Linking words and phrases in English (also called ‘connective’ or ‘transition’ words) are used to combine two clauses or sentences presenting contrast, comparison, condition, supposition, purpose, etc.
They enable us to establish clear connections between ideas.
Most linking words can either connect clauses within a sentence, or start a sentence to form a link with the previous statement.
♦Note : A clause is a group of words that includes a subject and a verb.
The following sentence contains two clauses:
She lives in Mexico because she likes the climate.
Below you will find some examples of linking words and how to use them. This is not a comprehensive list.
You may want to add your own linking words and phrases.
Examples of linking words within one sentence:
|Examples of Use
|As long as
|You can take my car as long as/provided (that)/providing you don’t damage it.
(I will lend you my car on condition that you don’t damage it.)
|He lives in a small house although he is a millionaire.
(In spite of the fact that he is rich, he lives in a small house.)
|She hurried because she was late.
I’ll apply for the job since you’re not interested.
|He is poor and has no house, but even if he had money, he wouldn’t buy a house.
(Supposing he had the money, he still wouldn’t buy a house.)
|Take an umbrella in case it rains.
(It might rain, so it’s a good idea to take an umbrella.)
|In spite of/Despite
|In spite of/despite the rain, she walked to the station.
In spite of/despite being blind, he walked to the station.
(without being affected by the rain or by being blind.)
|Hugo won the race notwithstanding his lack of training.
|Julie arrived early so that she could help her colleagues.
(She arrived early for the purpose of helping her colleagues.)
|The radio won’t stop unless you turn it off.
|You can count on me whatever you decide to do.
(No matter what your decision is, you can count on me.)
|Tom is rich, whereas Jack is poor.
(Tom is rich; in contrast Jack is poor.)
|I will lend you my car whenever you need it.
(No matter when you need my car, I will lend it to you.)
|My thoughts will be with you wherever you go.
(No matter where you go, my thoughts will be with you.)
Examples of linking words that connect two separate sentences or two clauses:
♦Note : If linking words start a sentence, they are followed by a comma.
When they are used to connect two clauses, a semi-colon is placed at the end of the first clause.
A comma is often used after the linking word(s).
|Examples of Use
|As a result
|– Prices were reduced by 20%. As a result, sales increased.
– The company is expanding. Consequently, there are jobs on offer.
– A hurricane has been announced. Therefore, air traffic will be disrupted.
|– The trip is too expensive. Besides, I don’t really like hot weather.
– Computers are cheaper nowadays; furthermore, they are lighter.
– You haven’t paid the rent yet. In addition, you owe me money.
– The report is badly presented. Moreover, it contains inaccuracies.
|– There are several problems to consider; for instance/for example, there is a lack of public transport.
On the contrary
On the other hand
|– Northern European countries had a great summer.
On the contrary/conversely, southern Europe had poor weather.
– Laptops are convenient; on the other hand, they can be expensive.
|– The hotel was open. However, nobody came to the reception desk.
– He had severe injuries; nevertheless, he completely recovered.
– The weather was bitterly cold. He went hiking nonetheless.
|– The castle was sold.
Subsequently/afterwards it became a hotel.
|In the same way
By the same token
|– Alex enjoys telling jokes;
in the same way /similarly / likewise, his son adores funny stories.
– Teenagers should be more respectful;
by the same token, parents should be more understanding.
|To sum up
|– I’ve covered the main events of the year.
To sum up / briefly, our team is now one of the best in the world.
To conclude / in conclusion, I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season.