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Linking Words

Linking words are essential for your writing to be natural and clear.
Linking devices vary in three ways:
1.   Position in the text.
Some linking words normally form a link between clauses WITHIN a sentence. It is bad style to start a sentence
with these words:
and       but            so            because          then                  until                  such as
are examples of this type of linking word.
Another type of linking device is used to form a link BETWEEN sentences. These words must start with a
capital letter and are usually immediately followed by a comma:
Furthermore,            Moreover,             However,            Nevertheless,      Therefore,        In conclusion,
are used in this way.
Most linking words, however, can either start a sentence or form a link between sentences. The choice is up to
the writer.
2.      The function of linking words
Linking devices are neither nouns, nor verbs. They provide a text with cohesion and illustrate how the parts of
the text relate to each other. Here are some of the functions which linking words provide.
Adding extra information to the main point, contrasting ideas, expressing cause and effect, showing exactly when
something happened (narrating), expressing purpose (why?) and opinion, listing examples, making conclusions
and giving emphasis.
3.    Grammatical differences
Some linking words must be followed by a clause (Subject + Verb + Object).
E.g..    while    why          because    although  so    whereas  when
Other linking words should be followed by a noun phrase (Linking word + (the) + Noun/Pronoun or gerund)
E.g..    because of     despite     during       in spite of
The majority of linking devices can be followed by either a noun phrase or a clause.
Here is a list of the principal linking words in English, their function and if their position is usually fixed.
Linking words
Adding and Contrasting Expressing cause / reason
*and *but because
as well as However, as
besides Although since
Moreover, despite This is why
Furthermore, In spite of because of
What is more, Nevertheless, Due to
In addition, On the contrary, Owing to
not only .... but also on the one hand For this reason,
another point is that on the other hand,  
  whereas Expressing effect / result
relative clauses while *so
who                  where but while so....that
that                   ,which In contrast, such a...that
whose              to whom Neither...nor Therefore
when                what Thus
why Consequently,
As a result,
not enough...for/to
Narration Expressing purpose
First (of all) immediately to
At first Once so as to
At the beginning Suddenly in order that
In the beginning As soon as so that
then on for (Non-specific)
next No sooner....than  
Before Hardly...when Expressing opinion
After Finally I would say that
After that Eventually In my opinion,
afterwards At the end I think (that)
When In the end I believe (that)
While At last Personally
during To begin with, Apparently,
Soon until  
prior to
Giving examples Summing up / concluding Emphasis
for example, All in all especially
for instance, overall particularly
For one thing, generally Naturally,
this includes In conclusion, exactly because
such as e.g.. (for example) on the whole above all
i.e. (that is) in the main Whatever
To sum up, Whenever
too / enough
The more ....
* Avoid starting a sentence with these words.
The linking words beginning with a capital letter often start a sentence, For those without, position in a sentence
is optional.
Linking words - Difficult cases
'So' can be used in two ways:
1.      To show RESULT.
E.g.. It was raining, so we decided not to go to the beach.
NOTE! 'because' shows the REASON. The above sentence could be expressed like this:
E.g..    We decided not to go to the beach because it was raining.
2.      So & such used for EMPHASIS.
When used for emphasis, 'So' must be followed by either an adjective or an adverb and must be linked to an
explanation  CLAUSE.
E.g..    It was so hot that we decided not to go to the beach.
OR   We decided not to go to the beach because it was so hot.
NOTE! 'such' is used in the same way, but must be followed by a NOUN or ADJECTIVE+NOUN.
E.g..    It was such a hot day that we decided not to go to the beach.
OR   We decided not to go to the beach because it was such a hot day.
NOTE! When there is no explanation clause, use 'VERY', unless referring to a present situation.
E.g..    It was very hot yesterday, wasn't it?      It's so nice to see you again!
Enough and too
E.g..    You won't pass the exam if you don't work hard enough.
OR   He didn't get the job because he didn't have enough experience.
'enough' can also be used alone.
E.g.. I'll lend you some money if you haven't got enough.
'too' means 'more than necessary' and comes BEFORE ADJECTIVES & ADVERBS ONLY.
E.g..    The coffee was too hot to drink.
But and  However,
'but' is used to CONTRAST  clauses WITHIN A SENTENCE.
E.g..    I like going to the beach, but I never go at midday.
'However,' has the same function, but is used to show CONTRAST BETWEEN SENTENCES.
E.g..    I've always enjoyed going to the beach. However, I never go there at midday.
Although, though, even though & In spite of / despite,
'Although' must join two clauses, but it's position can change. It can either start a sentence or come in the middle.
E.g..            Although it rained a lot, we enjoyed the holiday.
OR       We enjoyed the holiday although it rained a lot.
In spoken English 'though' can be used instead of 'although' when it is used for the second clause.
E.g..       "I didn't get the job though I had all the necessary qualifications."
'though' can also come at the end of a sentence.
E.g..       "The house isn't very nice. I like the garden though."
'Even though' is a stronger form of 'although'.
E.g..       Even though I was really tired, I couldn't sleep.
'In spite of' or 'Despite' must be followed by a NOUN, PRONOUN (this, that, what etc.) or ~ING.
E.g..       In spite of the rain, we went to the beach.
OR       We went to the beach in spite of the rain.
It is common to use the expression 'In spite of the fact (that)....' or  'Despite the fact (that)....'
E.g..       She's quite fit in spite of the fact that she smokes 40 cigarettes a day.
Linking words of time - Still, yet and already
'Still' tells us that an action is continuing, or hasn't happened yet. It has positive, negative and question forms.
E.g..       It's 10 o'clock and John's still in bed.
or         She said that she would be here an hour ago and she still hasn't come.
or         Are you still living in London?
'yet' asks if something has happened, or to say that something hasn't happened. It is mainly used in NEGATIVES
& QUESTIONS and comes at the end of a sentence. 'Yet' is usually used with the present perfect tense.
E.g..       He hasn't finished the report yet.
OR       Is dinner ready yet?
'Already' is used to say that something happened before expected, it usually comes in middle position, but can
also come in final position.  'Already' is not used in negatives and in British English is only used in questions to
show considerable surprise.
E.g..       I'll tell her that dinner is ready.
She already knows.
Have you finished already?! I thought it would take you longer!
In order to understand this type of linking word, you must be clear about the concepts of 'a point in time' and 'a
period of time'. A point in time is the answer to a 'when' question, and a period of time is the answer to a 'how
long' question.
E.g..       Points of time = 6pm, Wednesday, she arrived, summer, 1999, Christmas, five minutes ago.
            Periods of time = 3 seconds, 4 days, ages, 100 years, the Christmas holiday, five minutes.
During and while
Both 'during' and 'while' tell us WHEN something happened. The difference between them is that 'during' is
followed by a noun phrase (no verb), and 'while' is followed by a clause (subject + verb + object).
E.g..       When did you go to Barcelona?
            I went there during my holiday in Europe.
            I went there while I was on holiday in Europe.
'By' means 'at some time before' and tells us when something happens. It is followed by point in time and can be
used for both past and future time.
E.g..       This report must be finished by 6pm.
'By the time' has the same meaning but is followed by a clause. It is common with perfect tenses.
E.g..       By the time we get there the party will have finished.
For, since and until
These words all tell us how long something happens. 'For' focuses on duration and can be used in most tenses. It
is followed by a period of time.
'Since' is only used with perfect tenses and must be followed by a point in time.
E.g..       They stayed in Barcelona for two weeks.
OR       They've been in Barcelona since last Friday. = They are still in Barcelona now.
'Until' also tells us how long something happens, but the focus is on the end of the action or situation. It is
followed by a point in time.
E.g..       They stayed in Barcelona until last Friday. = They left Barcelona last Friday.
Not....any more/longer and no longer
These expressions tell us that a situation has changed. 'not....any more/longer' go at the end of a sentence and 'no
longer' is used in the middle of a sentence.
E.g..       Mr. Jones doesn't work here any longer. OR            She no longer works here.
As & like
'As' and 'like' can be used in COMPARISONS.
E.g..       He worked for the company, as his father had done before him.
OR       She acts like a child sometimes.
'As' can also be followed by a preposition
E.g.. In 1998, as in 1997, inflation in Brazil fell steadily.
'(not) as....as ' + ADJECTIVE or ADVERB shows EQUALITY or INEQUALITY.
E.g..       She isn't as tall as her father was.            OR            The traffic can be as bad in Rio as it is in São Paulo.
'As' can be used to state the ROLE, JOB or FUNCTION of a person or thing.
E.g..       We all worked together as a team.    OR            She worked as a manager in the Human Resources
Department.            OR            He used his handkerchief as a flag to attract attention.
'As' can be used in the same way as 'because'; however, it gives less emphasis than 'because'.
E.g..       As the weather was so bad, we didn't go to the beach.
OR       I bought her some flowers as she had been so kind to me.
'As' tells us that actions occur at the same time.
E.g..       As the door opened, she saw him standing by the wall.
'As' is often used in these common expressions:
As hard as, as soon as, as long as, as well as, as far as, as good as.
E.g..       He can stay here as far as I'm concerned.            You can go as long as you come home early.
'As' is also the preposition used after these verbs:
Regarded as                 see sth. as                     be thought of as                 Be looked on as.
Linking words worksheet - Exercises 
Write the sentence again, using the word in brackets. The meaning must stay exactly the same.

1. She is a very good English speaker. You would think it was her native language.

___________________________________________________________________ (so)

2. There were so many people in the room that we couldn't move.

___________________________________________________________________ (such)

3. We missed the film because there was such a lot of traffic.

___________________________________________________________________ (so)

4. I can't wear this coat in winter, It's not warm enough.

___________________________________________________________________ (too)

5. When he speaks English, I can't understand what he says.

___________________________________________________________________ (enough)

6. We lost the match although we we the better team.

___________________________________________________________________ (despite)

7. In spite of not having eaten for 24 hours, I didn't feel hungry.

___________________________________________________________________ (even though)

8. Despite her injured foot, she managed to walk to the village.

___________________________________________________________________ (although)

9. The football match is still going on.

___________________________________________________________________ (yet)

10. Has Jane got divorced yet?

___________________________________________________________________ (still)

11. Jack used to have long hair and a beard.

___________________________________________________________________ (no longer)

12. I was feeling tired.

___________________________________________________________________ (any longer)

13. I wish I could speak English as well as you do.

___________________________________________________________________ (like)

14. Both in January and in February, the price of basic foods rose.

___________________________________________________________________ (as)

15. He had hoped to do better in the examination.

___________________________________________________________________ (as....as)

16. John is younger than he looks.

___________________________________________________________________ (as....as)

17. Tom is 16 years old, and so is Fred.

___________________________________________________________________ (as....as)

18. He used to be a doctor.

___________________________________________________________________ (as)

19. You're not reading that newspaper. Can I read it?

___________________________________________________________________ (as)

20. He was sitting on the beach when the sun rose.

___________________________________________________________________ (as)

21. You can go to the party if you don't come home very late.

___________________________________________________________________ (as....as)

22. When he arrives, we'll go.

___________________________________________________________________ (as....as)

23. They think that he is the best person for the job.

___________________________________________________________________ (as)
1. Enumeration
<ul>[*]first(ly),... second(ly),... third(ly),... [*]first,... furthermore,... finally,... [*]one,... two,...
three,... [*]to begin/start with,... in the second place,... moreover,... and to conclude,...[*]next,...
then,... afterward,... lastly/finally...[/list]above all, last but not the least
first and foremost, first and most inportant(ly) 

2 Adition
a) adding new info: Also, again, furthermore, further, moreover, what is more, then, in addition,
besides, above all, too, as well (as)
b) comparing: Equally, likewise, similarly, similar to, correspondingly, in the same way, in a like
c) summation: in coclusion, to conclude, to sum up, in brief, briefly, to summarise, altogether,
overall, to make the long story long, for all that, all in all, all things considered, generally, on the
d) result: so, therefore, as a result, as a consequence, accordingly, consequently, now, then,
because of this, thus, hence, for this reason, due to, owing to, that implies
e) contrast: however, nevertheless, only, still, while, (al)though, yet, in any case, is spite of, despite
that, after all, on the other hand, even if, unlike, different from, in contrast, conversely, (on the)
conterary, instead
f) explanation: in other words, such as, to clarify, for instance, to explain, to ilustrate, for example,
to put it (more) simply 
g) showing opinion: in my opinion, to/from my way of thinking, in my view, to me, I believe, I think,
I agree, I guess, I hope, I imagine, I suppose, seemingly, possibly, perhaps, maybe, probably,
certainly, almost, doubtless, definitely, it seems to me that, it appears that, to my mind
Linking Words
Use this list of adverbs, conjunctions and prepositions to increase the complexity of your sentence structures,
effectively organize your thoughts, improve the fluidity of your ideas and heighten interest and impact on your

A fines de At the end of (event, time period)

A la inverse Conversely

A mediados de In the middle of (event, time period)

A menos que Unless

A menudo Often

A pesar de (que) In spite of

A principios de In the beginning (event, time period)

A veces Sometimes

Además Besides, Moreover

Ademas de In addition to

Afortunadamente Fortunately

Ahora Now

Al contrario On the contrary, Conversely

Algún Some, Any

Algunos Some

Antes de Before

Así que So

Aún Even

Aunque Although

Bueno Well

Claro Of course

Con With

Con excepción de Except

Como Like, As

Congruentemente Congruently
Cuando When

Dado que Given that

De aquí en adelante From now on

De hecho In fact

De repente Suddenly

De vez en cuando Once in a while

Desde que Since

Desgraciadamente Unfortunately

Después Later, Then

Después de After

Durante During

En definitive After all; In conclusion; In short

En fin In the end, Finally

En mi opinión In my opinión

En turno In turn, likewise

En vez de Instead of

Especialmente Especially

Eventualmente Eventually

Evidentemente Evidently

Finalmente Finally

Fuera de eso Otherwise

Generalmente Generally

Había una vez Once upon a time

Hace mucho tiempo A long time ago

Hasta Until

Igualmente Likewise

Indudablemente Undoubtedly

Jamás Never

Justamente Just
Lamentablemente Regretably

Luego Then, Later, Next

Mas Plus, Moreover

Menos mal que It’s a good thing that

Mientras While

Ni Nor, Not even

Ni…Ni Neither…Nor

Ni siquiera Not even

Ningún None, Not any

No obstante However

Nunca Never, Ever

O (U) Or

Obviamente Obviousley

Para In order to

Pero But

Personalmente Personally

Poquito a poco Little by little

Por Throughout

Por eso Because of that

Por lo tanto Hence

Por suerte Luckily

Porque Because

Posiblemente Possibly

Primero First

Principalemente Mainly

Probablemente Probably

Próximo (the) Next…

Pues Well

Puesto que Whereas

Quizás Maybe

Realmente Really

Si If

Siempre Always

Simplemente Simply

Sin Without

Sin embargo However

Sino But (except)

Solamente Only

Tal vez Perhaps

También Also, Too

Tampoco Either, Neither

Tarde o temprano Sooner or later

Todavía Still, yet

Una vez Once, One time

Usualmente Usually

Y (E) And

Coordinators connect elements of equal importance.

And (y)
Now (ahora bien)
But (pero)
Still (sin embargo)
So (así que)
Only (sólo que)
Therefore (por lo tanto)
Yet (pero, sin embargo)
Nevertheless (no obstante)
For (ya que)
However (sin embargo)
Either...or... (o... o.)
While (mientras)
Neither. nor. (ni. ni.)
Then (entonces)
So then (por tanto)
That (que)
Although, though (aunque)
Because of (debido a)
While (en tanto que)
Since (ya que, puesto que)
Until (hasta que)
As (pues, como)
As if, as though (como si)
So that (a fin de que)
When (cuando)
Lest (para que no)
Why (por que)
If (si)
In order that (para, a fin de que)
Unless (a menos que)
Whether... or (si... o)
lank space from the alternatives

Roses are red; violets are blue… or are they? A red rose in yellow-green light appears purpled-pink, (1)____________ a
violet in green-blue light looks turquoise. We are often unaware of such changes in the appearance of familiar objects
(2)____________ the eye adapts to the prevailing light. (3)____________, we see colours as we expect them to be, not as
they really are. When lighting is poor, (4)____________, the brain simply concentrates on enabling us to identify what the
available light allows us to see.There are drawbacks, (5)____________. When a photographer snaps a scene illuminated
by an incandescent light, the photograph will have a distinctly yellow tinge, (6)____________ when the photograph was
taken the colours looked true. This is (7)_____________ the eye - but not the photographic film - adapted to the
incandescent light. (8)____________, when, (9)___________, a green dress is chosen from a catalogue, or a yellow paint
is picked out for the kitchen - they can look quite different when you get them home. (10)____________, the main
problem seems to be our perception of colour.1.


a) however

b) although

c) whereas

d) in other words


a) instead

b) because

c) in case

d) moreover


a) alternatively

b) eventually

c) however

d) as a result-


a) for instance

b) however
c) especially

d) similarly


a) too

b) however

c) for example

d) in particular


a) as though

b) although

c) in contrast

d) and-


a) despiteb) on the contraryc) neverthelessd) because-


a) similarlyb) as ifc) alsod) in contrast


a) ratherb) finallyc) howeverd) say


a) a case in pointb) consequentlyc) moreoverd) in other words


 linking words   

 Make one sentence from the two below, using the word(s) in brackets.

Example : It was raining.  We played golf. (even though) => Even though it was raining, we played
  1.        She wasn't very rich.  She gave money to the beggar. (although)

  2.        He left early.  He wanted to arrive on time. (so that)

  3.        You can go out tonight.  You must tell us where you are going. (provided)

  4.        I don't earn a big salary.  But if I did, I wouldn't buy a car.  (even if)

  5.        Take a sandwich.  There might be no restaurant. (in case)

  6.        There was a lot of noise.  He managed to sleep. (despite)

  7.        Sue likes Opera.  Joe prefers jazz. (They have different tastes.)  (whereas)

  8.        The weather was bad.  They enjoyed the trip. (even though)

  9.        He had the 'flu.  He went to work. (in spite of)
  10.      You have to put the alarm on.  If not, it won't work. (unless)