Linking Words: What are They and How to Use Them
Happy New Year Kawa Nation! Welcome to the year 2018! I hope you all have fulfilled all your last year’s resolutions and continuing into the new year with new and more challenging goals that make you strive to become a better individual!
Speaking of continuing into things…in this blog post, we shall be discussing linking words!
What are linking words?
Linking words are terminology used that assist in making your sentence or paragraph “flow” (otherwise known as “combine ideas together” or LINK ideas together – hence the term “linking” words!) and also help you improve your fluency in English.
Here is an example that incorporates linking words:
- I bought take-away because I was very hungry.
Without the use of linking words, the sentence/s will still make sense, however, it does not look grammatically correct and your teacher will most likely perceive that as an error. Without the word “because”, the sentence will look like this:
- I bought take-away. I was very hungry.
Do you prefer reading the first or second example better? Which one do you think made sense more?
In most English assignments, the main note is to keep your essay as succinct as possible. This means that whenever you can connect two ideas into one sentence, or shorten a few sentences in one sentence, it would be recommended to do so.
Therefore, linking words connects multiple ideas into one big idea, and it also makes the sentence look “easy on the eyes” – meaning that is it easy to read and understand.
There are linking words in many parts of a sentence; they can be either at the front of a sentence (typically being the first word used) or in the middle of a sentence.
There are words that start at the beginning of a sentence, and they all start with a capital letter.
Linking terms that are commonly used at beginning of a sentence are:
- However (*)
- Therefore (*)
- Thus (*)
- Hence (*)
- Although (*)
- In addition/Additionally
- On the other hand
- In contrast
- In order to
- While (*)
- Unlike (*)
- For example
- In conclusion
- To summarise
- Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly
The words with a (*) after it means that these words can also be used in the middle of a sentence, though it is more common to use them at the start of a sentence. Moreover, this is not the complete list of linking terms.
There are also some linking words that can be used in the middle of a sentence. These are more common to use in everyday English writing or speaking, and so it is very good practice to try and incorporate these when you practice your English writing and speaking.
Unlike linking words used at the beginning of a sentence, linking words used in the middle of a sentence do not need to have a capital letter in front of them.
Linking terminology used in the middle of the sentence include:
NOTE that is not the complete list of linking terms.
CONJUNCTION WORDS & TRANSITION WORDS
Under the big heading of “LINKING WORDS”, there are two subgroups. There are conjunction linking words, and transition linking words.
Conjunction words are words which connect words, phrases, clauses or sentences. The literal meaning of conjoin is “join” or “unite. The most common conjunction terms are basically all the linking words used in the middle of a sentence, as they connect two ideas into one idea, or two sentences into one sentence (such as the example sentence/s above, at the beginning of this blog post).
Transition words are words that are used as a “part of a speech”. Basically they help the reader progress from one idea to another (hence the word “transition”, which means change from one thing to another”). They are words commonly used at the beginning of a sentence. Therefore, they also help build coherent relationships within the text.
SUBSTITUTING LINKING WORDS WITH BETTER LINKING WORDS
Most of the time in an English essay, you would want to find the best descriptive terminology to use to describe your idea or argument. This can also be the case for linking words, meaning that you can substitute some simpler linking words such as “but” with more sophisticated linking words such as “however” or “although”.
As you progress in your English learning and starting to learn more advance English, it is recommended to utilize more advance or sophisticated English terminology and grammar in your English writing and even communication.
NOTE that if you are feeling uncomfortable or less confident in substituting words with more complex words as you do not know the full meaning of the complex words, it is safer for you to use the simpler words. It is better for you to use words that are simple but you know the meaning of, than to utilise terms that are more sophisticated but you don’t know the meaning of, and losing marks to your assignment for using it if you use them in the wrong context.
Common substitutions are:
- BUT → Although
→ In contrast (NOTE: only when comparing)
→ On the other hand (NOTE: only when comparing)
→ Unlike (NOTE: only when comparing)
- ALSO → Additionally/In addition
- BECAUSE → As
→ As a result
→ For that reason
- FOR THAT REASON/AS A RESULT → Hence
- LASTLY → In conclusion
→ To summarise
→ To conclude
Well, there you have it! I hope you find this “Linking Words” blog post useful, and as usual, I shall wish you all good luck in your English assessment writing! 🙂
Moreover, before this ends, I would really like you to check out Kawa Kawa’s English eBook (which is FREE to download) about how to improve your English pronunciation. This will be really helpful, and it gives the best advice and tip on how to improve your English speaking and confidence! See all of you lovely viewers in the next blog!