found when speaking)

The doctor thought that the patient had measles when, actually , it was something far more severe.

  • As a matter of fact (more commonly found when speaking)

What most people fail to understand is that travelling isn’t for everyone, as a matter of fact , many people prefer to settle down in one place.

  • Indeed (could be difficult to use this phrase naturally in spoken English, therefore better for the writing). 

Indeed , it may be a lot easier to just give up on passing your driver’s licence test.


  • Namely (suitable for both)

The teacher had pointed out various countries around the world, namely, Portugal, Brazil, India and Australia.

  • That is to say (that is) (more suitable for spoken English)

He was not found guilty in a court of law that is to say he walked out scot free. 

  • Put differently (“in other words” can also be used) (use this in spoken English)

It gets really busy during the holiday season and the beaches tend to get crowded, put differently, rather go to the beach before the holiday season starts.

  • In other words (more suitable for speaking)

There is much to discuss before choosing to start a family, in other words, think before you rush into it.

Dismissal (dismissing what has been said prior)

  • Anyhow (definitely a spoken phrase, not academic)

Anyhow, I’ll just take the next train instead.

  • At any rate

At any rate, learning a new language will not be easy.

  • Anyway (informal)

Anyway, I will leave the function early.

Summarising or Concluding

  • In summary (formal)

In summary, I have come to the realisation that communication plays a big role in the success of a team.

  • To sum up (both informal and formal)

To sum up my thoughts, I think choosing a single piece of art from a couple hundred is rather difficult.

  • In conclusion (academic written English)

In conclusion, winning isn’t necessarily the most important thing, it’s the way you played the game.

  • In brief (spoken English)

In brief, today’s headlines were depressing.

  • All in all (spoken English)

The project turned out okay, all in all, I think everyone did a fantastic job.


  • Most specifically (ok for both)

Eating vegetables is very good for eyesight, most specifically, carrots are thought to improve your night vision.

  • In particular, particularly (ok for both)

Nearly a third of teenage girls will experience some form of abuse, in particular, physical abuse by a boyfriend.

Focusing and Linking

  • With respect to (ok for both)

With respect to the contract, we regret that we are unable to accept the terms and conditions.

  • Regarding (ok for both)

Regarding the proposal, we regret that we are unable to agree with some of your requirements. 

  • With regard to (more formal, better for the writing test)

With regard to your application for employment, I regret to inform you that you have not succeeded in securing the job. 

  • As for (ok for both)

The entire dance troupe failed to impress the judges. As for the main dancer the less said the better.

  • As far as (ok for both)

As far as I could see the travel destination was more than adequate for what we had in mind. 

  • Talking of / speaking of (speaking test)

Talking of relocating, do you know where you going to stay? Have you found and apartment?

  • When it comes to

Sometimes when it comes to debating it is best to let your opponent have the last word.

  • Then (ok for both)

The municipal workers went on a day long course, then they took an exam. 

  • Afterwards (ok for both)

The Olympic team practiced for the bulk of the day. Afterwards they relaxed and spent time with their families

  • At First (ok for both)

At first, I wasn’t sure how to start my preparation for the IELTS test and then I discovered IELTS Podcast.

  • Meanwhile (ok for both)

The US and China are fighting over import duties, meanwhile the world economy is suffering.

  • Later (ok for both)

I went to university to study accounting, later , I changed to engineering.

  • In the mean time (ok for both)

I plan to go to university next year. In the mean time I’d like to travel abroad.

  • To be more precise (ok for both)

I was not referring to a single doctrine, to be more precise I meant that I believe that all religions are biased.

  • Rather (ok for both)

She wanted to be a dentist rather than a doctor.

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Guest Essay

When Your Technical Skills Are Eclipsed, Your Humanity Will Matter More Than Ever

A graphic depicting a door being opened to  reveals a handshake, a cup of a coffee, a briefcase and a swirl of colors.

By Aneesh Raman and Maria Flynn

Mr. Raman is a work force expert at LinkedIn. Ms. Flynn is the president of Jobs for the Future.

There have been just a handful of moments over the centuries when we have experienced a huge shift in the skills our economy values most. We are entering one such moment now. Technical and data skills that have been highly sought after for decades appear to be among the most exposed to advances in artificial intelligence. But other skills, particularly the people skills that we have long undervalued as soft, will very likely remain the most durable. That is a hopeful sign that A.I. could usher in a world of work that is anchored more, not less, around human ability.

A moment like this compels us to think differently about how we are training our workers, especially the heavy premium we have placed on skills like coding and data analysis that continue to reshape the fields of higher education and worker training. The early signals of what A.I. can do should compel us to think differently about ourselves as a species. Our abilities to effectively communicate, develop empathy and think critically have allowed humans to collaborate, innovate and adapt for millenniums. Those skills are ones we all possess and can improve, yet they have never been properly valued in our economy or prioritized in our education and training. That needs to change.

In today’s knowledge economy, many students are focused on gaining technical skills because those skills are seen as the most competitive when it comes to getting a good job. And for good reason. For decades, we have viewed those jobs as future-proof, given the growth of technology companies and the fact that engineering majors land the highest-paying jobs .

The number of students seeking four-year degrees in computer science and information technology shot up 41 percent between the spring of 2018 and the spring of 2023, while the number of humanities majors plummeted. Workers who didn’t go to college and those who needed additional skills and wanted to take advantage of a lucrative job boom flocked to dozens of coding boot camps and online technical programs.

Now comes the realization of the power of generative A.I., with its vast capabilities in skills like writing, programming and translation. (Microsoft, which owns LinkedIn, is a major investor in the technology.) LinkedIn researchers recently looked at which skills any given job requires and then identified over 500 likely to be affected by generative A.I. technologies. They then estimated that 96 percent of a software engineer’s current skills — mainly proficiency in programming languages — can eventually be replicated by A.I. Skills associated with jobs like legal associates and finance officers will also be highly exposed.

In fact, given the broad impact A.I. is set to have, it is quite likely to affect all of our work to some degree or another.

We believe there will be engineers in the future, but they will most likely spend less time coding and more time on tasks like collaboration and communication. We also believe that there will be new categories of jobs that emerge as a result of A.I.’s capabilities — just like we’ve seen in past moments of technological advancement — and that those jobs will probably be anchored increasingly around people skills.

Circling around this research is the big question emerging across so many conversations about A.I. and work, namely: What are our core capabilities as humans?

If we answer that question from a place of fear about what’s left for people in the age of A.I., we can end up conceding a diminished view of human capability. Instead, it’s critical for us all to start from a place that imagines what’s possible for humans in the age of A.I. When you do that, you find yourself focusing quickly on people skills that allow us to collaborate and innovate in ways technology can amplify but never replace. And you find yourself — whatever the role or career stage you’re in — with agency to better manage this moment of historic change.

Communication is already the most in-demand skill across jobs on LinkedIn today. Even experts in A.I. are observing that the skills we need to work well with A.I. systems, such as prompting, are similar to the skills we need to communicate and reason effectively with other people.

Over 70 percent of executives surveyed by LinkedIn last year said soft skills were more important to their organizations than highly technical A.I. skills. And a recent Jobs for the Future survey found that 78 percent of the 10 top-employing occupations classified uniquely human skills and tasks as “important” or “very important.” These are skills like building interpersonal relationships, negotiating between parties and guiding and motivating teams.

Now is the time for leaders, across sectors, to develop new ways for students to learn that are more directly, and more dynamically, tied to where our economy is going, not where it has been. Critically, that involves bringing the same level of rigor to training around people skills that we have brought to technical skills.

Colleges and universities have a critical role to play. Over the past few decades, we have seen a prioritization of science and engineering, often at the expense of the humanities. That calibration will need to be reconsidered.

Those not pursuing a four-year degree should look for those training providers that have long emphasized people skills and are invested in social capital development.

Employers will need to be educators not just around A.I. tools but also on people skills and people-to-people collaboration. Major employers like Walmart and American Airlines are already exploring ways to put A.I. in the hands of employees so they can spend less time on routine tasks and more time on personal engagement with customers.

Ultimately, for our society, this comes down to whether we believe in the potential of humans with as much conviction as we believe in the potential of A.I. If we do, it is entirely possible to build a world of work that not only is more human but also is a place where all people are valued for the unique skills they have, enabling us to deliver new levels of human achievement across so many areas that affect all of our lives, from health care to transportation to education. Along the way, we could meaningfully increase equity in our economy, in part by addressing the persistent gender gap that exists when we undervalue skills that women bring to work at a higher percentage than men.

Almost anticipating this moment a few years ago, Minouche Shafik, who is now the president of Columbia University, said: “In the past, jobs were about muscles. Now they’re about brains, but in the future, they’ll be about the heart.”

The knowledge economy that we have lived in for decades emerged out of a goods economy that we lived in for millenniums, fueled by agriculture and manufacturing. Today the knowledge economy is giving way to a relationship economy, in which people skills and social abilities are going to become even more core to success than ever before. That possibility is not just cause for new thinking when it comes to work force training. It is also cause for greater imagination when it comes to what is possible for us as humans not simply as individuals and organizations but as a species.

Aneesh Raman is a vice president and work force expert at LinkedIn. Maria Flynn is the president of Jobs for the Future.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , X and Threads .

An earlier version of this article misstated the group surveyed in a poll on worker skills. The respondents were executives in the United States, not executives at LinkedIn.

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    academic writing linkers essay writing thesis ESL English It's very common for students to use long words they don't understand very well in their essays and theses because they have a certain idea of what academic writing should be. Many students believe that academic writing is wordy and convoluted, and uses a lot of jargon.

  6. Connectors in English: How to Use Them to Make Your English Flow

    (Download) What Are English Connectors? English connectors are little words and phrases that help you connect sentences, paragraphs and ideas. Used both in spoken and written English, they help make your English sound more logical and structured.

  7. Writing: Flow and Coherence

    Connectives link sentences, phrases and ideas in your writing to guide your reader through your work. Transition terms are a type of connective that specifically indicates some kind of change or development.

  8. Essay Connectives

    Essay connectors are words or phrases used to show the logical relationship between the points. They help to achieve an essay flow - preventing the essay from appearing as a loose collection of points, among which the reader 'jumps about' randomly.

  9. Linking words in academic writing / AEUK

    Free Download Linking: Cohesion & Coherence Worksheet This worksheet helps to consolidate what is 'cohesion' with a focus on pronouns, word forms and summary nouns. It also includes a coherence sheet on key connections and two practice activities. Example Level: ***** [B2/C1] / Webpage Link / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP

  10. Connecting ideas

    To join ideas and sentences, we use a number of connecting words and phrases. For example: Addition To add an idea. Additionally, and, also, apart from this, as well (as), in addition, moreover, further, furthermore. Condition to provide a condition. If, in that case, provided that, unless. For comparison To show how things are similar.

  11. Linking Words, Connecting Words: Full List and Useful Examples

    Linking words (connecting words) are something we need to know in any style of writing, because it helps the reader to follow the flow of what you are saying. Whether it's an argument in an essay, or an epic scene in a fantasy novel, your reader needs to be able to follow what you are saying.

  12. 17 Connective Words To Enhance the Quality of Your English Essays

    Mar 7, 2023, 12:49 AM IST in Career Guidance 0 As the name suggests, connective words connect two clauses or sentences. They are used to convey thoughts and ideas more effectively. They are an important part of creative writing as they render coherence to the topic.

  13. Linking words

    Full stops and commas. Read three versions of a text about running and decide which is the best in terms of punctuation. This reading and writing activity will help you practise the correct use of full stops and commas. B1-B2. 0-5 minutes.

  14. Linking words and phrases guide for KS3 English students

    Learn how to connect ideas in your writing, join sentences and paragraphs to make writing easier to follow, and use connectives to compare and contrast with this guide for KS3 English students ...

  15. Linking Words: List of Sentence Connectors in English [UPDATED]

    Melinda Makkos - September 9, 2023 28 1097170 Struggling to connect ideas? 'Connectors in English' have your back. Connect, express, and impress - all with Connectors in English! Connectors Definition Linker Words or Word Connectors are used to link large groups of words: phrases and sentences.

  16. Linking Words and Phrases: connectives in essays

    doc, 29 KB. A resourse that is aimed at helping pupils structure their essay correctly. It provides lists of connectives that students can use to provide structure, sum up, compare or contrast, persuade or analyse in essays. to let us know if it violates our terms and conditions. Our customer service team will review your report and will be in ...

  17. Extended essay: Connectives

    Connectives help your essay 'flow' and read more coherently. More specifically, connectives help you: illustrate a point, compare and contrast ideas, sequence ideas, conclude or summarise ideas, show a causal relatioship. Are you in the process of proof-reading your essay?

  18. Connectives, Conjunctions & Clauses

    What are connectives and how can they improve your writing? Learn the definition and examples of connectives, conjunctions and clauses with this informative teaching wiki from Twinkl. Find out how to use connectives to link words, sentences and paragraphs in different types of texts. Explore more resources and activities on connectives and other aspects of English language and grammar on Twinkl.

  19. Connectives and Linking Phrases

    CON007 - Linking Words Intermediate. CON006 - WHICH or WHAT Elementary. CON005 - Connectives - Sentences Advanced. CON004 - Connectives - Sentences Intermediate. CON003 - Environmental Problems Intermediate. CON002 - Nice to hear from you - Linking words Elementary. CON001 - Connectives - Sentences Elementary.

  20. Linking words for essays translatio…: English ESL worksheets pdf & doc

    Linking words for essays. fromhandtohand. 5738. 85. 92. 0. 1/2. Let's do English ESL translation exercises. In order to create and write accurate paragraphs, you need to know conjuctions , linking words and transitions well.….

  21. Connectors in English

    There are a number of connectors in the English Language that can be used to help you show contrast, similarity, outcome, result, sequence and order or relevance or importance, exemplification, emphasis, explanation, dismissal, summarising or concluding, particularising, focusing, timing, and correction. Connectors are especially useful when it ...

  22. Conjunctions for essay writing: English ESL worksheets pdf & doc

    Conjunctions used in essay writing. Conjunctions (aka connectives, e.g. and, but, or, so, then)

  23. Connectives and Linking Words (B2)

    Connectives and Linking Phrases (B2) CON004 - Connectives and Linking Words. CON003 - Connectives and Linking Phrases. CON002 - Connectives and Linking Phrases. CON001 - Connectives.

  24. The A.I. Economy Will Make Jobs More Human

    Mr. Raman is a work force expert at LinkedIn. Ms. Flynn is the president of Jobs for the Future. There have been just a handful of moments over the centuries when we have experienced a huge shift ...

  25. Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies

    Yilin Wang 王艺霖 (she/they) is a writer, poet and Chinese-English translator. She is the editor and translator of "The Lantern and Night Moths," an anthology of translated Chinese poetry accompanied by her original essays on translation. Her translations have also appeared in POETRY, Guernica, Room, Asymptote, Samovar, The Common, LA Review of Boo...